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For articles from 2012 or earlier, visit our Commentary & Editorials archive.


Sea Shepherd must adapt to more effectively defend Dolphins

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

The bloody killing cove in TaijiSince the early Sixties, an insidious trade of intelligent, self-aware, sentient beings has been growing like a malignant cancer within human society. It is a slave trade that has been the cause of unimaginable misery and has claimed the lives of thousands of dolphins. This cruel industry has spread across Europe and Asia with hundreds of marine aquariums operating, many of them with grossly inadequate facilities. 

Sea Shepherd has been documenting and opposing the dreadful slaughter and capture of dolphins in Taiji, Japan since 2003. In the beginning Sea Shepherd cut nets and freed 16 pilot whales back in October 2003, an action that sent two volunteers to jail for over a month. Sea Shepherd brought the story to the world’s media with headline stories and coverage on CNN...but the killing continued.

Read more: Sea Shepherd must adapt to more effectively defend Dolphins

The Whale Wars Continue

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

Paul Watson in AntarcticaSea Shepherd has accomplished something absolutely remarkable over the last 12 years.

In 2005 we set out to tackle the world’s largest and most destructive whaling fleet. We were told it was impossible by some governments and a few NGO’s.

Hardly anyone even knew about Japan’s illegal slaughter in the Southern Ocean. It was out of sight and out of mind. They were targeting 1,035 whales a year including a yearly quota of 50 endangered Humpbacks and 50 endangered Fin whales.

We had few resources but we took our one battered and slow vessel, the Farley Mowat and we chased the whalers across the Southern Ocean, catching them only for a few hours at a time until they sped away from us.

Read more: The Whale Wars Continue

Analysis of the legal implications following the first grindadráp in the Danish Faroe Islands since Sea Shepherd captain Jessie Treverton was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to dolphins using existing Faroese animal welfare legislation

by Robert Read – Chief Operating Officer at Sea Shepherd UK

Captain Jessie Treverton in Tórshavn, capital of the Faroe Islands in August 2016 to demand a court trial date.  Photo: Sea Shepherd UKThe grindadráp of the 21st May 2017 was also the first hunt since the extraordinary court trial on the 24th November 2016 of Sea Shepherd captain Jessie Treverton (UK). The Faroese prosecutor in Tórshavn put Jessie Treverton on trial for breaching Faroese animal welfare laws by causing 'unnecessary suffering' to a pod of dolphins. This followed an action by Jessie Treverton and two other female crew members from France on the 17th September 2014 where Jessie successfully protected a pod of over 200 protected Atlantic white-sided dolphins from a potential grindadráp by driving them away from the islands using the Sea Shepherd boat MV Spitfire. Afterwards MV Spitfire was chased and boarded by Danish armed forces in a military RIB resulting in Spitfire being confiscated and the three women arrested by Faroese police.

Read more: Analysis of the legal implications following the first grindadráp in the Danish Faroe Islands...

Report on the first grindadráp of 2017 in which 84 long finned pilot whales were killed the Danish Faroe Islands

by Robert Read – Chief Operating Officer at Sea Shepherd UK

Pilot Whale DefenceOn the evening of 21st May the first pilot whale drive hunt (grindadráp) of 2017 took place on the Danish Faroe Islands at the killing bay at Bøur, near the town of Sørvágur.

The Pod of long finned pilot whales was driven for almost four hours by at first three boats, then five (including at least two RIBs) then by over 20 Faroese boats of various types including small sports fishing boats, speed boats and a large RHIB from the Faroese Government patrol vessel ‘Brimil’.

During the drive hunt images were being uploaded to Faroese online news websites taken from at least one of the participating small boats while at least three local journalists and/or photographers were waiting with cameras at the killing bay at Bøur.

Read more: Report on the first grindadráp of 2017 in which 84 long finned pilot whales were killed the Danish...

In Liberia, We Shut Down Illegal Fishing

By Captain Peter Hammarstedt

The Gemini alongside a fishing vessel under inspection. Photo: Sea Shepherd Global / Alejandra GimenoAfter almost 12 weeks of patrolling, the border areas between Liberia and her neighboring countries are unusually silent.

Lightning flashes briefly light up distant waters, appearing like specters of the industrial fishing trawlers that used to make nightly incursions in Liberian waters.

After having made five arrests since the start of Operation Sola Stella, the news has finally spread - these waters are protected.

We could say that we assisted the Liberian Coastguard to shutdown illegal fishing in Liberia, and although that’s true of tonight, we know that the poachers are not coming in anymore because we are here… and the Bob Barker cannot remain in Liberia forever.

Read more: In Liberia, We Shut Down Illegal Fishing

In Response to Japanese Whalers Reaching their Quota of 333 Whales

by Captain Peter Hammarstedt

Captain Peter Hammarstedt on the bridge of the M/Y Bob Barker. Credit: Sea Shepherd Global / Simon AgerToday we received the saddening news that the Japanese whaling fleet reached their bogus self-allocated quota, despite Sea Shepherd’s best efforts to impact it.

While that news is gravely disappointing, we must remember that the Japanese whaling program in Antarctica is radically different from what it was when our Antarctic Whale Defense Campaigns began 15 years ago.

On my first campaign to the Antarctic, the Japanese whaling fleet intended to kill 1,035 whales. Their annual quota is now 333 whales, a quota reduced because of the success of Sea Shepherd’s campaigns. Thus, every year 702 whales are saved.

Read more: In Response to Japanese Whalers Reaching their Quota of 333 Whales

“Not One Cent for Bribery” – The Story of the Arrest of the FV Lu Rong Yuan Yu 988

By Captain Peter Hammarstedt

Lu Rong Yuan Yu 988 arrested and en route to Monrovia. Photo: Alejandra Gimeno / Sea Shepherd GlobalFor the crew of the M/Y Bob Barker, and the 10 strong Liberian Coast Guard boarding team, it was just a matter of waiting and letting the illegal fishing boats come to them.

The day before the M/Y Bob Barker arrived in Liberia, local fishermen from the border town of Harper, situated just 13 miles from the where the Cavalla River divides Liberia from Cote d’Ivoire, had been airing grievances on national radio about foreign trawlers running over their artisanal fishing nets. The fishermen appealed to the Liberian Coast Guard for assistance.

Although the Cavalla River forms a natural boundary between two West African countries, its nutrient-rich waters spawn fish for whom borders are meaningless. For the fishing vessels chasing fish west as the fishing season in Ghana, which lies to the east, has closed, borders are equally unimportant.

Read more: “Not One Cent for Bribery” – The Story of the Arrest of the FV Lu Rong Yuan Yu 988

Why Sea Shepherd joins and supports the international campaign “Another Perspective on Fish”

By Lamya Essemlali, Co-directrice Sea Shepherd Global

An industrial purse seiner fishing for tuna in West Africa. Photo: Sea Shepherd Global / Alejandra GimenoThe campaign “Another Perspective on Fish” is a global campaign committed to the emergence in the collective consciousness of the question of sentient aquatic animals (fish, but also cephalopods and crustaceans).

Fish represent 97-98% of the animals killed for their flesh, with capture methods and killing processes that would shock the public and that would certainly be forbidden if they were land animals. Yet, what appears to be ethically outrageous and ecologically criminal on land is largely ignored or accepted at sea.

Read more: Why Sea Shepherd joins and supports the international campaign “Another Perspective on Fish”

More Articles ...

  1. Reversing Our Plastic Mistakes
  2. Japan Underestimates the Global Movement That is Sea Shepherd
  3. The Origin of Operation Albacore - a long walk, a long chase and a new front in the fight to protect African Wildlife
  4. Thirty Years of Vigilance Against Destructive Driftnets
  5. The End of the 'Bandit 6'
  6. Greenpeace Is Sliding Backwards Down a Slippery Slope
  7. Letter To the Editor of DIVER magazine
  8. It’s Time to Go Global With the Gruesome Grindadráp
  9. Japan – The Cherry Picking Rogue Nation
  10. The HMNZS Otago returns to New Zealand today
  11. Dry dock report from MV Bob Barker in Tuzla, Turkey
  12. Opposing the Japanese Pirate Whalers In the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary
  13. Why Are Danes Killing Whales?
  14. Saving the Smallest to Protect the Largest
  15. The Consequences of Successful Intervention
  16. Weathering the Storm
  17. World Oceans Day - Every Day
  18. Amazing Operation in the Red Sea
  19. Fish On Friday - NO THANK YOU!
  20. 78 Days of Pursuit: Operation Icefish Update
  21. Court Victory for the Bluefin Tuna and Sea Shepherd
  22. ‘Hope’ is Not a Strategy – It’s a Chinese White Dolphin!
  23. Cabo Verde – Raso Island
  24. The Gauntlet of Praia de Achados
  25. The Loggerheads of Santa Luzia
  26. The Day After the Slaughter
  27. Woe to the Poor Whales that Get Stranded on a Beach in the Ferocious Isles
  28. Playing Fair with the Faroese
  29. Captain Paul Watson Responds to a Pro-whaling Faroese Editorial
  30. The Faroe Islands Support Commercial Whaling
  31. Close Call for Pilot Whale Pod in the Suderoy
  32. Brigitte Bardot and the Cape Verde Shearwaters
  33. Opposing the Horrific Depravity of Senseless Slaughter in the Faroe Islands
  34. Note to All the Pro-Whale Murdering Sea Shepherd Haters in the Faroe Islands
  35. Sea Shepherd Global Stands Ready to Oppose Renegade Japanese Whalers
  36. Standing Guard Over Plemmirio
  37. Pills of Extinction
  38. Sea Shepherd Responds to Whaling Industry Plans for 2014/15 Season
  39. The Jolly Roger Flying Proudly in Asia...
  40. Sea Shepherd Australia thanks Bob Brown, as he steps down as chairman
  41. Captain Paul Watson on Bindi Irwin and SeaWorld
  42. Relentless to the End – Operation Relentless Update
  43. Captain Hammarstedt Responds to Greg Hunt
  44. Captain Peter Hammarstedt - Open Letter to Greg Hunt
  45. On Being Relentless - Update from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary
  46. World condemns West Australian Governments shark cull
  47. A Kindness of hearts nurtures a force to be reckoned with for the oceans!
  48. An Open Letter to British Airways and Virgin Atlantic
  49. The Bloody Science of Whaling
  50. Documenting the Slaughter in the Southern Ocean
  51. Much Ado About Nothing
  52. Hurrah for the Hammer!
  53. New Zealand Marine Wildlife Under Threat – Part 2: Shark Finning
  54. Sea Shepherd Australia defends the whales in Seattle court
  55. SeaWorld & co, WAZA and IMATA and Their Collaboration with the Dolphin Slaughter in Japan
  56. Australia’s Grey Nurse Shark is Under Threat and Needs Your Help!
  57. Chinchilla Says the President is Not Responsible for Government Corruption
  58. Environmental Protest is the New Piracy
  59. New Zealand Marine Wildlife Under Threat - Part 1: Maui’s Dolphin
  60. How Deep is The CR Shark Finning Rabbit Hole?
  61. We Stand for the Dolphins, First, Foremost and Forever.
  62. Why Its Important for The Cove Guardians to be in Taiji
  63. The Cove Guardians and the Sea Shepherd Policy of Gaiatsu
  64. And the Bloodlust Continues in the Faroe Islands...
  65. Brutal Death and Suffering; Business as Usual in The Faroe Islands
  66. Help Save the Réunion Sharks — Sign the Petition
  67. As the Oceans Choke on Plastic so do the Whales
  68. Requiem for the Sharks of La Reunion Island?
  69. More About Scientific Whaling...
  70. Week Three in The Hague
  71. My Thoughts - Australia v. Japan ‘Scientific Whaling’ Case in the International Court of Justice
  72. “Scientific Whaling” Morphs into “Cultural Whaling”
  73. Reflecting on the Opening Arguments of Whaling in the Antarctic
  74. The First Day of Summer 2013
  75. The Japanese Industrialization of Ocean Destruction
  76. Sea Shepherd views on the Cruise Report of the Japanese Whale Research Program
  77. Iceland to Resume the Slaughter of Endangered Fin Whales
  78. Florida’s Manatees are Dying in Record Numbers
  79. FedCon goes Jolly Roger in Germany
  80. Paddling For The Oceans
  81. The Icelandic Boot Stomping Biodiversity Bank Robbing
  82. Krill Fisheries, the Next Collapse?
  83. Whalers Return to Japan in Disgrace
  84. The Truth Behind All the Smoke and Mirrors
  85. The Damn Shame of the Bonneville Dam
  86. CITES – Victory of Good Over Evil
  87. The Damn Hunger Games on the Columbia River
  88. CITES 101 and the Year of the Sharks?
  89. The “Illegal” Baby Killers
  90. Sea Shepherd Escorts the Japanese Whaling Fleet Out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary
  91. Ten Questions With Answers from the Southern Ocean
  92. Operation Zero Tolerance Collision Statement
  93. I Am Proud to Wear Sea Shepherd Garb
  94. Our New Friends on the Whaling Fleet Tanker Sun Laurel
  95. Japanese Whaler Welfare Bums Need to Get an Honest Job
  96. Take Direct Action By Organizing a Local Beach Clean-Up
  97. Be a Voice for the Dolphins
  98. Vote Rigging In CITES?
  99. Statement from Captain Paul Watson
  100. Sharks on the Roof
  101. Meeting the Descendants of Moby Dick
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