Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

It has been just over 10 days since our ship the Steve Irwin departed from Melbourne. Six of those days were taken up by the transit across the Roaring Forties, the Furious Fifties and into the Screaming Sixties. For the last four days we have been on the move, searching a vast area of remote frozen sea, in search of a fleet of merciless killers - the Japanese whalers.

The whalers are down here having arrived in the last few days, down here somewhere off a coastline that carries on for thousands of kilometers. Our most difficult challenges every year in this campaign to defend the whales is finding their elusive killers. They cowardly creep and sneak through the fog and snow in the midst of this great white silence like the evil creatures they are, intent on extinguishing the lives of some of the most intelligent and gentle creatures on this fair planet.

As hostile as this part of the Earth is, I have fallen in love with the Great Southern Ocean and this lonely continent at the bottom of the globe. Its sheer size and icy ruggedness humbles me. Each day we pass through seas of bergy bit, growlers, floe ice and massive bergs, all pushed about by fierce winds over a black frigid sea under a sun that never sets.

Our ship is like a spaceship. Off the ship and death from exposure is not far away. This small steel hulled vessel is our lifeline and it is so small set against the mountains of ice and the cold black rock of the coastline.

There are forty-one of us on board, each with a task to keep the ship and the campaign running. Unlike the whalers, my crew are not here because of pay or benefits. They are here as volunteers because they care about the survival and the welfare of the world's whales and because they want to do more than petition and demonstrate. They want to physically make a difference. They want to stop the illegal slaughter of the whales.

This is my fourth campaign to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. This will be the fourth year that I've ushered in a new year in these enchanted hostile waters amongst the whales, the penguins, the albatross and the seals.

Somewhere out there in this vast ocean the killers are arming their deadly harpoon cannons and the grisly decks of their foul smelling ships are flowing with hot blood that sends clouds of steam into the chilled air. The bodies of our friends the whales are being systematically mutilated as the obscene flensing knives hack off tails and fins and spill the entrails of these magnificent beings onto their greasy decks.

The Japanese whalers have no idea just how repulsive their actions are to us onboard the Steve Irwin.

The world would not tolerate the chasing down of elephants with spears and guns to be frozen into steaks and sent to Japan, yet for some reason, governments are failing to act to stop the continuance of the most barbaric industry on the planet.

These fast steel hulled killing machines hunt down the whales without mercy firing grenade tipped harpoons into their bodies that explode and shred internal organs sending bolts of agonizing pain through the whales and forcing them to release adrenalin that gives them the strength to try and escape as another harpoon slams into their backside and sometimes even a third, and still it may take more than thirty minutes to die as the whale strains against the pull of the cable and the winches and screams painfully into the unforgiving cold sea and air, heard only by men with hearts so black that they do not grimace nor care, men without compassion, without empathy and without conscience.

Yet these same men call us who seek to protect life "eco-terrorists" and have the audacity to accuse us of violence as they fill the cold sea with the hot blood of the whales. It is a black comedy of absurdities and it speaks of the alienation that allows for the dispassionate slaughter of magnificent beings by petty hominid apes whose reality revolves around material self gratification.

And the greatest absurdity of all is that in a world of seven billion human beings, there are only the 41 of us down here trying to protect these whales and only a few thousand supporters on land helping to back up our efforts. Most of the governments, whose responsibility it is to uphold international conservation law are silent and the few that do speak out do not back their opposition with action. It's all posturing and pseudo-sincerity and after twenty years of failed diplomacy, Japan has done nothing but escalate their kill numbers every year.

And somewhere before our bow these whale killing monsters are going about their foul and bloody work and we must find them. For every day we search and fail to find their outlaw ships, whales are dying in horrific agony in pools of their own blood at the hands of cowardly functionaries sent by one of the most powerful and wealthy countries on Earth to torture and slaughter the most innocent of creatures.

Oh pardon me, bleeding whales that we are so gentle and mild with your loathsome butchers. We are constrained by our own morality - our respect for life, and this prevents us from doing what could be done to effectively silence the harpoons, if we were as vile and ruthless as your savage killers.

But we are non-violent enforcers condemned as violent pirates by those that commit the most blatant acts of bloody violence on Earth, who call us names more properly suited for themselves but whose financial control of media and government buys for them the facade of the "victim" as they whine about interference with their ecologically destructive activities.

These killers whine that it is racist to oppose their violence when race has absolutely nothing to do with our opposition to the killing of whales. We fight the Norwegians with the same passion, and the Icelanders. We don't discriminate when we oppose those who slaughter the whales and we care not for the colour of the hand that fires the harpoon gun but we do oppose the hand.

And there is only one way of countering this purchased pretense of "innocent whalers as victim" and that is to ignore their bleating and to always remember that we are down here in these remote waters for the whales and not for people. The whales are our clients and it is for them that we risk our lives in these hostile waters against a savage and ruthless enemy.

For them, for the whales!

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
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...
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.