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

Feb 27, 2015

The Aussies Came, They Saw, They Did Nothing!

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

GPS coordinates show the poaching  vessel Kunlun inside Australia's EEZGPS coordinates show the poaching
vessel Kunlun inside Australia's EEZ
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Jeff Wirth
This is an accurate description of yesterday’s interception by the Australian government of the toothfish-poaching vessel Kunlun:

They arrived.

They saw.

They observed.

They determined the ship Kunlun was in Australian territorial waters.

Therefore, they took action.

They boarded the Kunlin – and one-upped the Kiwis.

They found evidence of illegal fishing in Australian Antarctic territorial waters.

They saw a large supply of illegally caught toothfish.

They discovered the vessel was flying a false flag.

They determined it was an undocumented ship, illegally flying the flag of Equatorial Guinea and loaded with tons of fish caught in Australian Antarctic territorial waters.

So of course they let them go.

Say what?????

This is the same ship that the New Zealand Navy found last month, attempted to board. When they were refused permission to board, they left, allowing the poachers to continue their illegal fishing activities.

As in the case with New Zealand, the Kunlun was allowed to proceed because of the intervention of Australian politicians.

Peter Dutton, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection said that the boarding has “sent a strong message” to the poachers.

And what I wonder could that message possibly be? It appears to be, “Stop illegally taking our fish or else we will board you again, so there.”

The poaching vessel, Kunlun, crosses the bow  of the Sam SimonThe poaching vessel, Kunlun,
crosses the bow of the Sam Simon
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Jeff Wirth
Last month, the Sea Shepherd ship Sam Simon chased the Kunlun out of Australian Antarctic waters. With the poachers heading north, the opportunity to intercept them was handed to Australia.

When intercepted, the Kunlun was in the waters off the Cocos Islands, a territory in the Indian Ocean controlled by Australia.

Despite this, Senator Richard Colbeck, an outspoken critic of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Icefish, declared that it would not be legal for Australia to arrest the ship.

After reviewing the media release from the Ministry for Immigration and Border Protection, it seems incredible that Colbeck would say that an arrest would not be legal:

Enforcement activity to protect the Southern Ocean

27 February 2015

The Hon Peter Dutton MP

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture

The Australian Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting resources in the Southern Ocean with the interception and boarding of a fishing vessel believed to have been operating under a false flag and in defiance of international conventions.

(PW: We boarded them, which means we are committed to upholding international conservation law.)

Officers from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) boarded and searched the internationally listed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessel Kunlun yesterday, after interdicting the vessel to the west of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

The vessel was first detected near the islands by a maritime patrol aircraft, operating under the control of Border Protection Command (BPC). Once its location was confirmed, an ACBPS vessel, also operating under the control of BPC, intercepted and boarded the Kunlun.

(PW: They neglected to mention that Sea Shepherd had informed Australia that the vessel was headed north.)

In January 2015, the Kunlun was identified operating within Commonwealth Bay off the Antarctic coast. The purpose of the boarding was to investigate claims that the vessel was authorised by Equatorial Guinea to fish in the Southern Ocean. This area of waters is managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

In the course of the inspection of the vessel, ACBPS officers observed a significant quantity of frozen fish in storage.

(PW: New Zealand caught them and New Zealand documented the fishing. Therefore the evidence of illegal fishing by the Kunlun in Australian waters was well established.)

Information gathered in the course of the inspection will be used to conduct further inquiries in relation to the vessel's nationality, ownership and authority to fish in the region.

(PW: How many more bloody inquiries are needed? These ships are known poaching vessels and have been operating with impunity for a decade, raking in tens of millions of dollars. They have absolutely no authority to fish in Australian territorial waters or anywhere else in the Southern Ocean. This vessel is listed on the Interpol Purple list.)

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, said the boarding showed the Coalition Government's commitment to taking action to ensure that commercial fishing activity is authorised.

(PW: If this is considered “action,” no wonder nothing ever gets resolved by the Australian government.)

"This action should send a strong message that the Australian government is committed to ensuring all vessels operating in the Southern Ocean do so legally and are appropriately registered," Mr. Dutton said.

(PW: Ooohh, the poachers must be quaking in fear. “My God,” said Captain Fishnicker to his Mate, “the Aussies have threatened us with a strong message. Now get that net back in the water before they send us another ‘strong’ message.”)

"Our message to those who may seek to fish under false flags, or flags of convenience, is simple; we operate a range of assets in a range of locations, and we will continue to use these and the full extent of our powers to target you."

(PW: In other words, what assets we can spare from protecting Australian borders from homeless refugees we will dedicate – if we have the time, and when it becomes too embarrassing not to act – and will deploy them to board you again.”

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, said that unregulated fishing threatens the viability of fish stocks, and that Australia works with many other countries in seeking to eliminate it.

(PW: And they seem to be doing an absolutely amazing job of doing absolutely nothing about it.)

"The action taken yesterday demonstrates Australia's commitment to combatting unregulated fishing and to protecting the interests of those who fish within the internationally agreed rules", he said.

(PW: Australia’s commitment appears to be that of doing very little, very late, without any results. Considering the evidence, the documentation by Sea Shepherd and the New Zealand Navy, the fact that the ship was flying a false flag, was on the Interpol Purple list and was boarded in Australia waters, the question must be: why was this unflagged, unregistered, criminal operation not stopped and the vessel seized?)

Commenting to ABC News from the Bob Barker, Captain Peter Hammarstedt said, “I have no doubt that evidence will show that the Kunlun has been fishing illegally and that they would have intended to continue fishing illegally had it not been for action by the Australian Government. They have boarded the ship, now what we need to see is the Australian Government actually arresting the vessel. This is a ship that needs to be brought back to Australia for prosecution. Nothing short of actually arresting this ship will be an acceptable outcome in seeing them end their poaching career.

ABC’s Felicity Ogilvie reported that Senator Richard Colbeck says Australia can't arrest the crew but will be monitoring the boat from now on.

The Kunlun was allowed to proceed north with millions of dollars of illegally caught toothfish.

Only two days ago Senator Richard Colbeck was on the carpet because of a large donation of $320,000 from the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association. He has fiercely defended the fishing industry, and last month viciously attacked Sea Shepherd’s efforts to oppose illegal fishing in Australian territorial waters.

There seems to be a complicated, secretive and international web of deception involving a network of illegal fishing activities around the world. Poachers have received subsidies from governments. Poachers continue to fish with impunity while governments do very little. When poachers are caught, the fines are trivial.

Last year the poaching vessel Thunder was arrested in Malaysia and released with millions of dollars of illegally caught fish, after paying a relatively small fine of $90,000 Australian dollars.

Meanwhile, today marks the 72nd day that the Bob Barker has been pursuing the Thunder; it is the longest continuous pursuit of a poaching vessel in maritime history. The Sam Simon has successfully reported to authorities in Mauritius with 72 kilometers of gill net seized from the Thunder. An international investigation is underway. Sea Shepherd has the documentation and the evidence and Sea Shepherd has no intention of allowing the Thunder to escape.

The crew of the Bob Barker have observed and documented the Thunder destroying evidence by burning their nets and buoys. The two vessels continue to drift in a stand-off some 750 miles off the coast of Madagascar.

Read more: Sea Shepherd Commends Australian Boarding of Poaching Vessel: Now Calls For Arrest

Feb 27, 2015

Sea Shepherd Commends Australian Boarding of Poaching Vessel: Now Calls For Arrest

Kunlun dangerously crosses the bow of the Sam Simon, after it was intercepted by the Sea Shepherd ship in February. Photo: Jeff WirthKunlun dangerously crosses the bow
of the Sam Simon, after it was intercepted
by the Sea Shepherd ship in February.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Jeff Wirth
Sea Shepherd has responded to news that Australian customs have boarded the Interpol-wanted poaching vessel, Kunlun, commending border patrol for their action, and calling on the arrest of the wanted poaching vessel.

The Kunlun was intercepted west of Cocos Island (Keeling) yesterday. Sea Shepherd suspects the vessel was en route from the Antarctic to Southeast Asia to offload its illegal catch.

The Kunlun has a long history of illegal fishing activity. As well as being included on the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) blacklist of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing vessels, just last month the vessel was issued with an Interpol Purple Notice after it was caught fishing illegally in Australian waters in the Southern Ocean by the New Zealand Navy.

On February 2, the Kunlun was intercepted by the Sea Shepherd ship, Sam Simon, again inside Australian waters. The Sam Simon then pursued the vessel out of its hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean.

Captain Peter Hammarstedt of the Sea Shepherd ship, Bob Barker said, “The Kunlun was first intercepted by the New Zealand Navy in Australian waters in January, fishing illegally. Two weeks later, it was still fishing illegally until shut-down by the Sam Simon. The evidence against the Kunlun is overwhelming – we have the images, we have the video and now Australian Customs and Border Protection have the opportunity to seize the illicit catch. We commend the Australian government for boarding the Kunlun. Australia has every right to arrest this poaching vessel and we now expect to see it brought to the nearest Australian port to see justice done”.

Captain Sid Chakravarty of the Sam Simon said, “For the past three months, the Australian government has claimed that taking port action against toothfish poachers is more effective that patrolling. It is encouraging to see that they have changed their tune. We've seen the Australian government take its leadership in the Southern Ocean seriously when they took Japan to the International Court of Justice on the issue of whaling. We now need strong action from Australia to show that illegal fishing will not be tolerated in the Southern Ocean, and that the only action that will see an end to the Kunlun's poaching career is arrest and seizure at sea.”

The Kunlun is one of six vessels that are known to still engage in IUU fishing for Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish in the Southern Ocean.

The Bob Barker is currently engaged in a record-breaking pursuit of the most notorious of the six vessels, the Nigerian-flagged Thunder, after it was intercepted on the Banzare Bank in Antarctica on December 17.

The outlaw poaching vessels are the focus of Sea Shepherd's current Southern Ocean Defence Campaign, Operation Icefish.

Commencing in December last year, Operation Icefish is Sea Shepherd’s first Southern Ocean Defence Campaign to target IUU fishing operators in the waters of Antarctica.

The Sam Simon pursued Kunlun out of its hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean. Photo: Jeff WirthThe Sam Simon pursued Kunlun out of its hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Jeff Wirth
Sea Shepherd calls on the arrest of the Interpol-wanted Kunlun. Photo: Giacomo GiorgiaSea Shepherd calls on the arrest
of the Interpol-wanted Kunlun.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Giacomo Giorgia

Feb 26, 2015

Sea Shepherd Hands-Over Evidence of Thunder's Illegal Fishing to Authorities in Mauritius

Just some of the 72 km of the Thunder's illegal gillnet that was confiscated by the Sam Simon. Photo: Jeff WirthJust some of the 72 km of the Thunder's illegal gillnet that was confiscated by the Sam Simon.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Jeff Wirth
Yesterday, the Sea Shepherd ship, Sam Simon, handed-over evidence to authorities at Port Louis, Mauritius, of the illegal fishing activities of the Nigerian-flagged poaching vessel, Thunder.

The Thunder is the most notorious of the six remaining toothfish poaching vessels that are known to still engage in Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing for toothfish in the Southern Ocean. In December 2013, the Thunder was issued with an Interpol purple notice for suspected illegal fishing activity, following a joint effort by New Zealand, Australian and Norwegian authorities.

For the past two months, Captain of the Sam Simon, Sid Chakravarty, has reported to authorities, including international policing agency Interpol, about the confiscation of the Thunder’s illegally-set gillnets. Authorities were also notified that the Sea Shepherd ship would be arriving in Mauritius to hand-over the gillnets as evidence to aid in the prosecution of the Thunder.

Upon docking in Port Louis, the Sam Simon was met by various Mauritian law enforcement agencies comprising of the Mauritius Police Force, the Coast Guard and the Fisheries Policing Agency.

Through the course of the day, the authorities conducted a rigorous inspection of the confiscated gear and met with Captain Chakravarty to establish a chain of custody for the gear being handed over as evidence.

Captain Chakravarty said, “It is evident from the proceedings that Interpol has issued a request to the Mauritian authorities to help in the investigation to prosecute the Thunder. The thorough and professional approach of the Mauritian authorities proves that local and international law enforcement authorities are taking the crimes of the Thunder seriously.”

He further added, “The Mauritian authorities have in one day done more to combat illegal fishing than the Australian government has done this entire season. It is definitely a wake-up call for Australia to dispatch a patrol vessel to clean out their Antarctic waters.”

The toothfish poaching vessels are the target of Sea Shepherd's 11th Southern Ocean Defence Campaign, Operation Icefish.

Since the commencement of Operation Icefish in December last year, the Sam Simon and fellow Sea Shepherd ship, the Bob Barker, have intercepted three of the six remaining outlaw vessels. In doing so, Sea Shepherd has saved the lives of countless marine creatures and has caused major disruptions to the profits of illegal fishing operators in Antarctica.

Captain of the Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, said, “Let it be known, we are here for the long haul. With Sam Simon handing over evidence of the Thunder's criminal operations to police in Mauritius, the Bob Barker is committed to escorting the Thunder to its next port and into the hands of the authorities. The interest shown by Interpol in this case gives us the utmost confidence that this vessel is nearing the end of its reign of terror and the issue of IUU fishing is finally gaining the attention it deserves.”

The Bob Barker intercepted the Thunder on December 17, 2014, on the Banzare Bank in Antarctica. The Thunder immediately fled from the Sea Shepherd ship, leaving behind thousands of metres of illegal fishing gear in the Southern Ocean.

Through poor weather and in the face of hostile actions by the poachers, the Bob Barker has maintained pursuit of the Thunder. The Sea Shepherd ship now enters day 71 of what has become a record-breaking, continuous chase of the poaching vessel.

On December 25 2014, the Sam Simon commenced retrieval operations to remove the illegal fishing gear abandoned by the Thunder. More than 72 kilometres of illegal gillnet was recovered over a three week period and over 1,400 fish, weighing a total of 45,000 kilograms, were returned to the ocean.

On February 2 2015, the Sam Simon intercepted another two poaching vessels, the Kunlun and the Yongding, in Australian waters in the Southern Ocean. The Sam Simon subsequently engaged in a pursuit of the Kunlun, chasing the poaching vessel out of its hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean.

Operation Icefish is Sea Shepherd’s first Southern Ocean Defence Campaign to target IUU fishing operators in the waters of Antarctica.

The Sam Simon docked in Port Louis, Mauritius. Photo: Giacomo GiorgiThe Sam Simon docked in Port Louis, Mauritius.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Giacomo Giorgi
Capt. Chakravarty and the crew of the Sam Simon hand-over confiscated gillnets to police in Mauritius. Photo: Jeff WirthCapt. Chakravarty and the crew of the Sam Simon hand-over confiscated gillnets to police in Mauritius.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Jeff Wirth

Feb 25, 2015

Sea Shepherd Billboard in New York City Spreads Mass Awareness of Taiji’s Dolphin Slaughter

A Generous Dolphin Advocate and Sea Shepherd Supporter has Donated the Billboard in Support of Sea Shepherd’s Annual Operation Infinite Patience Campaign in Taiji

Sea Shepherd billboard, made possible by supporter Marnie McBryde, goes up in New York City to raise awareness about Taiji dolphin slaughterSea Shepherd billboard, made possible by supporter Marnie McBryde, goes up in New York City
to raise awareness about Taiji dolphin slaughter
Credit: OUTFRONT Media

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society first brought the brutal dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan to the world’s attention in 2003, and each year since 2010, Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians have been on the ground in that tiny fishing village to document the capture and slaughter of wild, migrating dolphins throughout the six-month drive hunt season. Today, Feb. 25, a billboard made possible by a generous Sea Shepherd supporter has gone up on the busy Long Island Expressway, and will spread further vital awareness of this shocking massacre of ocean wildlife to more than a million people over the course of the next month.

Marnie McBryde, a passionate advocate for dolphins and supporter of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Infinite Patience campaign in Taiji, was haunted by the livestream of every dolphin capture and every kill reported by Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians — so much so that she took the initiative to do something about it. Having lived in Japan for a decade, she knows the people and the culture well. She knows that bringing outside pressure to bear is the only thing that will eventually stop the hunts. So McBryde decided to donate a billboard, which can now be seen on the Long Island Expressway at Van Dam Street, facing west (visible to eastbound traffic). An iconic image of the hunt captured by Sea Shepherd in 2003 showing the blood-red waters of the cove and Taiji’s killers loading the lifeless bodies of dead dolphins into a skiff, is unmistakable on the large sign. The billboard’s simple but loud-and-clear message reads, “Japan’s Shame: Stop Killing Dolphins!” Sea Shepherd’s hashtag #tweet4taiji, which spreads widely over social media with Cove Guardian updates from Taiji during every capture and slaughter, is also displayed in the hope of engaging the masses to help spread the word about the ongoing kidnapping and massacre of innocent, wild dolphins.

As the 2014-2015 hunt season draws to a close (the hunt typically spans from Sept. 1 to the beginning of March each year), the billboard serves as a timely reminder that though Taiji’s killers will soon put down their bloody spikes used to inhumanely sever a dolphin’s spinal cord, the suffering will continue for the dolphins torn from the ocean in Taiji this season to be sold for captivity to aquariums and marine parks in Japan or around the world. It is also a clear reminder to Japan that if and when Taiji’s slaughter resumes in September, Sea Shepherd’s relentless Cove Guardians will once again be standing watch along the shores of the cove with infinite patience. We will continue to return to Taiji until the slaughter ends.

“As Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians prepare for the end of another grueling season, witnessing the horrors that unfold day in and day out in the cove, this billboard has gone up in New York City, where more than a million individuals will see the reality of what the Taiji dolphin killers try so hard to hide under tarps,” said Sea Shepherd Senior Cove Guardian Campaign Leader and Coordinator, Melissa Sehgal. “We are so very grateful to Marnie for her donation that made this billboard a possibility for the dolphins and for Sea Shepherd. She is giving an important voice to the pods killed in Taiji this year as well as the captured dolphins who still face lives of imprisonment in tanks.”

For a staggering six months of each year, from September 1 until March, entire families of dolphins and small whales are driven into Taiji’s killing cove. Once netted within the shallow waters of the cove, their fate is sealed and the members of these doomed, frightened pods will face either imprisonment in captivity or brutal slaughter before the eyes of their families. Killers and trainers work side-by-side to select the “prettiest” dolphins and whales, those without visible scars, for captivity. The others are mercilessly stabbed with a metal spike hammered into their backs, just behind the blowhole, to sever their spine. The dolphins slowly and painfully bleed to death or drown in the blood of their family—others may die as they are dragged to the butcherhouse, where the once wild and free cetaceans are processed into meat for human consumption, despite being heavily contaminated with mercury and other toxins. These inhumane killings would not be allowed in any slaughterhouse in the world. Japan refuses to sign on to many protection efforts and regulations for marine mammals, despite most of the world recognizing the need to protect these self-aware, beloved and imperiled animals.

In 2010, Sea Shepherd established Operation Infinite Patience and our volunteer Cove Guardians took up positions alongside the cove to document, report and live stream these atrocities in the hope of capturing attention to bring pressure to bear to stop these barbaric acts. Sea Shepherd is the only organization to have a team on the ground in Taiji each day throughout the entire six-month killing season, and the only group who live streams every capture and every kill for the world to see. Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians will not stop shining a light on this atrocity until the slaughter ends.

Cove Guardians
Visit our
Cove Guardians
site for more information.

Feb 18, 2015

Sea Shepherd Ship Triples Record for Longest Sea Chase of a Poacher as it Enters Third Month of Pursuit

Sea Shepherd ships, Bob Barker and Sam Simon, in pursuit of the Interpol-wanted poacher, Thunder. Photo: Jeff WirthSea Shepherd ships, Bob Barker and Sam Simon, in pursuit of the Interpol-wanted poacher, Thunder.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Jeff Wirth

Today, the Sea Shepherd ship, Bob Barker, tripled the record for the longest sea chase of a poaching vessel, marking its 63rd day of pursuit of the Interpol-wanted, Nigerian-flagged toothfish poaching vessel, Thunder.

The previous record was held by the Australian patrol vessel, Southern Supporter, which pursued the Uruguayan vessel, Viarsa 1, for 21 days in 2003.

The milestone comes just one day after the Bob Barker logged the second full month since it first intercepted the Thunder on the Banzare Bank in Antarctica.

Captain of the Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, stated, “We first intercepted the Thunder on December 17. For two months we have ensured that this, the most notorious of all the toothfish poaching vessels, has not been able to kill any more of Antarctica's precious toothfish. In the process, we have cost the criminals behind this operation millions of dollars in lost profits. Sea Shepherd is sending a very loud message to the poachers who continue to threaten this region: your criminal activity ends here.”

On Saturday, fellow Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, rendezvoused with the Bob Barker on the Melville Bank in the south Indian Ocean in order to resupply the Bob Barker with food.

With the resupply operation complete, both Sea Shepherd ships are in pursuit of the Thunder.

Two months down. The crew of the Bob Barker mark the end of the second month of their record-breaking pursuit of the Thunder. Photo: Simon AgerTwo months down. The crew of the Bob Barker mark the end of the second month of their record-breaking pursuit of the Thunder.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager
The Bob Barker now has enough fuel and food to maintain its pursuit of the Thunder until the poaching vessel returns to port, and is handed over to authorities.

The Sam Simon is carrying onboard 72 kilometres of illegal gillnet, abandoned by the Thunder when if first fled from the Bob Barker. The nets will be used as evidence against the Thunder to aid in its prosecution.

The Thunder was the first of three poaching vessels that have been intercepted by the Sea Shepherd ships during the organisation's 11th Southern Ocean Defence Campaign, Operation Icefish.

On February 2, the Sam Simon intercepted another two Interpol-wanted poaching vessels, the Yongding and the Kunlun, in Australian waters in the Southern Ocean. Both vessels had illegal fishing gear on their decks at the time they were intercepted.

The Sam Simon subsequently engaged in a high seas pursuit of the Kunlun. On February 8, Captain Sid Chakravarty reported that he and the crew of the Sam Simon had successfully chased the poaching vessel out of its hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean.

Commencing in December last year, Operation Icefish is Sea Shepherd’s first Southern Ocean Defence Campaign to target illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing operators in the waters of Antarctica.

Feb 14, 2015

On Valentine’s Day Eve, Thousands Attend Sea Shepherd’s “World Love for Dolphins Day” Rallies Across the U.S. and Overseas to Protest Taiji Dolphin Slaughter

Special Celebrity Guests and Speakers Attend Los Angeles Demonstration Featuring Hundreds of Supporters

World Love for Dolphins Day 2015 Washington, DC protest groupWorld Love for Dolphins Day 2015 Washington, DC protest group

On Friday Feb. 13, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society held its second annual “World Love for Dolphins Day,” featuring 32 peaceful demonstrations at Japanese embassies and consulates across the United States and overseas. On the eve of Valentine’s Day, thousands of people raised their voices together in a call for compassion and an end to the brutal capture and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan.

Demonstrations, led by Sea Shepherd USA chapters, were held in 15 U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Miami, Houston and Seattle, and international demonstrations were held by Sea Shepherd volunteers in countries overseas including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, the Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland and Mexico. The events were well attended not only by protesters — with many of the 32 sites boasting more than 100 protesters — but also by the media, including the Associated Press, APTV, Reuters, ABC, FOX, Japanese media outlets and more, drawing international attention to the atrocities committed in Taiji’s infamous killing cove.

In Los Angeles, Calif., a group of more than 200 people rallied together, marching around the plaza in an event live streamed to the world on Sea Shepherd’s website. Celebrity Sea Shepherd supporters and special guest speakers joined the demonstration, including actress Shannen Doherty (Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed), TV Exec Sam Simon (Co-Creator, The Simpsons), and Simone Reyes (Running Russell Simmons and Director of TV Development, Def Pictures Television). All three have traveled to Taiji to join Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians on the ground, and spoke Friday of their experiences witnessing and documenting the horrific hunt firsthand.

Shannen Doherty speaks to 250 demonstrators in Los Angeles at Japanese ConsulateShannen Doherty speaks to 250 demonstrators in Los Angeles at Japanese Consulate

Other speakers included actors Eric Balfour (Haven) and Ross McCall (Band of Brothers and White Collar). McCall traveled to the Faroe Islands last summer to defend pilot whales and other small cetaceans as part of Sea Shepherd’s Operation GrindStop 2014.

Sea Shepherd Youth Ambassador, actor Zach Callison (Kingshighway) was also on hand to inspire young people to get involved. Many young supporters attended the demonstrations with their families, and children spoke to the crowd, emphasizing the importance of protecting the oceans for future generations.

In Washington, D.C., a crowd of at least 70 people made the 20-minute march from the DuPont Circle Metro station to the Embassy of Japan, not letting the freezing cold weather stop them from speaking up for the dolphins. At one point, the peaceful protesters witnessed what appeared to be a security guard peering at them and taking pictures from the Embassy’s rooftop. When protesters snapped pictures of the security guard in return, he made a futile and comical attempt to tuck and roll to quickly retreat so his picture would not be taken.

Sea Shepherd attempted to deliver a letter written by Senior Cove Guardian Campaign Leader, Melissa Sehgal to the Japanese Embassy in D.C. and Consulate in Los Angeles, but was denied permission to do so at both locations. Just as the dolphin killers in Taiji attempt to hide their cruel deeds behind tarps, representatives of Japan did the same behind the walls of the Embassy and Consulate on Friday, refusing to even accept a letter on behalf of the dolphins.

PDFRead Melissa Sehgal's letter to the Japanese Embassy (PDF)

“Japan continues to falsely claim that the brutal drive hunt in Taiji is a long-standing and proud part of Japanese ‘tradition’ and ‘culture,’ but if that were the case, there would be nothing to hide. It is purely about greed, but on Friday thousands of people joined Sea Shepherd and showed Japan that the world’s love of dolphins is far stronger than the killers’ love of profit,” said Sehgal.

For a staggering six months of each year, from September 1 until March, entire families of dolphins and small whales are driven into Taiji’s killing cove. Once netted within the shallow waters of the cove, their fate is sealed and the members of these doomed, frightened pods will face either imprisonment in captivity or brutal slaughter before the eyes of their families. Killers and trainers work side-by-side to select the “prettiest” dolphins and whales, those without visible scars, for captivity. The others are mercilessly stabbed with a metal spike inserted into their backs, just behind the blowhole, to sever their spine. The dolphins slowly and painfully bleed to death or drown in the blood of their family—others may die as they are dragged to the butcherhouse, where the once wild and free cetaceans are processed into meat for human consumption, despite being heavily contaminated with mercury and other toxins. These inhumane killings would not be allowed in any slaughterhouse in the world. Japan refuses to sign on to many protection efforts and regulations for marine mammals, despite most of the world recognizing the need to protect these self-aware, beloved and imperiled animals.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society first brought the cove to the world’s attention by capturing and releasing now-iconic footage and imagery of the brutal hunts and slaughters in 2003, during which the cove turned a blood-red. Later the Academy Award-winning film The Cove again shone a spotlight on the hunts, bringing worldwide attention to the killings. Many individuals thought the film succeeded in bringing an end to the hunts, but that was not the case. So in 2010, Sea Shepherd established Operation Infinite Patience and our volunteer Cove Guardians took up positions alongside the cove to document, report and live stream these atrocities in the hope of capturing attention to bring pressure to bear to stop these barbaric acts. Sea Shepherd is the only organization to have a team on the ground in Taiji each day throughout the entire six-month killing season, and the only group who live streams every capture and every kill for the world to see. Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians will not stop shining a light on this atrocity until the slaughter ends.

View images from the 32 demonstration sites in the USA and overseas:
"World Love for Dolphins Day" Facebook album

TV Exec Sam Simon Speaks to Protesters in LA at World Love for Dolphins Day 2015TV Exec Sam Simon Speaks to Protesters in LA at World Love for Dolphins Day 2015

Actor Ross McCall Speaks to Protesters in LA at World Love for Dolphins Day 2015Actor Ross McCall Speaks to Protesters in LA at World Love for Dolphins Day 2015

Operation Infinite Patience Senior Campaign Leader Melissa Sehgal speaks to 200 demonstrators in Los AngelesOperation Infinite Patience Senior Campaign Leader Melissa Sehgal speaks
to 200 demonstrators in Los Angeles

Cove Guardians
Visit our
Cove Guardians
site for more information.

Feb 13, 2015

More Shark Attacks? We Have Only Ourselves to Blame

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

Tiger shark caught off Moses Rock-WA,  Dragged out to sea to be dumped like garbage,  big loss to ocean ecosystems.Tiger shark caught off Moses Rock-WA, Dragged out to sea to be dumped like garbage, big loss to ocean ecosystems.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Animal Amnesty
Shark attacks are on the rise and the reason for this is entirely the fault of humanity.

Shark attacks are relatively rare. From a population of 7.5 billion people, there are between five and 10 fatal attacks each year.

More people are killed by bees, mosquitoes, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, horses, ostriches, snakes and dogs, but these species don’t get the bad press that sharks receive.

And this bad press comes from television shows like those featured on Shark Week, by horror movies like Jaws, and by the general ignorance of people when it comes to oceanic eco-systems.

It is in fact more dangerous to play golf than it is to surf or scuba dive, because statistically more golfers die each year from lightning strikes than people die from shark attacks.

But it also a fact that shark attacks have increased over the last few years, although the fatalities still remain relatively low – and this is surprising considering just how many millions of human beings surf, swim and dive in the sea.

The reason for this relatively minor increase in the number of attacks is entirely the fault of human beings.

To start with, we are diminishing bio-diversity in the ocean. Overfishing has removed 90% of large, predatory fish - critical to oceanic ecosystems - from the sea since 1950. Every single commercial fishery is in a state of decline. This is not just bad news for humans who eat fish, but it is very bad news for sharks, orcas, whales, seals and dolphins who have no choice but to eat fish. In other words, starvation is a very big motivation for opportunistic attacks.

Secondly, most shark attacks appear to be cases of mistaken identity. Surfers on their boards look like seals from the underwater point of view of a shark. Rarely is a person actually eaten by a shark. It tends to be an exploratory bite followed by rejection, although admittedly that exploratory bite can turn out to be fatal to the victim.

Another type of human victim is the spear fisherman. The logic of why they become victims of shark attacks is simple. Spear a fish, spill blood in the water and you attract sharks. The miracle here is that, despite the millions of spear fishermen in the world, such attacks are also relatively few.

Off Western Australia, where there is a state of near hysteria over shark attacks from some politicians and the media, there is another factor that heavily contributes to the problem: the live transport of animals by ship from Australian ports to Asia, and especially to the Middle East because of Halal demands for live animals. Hundreds of thousands of cattle and sheep are packed onto ships like sardines and transported, and this presents two sources of shark attraction. First the bodies of animals that die are thrown overboard, and secondly thousands of tons of animal feces and urine are dumped into the sea, representing a very large dinner bell to the sensitive olfactory senses of sharks.

3+m Female Tiger Shark caught, shot, and dumped at sea by WA Fisheries3+m Female Tiger Shark caught, shot, and dumped at sea by WA Fisheries
Photo: Sea Shepherd
Shark drumlines, meant to discourage sharks from approaching beaches, actually create another attraction. Sharks and other creatures become snared and entrapped and they die; this in turn attracts more sharks, bringing them within close proximity to the beaches.

Climate change, ocean acidification and pollution are other factors affecting the migration patterns of sharks.

Killing sharks is not the solution, unless people believe that there should be a final solution like extermination. However, extermination of sharks will contribute to irreparable damage to oceanic eco-systems that will affect all of humanity in far more destructive ways than an occasional fatality.

Sharks are the apex predators of the sea. They have shaped evolution in the ocean for hundreds of millions of years. The camouflage, the behavior, the speed, the wariness of fish are all traits literally adapted in fish because of the existence and predatory behavior of the shark.

Destroy the shark and we destroy a harmonious ecological partnership between aquatic species.

For those who believe that sharks are a danger to humanity, the solution for them should be simple – stay the hell out of the water. The ocean is no place for the ignorant, the arrogant and the craven.

And we need to look at it from the point of view of the shark. The ocean is their home. We are stealing their food. We are trespassing on their territory and we savagely slaughter 75 million sharks each year, much of which goes to make a soup that has absolutely no nutritional value.

When we look into the eye of what we perceive to be a savage monster, we see the reflection of a much more destructive monster – ourselves.

Feb 05, 2015

On Eve of Valentine’s Day, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to Hold 32 Peaceful “World Love for Dolphins Day” Demonstrations Against Taiji Dolphin Slaughter

Special Guest Speakers and Celebrity Supporters to Join Sea Shepherd at Demonstrations at Japanese Embassies and Consulates in the U.S. and Overseas on Feb. 13th

news-150205-wlfdd-400wNext Friday, February 13, 2015, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians and supporters around the world will join together for the second annual “World Love for Dolphins Day,” to hold peaceful demonstrations against Taiji, Japan’s brutal capture and slaughter of dolphins. As Valentine’s Day nears, thousands of people are preparing to bring the world’s love and reverence for dolphins to Japan’s doorstep at Japanese embassies and consulates across the United States and overseas.

In Los Angeles, Sea Shepherd representatives and speakers will be joined by celebrity supporters, as these special guests help the non-profit organization to shine a bright, international spotlight on Taiji’s infamous killing cove.

Actress Shannen Doherty, best known for her starring roles on the hit television series Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed, will take part in the demonstration at the Japanese consulate in LA. Doherty not only demonstrated as part of “World Love for Dolphins Day” last year, she has taken her love of dolphins to the frontlines, joining Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians on the ground in Taiji in Sept. 2014 to bear witness to and document the brutal dolphin hunt firsthand. She live streamed to the world as a pod of Risso’s dolphins was ruthlessly slaughtered, and from inside Taiji Whale Museum, where the albino bottlenose calf “Shoujo” remains captive since being captured from her mother’s side in January 2014 while swimming among a “superpod” of more than 250 dolphins.

Other celebrities in attendance at the LA demonstration will include Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons TV show, noted philanthropist and sponsor of the Sea Shepherd vessel named in his honor. Simon traveled to Taiji last year with a group of friends including actresses Alexandra Paul of Baywatch and Missy Hargraves of Law & Order: LA to witness the horrors of Taiji first-hand and help shine a spotlight on this ongoing atrocity. Also attending the demonstration will be actor and Sea Shepherd supporter Eric Balfour, star of the hit television series Haven, and actor Ross McCall, star of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and star of the TV show, Crash.

Sea Shepherd Senior Cove Guardian Campaign Leader, Melissa Sehgal will also be in attendance to stand alongside Sea Shepherd supporters at the “World Love for Dolphins Day” demonstration in LA. Sehgal, who was denied entry to Japan this year to document the brutal drive hunt for what would have been her fifth season in Taiji, will attend in solidarity with Sea Shepherd’s international team of Cove Guardian volunteers currently on the ground in Japan.

“Now nearly one week away, ‘World Love for Dolphins Day’ is already proving to be even larger than last year’s event. I am so happy to see the thousands of people ready to stand with Sea Shepherd and our Cove Guardians as we tell Japan that dolphins – beloved by millions – don’t belong to any nation, but to the world’s oceans,” said Sehgal. “As the Cove Guardians stand watch along the shores of Taiji, we will be standing with them in cities around the world.”

** Please see below the current list of official, confirmed “World Love for Dolphins Day” events in the United States and overseas.

Download a poster and come join us

Poster 1
Poster 2
Poster 3
Poster 4
Poster 5

Dolphins of Taiji Leaflet (English)
Dolphins of Taiji Leaflet (Japanese)

U.S. DEMONSTRATIONS:

Demonstrations begin outside the following locations at 12:00pm ET/PT and end at 1:00pm ET/PT unless otherwise noted below. All demonstrations are held on the sidewalk in front of the consulate. Please check the times for your demo location:

Portland
Wells Fargo Center, Suite 2700
1300 S.W. 5th Ave
Portland, OR 97201

Seattle
601 Union Street, Suite 500
Seattle WA 98101-4015

Los Angeles
350 South Grand Ave, Suite 1700
Los Angeles CA 90071-3459

Denver
1225 17th Street, Suite 3000
Denver CO 80202-5505

Houston
2 Houston Center Building
909 Fannin Street
Suite 3000
Houston TX 77010

Washington DC (12pm-2pm ET)
Meeting at DuPont Circle Metro station at 12pm and marching to Embassy of Japan

DuPont Circle Metro
1525 20th St. NW
Washington, DC 20008

New York
Consulate-General of Japan in New York
299 Park Ave, 19th Floor
New York NY 10171-0025

San Francisco (10:00 AM - 2:00 PM PT)
275 Battery Street, Suite 2100
San Francisco, CA 94111

Boston (12pm-2pm ET)
Federal Reserve Plaza, 22nd Floor
600 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02210

Atlanta
Phipps Tower, Suite 850
3438 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30326

Honolulu
1742 Nuuanu Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96817-3201

Indianapolis
11 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Chicago
737 North Michigan Avenue #1100
Chicago, IL 60611

Miami
80 Southwest 8th Street #3200
Miami, FL 33130

WORLDWIDE DEMONSTRATIONS:

Demonstrations will be held outside the following locations. All demonstrations are held on the sidewalk in front of the consulate. Please check the times for your demo location.

Please note: Any locations outside of USA territory are to be considered “unofficial” Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) events organized by local volunteers and will NOT involve Sea Shepherd Global or other Sea Shepherd entities outside of SSCS/SS USA.

Rio de Janeiro (Feb 12. 15pm-17pm BRST)
Praia do Flamengo, 200
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
* Because Feb 13 is carnival in Rio and the Japanese Consulate will be closed, this event is on Feb 12

Toronto (11:30am-1:30pm ET)
77 King Street West
Suite 3300, TD North Tower
Toronto, ON M5K 1A1

Vancouver
900-1177 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, V6E 2K9

Melbourne (12pm-2pm AEDT)
GPO Steps
Cnr Bourke Street Mall & Elizabeth Sts
Melbourne, Australia

Copenhagen (3pm CET)
From City Hall Square to the Japanese Embassy
Copenhagen, Denmark

Chañaral de Aceituno (4pm CLST)
4th. Region
Chañaral's harbor, Chile

Ottawa
255 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 9E6, Canada

The Hague (2pm-4pm CET)
Tobias Asserlaan 2
2517KC Den Haag
The Netherlands

Barcelona (11am-1pm CET)
Av. Diagonal, 640, 2ª planta D
08017 Barcelona, Spain

Madrid (11am-1pm CET)
Calle Serrano, 109
28006 Madrid, Spain

Perth (12pm-2pm AWST)
U22 / Level 2,
111 Colin Street,
West Perth, WA 6005

Mexico City (11am-12pm CST)
Paseo de la Reforma, 395
06500 Mexico City, Mexico

Wellington (12pm-2pm NZDT)
100 Willis Street
Wellington, New Zealand

Auckland (12pm-2pm NZDT)
41 Shortland Street
Auckland, New Zealand

Santiago (Feb 14. 4pm CLST)
Av. Ricardo Lyon 520
Providencia, Santiago, Chile
* Please note that this event is taking place on Feb. 14.

For a staggering six months of each year, from September 1 until March, entire families of dolphins and small whales are driven into Taiji’s killing cove. Once netted within the shallow waters of the cove, their fate is sealed and the members of these doomed, frightened pods will face either imprisonment in captivity or brutal slaughter before the eyes of their families. Killers and trainers work side-by-side to select the “prettiest” dolphins and whales for captivity, those without visible scars. The others are mercilessly stabbed with a metal spike inserted into their backs, just behind the blowhole, to sever their spine. The dolphins slowly and painfully bleed to death or drown in the blood of their family—others may die as they are dragged to the butcherhouse, where the once living and free cetaceans are processed into meat for human consumption. These inhumane killings would not be allowed in any slaughterhouse in the world. Japan refuses to sign on to many protection efforts and regulations for marine mammals, despite most of the world recognizing the need to protect these intelligent, beloved and imperiled animals.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society first brought the cove to the world’s attention by capturing and releasing now-iconic footage and imagery of the brutal hunts and slaughters in 2003, during which the cove turned a blood-red. Later the Academy Award-winning film The Cove again shone a spotlight on the hunts, bringing worldwide attention to the killings. Many individuals thought the film succeeded in bringing an end to the hunts, but that was not the case. So in 2010, Sea Shepherd established Operation Infinite Patience and our volunteer Cove Guardians took up positions alongside the cove to document, report and live stream these atrocities in the hope of capturing attention to bring pressure to bear to stop these barbaric acts. Sea Shepherd is the only organization to have a team on the ground in Taiji each day throughout the entire six-month killing season, and the only group who live streams every capture and every kill for the world to see. Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians will not stop shining a light on this atrocity until the slaughter ends.

Cove Guardians
Visit our
Cove Guardians
site for more information.