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Sea Shepherd
Worldwide

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

Sea Shepherd is not verified as a 501(c)3 organization.

Latest News

May 19, 2016

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Promotes Environmental Law in Galapagos

En español

Booklet CoverLast week was an important one at the Galapagos office of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Two activities of the legal project were executed: The presentation of a booklet on penal environmental legislation, and the organization of an introductory course on environmental law.

Legal Booklet

The legal booklet compiles the legal framework applied to environmental crimes in Galapagos. It includes a recently adopted by-law that complements the Penal Code in the application of environmental crimes against marine wildlife. It was launched on May 10th, in Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) and on May 11th, in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island).

The legal booklet was produced with the Direction of the Galapagos National Park, to inform enforcement officers and the community about recently adopted rules that consolidate penal protection to all marine species in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. These rules integrate legal inputs provided by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, specifically on sharks.

Local media informed about this initiative, highlighting its relevance to law enforcement in Galapagos.

Course on Environmental Law

Course CoverThe introductory course on environmental law was directed to law students of Galapagos, as well as public officers of State agencies with jurisdiction on conservation matters. The 16 hour-course was held in Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) on May 12, 13 and 14, 2016, and focused on environmental law enforcement and constitutional foundations of environmental law.

The course was organized with the Galapagos Governing Council and was instructed by two legal experts: Oscar Cortez Casierra and Ricardo Crespo Plaza.

Hugo Echeverria of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, lead the organization of both activities and said that it was the outcome of hard work in favor of Galapagos: ¨Both activities were welcome by the community and authorities, which reflects the growing recognition of the importance of environmental law in Galapagos¨.

Local media also informed about this initiative, highlighting its importance to build local environmental leadership.

The Galápagos legal project (Proyecto derecho penal ambiental y conservación en Galápagos) is on its sixth year of operation; time in which it has consolidated as a pioneering and solid initiative on cooperation to improve environmental law enforcement.

Booklet Presentation in Santa Cruz

Attendants to the Course

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Promueve El Derecho Ambiental En Galápagos

Booklet CoverLa semana pasada fue importante para la oficina de Galápagos Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Dos actividades del proyecto derecho penal ambiental llegaron a su punto culminante con la presentación de una publicación sobre legislación ambiental y la organización de un curso introductorio al derecho penal.

Folleto Coip

El folleto COIP es una publicación que compila la normativa penal ambiental aplicable en las áreas naturales protegidas de Galápagos; particularmente una norma técnica de aplicación de los delitos ambientales tipificados en el Código Orgánico Integral Penal, que abarca delitos contra las especies marinas protegidas. Fue presentado el 10 de mayo en Puerto Ayora, Isla Santa Cruz; y, el 11 de mayo en Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Isla San Cristóbal, ante representantes de varias instituciones públicas de la provincia.

El folleto COIP fue producido junto con la Dirección del Parque Nacional Galápagos, con el objetivo de difundir la normativa ambiental recientemente expedida, que consolida la protección penal de todas las especies marinas dentro de la Reserva Marina de Galápagos, a la que Sea Shepherd Conservation Society aportó con criterios jurídicos sobre los tiburones.

La prensa insular informó acerca de esta iniciativa, resaltando su importancia para la aplicación del derecho ambiental en Galápagos.

Curso Introductorio Al Derecho Ambiental

Course CoverEl curso introductorio al derecho ambiental fue dirigido a estudiantes de derecho de la provincia de Galápagos y, también, a servidores públicos de instituciones con competencias en temas de conservación de la provincia. El curso tuvo una duración de 16 horas y se realizó en Puerto Ayora, Isla Santa Cruz, los días 12, 13 y 14 de mayo de 2016. El curso abordó los fundamentos constitucionales del derecho ambiental y se concentró en temas relativos a la aplicación de la ley ambiental en Galápagos.

El curso introductorio se organizó junto con el Consejo de Gobierno del Régimen Especial para la Provincia de Galápagos y fue impartido por dos expertos en la materia: Óscar Cortez Casierra y Ricardo Crespo Plaza.

Hugo Echeverría, de Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, lideró la organización de estos eventos y señaló que son el fruto de un arduo trabajo en pro de la conservación en Galápagos. ¨Ambas actividades tuvieron gran acogida de la comunidad y autoridades, lo que refleja el progresivo reconocimiento de la importancia del tema, en el ámbito insular¨.

Los medios de información también informaron esta actividad, resaltando su importancia para la formación de líderes de la comunidad.

El proyecto derecho penal ambiental y conservación en Galápagos va por su sexto año de ejecución, tiempo en el que se ha consolidado como una pionera iniciativa de cooperación en la materia, en Galápagos.

All photos: Hugo Echeverria - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

May 10, 2016

Sea Shepherd Hosts Free Ship Tours in Los Angeles May 14 and 15

Farley MowatFarley MowatAfter wrapping up a three-month operation (Milagro II) in the Gulf of California, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s M/V Farley Mowat will be docking at Marina del Rey this week in California. The conservation organization will host free ship tours all weekend, aboard the M/V Farley Mowat which start on May 14 and 15 for the general public from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Sea Shepherd is the leading direct-action marine conservation non-profit and star of the former hit Animal Planet TV series, Whale Wars. Operation Milagro II is a campaign to fight the looming extinction of the vaquita porpoise, world’s most endangered marine mammal. With an estimate of less than 100 surviving vaquita, Sea Shepherd ships, the R/V Martin Sheen and M/V Farley Mowat patrolled the northernmost part of the Gulf of California in Mexico to locate and remove illegal fishing gear that entangle and drown the vaquita.

  • Event address: Burton Chase Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey, 90292
  • Parking information: There is metered parking on the entry grounds of Burton W. Chace Park which has a maximum limit of 90 minutes. There are three large LA County parking lots on Mindanao Way towards the entrance to Burton W. Chace Park and all of those lots provide parking for a flat fee as posted, with no daily time limit. These official parking facilities are marked as LA County Parking Lots #4, #5, and #77.
  • Date and Time: May 14 - 15 at 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Sea Shepherd’s Los Angeles Ship Tour

The general public is invited to tour the M/V Farley Mowat on May 14 and 15th from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. In addition to the ship tour, Sea Shepherd crew will share information about the organization’s work to defend ocean wildlife and habitats worldwide, along with their first-hand experiences as crewmembers. Sea Shepherd will also accept much-needed donations to fund the organization’s wildlife missions.

About the M/V Farley Mowat

Farley Mowat crew. Photo: Carolina A CastroFarley Mowat crew. Photo: Carolina A CastroThe M/V Farley Mowat is a 110-foot former Coast Guard Cutter, purchased from the U.S. government in 2015. Sea Shepherd supporter John Paul DeJoria—co-founder of professional salon beauty products John Paul Mitchell Systems—generously sponsored the purchase of the M/V Farley Mowat. The purchase was done in conjunction with a bequest left to Sea Shepherd by Sea Shepherd International Chair and famed Canadian writer and environmentalist Farley Mowat, who passed away in 2014.

DeJoria, who supports charities that promote environmental sustainability, social responsibility and the protection of animals, made it possible for the Farley Mowat to be outfitted as a high speed anti-poaching patrol boat. The vessel was recently working with the Martin Sheen on Milagro II in Mexico. The vessel will now move to Costa Rica to continue anti-poaching work at Cocos Island. The Farley Mowat recently saved the life of a Humpback whale, found entangled in a gillnet in the Gulf of California.

About Milagro II

In February 2015, Sea Shepherd launched Operation Milagro with its R/V Martin Sheen to investigate the plight of the vaquita porpoise and identify ways to intervene and protect the animals. The R/V Martin Sheen remained in the Gulf of California until May 2015, documenting the use of gillnets—nets that indiscriminately catch any animal that swims into them—as well as building relationships with marine biologists and other non-governmental organizations. In April 2015, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced a two-year ban on the use of all gillnets in the northern Gulf of California. Shortly thereafter, Sea Shepherd documented the first live vaquita since 2013 and began building a partnership with the Mexican government to protect the vaquita.

In November 2015, Sea Shepherd launched Milagro II and dispatched the R/V Martin Sheen and its M/V Farley Mowat to remove illegal gillnets and longlines set to catch the totoaba, a fish similar in size to the vaquita. The totoaba are another critically endangered species targeted by poachers specifically to sell their swim bladders on the black markets in Hong Kong and China. Dubbed “aquatic cocaine,” totoaba swim bladders can sell for more than $20,000 per kilogram in China as a status symbol and for their alleged medicinal properties. Many of the bladders are smuggled through the United States.

In addition to removing illegal fishing gear, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society used aerial drones to document and report poaching activities to the Mexican authorities.

During the course of Operation Milagro II, Sea Shepherd removed 42 illegal gillnets and 16 longlines. The campaign saved one humpback whale, seven totoaba, fifty-five rays, dozens of sharks, and countless other marine animals that otherwise would have been caught. Unfortunately, the illegal fishing gear claimed the lives of three vaquitas, dozens of sharks, a four-meter long great white shark, as well as many totoabas, rays, and dolphins.

Sea Shepherd plans to return to the Gulf of California in November, 2016 to continue the fight against illegal fishing and to expand efforts to protect the vaquita. The use of gillnets and longlines has been devastating to the biological diversity of the Gulf of California, often considered one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world.

Fans unable to attend the ship tours in LA, can still help in many ways. Click below for details.

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Crew of the Martin Sheen. Photo: Carolina A CastroCrew of the Martin Sheen. Photo: Carolina A Castro
Captain Oona Layolle. Photo: Carolina A CastroCaptain Oona Layolle. Photo: Carolina A Castro
Operation Milagro II
Visit our
Operation Milagro II
site for more information.

May 05, 2016

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Announces Sea Turtle Defense Documentary “Why Just One?”

Newly hatched Olive Ridley making a run for the ocean. Photo: Matthew Karsten, expertvagabond.comNewly hatched Olive Ridley making a run for the ocean. Photo: Matthew Karsten, expertvagabond.comSea Shepherd Conservation Society announced the release of its first feature-length, in-house documentary, titled Why Just One?. The documentary addresses the dramatic decline in sea turtles and the organization’s efforts to defend them.

Today's announcement corresponds with the launching of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to finish post-production on its groundbreaking new documentary. Scheduled for release in the summer 2016, this documentary will change the way people see sea turtles and those who risk their lives to defend the turtles.

Join Sea Shepherd volunteers on the sandy shores of Costa Rica. There is a war taking place between poachers and conservationists. The conflict is over the most ancient of creatures, one that witnessed the extinction of the dinosaurs and the dawn of humankind: sea turtles. In the documentary, Sea Shepherd defends the same beach where 26-year-old Jairo Mora Sandoval was murdered in 2013 while protecting sea turtles. The Sea Shepherd crew endures attacks and brave treacherous conditions to follow in Jairo’s footsteps. They tackle a vexing paradox: trying to prevent the poaching of sea turtle eggs in Costa Rica when the activity is legal in one beach town, Ostional, on the country’s Pacific coast. This legal loophole fuels and enables egg poaching throughout in Costa Rica.

In Why Just One?, Sea Shepherd explores the widely accepted statistic that just one in one thousand sea turtle hatchlings survive to maturity. Experts, conservationists, government representatives and poachers are interviewed, including one of Jairo Mora Sandoval's closest friends. This is a story of courage, action and hope that good will prevail before it’s too late. Why Just One? will move people emotionally – and move them to take action for the turtles.

Crew protecting nesting leatherback turtle at night: Photo: Sea ShepherdCrew protecting nesting leatherback turtle at night: Photo: Sea Shepherd

“On May 31, 2015, we launched Operation Jairo to defend sea turtles in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Florida,” stated Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Captain Paul Watson. “We named the campaign after Jairo Mora Sandoval to honor his memory and continue his work to defend turtles. Without patrolling the beaches, we cannot tackle the problems of poaching turtles and their eggs. And without tackling the problems of poaching, we cannot save turtles from extinction.”

Last year, Sea Shepherd's Operation Jairo saved more than 12,000 sea turtles and eggs in its campaign to protect the ancient mariners in Costa Rica, Honduras and Florida. By patrolling the beaches at night, Sea Shepherd volunteers were able to stop poaching in Costa Rica and Honduras. In Florida, volunteers ensured that turtle hatchlings made their way into the ocean without being disoriented by bright lights.

“This documentary highlights what we are doing for the turtles, what we can do for turtles, and what we must do for the turtles. Jairo made the greatest sacrifice known to humans to defend turtles.” continued Captain Watson.

Join us in making this important documentary by backing the film here: http://bit.ly/1OfvER6

May 04, 2016

Fight For the Vaquita Reaches U.S. Shores

Farley Mowat and Martin Sheen during Operation Milagro II. Photo: Carolina A CastroFarley Mowat and Martin Sheen during Operation Milagro II. Photo: Carolina A CastroOn May 3rd, 2016, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society concluded Operation Milagro II, its campaign to fight the looming extinction of the vaquita porpoise, the most endangered marine mammal in the world. With an estimate of less than 100 surviving vaquita, Sea Shepherd ships the R/V Martin Sheen and M/V Farley Mowat patrolled the northernmost part of the Gulf of California, Mexico to locate and remove illegal fishing gear that entangle and drown the vaquita.

The two Sea Shepherd ships will be returning to the United States of America, arriving in San Diego, CA and holding a press conference at 1492 N Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101 (north of the San Diego Maritime Museum) on Saturday, May 7 at 8am. Free tours of the ships will be available on May 7 and 8 from 10am-5pm.

In February 2015, Sea Shepherd launched Operation Milagro to investigate the plight of the vaquita porpoise and identify ways to intervene and protect the animals. The R/V Martin Sheen remained in the Gulf of California until May 2015, documenting the use of gillnets - nets that indiscriminately catch any animal that swims into them - as well as building relationships with marine biologists and other non-governmental organizations. In April 2015, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced a two year ban on the use of all gillnets in the northern Gulf of California. Shortly thereafter, Sea Shepherd documented the first live vaquita since 2013 and began building a partnership with the Mexican government to protect the vaquita.

In November 2015, Sea Shepherd launched Operation Milagro II. Sea Shepherd dispatched the R/V Martin Sheen and the M/V Farley Mowat to remove illegal gillnets and longlines set to catch the totoaba, a fish similar in size to the vaquita. The totoaba are another critically endangered species targeted by poachers specifically to sell their swim bladders on the black markets in Hong Kong and China. Dubbed “aquatic cocaine”, totoaba swim bladders can sell for more than $20,000 per kilogram in China as a status symbol and for their alleged medicinal properties. Many of the bladders are smuggled through the United States.

In addition to removing illegal fishing gear, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society used aerial drones to document and report poaching activities to the Mexican authorities.

"It was amazing to spot three live vaquita during the course of Operation Milagro II. It gives me such hope that the vaquita can survive if appropriate measures continue to be taken," stated Captain Oona Layolle, Campaign Leader. "We developed net retrieval devices that were so effective that we provided some to the Mexican Navy so that they too could seek out and remove these nets from deeper waters."

During the course of Operation Milagro II, Sea Shepherd removed 42 illegal gillnets and 16 longlines. The campaign saved one humpback whale, seven totoaba, fifty-five rays, dozens of sharks, and countless other marine animals that otherwise would have been caught. Unfortunately, the illegal fishing gear claimed the lives of three vaquitas, dozens of sharks, a four meter long great white shark, as well as many totoabas, rays, and dolphins.

"The partnership with the Mexican Government was productive and certainly made an impact in saving the lives of so many marine animals. We look forward to working more with the Mexican Government in the Gulf of California and other parts of Mexico," continued Captain Layolle.

Sea Shepherd plans to return to the Gulf of California in November 2016 to continue the fight against illegal fishing and to expand our efforts to protect the vaquita. The use of gillnets and longlines has been devastating to the biological diversity of the Gulf of California, often considered one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world.

Video in Spanish https://youtu.be/xTkgKh07qyg

Apr 29, 2016

Sea Shepherd Offers Free Ship Tours On May 7 and 8 in San Diego

R/V Martin Sheen with black sail. Photo: Carolina A CastroR/V Martin Sheen with black sail. Photo: Carolina A CastroSea Shepherd Conservation Society, the leading direct-action marine conservation non-profit, will hold public ship tours of its two vessels, the R/V Martin Sheen and M/V Farley Mowat, on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8 in San Diego.

On these dates, tours of the Martin Sheen and Farley Mowat will be free and open to the public from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. local time each day at 1492 N Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101 (north of the San Diego Maritime Museum). In addition to providing tours of both vessels, Sea Shepherd crew will share information about the organization’s work to defend ocean wildlife and habitats worldwide, along with their first-hand experiences as crewmembers. Sea Shepherd will also accept much-needed donations to fund the organization’s wildlife missions.

John Paul Mitchell Systems will be on-hand at the event, offering a $5 braid bar and style lounge for guests on May 7 only from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., with proceeds benefitting Sea Shepherd. Attendees can also purchase Sea Shepherd merchandise at the event.

Both ships recently returned from a mission in the Gulf of California, aimed at saving the critically endangered vaquita porpoise. The R/V Martin Sheen is a 92-foot sailing ketch acquired in Los Angeles in 2014 and named for long-time celebrity supporter, Martin Sheen. The R/V Martin Sheen has been conducting a combination of research, education and anti-poaching work for the last year. The boat left Los Angeles in 2015 to begin Operation Milagro in Mexico’s Gulf of California, working in partnership with the Mexican Navy to protect the critically endangered vaquita porpoise.

At the end of the fishing season, the Martin Sheen moved to Costa Rica and Cocos Island before moving back to the Gulf of California where it has just completed Operation Milagro II. The Martin Sheen will visit the coast of British Columbia during the summer of 2016 to undertake a campaign to protect wild salmon and to oppose the destruction caused by domestic salmon farms. In addition to this work, the R/V Martin Sheen has been involved in an ethical research whale project, dedicated to collecting samples from whales to measure the levels of toxins in the Gulf of California.

The M/V Farley MowatThe M/V Farley MowatThe M/V Farley Mowat is a 110-foot former Coast Guard Cutter, purchased from the U.S. government in 2015. John Paul DeJoria is a longtime supporter and dear friend of Sea Shepherd (also the co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, which is recognized for making professional salon beauty products and its commitment to the professional beauty industry). DeJoria supports charities that promote environmental sustainability, social responsibility and the protection of animals. DeJoria generously sponsored the purchase of the M/V Farley Mowat, also made possible with a bequest left to Sea Shepherd by Sea Shepherd International Chair and famed Canadian writer and environmentalist Farley Mowat, who passed away in 2014.

The Farley Mowat was outfitted as a high speed anti-poaching patrol boat. The vessel was recently working with the Martin Sheen on Operation Milagro II in Mexico. The vessel will now move to Costa Rica to continue anti-poaching work at Cocos Island. The Farley Mowat recently saved the life of a Humpback whale, found entangled in a gillnet in the Gulf of California.

The crew of the Martin Sheen and Farley Mowat look forward to sharing this and other important conservation information at the ship tours in San Diego on May 7 and 8. Those who are unable to visit the ship but would like to help can Donate or Shop to Support.

Crew of the Martin Sheen. Photo: Carolina A CastroCrew of the Martin Sheen. Photo: Carolina A Castro

Captain Oona Layolle. Photo: Carolina A CastroCaptain Oona Layolle. Photo: Carolina A Castro

The M/V Farley Mowat at sunset with crew on bow. Photo: Sea ShepherdThe M/V Farley Mowat at sunset with crew on bow. Photo: Sea Shepherd

Apr 28, 2016

Sea Shepherd Offers Reward to Stop Attacks On Monk Seals in Hawaii

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or person killing or inflicting injury on any monk seal. There is an extra $5,000 reward for any information that includes video evidence of an attack by a human being on a monk seal.

To report an attack on a Monk seal, contact NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964.

To report a marine mammal in danger on Kauai, call the Kauai Marine Mammal Response Hotline at 651-7668.

http://khon2.com/2016/04/27/video-of-monk-seal-attack-sparks-outrage-among-officials-community/

A Hawaiian monk seal at French Frigate Shoals. Photo: WikipediaA Hawaiian monk seal at French Frigate Shoals. Photo: Wikipedia

Apr 21, 2016

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society joins with marine scientists to study the effects of microplastics on whales in the Gulf of California.

by Oona Layolle, Captain/Campaign Leader

Whale research. Photo: Mike RigneyWhale research. Photo: Mike RigneyIn Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s latest scientific research campaign, we are studying the toxicology levels in whales in the Gulf of California. We are working with marine scientists from the Universidad de Baja California Sur, Italy and United State of America to conduct the first studies regarding the toxicology of microplastics and pollution in the Gulf of California.

The campaign is focused on both legitimate and ethical research. It directly confronts those scientists, and those who call themselves scientists, who are more concerned with destroying life and ecosystems than with helping increase scientific knowledge. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society only supports studies that utilize non­lethal methods for collection and using data, that is, studies that best protect this planet.

The current research expedition in the Gulf of California will be used to determine the level of contamination produced by microplastics and other contaminants in the Gulf of California and will contribute to studying the ways in which humans have polluted the oceans. A database is being developed to determine the levels of contamination in the whales and how those levels of contamination influence the whales’ genetics. Some of the whales, such as fin whales, are residents of the Gulf of California. That means that all the contaminates of the pollution found in these whales will directly reflect the pollution in the Gulf.

Our research vessel, R/V Martin Sheen, and her crew are collaborating with the scientists to complete this research expedition. We all must strive to learn how to best care for and protect life on this planet so we can live in a healthy environment and preserve the Earth for future generations. We must stop destroying our the planet. It is essential to become educated as to the state of the ecosystems. This research campaign will help achieve that as the study will help us to understand the environment so we can change our destructive habits and apply new laws for the protection of the environment.

Whales. Photo: Mike Rigney.Whales. Photo: Mike Rigney.

Operation Milagro II
Visit our
Operation Milagro II
site for more information.

Apr 20, 2016

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Hosts A Legal Forum On Marine Wildlife Law Enforcement In Galapagos

En español

Yasmin JalilPhoto: Yasmin JalilOn April 14, 2016, the Galapagos office of SSCS hosted a legal forum on criminal law and the protection of marine wildlife. It focused on the first case ever reaching a guilty verdict on shark poaching in the Galapagos. Four panelists of top level addressed the challenges of prosecuting marine environmental crimes in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Panelists provided an interdisciplinary approach. The panel included representatives of the General Prosecution Office (Fiscalía del Ecuador) and the Galapagos National Park, who shared their experience in prosecuting the shark case.

At the forum, five topics were highlighted: a) the importance of sharks to keep the balance in a marine ecosystem; b) the emerging role of criminal law and institutions to protect marine wildlife; c) the importance of technical evidence in prosecuting environmental crimes; d) the effective application of rights to nature in Galapagos; and, e) the role of the community and civil society in law enforcement.

The forum was organized with the support of the Human Rights Center of PUCE. It was held in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. 107 attendants joined the forum, a significant number that reflects the growing interest of this issue in the legal community, especially among the new generations of law students.

For Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Galapagos has always been humanity’s line in the sand. The protection of the islands and their extraordinary marine reserve is extremely important. As Sea Shepherd’s Founder Captain Paul Watson has said, Galapagos ¨is a very sacred place¨.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society would like to thank the Dean of the Law Faculty of Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), Dr. Íñigo Salvador. It would also like to thank the coordinator and staff of the Human Rights Center of PUCE. Special thanks are extended to the panelists Mario Melo (PUCE), Godfrey Merlen (SSCS), Silvia Castro (FGE) and Pablo López (DPNG), for their participation in this effort to expand the environmental rule of law to marine ecosystems.

PUCE 1Photo: PUCE

PUCE 2Photo: PUCE

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Organiza Foro Sobre Derecho Penal Y Protección De La Vida Silvestre En Galápagos

El 14 de abril de 2016, la oficina de Galápagos de SSCS organizó un foro sobre el derecho penal y la protección de la vida silvestre. El foro enfatizó la primera causa judicial en lograr una sentencia condenatoria por captura ilícita de tiburones en la Reserva Marina de Galápagos. Cuatro panelistas de alto nivel analizaron los desafíos del procesamiento de delitos ambientales ocurridos en la Reserva Marina de Galápagos. Los panelistas aportaron una perspectiva interdisciplinaria al tema. El panel incluyó a representantes de la Fiscalía General del Estado y de la Dirección del Parque Nacional Galápagos, quienes compartieron sus experiencias en el procesamiento de la causa judicial.

En el foro destacaron cinco aspectos: a) la importancia de los tiburones para el equilibrio del ecosistema marina; b) el emergente papel del derecho penal en la protección de la vida silvestre marina; c) la importancia de la prueba técnica en el procesamiento de delitos ambientales; d) la efectiva aplicación de los derechos de la naturaleza en Galápagos; y, d) el papel de la comunidad y la sociedad civil en la aplicación del derecho ambiental.

El foro fue organizado con el apoyo del Centro de Derechos Humanos de la PUCE. Se realizó en Quito, capital de Ecuador. 107 personas asistieron al evento, lo cual refleja el creciente interés sobre estos temas, especialmente entre las nuevas generaciones de estudiantes de derecho.

Para Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Galápagos es la ‘línea en la arena de la humanidad’. La protección de las islas y su extraordinaria biodiversidad es muy importante. El fundador de la organización, Capitán Paul Watson, ha dicho que Galápagos es ¨un lugar sagrado¨.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society agradece al señor Decano de la Facultad de Jurisprudencia de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), Doctor Íñigo Salvador, por abrir las puertas de la Facultad para este evento. También se agradece al Coordinador y al equipo del Centro de Derechos Humanos de la PUCE, por su apoyo integral a la organización del foro. Un agradecimiento especial se extiende a los panelistas Mario Melo (PUCE), Godfrey Merlen (SSCS), Silvia Castro (FGE) y Pablo López (DPNG), por su participación en este esfuerzo de expandir la aplicación de la ley ambiental a los ecosistemas marinos.