Captain Alex CornelissenCaptain Alex CornelissenThere are many of us in the environmental movement that have been arrested and even incarcerated for protecting life. Often our only crime is having the audacity to stand up against countries blatantly committing crimes against nature in favor of their economies.

Despite many laws and treaties in place to protect habitats, species and nature in general, enforcement of these pieces of legislation is often lacking or even non-existent.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is a law enforcement agency that upholds international law on the high seas; we do so legally within the context of internationally accepted regulations. We are doing the work that governments around the world should be doing but seem unwilling or unable to do. It is apparently not a priority to protect areas outside their economic jurisdiction, as there is no short-term political or financial profit to be made by this course of action. This is where Sea Shepherd comes in.

For the most part governments are quite happy we do, as our actions allow them to avoid the problem of doing so and yet they see positive changes that come from our interventions. Except of course for the countries we expose for breaking international law; they will stop at nothing to deter us.

What we are presently experiencing with Captain Watson is a clear attempt of one nation's government to try to stop people and/or organizations that have exposed their illegal activity. It is by now crystal clear that the Japanese government is responsible for the attempts to get Captain Watson extradited to Costa Rica and no doubt from there to Japan.

Let's face it. Costa Rica had long forgotten about a case where previously convicted shark poachers (the same ship and crew were arrested for illegal fishing in the Galapagos Islands in 2001), accused Captain Watson of allegedly being responsible for someone slipping and breaking their finger. The incident in question dates back to April 2002, but the case was never really pursued until President Chinchilla of Costa Rica paid a visit to Japan late 2011.

It seems we have clearly angered the Japanese government. Good. I can guarantee we will anger them a lot more when we shut down the Japanese whaling fleet for the third year in a row during our upcoming Operation Zero Tolerance, because that we WILL do.

Sea Shepherd has faced numerous attempts over the years from governments trying to intimidate us or trying to stop us from defending our oceans.

Just speaking from my personal experience:

November 2003: Arrested in Taiji, Japan, together with Allison Lance for freeing 15 dolphins from certain death in the Cove.

Charged with: Interfering with Commerce.

After the arrest, we were intimidated and threatened with long jail sentences. For 23 days the Japanese police tried to get us to testify against Captain Watson and Sea Shepherd, but we simply took full responsibility for our own actions and were eventually released after paying an $8,000 fine.

What followed was worldwide knowledge of Taiji's dirty little secret, highlighted in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove.

Obviously, the Cove in Taiji has since become the arena of increasingly hostile attempts from the Japanese government, rightwing nationalists and greedy fishermen against our Cove Guardians.

Last season Cove Guardian Erwin Vermeulen, from the Netherlands, was arrested for allegedly pushing a dolphin trainer. For months he was threatened and intimidated to admit being guilty of physical assault. Obviously Erwin held his ground and refused to admit to the fabricated charges and endured his time in jail unfazed by the threats.

Our fight in Taiji is intensifying but it is clear we are slowly but steadily gaining ground. We are now getting increasing worldwide attention, leading to increasing protest and public outrage. We are targeting the captive dolphin industry; they are responsible for the demand that sustains drive hunts like in Taiji. Also under investigation are the airlines that offer transportation to captive dolphins. But most importantly the Japanese public is becoming aware of what goes on in the killing cove and resistance within Japan is growing.

March 2005: Arrested with ten other activists during the Seal Campaign in Eastern Canada. The Canadian government was increasingly hostile and frustrated by our presence during the annual slaughter of seal pups.

Charged with: Witnessing the slaughter of seal pups without having the required permit (Seal Protection Act, which in fact is in violation of the basic human right, freedom of movement).

Despite the fact that prior to the arrest some of us were assaulted by the sealers, none of them were ever charged because our presence had invoked the violence.

Our images of seal pups being brutally massacred by, quoting Captain Watson: club-wielding, knuckle-dragging, and cigarette-smoking apes, was enough to show the world that the hunt, that many thought belonged to the past, was still very much alive.

April 2006: In my first act as a Sea Shepherd captain, sailed our ship the Farley Mowat out of Cape Town Harbor, South Africa. Our ship had been tied up four months after our second Antarctica campaign against the Japanese whalers. The vessel was being held on a catch-22 and negotiations with the South African authorities were not going anywhere.

Instead of wasting time and money fighting a politically motivated attempt to slow our efforts against illegal Japanese whaling, we simply left. We subsequently acquired a new ship (now the Steve Irwin) and returned for the third and to date most successful campaign against illegal Japanese whaling.

April 2008: Again arrested, this time together with chief officer Peter Hammarstedt during the Seal Campaign in Eastern Canada. Once again our presence was causing the Canadian government a serious image problem.

Charged with: Witnessing the slaughter of seal pups without having the required permit.

This time we had our vessel boarded by an armed RCMP tactical unit. Their entry was so forceful that the thought of someone getting injured or worse was quite real. Imagine, we were only taking pictures, but there are clearly more similarities with war zones than solely the blood on the ice.

Despite all the efforts to continue this subsidized massacre and to prevent the world from knowing what really goes on during springtime in Eastern Canada, Sea Shepherd made a great contribution to ending this so-called hunt. In 2008, Europe banned the import of Canadian seal parts (skins, oil, etc) effectively eliminating the market. The Canadian government continues to set ridiculous quotas but the actual death toll is dropping rapidly. No doubt soon, the subsidies alone will no longer be able to cover the costs.

Captain Watson has made a sacrifice. His efforts to uphold international law have angered the government of a country that presumes to be above the law. Captain Watson stands firm in the notion that Sea Shepherd must defend the species that need our protection, despite having to face seemingly impossible odds. After all what can we do against a government so powerful as the Japanese? Actually, we can do a lot.  Our history shows we HAVE taken on seemingly undefeatable opponents and we HAVE emerged the winner.

The Japanese government and corporations like ICR and Fish & Fish, can continue throwing SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) cases against us but we will NOT be intimidated, censored or silenced; on the contrary, this has only deepened our resolve. It is abundantly clear the Japanese government is worried, very worried about how effective we have become.

It may seem that a red notice is a serious hindrance for Captain Watson and Sea Shepherd, but justice will prevail. Captain Watson is someone who has sacrificed and at the same time accomplished so much. He has dedicated his life to saving our oceans, with unwavering honesty and loyalty. He knows better than anybody that this fight is not about us. It's not about who we are and what we do. It is about the wildlife we save and the species and ecosystems we protect. Simply put, it's a fight for the very survival of life on this planet. Captain Watson has implanted these beliefs in the hearts and minds of many of us.  As our army of volunteers and supporters continues to grow, every government of every nation will come to realize that the force and will of the people are on our side.

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...