Since the early Sixties, an insidious trade of intelligent, self-aware, sentient beings has been growing like a malignant cancer within human society. It is a slave trade that has been the cause of unimaginable misery and has claimed the lives of thousands of dolphins. This cruel industry has spread across Europe and Asia with hundreds of marine aquariums operating, many of them with grossly inadequate facilities.
Paul Watson in AntarcticaSea Shepherd has accomplished something absolutely remarkable over the last 12 years.
In 2005 we set out to tackle the world’s largest and most destructive whaling fleet. We were told it was impossible by some governments and a few NGO’s.
Hardly anyone even knew about Japan’s illegal slaughter in the Southern Ocean. It was out of sight and out of mind. They were targeting 1,035 whales a year including a yearly quota of 50 endangered Humpbacks and 50 endangered Fin whales.
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In Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s latest scientific research campaign, we are studying the toxicology levels in whales in the Gulf of California. We are working with marine scientists from the Universidad de Baja California Sur, Italy and United State of America to conduct the first studies regarding the toxicology of microplastics and pollution in the Gulf of California.
Joining the Sea Shepherd on a campaign was never anything I took lightly. I realize that they have received some fame, along with some infamy, from the TV show ‘Whale Wars‘. But my instinct told me that the Sea Shepherd team was involved in some very powerful and effective activities meant to put a stop to at least some, if not all, of the atrocities occurring in our oceans today. As a man of action, this appeals to me– I don’t mind sending my dollars to help out. And I don’t mind voting in a direction that I think will make a difference. I enjoy debating the issues in groups of people. However, unless I can get actively involved I never quite feel like I am grasping and as a result, having an understanding of the full story.
By Captain Paul Watson, Founder and President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Paul Watson with the Nisshin Maru in the background. Photo: Barbara VeigaThe Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) may be collecting their 30 pieces of silver over the next five years.
The film Blackfish literally swept the profits from SeaWorld’s table and with their stock value plummeting, they had to find a way to put the profits back on the table. Joel Manby, the CEO of SeaWorld needed a champion. Last week he announced that he had found his Judas.
Words cannot even begin to express my sadness for you. I am sorry that you are dying, but even more sorry that you are dying in a concrete tank instead your ocean home off the coast of Iceland.
For more than thirty years, you have been held captive in one tiny pool or another, first in Sealand and now in SeaWorld. Of course, neither place resembles the sea where you were born. Your imprisonment spans nearly your entire life. You have been forced to perform tricks for food, forced to donate sperm, forced to endure isolation, and forced to live a shell of a life that in no way resembles the true nature of an orca. The pain you have suffered is simply incomprehensible.
After the highly anticipated arrival of the Farley Mowat to the Sea of Cortez, we have concentrated on testing different techniques to find illegal fishing gear hidden undersea. The gear is placed to catch the endangered Totoaba, and those same nets also are trapping and killing the Vaquita Marina, the most endangered porpoise in the world.
Finding those nets has not been an easy task.
First, the weather hasn’t helped. The winter storms forced us to shelter for two weeks while we waited out the high winds and huge swell – hoping that at least the bad weather would keep the poachers from fishing. Unfortunately, the nets are always there,left under the sea, and set to kill. We also learned that some poachers went out, undeterred by the worsening weather conditions. Since we’ve arrived, we have heard about eleven illegal fishermen that have died from trying to fish during the storms. It is shocking to see how far the hunger for money can drive this awful illegal act.