January: Sea Shepherd receives approval from Australia to use drones to search for the whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean.
January: Sea Shepherd assists Forest Rescue Australia in a complex and daring move to board the Shonan Maru #2 in the waters off Bunbury, Western Australia. The Australian government is slow to respond, forcing the activist to spend nearly a week onboard the Japanese security vessel.
January: Three crewmembers are injured in a skirmish with the Japanese whaling fleet when the illegal whalers toss a grappling hook at one of Sea Shepherd’s small boats.
January: The judge who annulled the Fer Mary case in the Galapagos is suspended.
January: After 40 days in jail, the trial for Cove Guardian Erwin Vermeulen begins in Wakayama, Japan.
January: Sea Shepherd offers $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of sea lion killers in Puget Sound.
January:The two-way radios used by Cove Guardians in Taiji are confiscated and banned by the Japanese Police. Cove Guardians are informed they are only allowed to use Japanese-made radios, which would allow the authorities to tap all radio transmissions.
February: Crewmember Beck Straussner is knocked from a jet ski into frigid Antarctic waters by a Japanese water canon.
February: U.S. District Court judge denies the ICR’s request for a temporary injunction against Sea Shepherd’s activities in the Southern Ocean.
February: After being held for 60 days and undergoing trial for false accusations of assault, Cove Guardian Erwin Vermeulen is found not guilty. The acquittal is considered unprecedented.
February: Sea Shepherd receives 900,000 Euro from the Dutch Postcode Lottery.
February: Led by Gary Stokes, Sea Shepherd visits the corporate headquarters of Hong Kong Airlines to confront the airline for transporting live dolphins to captive facilities. Shortly after airline officials ban the transport of wild animals.
February: After keeping the whaling fleet on the run for two months, the Bob Barker finds the Nisshin Maru.
March: Under the cover of darkness, the Japanese whaling ships the Yushin Maru 2 and 3 aggressively engage in an attack on the Bob Barker. Luckily no one is injured in the confrontation.
March: The illegal Japanese Whalers head home. Operation Divine Wind is a success as Sea Shepherd saves the lives of 768 whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
March: Cove Guardians are harassed and chased in vehicles by a group of Japanese Nationalists in Taiji.
March: U.S. District Court ruling allows state wildlife agencies in Oregon and Washington to kill 460 federally protected California Sea Lions.
March: Sea Shepherd Switzerland is instrumental in the banning of dolphin imports to the country.
April: Sea Shepherd France gathers with French citizens to oppose oil drilling in the south of France.
April: Sea Shepherd launches the first Dam Guardian campaign to defend California Sea Lions on the Columbia River. The campaign is in response to a court ruling allowing state wildlife agencies in Oregon and Washington to kill 460 federally protected California Sea Lions.
May: Captain Watson is arrested in Frankfurt, Germany on a warrant issued by Costa Rica.
May: Extradition process begins in Frankfurt for Captain Watson.
June: Sea Shepherd officially hands over the completed AIS system to Galapagos National Park.
June: Sea Shepherd UK wins lawsuit filed by Fish and Fish regarding the release of 800 illegally caught Bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean.
July: Operation Requiem, Sea Shepherd’s campaign to defend sharks in the South Pacific begins. The campaign will focus on patrolling the waters for illegal activity and bringing awareness to local communities about the importance of shark conservation.
July: Bob Brown and Sea Shepherd Australia launch Operation Kimberley Miinimbi to oppose the construction of a large gas hub amidst the largest Humpback whale nursery in the world.
July: Captain Watson leaves Germany, skipping bail, after learning Japan is attempting to extradite him.
July: Sea Shepherd is invited to join Aerosmith on the west coast leg of their “Global Warming Tour”.
August: An Interpol red notice is issued for Captain Watson in response to Costa Rica’s politically motivated warrant for his arrest.
August: Operation Desert Seal II, Sea Shepherd’s covert campaign to end the slaughter of Cape Fur Seals at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve in Namibia, begins.
September: Sea Shepherd partners with the nation of Kiribati to patrol the Phoenix Islands to protect the South Pacific shark population.
September: Operation Infinite Patience 2012-2013 begins in Taiji, Japan as the first Cove Guardians arrive.
October: In a New York Times article, the ICR confirms that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society cost the illegal Japanese whalers $20.5 million in losses for the 2010-2011 whaling season in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
October: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in Seattle, Washington hears appeal from the ICR. The Japanese whalers seek to keep Sea Shepherd ships from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The appeal comes as a result of ICR’s loss of a preliminary injunction they brought against Sea Shepherd in February of this year to try and prevent the organization’s whale defense fleet from protecting whales in Antarctica.
October: Six Bottlenose dolphins are taken from the waters around Taiji and placed in airline transport containers. The dolphins are believed to have landed or passed through Heathrow Airport in London. A stark reminder of the direct connection between the captive trade and the dolphin slaughter.
October: Captain Paul Watson becomes only the second person, after Captain Jacques Cousteau, to be honored with the Jules Verne Award, dedicated to environmentalists and adventurers.
October: Sea Shepherd announces the opening of the Southern Operations Base at Seaworks in Williamstown, Australia. The base will serve to prepare our ships and crew for vital marine conservation work.
October: The Dutch Postcode Lottery chooses to prolong their annual contribution to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for another five years.