Sea Shepherd investigates and documents when laws to protect the world’s oceans and marine wildlife are not enforced. We use innovative, direct actions to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas marine sanctuaries and in countries’ sovereign waters through cooperative agreements with established law enforcement agencies.
Direct Action on the High Seas
Despite our relatively small size and limited resources, Sea Shepherd’s campaigns have been effective because we use direct action to achieve results, instead of billboards, petitions or protest marches. Our ships, mainly crewed by passionate volunteers, have saved over 6000 whales from the Japanese harpoon ships in the dangerous Antarctic waters. We have stood up to seal hunters, hauled in miles of illegal fishing gear, and relentlessly chased one of the world’s most notorious poaching vessels for 110 days until they scuttled their own ship in defeat.
Working with Law Enforcement
Some of Sea Shepherd’s most successful campaigns were conducted in cooperation with international law enforcement agencies such as INTERPOL. We also regularly assist nations who are lacking the resources to defend their own coastal waters from IUU fishing, such as Liberia and Gabon in West Africa, and protecting marine sanctuaries from poachers in the Galapagos.
Land-Based and National Campaigns
Sea Shepherd coordinates some of our most famous campaigns on the high seas. Still, we remain very much a grassroots movement, with many more national campaigns conducted locally by Sea Shepherd groups in Australia, New Zealand, France, the UK, Belgium, Finland and Italy. Around the world, our volunteers participate in land-based campaigns to clean up marine debris on beaches, protect coastal nesting habitats, and educate the public about Sea Shepherd’s mission.
Grassroots Resources, Global Impact
Unlike many other well-known international conservation groups, Sea Shepherd is a grassroots movement run almost entirely by dedicated, passionate volunteers, not a bureaucratic organization with corporate offices and a well-staffed fundraising department. In fact, Sea Shepherd has only a handful of paid staff, and our CEO – who started out as a volunteer cook on one of our ships – still answers his own email. That’s why we’re able to make such a global impact in marine conservation with just a fraction of the budget of other groups. Our loyal supporters know that we put all of our resources – time and money – into our direct action campaigns, not into billboards and fancy office stationery. Television may have made Sea Shepherd a household name, but we still walk our talk.
Our Ships and Events are Plant-Based
Sea Shepherd is an anti-poaching organization that campaigns against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing as well as other environmental crimes. For the past two decades, Sea Shepherd ships and events have also been plant-based, as Sea Shepherd opposes destructive fishing practices and recognizes that an animal protein diet among Western consumers is one of the top four contributors to climate change.