Our History

Our History

Sea Shepherd was founded in 1977 by Captain Paul Watson in Vancouver, Canada, with the mission to protect and conserve all marine wildlife. Incorporated in Oregon in 1981 as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, today the movement has independent entities in over 20 countries working together on direct-action campaigns around the world. In 2013 Sea Shepherd Global was established in Amsterdam to coordinate communications and logistics for the Sea Shepherd fleet on campaigns outside the United States.

2019

July 3, 2019

2019

Sea Shepherd partners with Namibia to Combat Fisheries Crime. Operation Vanguard launches in Namibia with Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) compliance officials onboard the Ocean Warrior to stop illegal factory trawlers on the Skeleton Coast.

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2019

July 2, 2019

2019

Patrolling the Mediterranean for Operation Siso. Sea Shepherd returns to the Mediterranean Sea with the M/Y Sam Simon to protect Italian waters from illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Working in partnership with Italian authorities, this campaign known as Operation Siso focuses on the use of illegal drift nets and other deadly fishing gear around the…

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2019

July 1, 2019

2019

Sea Shepherd returns to patrol Africa’s largest Marine Protected Area. Operation Albacore launches its fourth campaign to defend Gabon’s newly established marine protected areas, to detect and deter IUU fishing activity while also monitoring legal compliance by licensed fishing operators, and to expand existing monitoring, control and surveillance measures.

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2019

May 1, 2019

2019

News Sea Shepherd launches Operation Guegou with Eco-Benin and the Government of Benin. Sea Shepherd launches its partnership with the Benin government to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Gulf of Guinea, with Sea Shepherd crew and local nongovernmental organization (NGO) Eco-Benin working together with law enforcement agents representing the State Action on the Sea, the…

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2019

April 1, 2019

2019

Sixth Campaign for Operation Siracusa on the Italian Coast. Sea Shepherd volunteers return for the sixth year to protect the Plemmirio Marine Protected Area in Syracuse, Italy in partnership with the Italian Coast Guard.

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2019

March 1, 2019

2019

Sea Shepherd helps clear four tons of marine debris on remote turtle nesting site. With the M/Y Bob Barker and the Jairo Mora Sandoval, Sea Shepherd and Cabo Verdean organization Biosfera partnered to clear four tons of plastic waste from a remote island in the West African island country of Cabo Verde that is also one of the world’s largest nesting areas for the vulnerable loggerhead sea turtle.

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2019

February 11, 2019

2019

Sea Shepherd’s M/Y Sam Simon arrives in France for Operation Dolphin ByCatch. Sea Shepherd’s campaign off the Atlantic Coast of France exposes the ongoing slaughter of dolphins by industrial fishing vessels in the Bay of Biscay. The ship joins Sea Shepherd’s small boats, which had been patrolling the coast since February 11th under the direction of Sea Shepherd France.

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2018

December 26, 2018

2018

Japan announces the end of whaling in the Southern Ocean. On December 26th, 2018, the Japanese government announced that it will leave the IWC and that they will cease all whalign activities in Antarctica, a massive victory for the conservation movement that has been overshadowed in the media by the news that Japan will also “return” to commercial whaling in the waters surrounding Japan.

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2018

December 1, 2018

2018

Sea Shepherd retires its flagship the Steve Irwin. After a decade of campaigns defending marine wildlife, from the Southern Ocean to the Faroe Islands, Sea Shepherd’s flagship M/Y Steve Irwin was retired in Melbourne, Australia.

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2018

December 1, 2018

2018

Sea Shepherd renews partnership with Liberia for Operation Sola Stella 3. In a joint operation with the Liberian Ministry of National Defense to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Republic of Liberia, West Africa, Sea Shepherd assisted the Liberian Coast Guard in the arrest of a foreign-flagged industrial trawler caught plundering artisanal fishing waters.

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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 with Sea Shepherd in 2002 dies in a rebreather accident in the Florida Keys. The Sea Shepherd vessel M/V John Paul DeJoria participates in the search for his body. February 2017: Sea Shepherd discovers 16 dead totoaba, 14 dead…

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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 caught in a gillnet. February 2016: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Animal Legal Defense Fund file a motion together to intervene in the SeaWorld vs. California Coastal Commission lawsuit. They are seeking to help uphold the conditions which restrict breeding and transfer of orcas by SeaWorld. March 2016: Volunteers patrolling the vaquita refuge discover a dead vaquita, totoaba, and great white shark, all killed by…

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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 for the construction of the Ocean Warrior. January 2015: The Criminal Court of Limon acquits the seven men accused of the murder of environmentalist Jairo Mora Sandoval. February 2015: Thousands attend 32 peaceful demonstrations protesting the dolphin slaughter during Sea Shepherd’s ‘World Love for Dolphins Day’. February 2015: The Bob Barker triples the record for the longest sea chase as its pursuit of the illegal fishing ship the Thunder enters its third month. February 2015: The Sam Simon hands over evidence to authorities in Mauritius of the illegal activities of the poaching vessel the Thunder. March 2015: The UK Supreme Court rules that Sea Shepherd UK, as well as Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Paul Watson, are not liable to Maltese fishing company Fish & Fish Ltd, following the 2010…

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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 Government begins its shark cull program and claims its first victim- a female tiger shark. February 2014: Appellate Commissioner Shaw of U.S. Court of Appeals issues recommendation in favor of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Captain Paul Watson in regards to the contempt case filed by the Institute of Cetacean Research. February 2014: Sea Shepherd, Parley for the Oceans, and Bionic Yarn launch The Vortex Project. The project involves taking ocean waste and debris and transforming it into yarn and fabric to be used in fashion. February 2014: Sea Shepherd Global and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society team up with Guatemala officials in order to stop poachers. The two entities will act as enforcement…

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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. The first asks for the government to uphold conservation laws and take action against the Japanese whalers, and the second requests that the U.S. does not extradite Captain Paul Watson. February 2013: Due to a Sea Shepherd investigation, indictments and charges are placed against a Los Angeles restaurant for serving whale sushi. The two sushi chefs face up to 67 years in prison. February 2013: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society files…

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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 the activist to spend nearly a week onboard the Japanese security vessel. January: Three crewmembers are injured in a skirmish with the Japanese whaling fleet when the illegal whalers toss a grappling hook at…

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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 and radar detection to track the Japanese whaling fleet. January: Sea Shepherd ships intercept the Sun Laurel, the supply vessel for the Japanese whaling fleet February: Sea Shepherd’s first outdoor advertising campaign is launched in Times Square in NYC. A large graphic depicting a breaching whale and a harpoon exploding into a whale’s back are featured on the CBS spectacular screen. February: In what will become an on-going contribution, the Dutch Postcode Lottery donates one million Euros to Sea Shepherd. February: After being tailed by the Bob Barker for nine days, the Japanese whaling fleet flees the Southern Ocean; Operation No Compromise is declared a victory. February: The Steve Irwin assists in the search for missing Norwegian vessel Berserk. Sea Shepherd recovers the vessel’s life…

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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 of his sunken boat which results in his transport to a Japanese prison. For three weeks straight, not a single whale is killed while the Sea Shepherd ships follow the whaling fleet. Operation Waltzing Matilda is a success resulting in saving the lives of 528 whales and costing the Japanese tens of millions of dollar in losses. January: The Cove, a documentary highlighting the dolphin massacre in Taiji and featuring Sea Shepherd, wins the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary. February: Sea Shepherd receives an additional €1 Million Euros from the Dutch National Postcode Lottery to support ongoing project to protect the Galapagos Marine Reserve. February: The crew…

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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 of ARK II persuade Holista Health Inc. who sell health supplements in stores across…

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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 on Sea Shepherd crew. The end result is over 500 whales saved and losses of profits for the Japanese fleet. February: The Planktos Inc. scheme to dump 100 tons of iron dust in the waters off the Galapagos is stopped….

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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 flees to the West and the Nisshin Maru flees to the East. Sea Shepherd chases and disrupts the activities of the Nisshin Maru shutting down their operations. Two Sea Shepherd crew are temporarily loss when heavy fog moves in but are located and rescued 8 hours later. February: The Robert Hunter and the Farley Mowat find the Japanese vessel Kaiko Maru chasing whales. Both ships intervene. The whales escape. The Kaiko Maru rams the Robert Hunter twice causing damage to the hull. The Robert Hunter returns to Melbourne on February 19th and the Farley Mowat returns to Melbourne on February 21st. March: The film Sharkwater directed by Rob Stewart and co-produced by Sea Shepherd opens in Canadian theatres to rave reviews. Stewart’s film uses extensive footage that he took when he accompanied Sea Shepherd on the 2002 Costa Rica/Galapagos Campaign. May to August: The Farley Mowat sails from Melbourne to Bermuda via Pitcairn Island, the Galapagos, and the Panama Canal. During the voyage the ship seizes illegal longlines in…

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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 Antarctic Whale Sanctuary and complies. The Oriental Bluebird does not return. The Farley Mowat completes a 50 day voyage covering 8500 miles between Melbourne and Cape Town. The Japanese fleet was disrupted for 15 days and prevented from achieving their quota. (Because of pressure from the Japanese government, the Farley Mowat is detained by South African authorities.) March/April: Sea Shepherd holds a press conference in Ottawa, Canada with Brigitte Bardot to oppose the slaughter of seals. Sea Shepherd…

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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 with documenting the killing of seals. The police refuse to lay charges against the sealers for assault. The ship then refuels in the French islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon and then heads north to Labrador marking the first…

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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 the arrest of a Costa Rican longliner, an Ecuadorian gillnetter, and an Ecuadorian- and American-owned tuna seiner. Sea Shepherd crew slash open the purse seine net to release the illegal catch of some ten tons of tuna. June: The Farley Mowat travels to Malpelo Island off the coast of Colombia. The crew of the Farley Mowat arrives in time to set the broken leg of a Colombian ranger and to begin negotiations to secure a deliver a patrol boat for Malpelo National Park. July: The Farley Mowat berths in Curacao to prepare for a campaign to the coast of Brazil.. August: The Farley Mowatdeparts Curacao for Sao Luis, Brazil. September – October: The Farley Mowat patrols the coast of Brazil. Working with Instituto Sea Shepherd Brazil, a working relationship is developed with the rangers of San Fernando de Noronha National Park. November: The Farley Mowat returns to Curacao where Dutch artist Geert Von Jon paints the ship with a whale and dolphin…

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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 their operating schedule and plans to avoid the Farley Mowat.  January: Captain Watson is invited to meet with Conservation International in the Dominican Republic to discuss strategies for protecting the Galapagos Corridor. March: Captain Watson leads a helicopter investigation of the escalated seal hunt on the East coast of Canada. April: Captain Watson is elected to the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club USA. April: The Farley Mowat crosses…

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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 on the Front Lines with the Harp Seals  February: The Sea Shepherd patrol boat, Sirenian intercepts poachers in the Galapagos National Park Marine Reserve. Sea Shepherd crew on the Sirenian along with the Park Rangers raid an illegal sea cucumber poaching camp and seized 8,850 sea cucumbers. March: The Ocean Warrior departs Seattle, Washington for Costa Rica to sign an agreement with the government of Costa Rica and the Cocos Island Foundation, giving Sea Shepherd the authority to intervene in all illegal fishing operations around the Cocos Island. April – May: The Ocean Warrior catches the Costa Rican longliner Varadero I poaching off the coast of Guatemala. Captain Watson contacts the Guatemalan authorities and asks for advice. He is given permission to escort the poacher into San Jose, Guatemala. The…

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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 up and wildlife rescue. February: Sea Shepherd testifies at a public hearing in Seattle, Washington, on the Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Makah whale hunt by the U.S. government, and delivers comments to the National Marine Fisheries Service finding the process by which the EA was produced to be deficient, tainted, and thoroughly biased in favor of a hunt. The result is that the release of the final EA is postponed. March: The Sea Shepherd patrol vessel Sirenian seizes four longliners caught inside the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Incidents of poaching begin to decline in the area of Sirenian’s patrols.   March: The Sirenian secures evidence of corruption in the Ecuadorian Navy and releases it to the public. July: During the…

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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 Shepherd III is struck from Belize registry after Captain Watson refuses to pay a bribe to Belize officials. The ship is re-registered under the Cayman Islands and renamed the Ocean Warrior.  March: The Ocean Warrior goes to the Galapagos Islands. Sea Shepherd enters into negotiations with park authorities to provide a conservation vessel and crew for joint conservation patrols to afford greater protection for the biologically unique Galapagos National Park. The Ocean Warrior then transits the Panama Canal to Miami, Florida. April: Paul Watson signs an agreement with the State of Rio Grande du Sol…

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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 Paz, Mexico, a primary feeding grounds for whale sharks, to adapt a “no harassment” policy for all tourists and divers with regard to the whale sharks that feed off Baja California every summer. Tourists are no longer allowed to grab, touch, or ride the whale sharks off La Paz. March 20: Captain Watson receives the Earth Trustee environmental award in a United Nations Earth Day ceremony at U.N. Plaza. April: Sea Shepherd in Germany persuades Aldi’s, one of the largest food distributors in Europe, to terminate its contracts with the Faeroe Islands until the Faeroes agreed to cease the practice of slaughtering pilot whales in the name of “tradition.” May: Sea Shepherd returns to Neah Bay, Washington, with the Sirenian, as the gray whales return to the Bering Sea on their northward migration. Due to numerous arrests of our activists and vessel seizures by 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, Michelle Yeoh, and John Paul and Eloise DeJoria. March: With actual mortalities from the seal hunt rising to a species-threatening 500,000 a year, the Canadian government continues to stonewall the permits necessary to initiate a non-lethal sealing industry based on brushing the molted fur of baby harp seals. Regardless, the Sea Shepherd III makes the voyage to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the first conservation vessel at Canada’s annual wildlife slaughter since 1983. The ship brings international journalists to the hunt, wards off sealers from the main seal nursery. Celebrity guests brought to the seal hunt include Farley Mowat, John Paul DeJoria and his daughter Alexis, and Bronwen Booth,…

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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 warrant contains contradictory information. Captain Watson is free to travel in Germany. April – June: Concerned that the Norwegian warrant would hinder his travel in Europe, Captain Watson turns himself in for arrest in the Netherlands on April 2nd. The warrant issued by Norway demands that Captain Watson serve jail time for a conviction in absentia for the sinking of the outlaw whaler Nybraena in 1992. An international storm of protest follows, including protests at Norwegian and Dutch embassies worldwide. Following a hearing, Norway’s extradition request is denied, and Watson is freed after spending 90 days in jail. September: Sea Shepherd Pacific Northwest Director Michael Kundu covertly enters Siberia with a media…

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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 250,000 seals. July: Sea Shepherd purchases a British-registered, Norwegian-built trawler named the Skandi Ocean. The ship is renamed the Sea Shepherd III and repairs and refit work begin in Edinburgh, Scotland. December: The British Ministry of Fisheries hires Sea Shepherd crew to guard their patrol boats over the holidays.

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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 San Francisco Bay. Sea Shepherd also presents a…

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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 of the Senet is fined for smuggling.  Paul Watson’s book Ocean Warrior, My Battle to End the Illegal Slaughter on the High Seas ispublished.  January: Sea Shepherd office in Santa Monica receives extensive damage from the Northridge earthquake. March: Sea Shepherd purchases the British ship Switzer Mercator and renames the vessel the Whales Forever. The ship is moved to the Netherlands for repairs and refitting. March: Sea Shepherd proposes the creation of an industry that can replace the cruel, lethal, and wasteful seal hunt. Captain Watson leads an expedition onto the ice floes off the Magdalen Islands and successfully proves the practicality of creating an alternative industry for non-lethal utilization of harp seals by collecting their hair fibers while they are molting.  He proposes that the hairs can be spun into yarn to be used for making sweaters or fill for sleeping bags or…

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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 the U.S.-registered fishing factory vessel the Northern Hawk. The documentation is turned over to U.S. authorities. March: The Edward Abbey is re-registered as a Canadian research vessel and given the name Sirenian. April: The Sirenian travels to Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island to open a summer of controversial protest against the clear-cutting of the magnificent Clayoquot valley. May: Captain Watson purchases the retired Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker the ThomasCarletonin Halifax, Nova Scotia. The ship is renamed the Cleveland Amory. The ship requires three months to make ready for sea. July: The Cleveland Amory departs Halifax for a voyage to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland for the purpose of obstructing illegal fishing activities. Upon arrival on the Tail of the Banks outside of Canadian waters,…

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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 Captain Watson, evict the poachers with water cannons, pie cannons, stink bombs, and paintball guns. Video of the poachers is sent to the authorities in Costa Rica. March: The Sea Shepherd II and…

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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 dolphins. When they refuse, he rams and damages the Tungui and turns a high-pressure hose on her onboard helicopter. The dolphins are released. Guatemala officially thanks Sea Shepherd for the intervention. July: The Sea Shepherd II departs for Trinidad to patrol for Taiwanese driftnetters. Near Barbados, a Taiwanese driftnet boat is discovered. The Taiwanese attempt to intimidate the Sea Shepherd II by coming alongside and colliding with her. The collision crushes the starboard gunwale of the Sea Shepherd II. Captain Watson retaliates by falling back and coming up fast on the starboard side of the driftnetter. The Sea Shepherd II rams the Taiwanese vessel hard on…

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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 June, the ship’s engines are sabotaged and the campaign is delayed by almost two months. August: The Sea Shepherd II departs from Seattle to search for driftnet fleets in the North Pacific. A Japanese fleet is located some 1400 miles north of Hawaii. The Sea Shepherd II rams two Japanese driftnet vessels and sinks some sixty miles of monofilament driftnet. The cost of damages to the Japanese is in excess of two million dollars. Sea Shepherd video documentation of the action is shown worldwide including Japanese television. The official Japanese response was that “nothing happened.”

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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 to leave until they allow Captain Watson and his officers to inspect their logbooks and…

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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 Shepherd agents against Icelandic whaling activities are justified as a legitimate policing action because Iceland refused to defend illegal whaling activities by charging the Sea Shepherd for sabotage. Sea Shepherd then announces that any accusations of criminality against Sea Shepherd are unwarranted as Sea Shepherd had not been charged, let alone convicted of any crime in Iceland. March: A Sea Shepherd agent documents the killing of dolphins by a United States tuna seiner named the Sea King. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society grants the use of this footage to Sam LaBudde of Earth Island Institute. Sea Shepherd footage is shown in addition to the film taken by Sam LaBudde on board a Panamanian tuna seiner. The film edited by Sea Shepherd director Peter Brown is released and…

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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 but the…

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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 government. All five are arrested and held without charges. The Sea Shepherd II refuses to depart from Faeroese waters until the crew is released. The Faeroese respond by attacking with rifle fire and tear…

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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 damage…

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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. This results in the continued seizure of the Sea Shepherd II. The vessel is moved from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and placed under guard at the Canadian Naval base. February: Without a ship, Captain Watson and his crew are confined to the beach. Undeterred Captain Watson launches a land-based campaign on behalf of wolves. He founds the group Friends of the Wolf and organizes a high profile intervention against the aerial shooting of wolves in Northern British Columbia. In the hostile town of Fort Nelson, Captain Watson holds a…

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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 the zoo at night and released all the primates. Each monkey is sedated and released in the jungle on the island. Captain Watson responds to criticism of the release by saying Sea Shepherd did not bring the monkeys to Grenada and his crew would not sit by and watch the animals abused without doing what was needed to alleviate their suffering. “Besides,” he said, “these primates cannot possibly do more damage than the primate Homo sapiens already has to this island.”  February: The Sea Shepherd II undergoes final preparations for a seal campaign in Portland, Maine. Captain Watson appears on the Today…

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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 Captain Jet Johnson, Air France flight attendant Mina Fukuda as interpreter, and filmmaker Peter Brown. After three days of negotiations, the Iki Island fishermen agreed to end the slaughter of dolphins at Iki Island. May: Captain Watson’s book Sea Shepherd, My Fight for Whales and Seals is published by W.W. Norton. It was written with famed journalist Warren Rogers with an introduction by Cleveland Amory. May: Sea Shepherd crewmembers from Ireland camp on Iniskea Island in the Irish Sea to interfere with the killing of grey seals by Irish fishermen. The crew sleeps amongst the seals and successfully disrupts all attempts to kill the seals….

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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 Society is registered as a charitable organization in the State of Oregon. May: The Sea Shepherd II departs on her first voyage – a trans-Atlantic delivery to Alexandria, Virginia, to prepare for a campaign to Soviet Siberia to protect Gray whales. June: The Sea Shepherd II transits the Panama Canal for the first time en route to Los Angeles and Vancouver to publicize the illegal hunting of gray whales. July – August: The Sea Shepherd II documents illegal Soviet whaling activities off the coast of Siberia and is pursued by the Soviet Navy. Captain Watson returns to the U.S. with the evidence of…

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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 to her crew and the career of the world’s most ruthless…

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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 arrested and escorted from the ship. The crew then begins the task of preparing the ship for the first Sea Shepherd campaign. March: The Sea Shepherd is the first ship to go to the ice for the purpose of protecting seals. Sea Shepherd crewmembers save over a thousand baby seals on the Eastern…

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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 patrols and interview wardens and rangers. Earthforce prepares and presents a report on the investigation to the United States Congress to back legislation to ban elephant poaching. September: Watson meets with Cleveland Amory of the Fund for Animals. Cleveland agrees to sponsor the purchase of a ship for a campaign to oppose the Canadian Seal Hunt. November – December 1978: With financial support from the Fund for Animals and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Watson takes possession of the British trawler Westella,and renames the vessel the Sea Shepherd. Paul and a small group of volunteers spend two months repairing, outfitting, and painting the ship in preparation for a delivery voyage to the United States.

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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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