The Ten Most Dangerous Places for Marine Mammals in the World And What Sea Shepherd is Doing to Make These Places Safer
In the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland. The government of Canada has set kill quotas of 350,000 seals each year, the largest kill quotas since the 19th Century. The seals are shot, clubbed, run down by Icebreakers, caught in nets, kicked to death and skinned alive. The zeal to destroy the seals is motivated by the government's mismanagement of the cod fishery. The harp and hood seals have become the scapegoat for this incompetence.
1. Canada - The Seal Hunt
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(1) Canada - The Seal Hunt
Captain Watson organized his first on ice interventions against the seal kill in 1976. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was the first organization to take a ship into the ice packs to protect seals back in 1979. Since then Captain Watson has led annual campaigns to oppose the seal slaughter. Captain Watson's book Seal War outlines the history of campaigns against this, the largest slaughter of marine mammals in the world.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be returning to the seal hunt in 2004 with the Farley Mowat.
(2) Japan - The Dolphin Slaughter
Every years some 22,000 dolphins are speared, stabbed, and drowned by coastal fishermen in communities like Taiji, Ito and Futo.
In 1982, Captain Watson negotiated the end to the dolphin slaughter at Iki Island. The year before, Dexter Cate spent three months in prison for releasing dozens of dolphins from the nets at Iki. In October and November 2003, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society mounted the most aggressive campaign ever against the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. The Sea Shepherd documentation of the slaughter was a wordwide headline story. On November 18, Sea Shepherd crew Allison Lance Watson and Alex Cornelissen were arrested after releasing fifteen dolphins from the nets in Taiji bay.
(3) Japan - The Japanese Whaling Fleet
The Japanese whaling fleet under the deceit of "scientific whaling" kills hundreds of whales each year in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary and in the North Pacific.
In December 2002 and January 2003, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Farley Mowat hunted for the Japanese fleet in Antarctica forcing them to change their hunting locations to avoid a confrontation with us. Although Sea Shepherd was unable to directly intervene against the whalers this time, Sea Shepherd will be returning to confront the Japanese again.
(4) Norway: - The Norwegian Pirate Whaling Fleet
The Norwegians are the most blatant violators of the regulations of the International Whaling Commission. The Norwegians, unlike the Japanese do not pretend to kill whales for research. They are thumbing their nose at international law.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been the most aggressive opposition to illegal Norwegian whaling. In 1992, our crew sank the pirate whaler Nybraena at dockside in the Lofoten Islands. In 1974, our crew scuttled the pirate whaler Senet in Southern Norway. In 1998, the pirate whaler Morild was sunk. In 1974, the Sea Shepherd ship Whales Forever disrupted the summer whale hunt and engaged in a confrontation with the Norwegian Navy. Despite being rammed, depth-charged and fired upon by the Naval vessel Andenes, the Whales Forever successfully avoided capture. Sea Shepherd continues to aggressively oppose illegal whaling activities in Norway.
(5) The Faeroe Islands - The Pilot Whale Massacre
Between 2,000 and 3,500 pilot whales are driven in bays in this North Sea Danish Protectorate. The whales are stoned, speared, stabbed, slashed and clubbed by people in a festive atmosphere. The hunt is done because of tradition and the absurd and ridiculous belief by the Faeroese that God gave the whales to the people to be slaughtered.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been the leading opposition against the slaughter of pilot whales in the Danish Faeroe Islands. Captain Paul Watson has led campaigns to oppose the hunt in 1985 and 1986 and again in 2000. No whales were killed while Sea Shepherd patrolled the Islands. Sea Shepherd was also successful in convincing 20,000 stores in two grocery chains in Germany to boycott Faeroese fish products. Sea Shepherd's efforts against the Faeroese whalers is documented in the BBC documentary Black Harvest.
(6) The Solomon Islands - Dolphins Killing and Captures
Thousands of dolphins are slaughtered each year in this South Pacific island group, primarily for the teeth which are sold to tourists and used for adornment. During the summer of 2003, the Solomon Islanders captured hundreds of dolphins for sale to dolphinariums. Some were sent to Mexico where one immediately died. The others remain in holding pens in poor conditions awaiting buyers.
During the summer of 2003, a Sea Shepherd teamfrom New Zealand documented the conditions that the dolphins are enduring in the holding pens in the Solomon Islands. This is an on-going campaign for the Society.
(7) Iceland - Pirate whaling operations
Iceland reopened it's illegal whaling activities in the summer of 2003. The Icelanders are planning on expanding their whaling activities in hopes of selling the whale meat to Japan.
Whaling came to an end in 1986, after a Sea Shepherd crew scuttled half the whaling fleet and destroyed the whale meat processing plant. This action cost the Icelandic whalers about $10 million dollars and did not cause any injuries. Iceland did not press charges for fear of putting themselves on trial in the court of public opinion for their illegal whaling activities. In 2004, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be taking the Farley Mowat to Iceland to confront the Icelandic whalers.
(8) South Africa - Fur Seal Slaughter
Tens of thousands of South African Fur seals are shot or clubbed every year by South African fishermen who view the seals as a threat to their fishing industry.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has donated a Zodiac inflatable and outboard to the Seal Alert group in South Africa to assist in rescuing injured and wounded seals.
(9) St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines - the killing of whales and dolphins
These two small island nations have had their politicians bought and paid for by the Japanese fishing industry. They kill humpback whales in St. Vincent and slaughter pilot whales and dolphins in St. Lucia and market the meat as "Caribbean beef." In August of 2003, conservationist Jane Tipson was mysteriously murdered in connection with her efforts to oppose whaling and the capture of dolphins.
In 2001, the Farley Mowat patrolled St. Lucia and St. Vincent and engaged in confrontations with the authorities in both nations after documenting and exposing the illegal killing of pilot whales. In 2003, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society posted a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Jane Tipson's killer or killers.
(10) The World's Oceans - International Pirate whaling and Poaching
The illegal killing of whales and dolphins, seals, and manatees takes place in all the world's oceans and seas. Poachers take dolphins off Peru and longliners kill dolphins for shark-bait in the Galapagos, Costa Rica, Panama, and so many other places. Sea-lions are illegally shot by salmon farmers in British Columbia. Manatees are poached for food in Belize. The slaughter of marine mammals is a worldwide killing spree by humanity seeking profits and food or using the animals as the scapegoats for human greed.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is tackling threats to marine wildlife on a global scale. Our crews have exposed illegal whaling in Siberia, the slaughter of Orcas in Russia, the killing of dolphins in Peru, the massacre of dolphins in the Black Sea. Sea Shepherd is an international organization of volunteers dedicated to the conservation and protection of marine wildlife and habitats. We have been in operation since 1977 and we have become a respected force in the international effort to oppose the illegal slaughter of marine wildlife and the destruction of marine habitats.