Our Story

Our Story


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 thousands of Sea Shepherds in over 40 countries working together on campaigns around the world.


Our Mission & Approach

Even when the cause seems lost and the odds appear overwhelming, Sea Shepherd remains undaunted.  We will never lose our resolve to protect the oceans.

Captain Paul Watson

At Sea Shepherd, we are bold because we must be. With innumerable marine wildlife species on the brink of extinction, the stakes are much too high to be timid.  We are always on the front lines.  We go where others cannot or will not, operating within the boundaries of practicality and adhering to the guidelines defined by international and domestic law.

From our inception in 1977, as a small organization with one boat, Sea Shepherd has grown to become a global movement of thousands of passionate and courageous volunteers working on the decks of ten ships – and soon to be more – operating all around the planet.  Our message over these last four decades has been consistent and transparent: we expose, intercept, and oppose illegal operations that damage and destroy marine wildlife and habitats.

Sea Shepherd has pioneered a unique and effective approach to ocean conservation.  Supported by our dedicated crews, we provide ships, equipment, technical advice, and consultation to multiple partners, including local communities and government agencies around the world. 

Our range is vast.  We have successfully stopped poachers and habitat destruction in Benin, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Italy, Liberia, Mexico, Namibia, and multiple other countries.  Our efforts are unrelenting.  We have facilitated hundreds of arrests, the seizure of dozens of poaching vessels, and the confiscation of thousands of illegal nets.  Our successes are widely heralded.  We have received multiple awards, including the Amazon Peace Prize from Ecuador and the Distinguished Service Medal from Liberia, among others. 

The people of Sea Shepherd are known to be incorruptible, passionate, persistent, professional, cooperative, and effective. Together we fearlessly defend life and diversity in the oceans.  Together we ensure that existing laws designed to protect the oceans are upheld.  Together we strive to build political will and capacity to ensure that the rest of the world follows our lead.