Support all your favorite nonprofits with a single donation.

Donate safely, anonymously & monthly, in any amount. It's a smarter way to give online. Learn more
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

Aug 01, 2015

Historic Verdict for Galapagos Sharks

Ecuadorian Court Rules in Favor of the Sharks and the Galapagos Marine Reserve

The notorious Fer Mary is apprehended in Galapagos. Photo: Sea Shepherd/Tim WattersThe notorious Fer Mary is apprehended in Galapagos.
Photo: Sea Shepherd/Tim Watters
An Ecuadorian Tribunal has issued a historic verdict on the notorious Fer Mary case. The Tribunal found the captain and crew of the fishing vessel, guilty of poaching sharks in Galapagos, a protected area and a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site. It is the first judicial conviction of its kind in 17 years, since the taking effect of legislation adopted to protect the archipelago.

This case dates back to July 18, 2011, when rangers of the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR) and the Ecuadorian Navy apprehended the industrial longline-fishing vessel, Fer Mary, some 20 nautical miles inside the GMR: 357 sharks were found in this Ecuadorian vessel.

On July 19, 2011, the Galapagos environmental prosecutor opened a judicial investigation in this case. After four years of intense litigation, which included complex procedural issues, this verdict is welcome. The judges sentenced the captain of the Fer Mary to two years in prison, and the crew to one year. The verdict also orders confiscation of the six accompanying motor launches, as well as the destruction of the Fer Mary. The latter ratifies a previous judicial decision, adopted last year.

Upon evidence presented at trial by the environmental prosecutor as well as the Galapagos National Park, the Tribunal concluded that the Fer Mary deliberately entered into the GMR. This is important because it dismisses the prevalent force majeure theory, by which ‘malfunctioning’ vessels carried out by winds and currents, ‘accidentally’ enter into the protected area.

The Tribunal also concluded that the sharks were the target: Evidence showed that 96% of all fish found in the vessel, were sharks of different species. It also found longline, a prohibited fishing tool in Galapagos. This is also important because it dismisses the inconsistent by-catch argument, often put forward in court.

File photo: Landmark ruling in Galapagos will help protect sharks from a similar fate. Photo: Sea Shepherd/Tim WattersFile photo: Landmark ruling in Galapagos will help protect sharks from a similar fate. Photo: Sea Shepherd/Tim WattersThe verdict also focuses on a very important perspective for law enforcement in Galapagos: Capturing sharks in the Galapagos Marine Reserve is against international law, constitutional law and, of course, penal law. This argument was put forward throughout the litigation, not only by the procedural parties but also by civil society, which closely followed the case. Sea Shepherd Galapagos promoted an initiative to go to court on behalf of the sharks. As a result, a legal brief (Amicus Curiae) was signed by different organizations on September 26, 2011, and it was submitted before the court in defense of the sharks of the GMR. The Amicus Curiae stands as testimony in defense of the magnificent sharks — top predators of the oceans — which Sea Shepherd is proud of.

The verdict offers a “rights of nature” perspective that is seldom seen in judicial statements worldwide. This perspective is consistent with the Ecuadorian Constitution, which considers nature to hold certain rights, and with the Galapagos legislation, which highlights its status as a natural protected area.

Sea Shepherd congratulates the Prosecutors Office of Ecuador and the Galapagos National Park for reaching a historic verdict that brings justice to the sharks. It also salutes civil society of Galapagos and the local community for their long-standing and valid concern in this case.

The case is not over: Appeals are likely to come next. Nevertheless, this outcome is an important step in concluding the first phase of litigation. Sea Shepherd Galapagos has been persistent and relentless in seeing this first phase of litigation through to this important stage.

In Galapagos, we are proud to exclaim: ¨La constancia vence lo que la dicha no alcanza,¨ which translates to: “Constancy conquers what luck doesn’t reach.”

The Fer Mary captain and crew have been found guilty of poaching sharks in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Photo: Sea Shepherd/Tim WattersThe Fer Mary captain and crew have been found guilty of poaching sharks in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Photo: Sea Shepherd/Tim Watters

Jul 31, 2015

The Danish Giraffe Killer Applauds the American Lion Killer

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

Copenhagen ZooCopenhagen ZooWhat do the Grindadráp and the killing of Cecil the lion have in common?

It appears that the Director of the Copenhagen Zoo, Bengt Holst, is a fan of both.

Remember Bengt Holst, the man who murdered Marius the giraffe and then had him dissected in front of a crowd of school children?

He supports the killing of pilot whales in the Faroes, and today he said that he supports the killing of Cecil the lion.

Not surprising from a man who killed a baby giraffe and four lions himself last year.

But what is strange is that a director of a zoo, any zoo, would support what is a blatantly illegal activity.

Cecil was a radio-collared, iconic lion who was lured out of a national park, wounded with a crossbow and tracked for 40 hours before being found, suffering in agony. He was then dispatched with a rifle by Palmer’s guide. 40 Hours of agony and Holst thought that was cool.

Just what is it about this crime that Bengt Holst supports? Does he support poaching a lion from a national park or using an illegal method of baiting a lion? Does he support killing an animal wearing a radio collar in the wild? Does he support killing lions with a crossbow? Does he support sloppy hunting that results in 40 hours of agony to the victim?

What we have here is a director of a major European zoo condoning poaching and unethical hunting. So it’s not surprising that he condones the killing of pilot whales and dolphins, a practice that is illegal in Denmark.

In defending Palmer and the Grindadráp, Holst makes the lame excuse that the critics of the Grind and the critics of Dr. Walter Palmer are alienated from nature.

Right, this coming from a man who keeps animals in concrete, glass and steel enclosures. He actually has the audacity to suggest that Palmer, a dentist who lives in an American city is not removed from nature. Holst seems to believe that unless you’re killing animals, you are alienated from nature.

The Sea Shepherd crew he accuses of being removed from nature have far more experience in wilderness conditions than he will ever have. We have been in ice conditions off Antarctica and Labrador that would probably scare the crap out of him.

I was raised in rural Canada and I’ve tracked wolf hunters in the Yukon and elephant poachers in Kenya. I’ve kayaked up the Amazon and hiked through the wilderness of Alaska. I’ve tackled whalers off Siberia, seal hunters on the ice floes of Eastern Canada and shark finners off Costa Rica, and this animal-killing, zoological city-dwelling bureaucrat says that it is us who are removed from nature.

We all knew that Bengt Holst is a sadistic, animal-abusing, insensitive creature, completely devoid of empathy and compassion, but now we know he is also an advocate of poaching wildlife from national parks.

It’s amazing really. The only other person to publicly support Dr. Walter Palmer is another animal-killing maniac, and that’s Ted Nugent.

Dr. Walter Palmer may be the most hated man in America and Zimbabwe, but now he has these two fans, one in Michigan and the other in Denmark. Having fans like these guys is simply tossing more crap onto his already completely destroyed reputation.

Denmark is rapidly getting a very bad international reputation because of the vicious Faroese massacres of pilot whales and dolphins, and now Bengt Holst could not resist opening his mouth and contributing his own insensitive opinions to further tarnish the view of Denmark.

Holst also said that people should not be giving animals names, like Marius – the giraffe he killed – or Cecil the lion. Who is Bengt Holst to dictate to the world that animals cannot have names? That in itself is an extremely arrogant statement. Holst wants us all to view animals the way he views them, as commodities to be displayed, abused, killed, eaten or stuffed and stuck on the walls of some nimrod’s man cave.

Operation Sleppid Grindini
Visit our
Operation Sleppid Grindini
site for more information.

Jul 28, 2015

Pamela Anderson Asks Denmark to End its Support of the Brutal Grind

Pamela AndersonActress and devoted animal rights activist Pamela Anderson has sent a letter to Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, asking thatDenmark end its support of the “grindadráp” or “grind,” the brutal and archaic mass slaughter that claims the lives of hundreds of pilot whales and other small cetaceans each year in the Faroe Islands.

Pamela, along with her charitable Pamela Anderson Foundation, continues to be an unwavering voice for imperiled animals worldwide, including the marine wildlife she deeply cherishes. She has been an outspoken advocate for whale conservation and for seals in her native Canada.

Below is the text of the letter sent by Pamela Anderson to the the Prime Minister:

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen
Copenhagen, Denmark
E-mail: stm@stm.dk

Dear Prime Minister Rasmussen,

Last year I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful and enchanting Faroe Islands. It is a place out of a fairy tale, with lovely green mountains and sparkling clean streams with crystal clear waterfalls, sometimes held in the ephemeral embrace of low-flowing clouds. The houses are inviting and the people are friendly.

But like many fairy tales, behind the beauty and the serenity there lurks a dark shadow that lies behind the smiles.

I am of course referring to the Grind.

Mr. Prime Minister, I cannot see any justification for this horrific slaughter, this infliction of such agonizing cruelty and the transformation of such beautiful, intelligent and sociable animals like pilot whales and dolphins.

There is no necessity for the meat of these gentle creatures. The Faroese are a wealthy community of islands. There can be no justification for the great nation of Denmark to send warships to these islands to defend the whale killers from non-violent opposition to the killing.

Eating the whale meat even puts the citizens themselves in danger and this is an egregious offense when such toxic food is fed to children who have not been given any choice of what they must consume.

As we evolve into the 21st Century, humanity must put away traditions based on cruelty and death. This Grind is archaic, barbaric and a disgrace not only to Denmark but to all of humanity.

I would like to respectfully request that Denmark refrain from providing support to the Faroese both in subsidies and with military assistance.

The killing of whales is illegal under the laws of the European Union and thus illegal under the laws of Denmark so the question must be asked, why is the Danish Navy, at a huge cost to Danish taxpayers, protecting the slaughter of whales in the Faroe Islands?

Thank you for your time.

Respectfully,

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson

Jul 28, 2015

The Blood of the Whales is Indeed on Danish Hands

This is Absolutely a Danish-Faroese Issue

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

With this obscene abomination they call the GrindadrĂ¡p (the murder of whales), the Faroese whalers disgrace not only Denmark, but all of humanity.With this obscene abomination they call the Grindadráp (the murder of whales), the Faroese whalers disgrace not only Denmark, but all of humanity
Photo: Sea Shepherd/Mayk Wendt
For everyone who cares about the lives of pilot whales and dolphins, I am happy to say that Sea Shepherd’s Operation Sleppid Grindini campaign is being well received by the international media and has gone viral on social media. I did a national news interview in France today and I am speaking to Russian television this evening. Over the last few days, the story of the slaughter of the pilot whales has been carried throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North and South America. There is increasing global awareness and we have no intention of allowing the world to forget the horror of the Grind.

We need to keep the pressure on. More Sea Shepherd volunteers may be arrested, more boats may be seized, but what is at stake here are the lives of intelligent, self-aware, beautiful, socially complex, living, feeling, and sentient beings.

They deserve the risks we must take and the sacrifices we must endure to stop this carnage.

Our enemies, the whale killers, have absolutely no comprehension of the empathy we hold in our hearts for these pilot whales and dolphins. They have no understanding of the risks we have taken and why we have taken such risks to defend life in the sea. They dismiss us, they laugh at us, and they seek to hobble us with discriminatory laws and to hamstring us with arrest and seizures.

They simply have no idea of the passion that motivates our actions and our commitment to the aggressive non-violent defense of life and diversity.

Their lack of understanding is seen in their constant accusations that Sea Shepherd opposes the Grind for profit – a ludicrous charge, but understandable because people who do not comprehend compassion tend to place value only on money. Sea Shepherd volunteers do not do what they do for money, but this is a concept alien to people whose hearts are gilded with the lust for gold. They see value only in the things they understand.

Does Sea Shepherd raise money from the public? Of course, how else could ships and campaigns be financed? However the money received is given voluntarily by compassionate people, unlike the subsidies given to the Faroese by European taxpayers who have no say in where their tax dollars go, and most of whom are angry that they are unwillingly helping to support a cruel slaughter of whales that is illegal under the regulations of the European Union.

The Faroese try to cast themselves as the victims, constantly saying they kill the whales for meat, and thus implying that they depend upon this slaughter for survival when nothing could be further from the truth. The Faroese enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. They have one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. They have an industrialized fishing fleet, salmon farms and sheep, and they trade these commodities for all the benefits of a materialistic society. They want for absolutely nothing, except for their insatiable lust for blood.

They kill whales because they like to kill whales, and they want the support of Danish subsidies and the Danish Navy to back up something that is illegal under the laws of Denmark – and the Danes are doing exactly that.

And that is the reason that Sea Shepherd has decided to focus on Denmark.

For the Danes to say this has nothing to do with Denmark is untrue.

Danish warships are defending the hunt with two warships including a frigate, helicopters, small boats and hundreds of sailors, at an enormous cost to Danish and European taxpayers. The Danish Prime Minister has a Faroese wife. The Royal Family says nothing. And not one word of criticism from a single Danish Member of Parliament. These facts speak for themselves.

The Grind is just as much a Danish issue as it is a Faroese issue.

Danish complicity is something new. There was no Danish intervention in the years prior to 2014. They did not send their warships in the past. They are doing so now.

This translation from a Faroese newspaper yesterday demonstrates that the Faroese and the Danes are concerned about Sea Shepherd’s focus on Denmark.

“Sea Shepherd moves the grindadráp to Denmark. According to parliament member Sjúrdur Skaale (he is one of the two Faroese seats in the Danish parliament), Sea Shepherd has put great pressure on parliament members to stand up against the Faroese. Sea Shepherd has been very visible during all the pilot whale kills, which have recently occurred in the Faroe Islands, whilst Sea Shepherd has been there this year. But it’s not just on land, that Sea Shepherd are visible. Their plan to stop the grindadráp is so big, that they go up against Danish politicians, because these days all the Danish members of parliament, are receiving hundreds of emails from Sea Shepherd supporters, asking the parliament members to stop the grindadráp. According to parliament member Sjúrdur Skaale of Javnadarflokkinum, Sea Shepherd is attempting to put the Faroese and the Danish up against each other. Before Sea Shepherd turned against the Faroese. But now they have changed their tactics, and are also leading their attention towards Denmark.

‘It is Denmark who is evil. Denmark should be boycotted. The logic is: Denmark has responsibility over the Faroese. It is Danish police. It is Danish authorities. The police are financed by Danish tax money. Because of this it’s the Danish, who should stop what’s happening,’ says Sjúrdur Skaale about the message from Sea Shepherd. Sjúrdur Skaale says, that the email accounts of parliament members, has a very strong spam filter, which makes sure, that the parliament members don’t receive unwanted emails. So he is surprised about all the emails which are now sent. Sjúrdur Skaale says, that neither him, nor the parliament members he has spoken to, has ever experienced such aggressive storms of emails ever before.”

We need to keep the pressure on Denmark, and the message must be that the civilized world will not tolerate this horrifically cruel and ecologically destructive slaughter.

When the beaches of the Faroes run red with blood, the world must respond with the red-hot passionate anger of outrage and disgust.

With this obscene abomination they call the Grindadráp (the murder of whales), the Faroese whalers disgrace not only Denmark, but all of humanity.

Operation Sleppid Grindini
Visit our
Operation Sleppid Grindini
site for more information.

Jul 24, 2015

The Murder of the Whales, Courtesy of the Royal Danish Navy

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

The blood seeps through the fjord. Photo: Mayk Wendt / Sea ShepherdThe blood seeps through the fjord.
Photo: Sea Shepherd/Mayk Wendt
142 pilot whales were slaughtered last night on the beach at Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. 1,100 people and more than a hundred boats participated, backed up by two Danish Navy warships the Triton and the Knut Rasmussen.

Earlier in the day, more than a hundred pilot whales were also slain in an orgy of slaughter on the island of Vagur.

Four Sea Shepherd crewmembers were arrested at Vagur, two on the beach by the Faroese police and two arrested at sea by the Danish Navy. Last night another volunteer was arrested at Torshavn and a second had his camera taken and the video deleted.

These people are volunteers driven to action in the face of abject cruelty. They are opposing this atrocity with only two “weapons,” their cameras and their bodies. They have been abused, their human rights slapped aside, and today five of them remain locked up in a Faroese jail on charges of willful compassion. In the Faroes, empathy is a crime and kindness is ridiculed.

The Faroese have been celebrating their lethal victory over the whales. With between 200 and 300 corpses lying on the beaches, their bellies ripped open, their guts spilling onto the sand and the waters stained with blood, the Faroese appear to be gloriously happy, almost drunk with the thrill of slaughter.

In 2011 not a single whale was slaughtered while Sea Shepherd patrolled the waters of the Faroes. In 2013, when Sea Shepherd was not present, more than 1,300 whales were slain. Last year in 2014, when Sea Shepherd returned, the kill was 33.

Why is it different this year? Why are so many whales dying this summer?

The answer is the Royal Danish Navy. Despite the fact that killing whales is illegal under European Union regulations, the government of Denmark has thrown their weight behind the killers. Sea Shepherd, as a non-governmental organization that practices non-violent intervention, is at a complete disadvantage against two Danish warships, their helicopters and their small flotilla of commandos in fast small boats plus the boats and officers belonging to the Faroese police.

In addition, the Faroese have passed discriminatory new laws that target any opposition to the killing of whales.

Christophe Bondue and Rosie Kunneke are thrown to the ground by police. Photo: Sea ShepherdChristophe Bondue and Rosie Kunneke are thrown to the ground by police. Photo: Sea ShepherdIt is a contest between compassion and courage on our side and power and cowardice on their side. The utilization of tens of millions of Euros in military assets is astoundingly shocking.

Denmark has chosen to exercise a policy of overkill to protect the savage interests of their little vicious vassal group of islands where a population of some 50,000 people demand the right to spill the blood of defenseless and innocent sentient beings.

Why would the Danes be so eager to be accomplices with the killers of the Faroes? Why are they so eager to jump into this toxic pool of blood to frolic alongside the savage killers of these gentle creatures? The answer may well be oil. With oil exploration promising possible profits in the future, Denmark seems quite willing to ignore their own laws protecting the welfare of animals and the EU regulations that outlaw the killing of whales.

The Faroese are bragging about their "victory". What I saw yesterday was a mob of blood-thirsty killers descending on pods of stressed pilot whales with knives and spears.

This "tradition" utilizes such traditional tools as motorized boats, hydraulic winches, radios, sonar and warships. It is a perversion of a culture in which whales were once killed for necessity by people in need and are now slaughtered for amusement and sport by a people who today enjoy the highest per capita income in Europe, thanks to the welfare payments given to them by the European Union.

Convincing the killers of the Faroes to stop whaling may not be possible. It is like trying to reform serial killers. Psychopaths have no remorse, no conscience and no recognition of right from wrong.

We need to focus on those who enable this perversion and that means we have to focus on the nation that provides the warships, the subsidies and the political support for these atrocities.

Denmark and the Danish people have sanctioned this cruelty and this despicable slaughter, and no matter how much they claim this is out of their hands, that it is a Faroese responsibility, the fact remains that between those who attempt to save the lives of the pilot whales and dolphins and the blood being spilled on the beach sits the Knut Rasmussen and the frigate Triton, both symbols of Danish power, Danish complicity and Danish involvement.

Operation Sleppid Grindini
Visit our
Operation Sleppid Grindini
site for more information.

Jul 24, 2015

Graphic Footage Shows Mass Slaughter of Pilot Whales in the Faroe Islands

Three Sea Shepherd Crewmembers Arrested; Another Two Detained
More Face Charges For Attempting To Save Whales

UPDATE - We have received new information this morning:

  • All five Sea Shepherd crewmembers who were detained overnight have been arrested.
  • Approx. 250 pilot whales were killed yesterday. *111 killed at Bøur *130-150 killed at Tórshavn

We will provide updates as they come through.

Whale hunters in a sea of red. Photo: Eliza MuirheadWhale hunters in a sea of red.
Photo: Sea Shepherd/Eliza Muirhead
Yesterday, approximately two hundred pilot whales were slaughtered on the killing beaches of the Danish Faroe Islands. The slaughters, known by the traditional Faroese term ‘grindadráp,’ took place over two separate drive hunts which ended at the Bøur and Tórshavn killing beaches, making this the single bloodiest day in the archipelago this year.

Three Sea Shepherd crewmembers from South Africa, Belgium and Luxembourg have been arrested and another two, from Italy and France, have been detained for standing in defense of the whales that were targeted for slaughter.

At approximately 1400 local time, a massive pod of around 150 pilot whales was spotted close to the Mykines in the west of the Faroe Islands archipelago. A flotilla of small boats drove the pod to Bøur. The awaiting crowds of killers then dragged the animals violently on to the killing beach.

Sea Shepherd Land Team Leader, Rosie Kunneke of South Africa, and Christophe Bondue of Belgium , also of the land team, were arrested at the Bøur slaughter. Police tackled the pair to the ground after they ran onto the beach, as the pod was being driven to the shore.

Kunneke was held facedown into the sand and rocks as crowds stormed the beach to get to the pilot whales. Sea Shepherd volunteers were able to capture graphic photographs and video footage of the arrests and the slaughter that followed.

A further two crewmembers of the Sea Shepherd fast trimaran Brigitte Bardot, Marianna Baldo of Italy and Xavier Figarella of France, were also detained at Bøur. The pair was in the Brigitte Bardot’s tender at the time they were apprehended. Police have not yet confirmed if Baldo and Figarella will be facing charges.

Captain of the Brigitte Bardot, Wyanda Lublink, reports that the Danish Navy vessels HDMS Triton and HDMS Knud Rasmussen were both in the region at the time of the Bøur slaughter.

“It was perfectly clear to me that the Danish Navy was present at Bøur to guard the grindadráp, and that the slaughter would proceed with the full consent of the Danish Navy. How Denmark - an anti-whaling member nation of the European Union, subject to laws prohibiting the slaughter of cetaceans – can attempt to justify its collaboration in this slaughter is incomprehensible ” said Captain Lublink.

Then, at approximately 2230 local time, Faroese media announced the commencement of a second grindadráp at Nólsoyarfirði, west of the capital of Tórshavn. Reports indicate that approximately 50 pilot whales were herded from Nólsoy onto the killing beach at Tórshavn by 40 boats, and eventually slaughtered.

Sea Shepherd land team volunteer, Kevin Schiltz of Luxembourg, was arrested at the Tórshavn slaughter. A second Sea Shepherd land team volunteer, Sidney Marchand of France, filmed the arrest. However, Faroese police held Sidney and demanded that he delete the footage before they would release him.

A legal representative has been brought-in to act on behalf of the arrested and detained Sea Shepherd volunteers.

The double-slaughter began during the court hearing for another two Sea Shepherd volunteers. Susan Larsen of the United States and Tom Strerath of Germany appeared in court yesterday following their arrest on Monday. During the proceedings, the prosecution informed the court that the pair has been charged with breaching the Faroese Pilot Whaling Act.

Larsen has been granted permission to return to the United States until the next court date.

Sea Shepherd is currently in the Faroe Islands for the organization’s sixth Pilot Whale Defense Campaign, Operation Sleppid Grindini.

Operation Sleppid Grindini
Visit our
Operation Sleppid Grindini
site for more information.

Jul 22, 2015

National Cultures of Pain and Blood

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

I confess to passionate defense of non-humans from the cultural justifications for killing, but I dismiss any accusations of bigotry. Photo: Sea ShepherdI confess to passionate defense of non-humans from the cultural justifications for killing, but I dismiss any accusations of bigotry. Photo: Sea ShepherdPractically all nations share in the human species’s strange and unreasonable passion for blood. We have evolved very little since the time of the Roman Colosseum and the gore-drenched circuses of slaughter. The killing carries on, justified by words like “tradition” and “culture.” These are two words that paint over the reality of the truth, which is simply barbarism, sadism and domination.

Humans generally love violence but refuse to admit it. We simply repress the lust overtly and indulge the lust subconsciously through mechanisms of denial and justifications, using words like “culture,” “tradition” or “lifestyle.” We love violent movies, violent games. We even love war, although people who have actually experienced it do not always feel that way.

Every year, 65 billion animals are raised in horrific conditions and slaughtered to feed 7.5 billion people – and if that is not enough, humanity has to abuse and torture hundreds of millions more for amusement, for sport, for research and for fun.

We kill animals because we consider them to be pests, because we are hungry, or because it is fun. We also kill people for amusement or because it’s fun, and for some, because they consider people to be pests. Humans generally love to kill. We have even dismissed the horrors of war with rosters of numbers. Numbers do not convey pain or empathy. Six million Jews died in the concentration camps. Six million is simply a meaningless number that does not convey the horrors experienced by each and every individual that suffered and died.

Six million Jews, 12 million Native Americans, two million Iraqis, 65 billion farm animals – all abstractions, all dry statistics, devoid of the experience of pain, and thus, conveniently placed outside our capacity for compassion. We care without really caring, we mourn without really mourning and we remember by forgetting.

The words “lest we forget” have been mouthed by people mindlessly since the Great War a century ago, but in reality the victims have been forgotten and only the abstraction of the ritual is remembered and regurgitated on cue on Memorial day or Remembrance Day because society expects us to do so. And we do so dutifully without passion or empathy.

Unfortunately I do not so easily forget the pain that I have witnessed. I still see the reflection of myself in the eye of a dying whale in the summer of 1975. I still see the bodies of baby seals strewn across the ice floes off Labrador. The visuals never leave the recollections of my mind, and thus the past is ever present; this unfortunately for me negates denial and justification.

I have always felt that life is sacred. I have never killed an animal, and in truth, I cannot comprehend the rationale of those who do. And yet my compassion is seen by the killers as wrong and thus I am called a psychopath, insensitive and an extremist by the killers simply because I refuse to accept their justifications for being who they are. Even my position of non-violence is denounced as being violent simply because I speak out against violence.

How can we who abhor killing and cruelty have a dialogue with those who inflict cruelty and pain? They see our empathy as insane. We see their cruelty as even more insane. The chasm between those who kill and those who refrain from killing is seemingly vast, like we are from two different planets or we are two different species of hominid.

We also divide ourselves by bits of colored cloth designed to make us believe that we are separate tribes, and that our own tribe is better than the other tribes despite the fact that usually the only reason we are in a particular tribe is simply the geographic coordinates of our birth. And even within these tribes we divide ourselves into bands based on religion, sports teams, or politics.

Often I am told that I should leave the Faroese or the Japanese alone and focus on my own country, but this is difficult to do when one does not recognize the abstraction of nations.

I am simply a North American by the nature of where I was born, but I am an Earthling by the nature of the fact I was born on planet Earth. When a person recognizes that the planet is our home, and not just some piece of land defined by artificially imposed boundaries, it is quite natural to be concerned about protecting life and nature on the entire globe and not just a tiny part of it.

And thus I have defended seals, whales, salmon, caribou, wolves and beavers in Canada where I was born, but I have also defended seals in Namibia, whales in Antarctica, dolphins in Japan, and sharks in the Indian Ocean.

I also recognize that there are non-human nations like the cetacean nation, the nation of fishes, and the nation and culture of millions of other species. No human nation has a right to impose lethal exploitation upon these other nations.

Our survival as a species depends upon the diversity of all species and our interdependence with all other species. We are not better than them; we are not superior. We are equally a part of the entire bio-sphere and not dominant over it.

Our perception of dominance, our self-defined arrogance, coupled with our incredibly willful ignorance of the laws of nature may be our undoing as a species.

I confess to passionate defense of non-humans from the cultural justifications for killing, but I dismiss any accusations of bigotry. I do not discriminate in my opposition to the culture of slaughter. My disdain for the Faroese slaughter of pilot whales, the Japanese slaughter of dolphins, the Canadian slaughter of baby seals, the Aboriginal slaughter of dugongs, the Makah Indian slaughter of grey whales, the Spanish perversion of bull-fighting or the ecological and ethical crimes of every nation are equal.

I have looked into the human heart of darkness and have seen no distinction between nations. I have seen distinction amongst individuals – and it is in the passion, courage, imagination and compassion of individuals that I see salvation for humanity and the promise of elimination of cultural and traditional justifications for the infliction of pain, suffering and death upon other sentient beings and upon other human beings with whom we share this planet.

I wrote a poem concerning the blood sports of a few nations. In every nation can be found a cultural justification for inflicting pain and death, and the nations in this poem are like all other nations and serve only as examples of the human affliction that is the source of so much pain and death around the world.

The United Nations of Human Cruelty

By Captain Paul Watson

Australia

Tie your kangaroos down, Mate
Slice off a piece for your plate,
Kill the sharks that you hate, Mate
Stick bleeding sheep in a crate.

Canada

Thugs with clubs upon the ice,
Stomping through nurseries, killing for Christ
The babies are alive when they slice,
Some people will do anything for a price.
China

Cruelty flourishes both in the West and the East,
Dogs boiled alive for festival feasts.
China is not safe for any type of beast,
Rhinos, elephants, bears, all deceased.

Costa Rica

Try to save turtles and you may die,
In this nation so “green” you need not ask why.
To the slaughter of sharks simply turn a blind eye,
In Costa Rica, wildlife conservation is a lie.

Denmark and The Faroes:

They call this craven ritual the Grind,
A gift from some silly God, yet still a sin,
The screams of the whales, blood on their skin,
It’s what we do, they say with a grin.

France

Stuffing foul food down the throats of geese,
Forcing them to be sick and obese,
Will this obscene gluttony ever cease?
The consuming of diseased livers from geese deceased.

Great Britain*

‘The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable,’ said Wilde
The bullsh*t justification ever higher gets piled,
The cruelty of cowards universally reviled,
Is this how British culture prefers to be styled?

*Fox hunting - presently illegal but the present government is working to legalize it once again.

Iceland

Firing horrific harpoons with savage sadistic lust,
Iceland ignores the world’s increasing disgust,
At least, we turned two of their machines into rust,
As a nation they’ve lost the world’s compassionate trust.

Japan

Sadistic dolphin slayers turning the seas red,
Building a culture upon the corpses of the dead
Japanese slaughter is globally widespread,
The Oceans everywhere will soon be dead.

Namibia

Baby seals vomit milk on the sand,
Rhinos, giraffes and lions are unsafe in this land,
Hunts come expensive or cheaply canned,
So much death by man’s bloody hand.

Spain

The taunting of the bulls is a sickness indeed.
The crowds do lust to see them bleed,
Within the hearts of men, is there a need?
For pain and death to justify their creed?

United States

Concentration camps to churn out meat,
Gestation crates, ground up pigs to eat.
Ground water polluted by what they excrete,
Drinking the pus and blood that cows secrete.

Jul 22, 2015

United States and German Nationals Face Up To Two Years Imprisonment In The Faroe Islands If Found Guilty Of Defending Whales

Tom Strerath of Germany is facing up to 2 years imprisonmentTom Strerath of Germany is facing up to 2 years imprisonmentSusan Larsen of San Francisco, United States, and Tom Strerath of Bremen, Germany, could face up to two years imprisonment if they are found guilty of breaching the Faroese Pilot Whaling Act.

The Sea Shepherd volunteers were arrested on Monday morning following an attempted grindadráp – the infamous drive hunt of cetaceans in the Faroe Islands – just north of Klaksvík in the northeast of the island archipelago.

Faroese authorities have so far indicated that the Sea Shepherd volunteers will be charged under Section 9 of the Act. However, despite requests by their legal representative for more information, police have provided no further details as to the exact nature of the charges against the pair.

A court date has been set for this Thursday, July 23, at 0930 local time at Tórshavn.

Larsen, who was the driver of the Sea Shepherd small boat Farley at the time she was arrested, and Strerath, who was the boat’s navigator, are in the Faroe Islands as a part of Sea Shepherd’s 2015 Pilot Whale Defense Campaign, Operation Sleppid Grindini.

Operation Sleppid Grindini Land Team Leader, Rosie Kunneke, believes that the police’s inability to confirm details of the charges against Larsen and Strerath indicates that there is a of lack evidence of any wrongdoing by the pair.

“Faroese authorities are obviously keen to flex the muscle of their ramped-up laws, but as yet they have provided nothing in the way of evidence to support any claims against Susan and Tom,” said Kunneke.

The arrests occurred at approximately 0900 local time on Monday morning. The Sea Shepherd ship Sam Simon and the Farley had been investigating a flotilla of approximately 15 local boats that was on the move, heading north past the killing beach of Klaksvík. The Danish Navy vessel, HDMS Triton was also in the region.

Susan Larsen of the San Francisco in the United States is facing up to 2 years imprisonment. Photo: Andrew CorrellSusan Larsen of San Francisco in the United States is facing up to 2 years imprisonment. Photo: Andrew CorrellThough the Sea Shepherd vessels could not see pilot whales in the area, the heightened activity is generally indicative of a pilot whale drive hunt.

Shortly after, the flotilla of boats stopped moving north, at which time the Sam Simon and the Farley also stopped moving. The Farley was approximately one nautical mile on the portside of the Sam Simon.

Faroese police then boarded the small boat and arrested the two volunteers.

At the time the arrests were made, the Triton moved into position between the Sam Simon and the Farley, so that the small boat was not visible to the crew of the conservation ship. The Danish Navy vessel then confiscated the Farley, handing it over to the custody of Faroese police, where it is still being held.

Speaking about the incident, Larsen stated, “While I am frustrated by our arrests and the seizure of the Farley, I hope that this incident will bring attention to what is happening to pilot whales and other cetaceans in the Faroe Islands. I was dismayed that our arrests were made with the assistance of the Danish Navy. This is a clear indication that Denmark, an anti-whaling nation, is not only complicit in the slaughter of whales - but is deeply invested in seeing that grinds are successfully carried out.”

For hundreds of years the people of the Danish Faroe Islands have been herding migrating pilot whales and other small cetaceans into shallow water and slaughtering them. The grindadráp is the largest slaughter of marine mammals in Europe, and is widely criticized as being both cruel and unnecessary.

Strerath stated, “While the rest of Europe protects pilot whales, in the Faroe Islands they continue to be slaughtered with the help of Denmark. I'm glad that our arrests have brought attention to the grindadráp, and I hope that my experience helps other EU nationals to take a stand against this barbaric tradition, which is taking place in our back yard.”

Captain Adam Meyerson of the Sam Simon has congratulated Larsen and Strerath on their handling of the ordeal. “Susan and Tom remained composed and focused during their arrest. I am proud of them for standing strong in the face of harassment by the Faroese police, while being accused of the ridiculous ‘crime’ of protecting marine mammals,” he said.

Sea Shepherd has been leading opposition to the grindadráp since the early 1980s.

Operation Sleppid Grindini is Sea Shepherd’s sixth pilot whale defense campaign in the region.

Operation Sleppid Grindini
Visit our
Operation Sleppid Grindini
site for more information.