Sea Shepherd is an international, non-profit marine conservation organization that engages in direct action campaigns to defend wildlife, and conserve and protect the world’s oceans from illegal exploitation and environmental destruction.
From the gentle giants of the sea to its smallest creatures, Sea Shepherd’s mission is to protect all marine life species living in our oceans. Their campaigns have defended whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, penguins, turtles, fish, krill and aquatic birds from poaching, unsustainable fishing, habitat destruction, and exploitive captivity.
The ocean environment is an intricately-balanced ecosystem designed to support and sustain marine wildlife. To truly thrive, they need safe sanctuaries to feed, mate and raise their young without pollution, destructive fishing gear, plastics and other marine debris that choke marine wildlife and destroy their habitats. Sea Shepherd opposes the pollution of the fragile ecosystem through off-shore drilling and fisheries, as well as the destruction of coral reefs from trawling, and the loss of coastal nesting sites from commercial development.
From its earliest years, Sea Shepherd has embraced the mandate of the United Nations World Charter for Nature to uphold international conservation laws when nations can’t…or won’t. Today, Sea Shepherd works with law enforcement agencies such as INTERPOL to help bring poachers to justice, and partners with national governments around the world to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in their sovereign waters.
Despite their relatively small size and limited resources, Sea Shepherd’s campaigns have been effective because they use direct action to achieve results, instead of billboards, petitions or protest marches. Their ships, mainly crewed by passionate volunteers, have saved over 6000 whales from the Japanese harpoon ships in the dangerous Antarctic waters. They have stood up to seal hunters, hauled in miles of illegal fishing gear, and relentlessly chased one of the world’s most notorious poaching vessels for 110 days until they scuttled their own ship in defeat.
Some of Sea Shepherd’s most successful campaigns were conducted in cooperation with international law enforcement agencies such as INTERPOL. They also regularly assist nations who are lacking the resources to defend their own coastal waters from IUU fishing, such as Liberia and Gabon in West Africa, and protecting marine sanctuaries from poachers in the Galapagos.
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