Sea Shepherds

Being in new places means meeting new people. Last weekend Hannah and I met some very interesting people who are members of Sea Shepherd. I had never heard of this group before we met them and it has been interesting reading about their history and some of the things they have done. This organization was established in 1977 as an international nonprofit marine wildlife conservation organization. Their mission is to end destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans. They have a very innovative direct action methodology in order to put a stop to killing of endangered marine species and ecosystems. They actually confront the offenders on high seas and have been known to sabotage ships and equipment. They have also been known to throw stink bombs onto the ships and in the past even ram into ships in order to disable them. The three main industries that Sea Shepherd targets are: the illegal whaling or killing of dolphins, the slaughtering of seals and the shark finning operations. Crewmembers are all volunteers and pay their own way to get to the ship for each mission but food and the stay on the boat is free. This organization has made many enemies and has been called eco terrorists by some governments. At the same time there have been many governments who have actually asked for their help with protecting patrol boats at times. They have raised a lot of awareness to issues that were not well known to the general public. They have also made a lot of political progress in stopping sealing in some European countries. The controversy lies in their sometimes violent methods. We have had some conversations about the organization, their methods, and their goals. Everyone has a different way of looking at it but we do all agree that they have done some good things and some not so good things. In the last year Animal Planet did a 7 show series titled Whale Wars. This show spread the word to the general public that whaling still occurs today and is not just a thing of the past. Although their sometimes violent methods are frowned upon they have made the public more aware of many issues in our marine ecosystems that need to be addressed.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.