O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, that I am meek and gentle with these butchers! Thou art the ruins of the noblest species that has ever lived, in and beyond the tides. Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood! Over thy wounds now do I prophecy - the disgrace of your cruel death has cloaked my species with shame everlasting, and there will be retribution!
spacer- Taking some liberties with Shakespeare

Captain Paul Watson on the deck of the Steve Irwin during the Operation: No Compromise campaignCaptain Paul Watson on the deck of the Steve Irwin during the Operation: No Compromise campaignI am often asked how I can ask people to risk their lives to defend the whales from the vile viciousness of the horrific harpoon guns.  Society did not ask this question of the captains that once asked men to risk their lives to slay these majestic sentient highly intelligent giant mammals. How many men died in the pursuit of killing whales? Thousands! How many men or women have died in the campaigns defending the whales from their defenseless murderers?  Not one!

Humans fight violent and lethal wars in the interest of defending religion, property, profits, and prestige. I believe it is far nobler to risk one's life in defense of something far greater - the salvation of a species and ultimately, the salvation of ourselves.  There are those who view whales as creatures to exploit, no different than chickens or cows.  There are also those who believe that all non-human life was created to be exploited for human profit or pleasure with no regard or compassion for the life that exists within a non-human body.

Fox Network's right-wing talk show host Sean Hannity once asked me what is the difference between a chicken and a whale. After asking Hannity if he had ever been to a farm, I told him that there were many differences beyond the obvious. A chicken is a domesticated animal whereas a whale is not. There are billions of chickens, but not so many whales.  No abattoir in the world would condone or be allowed to slaughter chickens and cows utilizing methods of prolonged suffering, and any slaughterhouse that took a half-hour to kill a chicken or a cow would be shut down by law.

There is a greater difference, something intangible, mysterious even, that connects us to whales and dolphins at a subconscious primal level.  A connection that is deeply emotional, and in many people's opinions, something that is truly rooted in an ancient spirituality.  People respond to whales and dolphins differently than practically any other species, and they have always done so as far as ancient writing and art can attest to.  There is no other group of animals that have an entire industry devoted simply to observing, instead of hunting them. People like to see whales and dolphins. They feel an affection and kinship for them, and they feel connected to them for reasons most cannot explain.

It is for this reason I have just completed an epic poem to attempt to describe this unknown connection between whalekind and humankind.  The book is titled Planet of Whales and includes three parts: (1) The Evolution of Sedna, about the whales themselves, (2) Primate Monsters of the Deepe, about the hunting of whales, and (3) Whale Wars, about saving the whales.  Each part is composed of 64 six-line verses for a total of 192 verses. The lines below are from part one, The Evolution of Sedna.

The Evolution of Sedna

Whales! How do we describe such unique sentience?
How does one describe such amazing creatures?
Musical, marvelous, mystical,
Monstrous mysterious, magnificence,
Beings with a diversity of features,
Intelligent, aware, sociable, whimsical.

They are the deep salty ocean breath of the sea,
Great whales are the awesome conscience of the sea,
They are the self aware minds in the sea.
They are the philosophers of the sea,
The great whales are the protectors of the sea,
The greatest noble minds that we will ever see.

When and why did the great whales first emerge?
What are these great creatures to us?
Why do they hold for us a special place?
With them one day maybe we will converge,
And someday we will earn their trust,
With humility to the human race.

Whales, where art thou?

There have been many poems written by poets about whales. The most famous of which is Whales Weep Not by D.H. Lawrence.  It is this poem that we gave to William Shatner in 1976 that inspired his script for Star Trek IV that saw a Klingon Bird of Prey starship intercept a Norwegian whaler.

Whales Weep Not!

They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains
the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.

All the whales in the wider deeps, hot are they, as they urge
on and on, and dive beneath the icebergs.
The right whales, the sperm-whales, the hammer-heads, the killers
there they blow, there they blow, hot wild white breath out of the sea!

And they rock, and they rock, through the sensual ageless ages
on the depths of the seven seas,
and through the salt they reel with drunk delight
and in the tropics tremble they with love
and roll with massive, strong desire, like gods.
Then the great bull lies up against his bride
in the blue deep bed of the sea,
as mountain pressing on mountain, in the zest of life:
and out of the inward roaring of the inner red ocean of whale-blood
the long tip reaches strong, intense, like the maelstrom-tip, and comes to rest
in the clasp and the soft, wild clutch of a she-whale's fathomless body.

And over the bridge of the whale's strong phallus, linking the wonder of whales
the burning archangels under the sea keep passing, back and forth,
keep passing, archangels of bliss from him to her, from her to him, great Cherubim
that wait on whales in mid-ocean, suspended in the waves of the sea
great heaven of whales in the waters, old hierarchies.

And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale-tender young
and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the waters of
the beginning and the end.

And bull-whales gather their women and whale-calves in a ring
when danger threatens, on the surface of the ceaseless flood
and range themselves like great fierce Seraphim facing the threat
encircling their huddled monsters of love.
And all this happens in the sea, in the salt
where God is also love, but without words:
and Aphrodite is the wife of whales most happy, happy she!
and Venus among the fishes skips and is a she-dolphin
she is the gay, delighted porpoise sporting with love and the sea
she is the female tunny-fish, round and happy among the males
and dense with happy blood, dark rainbow bliss in the sea.

- D.H. Lawrence

In 1988, Heathcote Williams published his epic poem Whale Nation, the following of which is a verse:

Whale Nation 

The first sound a whale calf hears
Is Singing
The mother lifts her new-born calf to the surface,
And then rolls on her side,
Expressing her milk into its mouth with muscles deep inside her breasts:
Twice as rich in protein as human milk,
Richer than clotted cream.
The songs of their escorts
Filter through the water,
The element of baptism,
In which the whale calf is to be perennially immersed.
Should anything untimely happen to it,
Its mother will support her calf upon her back
Until it disintegrates.

-Heathcote Williams

I wrote a little piece for the Whale Nation publication at the request of Heathcote Williams, but finally 23 years later, I have completed my own epic poem and it is now ready for publication.  I've already included an excerpt above from the Evolution of Sedna. The following are a couple of excerpts about whaling in Part Two, Primate Monsters of the Deep:

Primate Monsters of the Deep

In ancient times Leviathan was a mystery
A mythic creature of wonder much revered
But humankind was seeking dominance
And thus began a bloody history
And mankind became a species to be feared,
With whales dying in pain for wealth and prominence


Intelligence willfully destroyed to read books
Moby Dick read by the light of burning whales,
Without a thought, blind to the connections
By death's bright light, is read another book
Thou shalt not kill is one of the lying tales.
We define what is right by biased selections

The third section in Planet of Whales titled Whale Wars includes the following excerpts:

So much slaughter, cruelty, and so much blood
Sickened by such atrocities
My anger is a compassionate wrath
Strategy cools my enraged heated blood
Forever battling hypocrisies
Allowing me to focus on the path

The path led to the northern land of fire and ice
We took out half the Icelandic whaling fleet
Sending two ships to the cold harbour floor
The Icelanders paid a pretty high price
We destroyed the plant where they processed the meat
Striking successfully, creating great uproar

The cause to save the whales is a noble and historic cause and as such, I feel that poetry is a wonderful way to tell the story of the whales, whaling, and the movement to defend them.

In truth, the whales are the real poetry, poetry of intelligence in motion within the dark and dense cathedrals of the living oceans.  I would imagine that whales, with such large brains and the power to communicate, are also poets.

Some songs of humpback whales have been sent beyond the solar system via the Voyager spacecraft.  Perhaps somewhere out there in that vast void, there will be an intelligence that recognizes the genius that we are willfully blind to.

The Voyager spacecraft carries the songs of whales
Whose song will extraterrestrials favour?
Earth creature of the land, or of the deep?
Whose strange alien song will best tell Earth's tale?
What will be thought of our earthly behaviour?
And if aliens visit, which species will they greet?

I have had the very great privilege of serving the whales as a defender and champion for nearly four decades. During those nearly two score years, I have seen the enchanting wondrous beauty of the whales but I have also seen the bloody horror of whaling and experienced the great joy of saving whales from the hands of their killers.

This poem sums up all three emotions I harbor with regard for the whales, the love of whales, the anger and hatred towards their killers, and the joy of defending the lives of these magnificent sentient beings whose very existence both humbles and enthralls, not just me but millions of people worldwide who realize that for some unfathomable mysterious reason these great creatures with their remarkable grace and intelligence are important to us.

Even important enough to die for!

Operation No Compromise

No Compromise

Sea Shepherd
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
On December 16, 2016, the New York City chapter hosted the premiere of Why Just One? Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s first full length, in-house documentary. The sold-out event was Captain Paul Watson's his first New York appearance at a Sea Shepherd event since returning to the United States...
Sea Shepherd vs Poachers in the Gulf of California
Sea Shepherd vs Poachers in the Gulf of California
Six fishing boats engaged in illegal activities were spotted by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, ending in their arrest by the Mexican Navy.
Ghost Nets Go; Vaquitas Stay
Ghost Nets Go; Vaquitas Stay
Sea Shepherd and the M/V Farley Mowat break down how illegal underwater nets in the Sea of Cortez are snagged, pulled, cut and bundled. Footage also includes freeing and releasing live animals from the nets and cataloging those who unfortunately did not make it.
Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
The Sam Simon has arrived in Mexico to join the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society-led campaign, Operation Milagro III. A partnership between Sea Shepherd and the Mexican authorities, Operation Milagro III intercepts, intervenes and interrupts any illegal activities found in the Vaquita refuge in the...
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
**If you cannot see the captions on this video, just click on CC on the lower right corner of video settings on the video ** #Breaking #SeaShepherd helps scientists learn more about #rare Beaked whales! Did you know that Cuvier's Beaked whales hold the record for the deepest mammalian dive? Watch t...
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is returning to Mexico’s Gulf of California for Operation Milagro III to save the near extinct vaquita marina porpoise and the endangered totoaba bass. The M/V Farley Mowat is back on active duty with the M/V Sam Simon joining the Milagro campaign for the first ti...
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
The Farley Mowat Sea Shepherd crew is called out to investigate a dead Brydes whale in the Gulf of California on November 5th, 2016 while patrolling the vaquita refuge. To help the Sea Shepherd crew to continue its work in the Sea of Cortez, including protecting the near-extinct vaquita marina porpo...
Entanglement in the South
Entanglement in the South
Operation Guardian Angel - In and around Bahia de Los Angeles, in the Gulf of California, countless marine species are entrapped in nets with little or no hope of rescue. Rosalia Tellez works for CONANP, a department of the Mexican government that acts as park rangers to enforce laws and assist in ...
Good and Bad Days
Good and Bad Days
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers over the course of two days. The first day Sea Shepherd locates and removes a long line from the sea; fortunately no animals were caught in the net. However, the next day volunteers find a sea lion that has been caught and died in a fisherman's net.
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Sea Shepherd campaign Operation Virus Hunter saw the vessel RV Martin Sheen under the leadership of Alexandra Morton, head up the coast of British Columbia Canada to expose open pen Atlantic salmon farms and the impact they are having on wild Pacific salmon and the the surrounding eco-systems.
Illegal Totoaba Nets
Illegal Totoaba Nets
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers through the process of locating, retrieving and disposing of illegal nets in the Gulf of California.
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
August 12th 2016: Early Thursday morning the R/V Martin Sheen assisted Melissa Willie, a band councilor of the Musgamagw Dza’wada’enuxw nation, in hand delivering a letter to three farms expressing the nations disapproval of the industry. Sea Shepherd crew alongside independent biologist Alexand...
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
Ross McCall travels to the Faroe Islands to explore the truths behind the centuries old tradition of the brutal Pilot Whale drives.
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Sea Shepherd Chairman of the Board, actor/activist Pamela Anderson, cautions viewers about the dangers of eating farmed salmon.
Why Just One?  Indiegogo Video
Why Just One? Indiegogo Video
Support Sea Shepherd's documentary by sharing and backing our Indiegogo campaign here: http://bit.ly/1OfvER6
Milagro Summary - English
Milagro Summary - English
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Operation Milagro II has come to an end. Milagro is its campaign to fight the looming extinction of the vaquita porpoise, the most endangered marine mammal in the world. With an estimate of less than 100 surviving vaquita, Sea Shepherd ships the R/V Martin Sheen...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Watch the crew of the Farley Mowat capture footage of illegal fishing activity with a night vision drone and pull up a totoaba net in the dead of night. This is the final vlog of Operation Milagro II!
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project is dedicated to collect samples from whales in the Gulf of California to measure levels of toxins in whales in order to determine the levels of toxins in the Gulf of California itself. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Never before seen footage. Sea Shepherd catches critically endangered totoaba poacher in the act. The Sea Shepherd crew filmed these totoaba poachers as they were checking one of their illegal nets in the protected vaquita habitat. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the wor...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Watch‬ the routine of our crew doing valuable work in the ‪Sea of Cortez‬. We have been very effective at removing illegal fishing gear from the ‪‎vaquita‬ porpoise's habitat. So much so, that now, most of the time we remove nets and lines that are mostly empty, our favorite thing to do....
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
The Sea Shepherd crew has found 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks in the month of march of 2016. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the world. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org/milagro2
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
While patrolling the waters of the upper Gulf of California the Sea Shepherd crew found a dead vaquita porpoise. The vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal in the whole world. The crew also found a Great White Shark caught in an illegal gillnet.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
This week, the crew of ‪Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ships The M/V Farley Mowat and The RV Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass long line from the critically endangered ‪vaquita porpoise habitat. The totoaba fish is also critically endangered. Watch all episodes at: http...
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd crew rescued a whale entangled in an illegal totoaba gillnet in the Gulf of California. Sea Shepherd currently has two vessels in Mexico's Gulf of California on OPERATION MILAGRO. Our goal is to save the vaquita porpoises, the most endangered marine mammal. The vaquita are caught as a r...
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
You might know Gregg Lowe from X-Men: Days of Future Past, but now watch him explain Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro and understand why we must save the #VaquitaMarina - The most endangered cetacean in the world. Help us save the vaquita at: http://seashepherd.org/milagro2/donate-now/vaquita-appeal...