What made you first sit up and pay attention to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS)? Was it one of the many infamous ramming’s of the Japanese whaling ships aired on the series of Whale Wars on Animal Planet? Or when the former president and founder of Sea Shepherd Paul Watson placed his inflatable boat The Zodiac in front of a Russian Harpoon Vessel to save a pod of Sperm Whales? Perhaps it was the immense amount of time Paul Watson has found himself in exile or arrested by multiply countries?
Whichever it was that made you pay attention to what SSCS was doing doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you did pay attention. There are countless charities around the world that are doing incredible things to conserve not only our marine life but our environment and god knows we need them. But how many of these charities can you say have gained headlines world wide for tactics and actions that many people and laws may not agree with, but have also made a significant impact in the protection of marine life? Whether you agree with the extreme tactics of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society or not you still know who Sea Shepherd is.
Founded in 1977, SSCS’s mission is to ‘end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.’ They have proved they will take any action possible to achieve this. With this rebellious, yet courageous spirit let’s take a look at just some of the things Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have achieved with their direct course of action since 1977.
- In 1982 Japanese government ceases dolphin killings on Iki island in Japan.
- In 1983 the Irish government agrees to shut down the Grey Seal hunt in the Irish Sea.
- 1985 SSCS shuts down a whale processing station in Iceland for 16 years.
- 1987 SSCS contributes to the ban of dolphin killing by U.S Tuna companies.
- In 1990 SSCS, with the help of marine biologists and physicists, found a successful method for sinking driftnets without ecological damage.
- In 1995 SSCS save the Californian Sea Lions that inhabit the Ballard Locks of Seattle, Washington.
- 1995 Ireland rules to bandrift netting.
- Italy agrees to stop illegal driftnet fishing in 1995.
- In 1998 The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans introduce Regulatory Review Proposals governing the hunt of seals.
- In 2007 SSCS in Ecuador seizes 45,000 shark fins and 92,000 sea cucumbers, arresting more than a dozen poachers and exposing the operations of the Ecuadorian Shark Fin Mafia.
- In 2008 The Planktos Inc. scheme to dump 100 tons of iron dust in the waters off the Galapagos is stopped. The company cites Sea Shepherd interference as the reason they have gone out of business.
- SSCS efforts in opposing Canadian Seal hunting pushes the European Parliament into adopting a proposal to ban all seal products, by 2009 the vote is 550 to 49 to ban seal product imports.
For more information on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and a more detailed review of their timeline visit www.seashepherd.org.au