Our History

Our History

1977

February 6, 1977

1977

April: Paul Watson and Greenpeace part ways. June: Watson establishes the Earthforce Environmental Society in Vancouver, Canada. The co-founders of Earthforce are Starlet Lum, Ron Precious, and Captain Al “Jet” Johnson (co-founder of Greenpeace). The Earthforce Environmental Society is the precursor to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

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1978

February 6, 1978

1978

February: Paul Watson leads the first Earthforce Campaign to Protect Elephants from Poachers in East Africa to investigate the ivory trade and elephant poaching. This campaign covers Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Uganda, and the Sudan. The crew of six including Jet Johnson, Dr. Bruce Bunting, and Cliff Ward participate in anti-poaching…

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1979

February 6, 1979

1979

January: The maiden voyage of the Sea Shepherd under the command of Watson is a journey across the Atlantic accomplished in two weeks and the ship arrives at the Port of Boston in mid-January. Two fishermen who had been hired to help deliver the ship attempt to sabotage the vessel. Both men are…

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1980

February 6, 1980

1980

February: The Sierra Trading Company spends over one million dollars to repair the Sierra. Owner Andrew Behr makes plans to resume whaling in mid-February. His plans are thwarted when two men and a woman enter the black waters of Lisbon Harbor during the dead of night of February 6. The Sierra is scuttled without injuries…

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1981

February 6, 1981

1981

March: Captain Watson leads a crew with three ocean kayaks to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in violation of his parole order. Hundreds of seals are sprayed with harmless blue dye. Watson defies Canada to arrest him. His conviction of 1980 is later overturned on appeal. April 6, 1981: Sea Shepherd Conservation…

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1982

February 7, 1982

1982

January: The Sea Shepherd departs Los Angeles for Honolulu, Hawaii, to prepare for a campaign to stop the slaughter of dolphins at Iki Island, Japan. March: To avoid a confrontation with the Sea ShepherdII crew, the Japanese government invites Captain Watson to Iki Island to negotiate with the fishermen. Captain Watson is joined by American Airlines…

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1983

February 7, 1983

1983

January: The Sea Shepherd II transits the Panama Canal for the second time, now en route to Grenada. The ship delivers a cargo of relief supplies to St. George’s Grenada before the ship departs for Portland, Maine. January: The crew of the Sea Shepherd II, having witnessed the deplorable conditions in the St. George’s zoo, raids…

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1984

February 8, 1984

1984

January: In 1984, the Quebec Court of Appeals rules in favor of  Captain Watson and the crew of the Sea Shepherd II. The convictions of the lower court are reversed and the charges quashed. The Canadian government appeals the decision of the Quebec Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada….

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1985

February 22, 1985

1985

April: The Canadian Supreme Court upholds the ruling of the Quebec Court of Appeal. The Court orders the return of the Sea Shepherd II to Sea Shepherd. Captain Watson recruits a crew of volunteers to repair the ship and prepare her for a trans-Atlantic voyage to Europe. May: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society files a…

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1986

February 22, 1986

1986

June: The Sea Shepherd II departs from Plymouth for Malmo, Sweden, to attend the meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). July: The Sea Shepherd II departs Malmo for the Danish Faeroe Islands to document and obstruct the Faeroese pilot whale sport hunt. Captain Watson sends in a team of five crewmembers to meet with the…

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1987

February 22, 1987

1987

May & June: With the Sea Shepherd II in Britain and in need of repairs, the Society needs a vessel to oppose escalating driftnet activities in the North Pacific. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society purchases a tuna seiner from a bank repossession sale called the Bold Venture. The vessel is not suitable for the campaign…

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1988

February 22, 1988

1988

January: Captain Watson, Activist/Dr. Joanna Forwell, and Sea Shepherd Sweden Director Sten Borg travel to Iceland. Captain Watson demands that Iceland lay charges against Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and himself for sinking half of Iceland’s whaling fleet. Iceland refuses. Captain Watson announces to the Icelandic media that the actions of Sea…

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1989

February 22, 1989

1989

July: After lengthy repairs in the Netherlands and Britain, the Sea Shepherd II crosses the Atlantic to Key West, Florida, to take on crew and supplies for a transit of the Panama Canal and up to Puntarenas, Costa Rica. In Puntarenas, the Sea Shepherd II intercepts two Venezuelan tuna seiners. The vessels are not permitted…

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1990

February 22, 1990

1990

March: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society consults with a marine biologist and a physicist to find a method for sinking driftnet without ecological damage. A successful method is found, tested, and prepared. January – July: The Sea Shepherd II is prepared and outfitted for a campaign to the North Pacific to hunt for driftnetters. In…

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1991

February 22, 1991

1991

January: The Sea Shepherd II departs from San Diego on a voyage to Key West, Florida, via the Panama Canal. Off of Guatemala, the Sea Shepherd II discovers the Mexican tuna seiner Tungui with her nets in the water and dolphins struggling to escape. Despite the darkness of night, Captain Watson orders the Mexicans to release the…

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1992

February 22, 1992

1992

February: The Sea Shepherd II and the Edward Abbey depart from Key West, Florida, via the Panama Canal and bound for Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica. Upon arrival at the island, a number of poachers are discovered. The Sea Shepherd II, under the command of Captain John Huntermer, and the Edward Abby, under the command of…

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1993

February 22, 1993

1993

January: Sea Shepherd challenges the government of Norway to prosecute the Sea Shepherd crew responsible for sinking the Norwegian whaler Nybraena. Norway refuses to respond.  Paul Watson’s book Earthforce! An Earth Warrior’s Guide to Strategy is published  March: A Sea Shepherd supporter documents the illegal killing of an orca whale in the Bering Sea by…

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1994

February 22, 1994

1994

January: A Sea Shepherd team scuttles the illegally operated Norwegian whaling vessel Senet in southern Norway. The investigation of the sinking revealed to Norwegian authorities that the vessel had just returned from smuggling a new engine in from Denmark.. There were no charges brought  against Sea Shepherd by Norway for the sinking. The owner…

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1995

February 22, 1995

1995

January: The National Marine Fisheries Service announces its decision to exterminate the California sea lions that frequent the Ballard Locks of Seattle, Washington, to feed on steelhead trout. Sea Shepherd negotiates an agreement with the City of San Francisco that will allow the captured sea lions to be released into the…

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1996

February 22, 1996

1996

March: Sea Shepherd returns to the Gulf of St. Lawrence along with company principals of Kirchhoff Bettwarenfabrik, one year after the sealer riot. Baby harp seal fur is successfully gathered without incident. The company makes plans to hire people to gather enough seal hair for commercial production in 1997. Canada kills…

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1997

February 22, 1997

1997

March: The Sea Shepherd III makes a test run from Scotland to Bremerhaven, Germany. In Bremerhaven, the ship is berthed for further repairs. March: Captain Watson is arrested in Bremerhaven by German police on a Norwegian Interpol warrant. He is held for one day and released by the Bremen prosecutor who rules that the…

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1998

February 22, 1998

1998

January: The Sea Shepherd III moves to Wilmington, North Carolina, to prepare the ship for a campaign to protect harp seals in the Canadian Gulf of St. Lawrence. January: Sea Shepherd participates in a major fundraising event in Anchorage, Alaska hosted by Pierce Brosnan and attended by numerous celebrities including William Shatner, Alexandra Paul,…

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1999

February 23, 1999

1999

February: Sea Shepherd provides funds to international sturgeon expert Dr.Vadim Birstein and the Sturgeon Society in a research program to determine the extent of the illegal Russian caviar trade and its effects on endangered sturgeon in the Caspian Sea. March: A Sea Shepherd volunteer persuades the major dive outfitters based in La…

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2000

February 23, 2000

2000

 January: A Petrobras Oil Company pipeline ruptures near Rio de Janeiro and spills over 300,000 gallons of crude oil into the bay and marshes. Sea Shepherd volunteers coordinate wildlife rescue efforts. The Rio Grande do Sul state government contracts with Sea Shepherd Brasil to develop an oiled wildlife rescue plan. February: The Sea…

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2001

February 23, 2001

2001

January: The oil tanker Jessica runs aground off San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos, spilling 160,000 gallons of diesel and 80,000 gallons of bunker fuel. Sirenian is the first vessel on the scene, and proceeds to spend three weeks assisting the Galapagos National Park and a special U.S. Coast Guard team in oil spill clean…

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2002

February 23, 2002

2002

January 31: The Ecuadorian longliner San Jose I which was arrested by the Ocean Warrior in August of 2001 and is found guilty of illegally fishing inside the boundaries of the Cocos Island National Park Marine Reserve. The ship is ordered confiscated by the courts. Watson’s book published Seal Wars, Twenty-five Years…

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2003

February 23, 2003

2003

January – December: The Sea Shepherd patrol vessel Sirenianenters and completes her third year of service in partnership with the Galapagos National Park. January: The Farley Mowat stays in Antarctica until the end of January. The campaign is unsuccessful in locating the Japanese whaling fleet. The Japanese being aware of the Sea Shepherd campaign changed…

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2004

February 23, 2004

2004

January – December: The Sea Shepherd patrol vessel Sirenian enters and completes her fourth year of service in partnership with the Galapagos National Park. March: The Farley Mowat departs from Seattle for a voyage to the Galapagos. April – June: The Farley Mowat patrols the Galapagos National Park to intercept poachers. The crew of the Farley Mowatintercept and assist in…

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2005

February 23, 2005

2005

February – April: The Sea Shepherd ship Farley Mowat departs from Bermuda, refuels in Portland, Maine, battles bureaucrats in Halifax, and enters the Gulf of St. Lawrence to intervene against the slaughter of seal pups. A Sea Shepherd crew is attacked and violently assaulted on the ice. Eleven crewmembers are arrested and charged…

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2006

February 23, 2006

2006

January: The Farley Mowat chases the Nisshin Maru for three thousand miles along the Antarctic coast. On January 8, the Farley Mowat once again approaches the Nisshin Maru and deploys propeller foulers. The Nisshin Maru stops whaling activities and flees. On January 9, the Farley Mowat intercepts and rams the whaling fleet supply vessel Oriental Bluebird. The supply ship is ordered out of the…

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2007

February 23, 2007

2007

January : The Robert Hunter refuels in Puntarenas, Chile, and then heads to the Ross Sea to search for the Japanese whaling fleet. The Farley Mowat departs from Tasmania for the Ross Sea on the same mission. February: The Robert Hunter and the Farley Mowat locate the whaling fleet. The harpoon ships flee to the north. A pod of whales…

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2008

February 23, 2008

2008

January – March: The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin voyages twice to the coast of Antarctica to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale. Two Sea Shepherd crew board a Japanese harpoon boat and are detained for three days and then released. Japanese Coast Guard throws concussion grenades and fires…

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2009

February 23, 2009

2009

February: At theGoed Geld Gala in the Netherlands, the Dutch Postcode Lottery “Postcodeloterij” awards Sea Shepherd a grant for 2009 funding which included a check for €500,000. April: Skarbakk, an outlaw whaling vessel, was scuttled in the Norwegian Lofoten Islands by the conservation commandos from Agenda 21. April: Sea Shepherd and members…

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2010

February 23, 2010

2010

January – March: Three Sea Shepherd ships (Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, Ady Gil) navigate to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to intervene against illegal whaling activities by the Japanese. The Shonan Maru No. 2 deliberately rams and sinks the Ady Gil. Captain Peter Bethune boards the Shonan Maru No. 2 to deliver an invoice for the loss…

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2011

February 23, 2011

2011

January: Captain Watson’s offer to purchase enslaved dolphin Misty from Dolphin Base in Taiji, is rejected. January: Through a classified U.S. State Department document quoting the Japanese Fisheries Agency, Wikileaks reveals that Sea Shepherd is a considered a serious threat by the illegal Japanese whaling fleet. January: Gojira deploys weather balloons equipped with cameras…

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2012

February 23, 2012

2012

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…

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2013

March 6, 2013

2013

January 2013: Legendary free divers Enzo and Patrizia Maiorca join Sea Shepherd’s Board of Advisors. January 2013: Captain Paul Watson is the second activist to be granted an Aboriginal Nation Passport by the First Peoples of Australia. January 2013: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society files two petitions with the White House….

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2014

March 6, 2014

2014

January 2014: A pod of 250+ dolphins are held for 5 days and 4 nights while the prettiest are chosen for a life of captivity. January 2014: Smashing Pumpkins artist Ysanne releases a new song with 100% of its proceeds going to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. January 2014: The Australian…

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2015

March 6, 2015

2015

January 2015: The Sam Simon discovers another monster gillnet and begins the recovery process. Total recovered is 72 kilometers (70 tons) January 2015: Actress and longtime supporter Pamela Anderson joins the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Advisory Board. January 2015: Sea Shepherd Global receives 8.3 million euros from Dutch Postcode Society…

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2016

March 6, 2016

2016

January 2016: In a momentous decision, the Mexican government has authorized Sea Shepherd to remove illegal gillnets found in the vaquita refuge. January 2016: Sea Shepherd retrieves the first gillnet from the vaquita refuge. February 2016: The crew aboard the R/V Martin Sheen save a humpback whale that had been…

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2017

March 6, 2017

2017

January 2017: Sea Shepherd launches the latest vessel in the fleet, the M/V John Paul DeJoria, a Coast Guard Cutter named after longtime Sea Shepherd supporter John Paul DeJoria. January 2017: Sea Shepherd rescues drowning fisherman in the Sea of Cortez. February 2017: Rob Stewart who produced the film Sharkwater…

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