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Full article (PDFInternational Laws and Charters

  • Sea Shepherd campaigns are guided by the United Nations World Charter for Nature. Sections 21-24 of the Charter provides authority to individuals to act on behalf of and enforce international conservation laws.
  • Sea Shepherd cooperates fully with all international law enforcement agencies and its enforcement activities complying with standard practices of law and policing enforcement.
  • Sea Shepherd adheres to the utilization of non-violent principles in the course of all actions and has taken a standard against violence in the protection of the oceans.
  • The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is dedicated to working towards cooperative agreements between nations to protect species and habitats according to SSCS Mandate.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society respects and acts in accordance with the following international treaties, declarations, conventions, and charters:

The World Charter for Nature
U.N. Res. A/37/7 (1982)

The International Whaling Commission (IWC)

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
March 3rd, 1973, Washington, D.C.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
December 10th, 1982, Montego Bay

The Convention of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)

The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Convention (NAFO)

International Convention for Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT)

The Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment
June 5th -16th, 1972, Stockholm, Sweden

ASEAN Agreement on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
July 9th, 1985, Kuala Lumpur

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species

Whaling Laws


2009, Joseph Elliott Roeschke, The Villanova Environmental Law Journal, Volume XX, Issue 1, pages 99-136.

This Comment examines the various sources of international law on whaling, which attempt to wrestle with the convoluted area of international environmental conservation law on the high seas. Specifically, this Comment analyzes whether, and to what extent, private groups like Sea Shepherd have legal authority to protect endangered whales in neutral waters outside the jurisdiction of any nation. Section II explains the history of whaling, including a synopsis of whaling in Japanese culture and a history of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Section III outlines the relevant areas of international law that regulate whaling and environmental activism, which take place in the neutral coastal waters off of Antarctica. Section IV details the Japanese exploitation of the scientific research exception and provides a critical analysis of how the relevant regulations apply to individuals and private groups who enforce international conservation laws. Finally, Section V focuses on the effect Sea Shepherd has had on the Japanese scientific whaling program and suggests that Sea Shepherd should be allowed to continue enforcing international conservation law, but through less controversial means . . .

Full Article (PDF)

The IWC has instructed Japan to stop killing whales in the
Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary

As stated in Resolution 2007-1 below:
RECALLING that the Commission has repeatedly requested Contracting Parties to refrain from issuing special permits for research involving the killing of whales within the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, has expressed deep concern at continuing lethal research within the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, and has also recommended that scientific research involving the killing of cetaceans should only be permitted where critically important research needs are addressed;

the IWC is:
CONVINCED that the aims of JARPA II do not address critically important research needs;

the IWC:
FURTHER CALLS UPON the Government of Japan to suspend indefinitely the lethal aspects of JARPA II conducted within the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

The IWC established the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 1994

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