Crew of Sea Shepherd Vessel the Brigitte Bardot to Assist in Enforcement Patrols, Spread Conservation Awareness in Guatemala
On January 26, 2014, Sea Shepherd Global and Sea Shepherd USA entered into an agreement met with Guatemalan officials. Based on these talks, Sea Shepherd has been asked to assist the Guatemalan Department of Fisheries by operating anti-poaching enforcement patrols in the Pacific Ocean.
Guatemalan law protects marlin and other billfish species from commercial exploitation, but such fish are lucrative targets for poachers in Guatemalan waters. Sea Shepherd’s assistance is timely, as the crew will be able to help with patrols during prime poaching season for marlin — February and March.
The Sea Shepherd vessel Brigitte Bardot arrived in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala on January 24. Sea Shepherd will provide the Bardot and her crew as assistance in anti-poaching patrols beginning in the coming days and will operate for the next several weeks. The crew is joining investigators from the Guatemalan Department of Fisheries, police officers, and naval officers on their patrols.
In addition, Sea Shepherd crew members will assist Department of Fisheries personnel in providing presentations to schools and universities in Guatemala, helping to educate and spread awareness about the poaching crisis and the critical need for ocean conservation.
It has been a goal of Sea Shepherd Global to boost Sea Shepherd’s outreach in Latin America. Following the formation of a Sea Shepherd entity in Costa Rica in 2013, the organization’s reach in Central America continues to expand. Guatemalan Sea Shepherd supporters are currently organizing to create a Sea Shepherd presence in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The global Sea Shepherd Movement is spreading, as awareness of the need for ocean conservation grows throughout Central America.
“Sea Shepherd is proud to assist Guatemalan officials to actively stop poaching operations in Guatemalan waters. Along with these efforts, Sea Shepherd is involved in government-based anti-poaching patrols and outreach in the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) and Senegal. We applaud these governments for recognizing the importance of preserving the future of their countries and the planet by defending the oceans,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen, Sea Shepherd Global Executive Director.
For more information and to follow Sea Shepherd’s anti-poaching work in Guatemala and Central America, please visit: Sea Shepherd Volunteer of Central America on Facebook.