"I would like to see the six million seals, or whatever number is out there, killed and sold, or destroyed or burned. I do not care what happens to them. If there was a market for more seals, the commercial sealers would be hunting and killing seals. The ‘personal use' sealers...cannot sell them because the markets are not there. What they want is the right to go out and kill the seals....and the more they kill, the better I will love it."

Mr. John Efford, former Canadian Federal Minister for Natural Resources and the
former Minister of Fisheries for the province of Newfoundland.

Paul Watson with baby Harp SealFile photo: Paul Watson with baby Harp SealI have been fighting the Canadian seal hunt since 1974. It’s been a long, hard road after nearly four decades. During that time I have taken ships into the ice six times, in 1979, 1981, 1983, 1998, 2005, and 2008. I’ve led three helicopter campaigns in 1976, 1977, and 1995. During this time we chased sealing vessels out of the ice, blockaded sealing ships in harbor, walked for miles over treacherous ice conditions, confronted Canadian fisheries officers and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, debated Senators, Members of Parliament, Newfoundland Premiers, Fisheries Ministers and Prime Ministers. We’ve taken celebrities Brigitte Bardot, Richard Dean Anderson, and Martin Sheen to the ice floes and we have worked to have seal products banned worldwide. We’ve been arrested, beaten by police and by sealers, lost a ship, and we’ve been vilified across Canada as eco-terrorists, extremists, and traitors.

We even devised a cruelty free, non-lethal sealing alternative of brushing the molting fur from the white coats because it has the same properties as eider down. The government rejected our alternative. The government wanted the seals to die.

But in the end we have won!

The Canadian seal slaughter is commercially dead and it will have no place in the 21st Century. This anachronistic, barbaric enterprise is being tossed into the dustbin of history where it belongs. Finally after a lifetime of struggle to end it, this obscene embarrassment is for all intents and purposes – dead.

It was a half a century ago when I was ten years old that I saw a seal clubbed to death on the shores of my native New Brunswick in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It was my dream then to put an end to it and that dream has all but come true. Last year in a ridiculous fit of pique, Canadian federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea set the kill quota at 400,000, despite knowing there was no viable market for this cruel and ecologically destructive product. The actual kill was less than 10% of that at 38,000 seal pups.

The sealers may want to kill seals but they are also practical enough to know that it makes little sense to kill them if there is no market for the pelts. Last year the entire industry brought in less than one million dollars and cost the Canadian taxpayers much more in subsidies, public relations, and free icebreaking services to the seal killers. For the last few years the commercial seal slaughter has survived as a glorified welfare system, supported by politicians indulging in all sorts of histrionic stunts to promote it, ranging from serving seal meat in the Parliamentary cafeteria, to the Governor General sinking her teeth into a raw seal heart with blood dripping down her chin.

Thanks to the fact that seal products are banned in the USA, Europe, and Russia, the worldwide market has crashed.

It has been a long, long fight and the credit for this goes to many organizations and individuals who have fought so long and so passionately to achieve this victory for these beautiful creatures: The late Cleveland Amory and the Fund for Animals, Brian Davies and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Rebecca Aldworth and the Humane Society of the United States, Brigitte Bardot and the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, PETA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Harp Seals.org, and to the passionate crews who accompanied me to the ice first with Greenpeace in 1976 and 1977 and after that with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

It was a struggle that began in the Sixties and now the commercial slaughter has ended and it will only be a few more years until the kills dwindle down to what the sadistic savages in the Magdalen Islands of Quebec and a few outposts of Newfoundland kill for recreation.

We took on the Canadian government and the governments of Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. We took on the Canadian and Norwegian fur industry and the Canadian Sealing Association. We challenged them and through determination, perseverance, and patience we confronted and wore the killers down, year after year, utilizing the most powerfully effective weapon ever invented – the camera. Through visuals, through drama, and through the media we made the world aware of this atrocity against marine wildlife and we kept them aware- reminding the international public that our passion for the cause never died.  Year after year we were in the face of the killers and year after year we grew stronger as the killers grew weaker.

Next month the Canadian government will once again toss out some ridiculously high kill quota followed by offers of subsidies (i.e. welfare) in their continued pathetic quest to keep the seal slaughter alive in the face of practically universal condemnation.

It matters not. They will fail. The writing is now on the wall and the seal hunt will be no more.

We have won. The seals have won. The Canadian seal hunt is dead!

Long live the seals.

Now we need to stop the slaughter of  South African Fur Seals in Namibia.

Sea Shepherd
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
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Entanglement in the South
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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
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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
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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
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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...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 11 - Big Fish
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 11 - Big Fish
This week the crew of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ships The Farley Mowat and The Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass net from the critically endangered vaquita marina's habitat Watch all episodes at: http://www.seashepherd.org/milagro2/multimedia/videos.html ‪#‎OpMilag...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 10 - Light up the Dark
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 10 - Light up the Dark
Actor Gregg Lowe crews with Sea Shepherd to help us protect the vaquita. The M/V Farley Mowat lights up the vaquita refuge and deters poacher from laying deadly nets in the vaquita marina's habitat. Watch all episodes at: http://seashepherd.org/milagro2/multimedia
Sea Shepherd Wildlife - False Killer Whales
Sea Shepherd Wildlife - False Killer Whales
The first video of our new series "Sea Shepherd Wildlife". This episode is about one of the lesser know large dolphins - The False Killer Whales. Learn more about these beautiful creatures with the Sea Shepherd crew. Share it with your friends. Video by Carolina A. Castro Narration by Nicole D'Entr...
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 05 - Gillnet Damage
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 05 - Gillnet Damage
Join the crew of the R/V Martin Sheen as they witness the damage a gillnet can cause to marine wildlife while patrolling the endangered vaquita's refuge in Mexico.