Remaining Aggressive and Nonviolent

By Chuck Swift
Captain, M/V Bob Barker
Deputy Chief Executive Officer

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society supports Captain Pete Bethune’s efforts to help defend marine wildlife and protect the whales of the Southern Ocean.  We are also proud of the dedication he and all of our volunteer crew exhibited on Operation Waltzing Matilda, our sixth whale defense campaign in Antarctica.  

Sea Shepherd’s volunteer selection process is detailed and rigorous, and involves a vetting process designed to ensure our crew and anyone else associated with Sea Shepherd is fully aware of Sea Shepherd’s stance of aggressive but nonviolent direct action to uphold international conservation laws.  

The bow and arrows revealed to be on the Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil, and in the possession of Captain Bethune on that ship, are absolutely not in line with Sea Shepherd’s policy. Even though we know Captain Bethune’s objectives were sincere, that the bow and arrows were never used in Sea Shepherd actions and that he certainly never intended to use the bow and arrows against any person, his decision to bring them on a Sea Shepherd campaign is unacceptable.

Therefore, although Sea Shepherd will continue to support Captain Bethune through his legal battle in Japan, Sea Shepherd will not select him to participate in future campaigns. Captain Bethune is an amazing and brave conservationist, he is a hero for the whales, but unfortunately he will no longer be formally associated with, or be a representative of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, because his methods are not in complete alignment with the organizations.

Sea Shepherd will continue to enforce our policy of non-violence and work to ensure that this kind of policy breach does not happen in the future.