Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

(The most badass conservation society there is) Robin Madan

There are a number of environmental conservation societies. One of these is Greenpeace. Greenpeace is an international environmental organization founded in British Colombia in 1971. They are most well known for their anti whaling campaign. Here is their official mission statement. “Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organization which uses non-

violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions for a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace's goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity.” The key phrase here being non-violent. Pretty much all Greenpeace does is complain about things and maybe hold a few non-violent protests. The thing is, they don’t accomplish much. Nobody listens to them and they are such big pacifists that they rarely do anything themselves. But there is hope, there is one society that goes above and beyond, putting Greenpeace to shame. This is the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Founded in 1977 also in British Colombia by Captain Paul Watson, the Sea Shepherd Society’s immediate mandate was marine mammal protection with an immediate goal of shutting down illegal whaling and sealing operations. They now operate out of Friday Harbor, one of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State. Ironically, Watson was one of the

three founders of Greenpeace. He however decided that only “bearing witness” to environmental damage was not enough. Since then he has referred to Greenpeace as “the Avon ladies of the environmental movement.” Here is the Sea Shepherd official mission statement: “Sea Shepherd's mission is to conserve and protect the world's marine wilderness eco-systems and marine wildlife species.
We accomplish these goals through public education, investigation, documentation and, where appropriate and where legal authority exists under international law or under agreement with national governments, enforcement of violations of the international treaties, laws and conventions designed to protect the oceans. Sea Shepherd campaigns are guided by the United Nations World Charter for Nature. Sections 21-24 of the Charter provides authority to individuals to act on behalf of and enforce international conservation laws. Sea Shepherd cooperates fully with all international law enforcement agencies and its enforcement activities complying with standard practices of law and policing enforcement. Sea Shepherd adheres to the utilization of non-violent principles in the course of all actions and has taken a standard against violence in the protection of the oceans.” Aside from the legality statements nearly all of this is a lie, they are by no means non violent. The Sea Shepherd’s first successful mission took place in 1979 when they hunted down and rammed the notorious pirate whaler Sierra sinking it, thus ending its whaling career. Since then they have rammed, sunk, chased, and harassed whaling ships like no other. They have sunk ten whaling ships since ’79 and continue all sorts of conservation efforts all over the world. Because of this they are considered by many to be terrorists. The reason they

can get away with all of this is because most of the confrontations take place in international waters where whaling is actually prohibited. They have taken it upon themselves to police these waters and do whatever possible to stop whaling or other such activities. Being a non-profit organization Sea Shepherd relies on donations. Despite all the people who hate them they have many supporters, including Richard Dean Anderson, Pierce Brosnan, Martin Sheen, Sean Penn, and William Shatner, environmental activists Dave Foreman, Farley Mowat, and the late writer Edward Abbey. Corporate sponsors include John Paul Mitchell Systems and Patagonia. The Sea Shepherd’s most recent campaign happened in February of 2007. In the Antarctic two Sea Shepherd ships: The ‘Robert Hunter’ and the ‘Farley Mowat’ disabled and harassed a Japanese whaler. They jammed its propeller with rope and things. The whaler caught fire and was drifting for a good while. The Sea Shepherds also threw canisters of terrible smelling but nonharmful acid onto the deck of the ship. Earlier, during December of 2005 and January of 2006 the Sea Shepherd ship ‘Farley Mowat’ rammed the Japanese Supply ship Oriental Bluebird successfully chasing it from whaling grounds. All these acts have been part of Operation Levaithan. Operation Levaithan is the most ambitious, dangerous, costly, and important campaign in Sea Shepherd History. The objective is to intervene against the Japanese whaling fleet and their illegal whaling operations. The Japanese are in violation of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, they are violating the International Whaling Commission

moratorium on commercial whaling, they are targeting fin and humpback whales which are endangered and protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wiled Fauna and Flora, they are also in violation the Australian laws protecting Antarctic Territorial waters. Sea Shepherd wants to make it clear that they don’t go to the Antarctic to protest whaling. They go there to uphold international laws and intervene with the purpose of protecting the whales. Here are some pictures from Operation Levaithan.

To Conclude, The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is the coolest and most effective marine conservation society and thanks to their heroic efforts no whales were killed on Christmas Day. They are the only society with the balls to do what it takes to stop the killing of whales and not just sit back and wave some flags. Even though whaling is not solely responsible for the drop in whale numbers (you have to take into account global warming and decreased amounts of plankton) the Sea Shepherds are doing more to help than anybody else and we should be thankful.