In the 3rd of this series of water-related posts, following on from our recent post (which you can read here) on the sad death of a whale off the coast of Ashkelon, we look at the pioneering activism of the sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who exist under the directorship of Captain Paul Watson, to protect and preserve whales and all the creatures of the sea, from human cruelty and exploitation. Originally formed in 1977 by ex-Greenpeace co-founder Watson, the work of Sea Shepherd ranges from baby seal protection, preventing illegal poaching, whaling and shark hunting, and upholding and enforcing all International laws governing the World’s oceans (see recent post on ocean despoliation here) and marine life.
The Society and its leader are controversial due to their methods of engagement with whaling vessels and those involved in these activities. The International laws are very shady and circumspect, and several Countries over the years have backtracked on their commitment to end whaling. Japan and Norway are particularly guilty of this. Japan in particular reserves the right to kill a set number of whales annually ‘in the name of research’. Sea Shepherd and Independent sources claim that this whale meat is then sold on the open market. Watson and his committed crew of volunteers from all around the world, ram whaling ships, try to divert them off course, fly (in a helicopter) at them, spray smoke flares over the ships, and come close to the letter of the law in activist action.
Sea Shepherd is run entirely on the donations it receives from worldwide supporters, and this includes the 4 ships currently in the society’s fleet, called Neptune’s Navy. Volunteer crew members on the ships speak of the “moral need” to be doing the work they do, sometimes risking their own lives in harsh conditions to try to protect the lives of whales and other ocean inhabitants. Green Prophet commends the organisation, and seeing the work that they do is hopeful both for the marine environment and the morality of humanity.
Check out their website here: www.seashepherd.org