Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Welcomes New CEO: Captain Alex Cornelissen

We are pleased to announce that Captain Alex Cornelissen has taken on the role of Chief Executive Officer for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Captain Cornelissen has a long and decorated history serving the world’s oceans and is also the CEO of Sea Shepherd Global. His extensive experience and strong leadership skills are invaluable assets to the Sea Shepherd movement, and we look forward to working with him as we enter into a new and even more successful era of ocean conservation.

Captain Cornelissen has participated in more than 25 Sea Shepherd campaigns over the years, including five trips to the Antarctic to stop the Japanese whale poachers. He first joined Sea Shepherd in 2002 as Chief Cook on the Farley Mowat, the organization’s flagship vessel at that time. What was supposed to be a sabbatical turned into a life-changing experience. On his first day on board the Farley Mowat, he dove into the waters of the Galapagos Marine Reserve to save a turtle from a longline. Even though such an initiation may seem hard to beat, he has since had many equally inspirational moments. In 2003, he saved 15 dolphins from the nets in Taiji, Japan, and in 2005 and 2008, he rescued seals in Canada. These campaigns are the bloodiest and most brutal events to witness. Other moments of great inspiration include freeing wildlife from longlines and seeing Japan lose the court case at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Over the past 18 years, he served as a crew member on multiple ships in Sea Shepherd’s fleet and worked his way up to the bridge to become the First Officer under Captain Paul Watson. In 2006, he was appointed Captain.

He worked continuously on board the ships until the end of 2007 when he took on the role of Director of Operations in the Galapagos Islands. He remained in this position for seven years and ran an effective campaign to stop poaching in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. In January 2014, Captain Cornelissen became the CEO of Sea Shepherd Global and is responsible for all the movements of the vessels in Sea Shepherd’s fleet. Even though his focus shifted from the ships to the general management of the Sea Shepherd movement, he still participates in campaigns when time allows it. 

Captain Cornelissen is the president of the board of directors for Sea Shepherd Germany, Luxemburg, Netherlands, and Switzerland, and serves as a board member in many other countries.

His mission is to ensure that Sea Shepherd and its fleet continue to grow, enhancing the organization’s ability to protect marine life worldwide. Captain Cornelissen gives presentations around the world, highlighting the importance of the Sea Shepherd movement and inspiring others to join the fight.

He is proud to be able to fight side by side with the most inspiring and passionate people he knows.

Thank you, Captain Cornelissen, and welcome to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society team!

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