The illegal poaching of whales and dolphins is an ongoing problem, despite many countries outlawing the practice. In this Acts of Charity segment I’m putting Sea Shepherd in the spotlight for their dedication to saving whales and all marine life from harm. Their England charter, Sea Shepherd UK aim to conserve and protect the world’s marine ecosystems and species. They document, investigate, enforce conservation laws and prevent violations of international treaties.
Sea Shepherd engage in campaigns to drive awareness of illegal fishing activity, such as Operation Driftnet. This came about in January 2016 where one of the team’s vessels, the Steve Irwin, came across a fleet of ships using driftnets to catch fish in the South Indian Ocean. Banned since 1992, driftnet fishing is infamous for killing large amounts of wildlife.
The ships fled as soon as they saw the Steve Irwin, abandoning 5km of driftnet which the crew confiscated. They found the bodies of 321 dead animals. After submitting evidence to international authorities, Sea Shepherd launched Operation Driftnet to track down the vessels who are still at large.
Sea Shepard UK adheres to the use of non-violent principles to help protect the oceans. Other campaigns they’ve taken part in include defending sharks, turtles and seabirds, looking out for seals and protecting coral reefs.
You can support Sea Shepherd through donating, buying merchandise and volunteering. The organisation offers a split between volunteering on shore and at sea. On shore volunteering involves fundraising at events, educating the public and developing a support network. At sea volunteering means going out into the ocean and proactively stopping illegal fishing. You’ll be placed on a ship with room, food and bedding provided. Navigators, cooks, medics, engineers, divers and photographers are welcome.
Sea Shepard are among the most prolific and effective marine conservation organisations in the world. Taking action is the best way to protect animals.