Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our 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.
Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.
The following is Sea Shepherd’s presentation on the Italian website of the association; to know more about them I suggest you to watch their YouTube videos, watch one of their documentaries or read Captain Watson’s book. In short, Sea Shepherd is a group of environmentalists founded by Paul Watson 40 years ago, following the divergence of visions between Watson himself and Green Peace on how to intervene and stop an illegal whaler. Watson, following the refusal of Green Peace to help him look for this whaler and stop it, he decided to find a boat, a crew and go for it. Green Peace did not take it very well. Watson after a long search found this whaler that infested for a long time the seas and that nobody managed to capture, he rammed it and was put under arrest. It has become a great media case that made the problem known to the world and sanctioned the definitive separation from Green Peace.
Since then Sea Shepherd has grown a lot and today has offices all over the world; the fleet has many boats and several famous people are in the field by his side. Every year he carries out campaigns against whaling practiced by the Japanese, with the excuse of fishing for scientific purposes they kill many of them for commercial purposes, campaigns against the slaughter of the dolphins, always in Japan, against sea poching in the Mediterranean and against the harvest of turtle eggs in South America. Many other campaigns are listed on their site.
What has always distinguished Sea Shepherd from other associations is their direct action on the field: months spent in the ocean on board of motorboats in contrast to the whaling boats, months spent cutting nets of poachers, to secretly film the slaughter of dolphins and seals and make it public. All of this is supported by a diffusion policy of the medias to create sensation and draw the world’s attention to these issues.
In case you were interested in becoming a part Sea Shepherd, you can find instructions on how to do it in their site. Volunteers mainly help Sea Shepherd raise awareness on the campaigns of the association, for example by setting up stands for parties or festivals and selling merchandising to raise funds for shipments. For those that want instead to go for a Sea Shepherd expedition at sea, a form is available for the voluntary service on board. At least if you are an expert in one of the tasks in which the association’s crew is in deficient , waiting for you on the ground is hard work to get experience, during which the staff will get to know you e you will be able to show your dedication and maybe your mental stability too, before embarking for months with the other activists!