Commentary by Captain Locky Maclean
The vaquita, one of the last specimens of the most endangered marine mammal in the world, was trapped in a net inside the Vaquita Refuge attesting that illegal gillnets are the biggest threat to the tiny cetacean.
Captain Watson Finally Gets Closure After Nearly Two Decades of Legal Disputes with Costa Rican Authorities.
San José, Costa Rica, March 12, 2019 –The Criminal Appeals Court of the Second Judicial Circuit of San José ruled in favor of Captain Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, dropping all charges against him and giving closure to a 17-year legal dispute and 13-year-old international arrest warrant.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Sea Shepherd New Zealand Ltd., and Sea Shepherd Legal (collectively, Sea Shepherd) refuse to allow New Zealand’s Māui dolphin to follow the same tragic path as the vaquita in Mexico. Today, Sea Shepherd took decisive action to defend the Māui dolphin by formally demanding that the Trump Administration immediately ban all imports from New Zealand fisheries that are driving the Māui dolphin to extinction.
Sea Shepherd Ship M/V Farley Mowat surrounded by over 35 poaching vessels and boarded in broad daylight.
Sea Shepherd’s Statement on Japan’s Decision to Commercially Slaughter Whales.
Los Angeles, California – December 26th, 2018 – Since 2002, Sea Shepherd has opposed Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary with expeditions to Antarctic waters first in 2002 followed by continuous campaigns from 2005 until 2017.
Continued from Part 1: Voyage to the Galapagos.
As the Brigitte Bardot steamed west from the Galapagos we considered the sheer number of people we could expect to encounter when we reached this densely clustered fishing fleet 700 miles out to sea. The scale of fishing on the high seas has always been largely invisible to the seafood consuming public but our satellite tracking sources indicated an operation of truly remarkable size. From Automatic Identification System (AIS) data and radar we knew we were approaching a fleet of around 300 ships. These would be not only fishing vessels but a whole network of support vessels for refueling and transshipping catch from the fleet, as well as providing for an estimated 6,000 crewmen who would be at sea for several months at a time.
Operation 404, our captivity focused campaign, has been investigating dolphinariums around the world for the past year. Most recently, our undercover team captured ground-breaking footage while investigating Zoo Aquarium de Madrid.
Zoo Aquarium de Madrid currently owns 9 bottlenose dolphins, six were captured in the waters of Cuba and three were born in captivity. Reports show that 11 dolphins have died at Zoo Aquarium de Madrid since the 1980’s with the most recent death occurring in March of 2018.
While investigating, our team discovered that two of these dolphins appear to be ill. Lala and Guarina, both wild caught dolphins, are currently suffering from what appears to be skin lesions. We are very concerned for their well-being and cannot believe they are being forced to perform in these conditions.
Our team has sent footage to a professional veterinarian for further information regarding their health. Operation 404 will be posting the report once we receive the diagnosis.
Our volunteer teams are working globally to uncover the truth behind captivity. This footage is only the beginning. Operation 404 will continue to document and investigate alleged illegal activity in dolphinariums such as Zoo Aquarium de Madrid. If you support captivity, Sea Shepherd is coming for you.
Cristen landed in Osaka the evening of November 1st. She was asked to accompany the authorities for secondary questioning after reaching customs. She then was detained in a small room where she was interrogated for over six hours. During the questioning her phone, social media, body and luggage was searched.
When monitoring vessel activity on the vast scale of the world’s oceans at SkyTruth we know we’re almost always dealing with incomplete information. For example, only some vessels transmit their locations at sea via the Automatic Identification System (AIS), while others may only come up in a particular government’s private Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) or we may just see them as blips on a radar screen. So I was excited to hear that I was invited to accompany a vessel actually going out to investigate one of the fleets we have been monitoring with AIS and night imagery. The ship I would board is the M/V Brigitte Bardot, a 35 meter former racing vessel now run by Sea Shepherd, an international non-profit dedicated to taking direct action for marine conservation. In 2016 Sea Shepherd was able to track down some unusual vessel activity that we spotted in the Indian Ocean with spectacular results. This time we would be tracking a much larger fleet fishing for squid in international waters 700 miles west of the Galapagos.