February: At theGoed Geld Gala in the Netherlands, the Dutch Postcode Lottery “Postcodeloterij” awards Sea Shepherd a grant for 2009 funding which included a check for €500,000.
April: Skarbakk, an outlaw whaling vessel, was scuttled in the Norwegian Lofoten Islands by the conservation commandos from Agenda 21.
April: Sea Shepherd and members of ARK II persuade Holista Health Inc. who sell health supplements in stores across Canada and the United States, including Costco, Shoppers Drug Mart, and WalMart to cease purchasing shark cartilage raw materials and will no longer be producing shark cartilage products.
April: At the2nd Annual Award Ceremony hosted by the Academy of Television Arts and Science, Tippi Hedren presents Animal Planets President Marjorie Kaplan with a Television Academy Award for Whale Wars.
May: The European Parliament votes 550 to 49 to ban seal product imports.
May: The Resorts World at Sentosa, Singapore, opts out of plans to install a major aquarium exhibit designed to display captive whale sharks. This victory is thanks in part to Sea Shepherd and other conservation-oriented groups who actively opposed the development in Singapore for months via an international whale shark petition that resulted in over 9,000 signatures.
May: Sea Shepherd and LUSH Handmade Cosmetics team up and hand Canadian Senator Mac Harb to get 38,015 postcard petitions and 9,681 online petitions by supporters opposing the Canadian commercial seal hunt with the assurance that each petition will be delivered directly to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the nation’s capitol in Ottawa, Ontario. Supporters also buy First Swim bubble bars and Charity Pot lotions which result in LUSH donating US $36,894.02 to Sea Shepherd in order to oppose the seal hunt.
May: The Peruvian navy training ship the Mollendo runs aground in Academy Bay, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos landing near a reef where white tip sharks are known to congregate. Thanks to the National Park together with the Ecuadorian navy, environmental police and the cargo ship Angelina, the ship was accessed for damages and luckily no fuel was leaked.
June: Whale Wars Season 2 premiere draws in 1.2 million viewers; Airing in the US on Friday, June 5th on Animal Planet and Premiering in Canada on Wednesday, June 10th on Animal Planet.
June: All charges are dropped in a Canadian court against Captain Watson for allegedly operating a Canadian-registered ship without a commercial license. Defense attorney Terry La Liberte was able to prove that Captain Watson upholds the law and furthermore keeps an unblemished record of never having a single criminal felony conviction or a conviction for a maritime related offense.
June: The tourist boat Evolution runs aground near Española in the south of Galápagos spilling an unknown amount of diesel into the frail waters.
June: Captain Paul Watson attends the 61st annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Madeira, Portugal, and announces our 6th Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign, Operation Waltzing Matilda.
June: The Ecuadorian Environmental Police, supported by the Galapagos National Park Service and the K9 Police Unit (which is supported by Sea Shepherd), raid a fisherman’s house on Santa Cruz Island and find 52 large shark fins. The same week, Environmental Police bust a lobster poacher and confiscate 176 illegally caught red and green lobsters on Isabela Island.
June: The commercial tuna boat Don Mario is caught illegally fishing inside the Galapagos Marine Reserve. The vessel was detected by the new satellite monitoring system which Sea Shepherd raised funding for, and the Don Mario was caught with tuna as well as sea turtles in its nets.
July: Performance artist Alice Newstead is hung from shark hooks in the window of Lush’s store on Avenue General du LeClerc in Paris to raise awareness about the crime of shark finning.
July: A Sea Shepherd supporter offers officially-recognized geocaching coins, whose funds are donated to present and future wildlife conservation campaigns.
August: Modest Mouse releases music video for “King Rat,” directed by Heath Ledger (a Sea Shepherd Advisory Board Member), to support Sea Shepherd and to bring awareness to illegal whaling in Antarctica.
August: Captain Paul Watson presents the Environmentalist of the Year Award to freesurfer and activist David Rastovich at the 20th Annual SIMA Waterman’s Ball held in Laguna Niguel, CA.
August: Charity Navigator awards Sea Shepherd with the coveted 4-start charity rating in recognition of outperforming 75% of US charities and for sound fiscal management.
September: Captain Alex Cornelissen and 1st Officer Peter Hammarstedt are each fined $11,607 and forbidden to enter Canada for the “crime” of witnessing a seal hunt within 926 meters back in the spring of 2008.
September: The final phase of the Sea Shepherd-supported K-9 project is completed with all three islands of the Galapagos financed and the construction of the dog kennel on Isabela. Guides and dogs have been transported to the island and will commence their inspection on Isabela, which has the highest level of poaching in the Galapagos. Inspections are being carried out on all three islands at airports, in harbors, and during random checks in order to stop illegal poaching activities within this UN World Heritage Site.
October: Sea Shepherd unveils their newest ocean defense vessel: the Ady Gil, a trimaran that holds the world record for global circumnavigation and who is named after its benefactor, Mr. Ady Gil of Los Angeles, CA, who helped acquire the vessel.
October: Sea Shepherd is featured in a satirical South Park episode titled “Whale Whores”which aired on Comedy Central October 28, 2009.
November: With generous donations from ECWF, Marcel Wensveen, and LUSH Handmade Cosmetics, Sea Shepherd Galapagos has officially handed over a large amount of radio communication equipment to the National Police in Galapagos, making inter island communication possible which in turn will help protect the people and animals of the fragile Galapagos Islands.
December: Mayor Brad Pettitt of Fremantle presents our ship Steve Irwin with a plaque of the Fremantle Coat of Arms and the flag of Fremantle with a request that the Steve Irwin fly the city’s colors in the Southern Ocean which Captain Watson proudly agrees to do.
December: Our ships Steve Irwin and the Ady Gil depart for Antarctica in search of the Japanese whaling fleet while our newly-acquired ship Bob Barker secretly departs from Mauritius to locate and surprise the whaling fleet.