Commentary by Scott West, Director of Intelligence and Investigations

Scott West onboard the Steve Irwin during Operation Waltzing Matilda in 2009Scott West onboard the SSS Steve Irwin
during Operation Waltzing Matilda in 2009
Photo: Sea Shepherd
And why shouldn’t I be.  Sea Shepherd is the strongest now that it has ever been.  At first blush it may not look that way however.  Sea Shepherd is being hounded by lawsuits and the ships of Sea Shepherd Netherlands and Australia have suffered heavy damage in the Southern Ocean.  The lawsuits and the recent desperate acts of cowardly men on the illegal Japanese whaling ships of the ICR are proof that we are the strongest we have ever been.  Who would spend extravagant resources on lawsuits or elicit worldwide condemnation unless we were having a serious impact on their illegal activities?

Currently, Sea Shepherd United States (SSCS US) is under an injunction from the Ninth Circuit.  The injunction says that SSCS US cannot approach the ICR whale killing ships or navigate in an unsafe manner.  No civilized person wants commercial whaling and I am sure that the members of the Ninth Circuit panel are no different.  Perhaps the panel members accept the ICR lie that their commercial whaling is for research.  The ICR has yet, in all these years of so-called research, to produce a credible, scientific, peer-reviewed document. The ICR killing whales for research is a lie.  It is a lie when the ICR makes the claim and it is a lie when the ICR attorney presents it in United States court.

I am also sure that the members of the panel are motivated by a desire to prevent injuries, fuel spills, and even human death from occurring.  It is a noble desire and one we at Sea Shepherd share with them. Sea Shepherd has never hurt anyone, but the ICR has and does.  If the panel members really want to do the right thing, they can enjoin the ICR from killing whales.  However, they lack this power.  U.S. District Court Judge Jones recognized the inability of the U.S. court system to dictate actions by foreign entities operating foreign flagged flag vessels outside of U.S. waters.  This reality applies equally to the ICR operating Japanese flagged vessels as it does to SSCS Australia operating Australian and Dutch flagged vessels.

We do not like the injunction and I particularly do not like it because I am a staff member of SSCS US.  However, we at SSCS US are abiding by the injunction.  It means that SSCS US has had to separate from supporting Operation Zero Tolerance.  We cannot provide funds for the campaign, solicit donations for it, support it on our website, or provide any kind of direct support.  Some key folks on the ships had to resign from SSCS US.  What I can still offer however is my moral support.  I can still cheer on my team.  I can root for the heroes on the Sea Shepherd Australia ships who are risking life and limb to save whales. I can be extremely proud of everyone on the Sea Shepherd ships and even on the Sun Laurel for saving the lives of whales and standing up to the Japanese bullies.

The injunction has a silver lining.  The silver lining is the realization that Sea Shepherd is much bigger than Captain Paul Watson.  It was Captain’s Watson’s courage, vision, and determination that built Sea Shepherd, but Sea Shepherd is much, much larger.

Sea Shepherd is a mindset.  It is an understanding that we do not have to just let big powerful forces dictate the world’s destruction around us.  We have the ability to say no and take direct action to defend the living planet. Captain Watson is not proprietary.   When folks from other countries noticed what he was doing, they asked to participate.  Captain Watson said, “go and form your own Sea Shepherd.”  And they did.  They did it in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands too and in France, Germany, Belgium, and Australia.   Sea Shepherd operates all over the planet now, either as an independent legal entity or as an affiliate of one.  Sea Shepherd Hong Kong was just named an official NGO observer to the CITES conference.

We share the name, the mission, the mindset, and the Jolly Roger, but we are independent.  Captain Watson inspired great leaders and supporters and they took up the mantle when he was forced to the side in this the greatest action.  We may fly the Jolly Roger, but as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said recently, “it is the ICR who are the pirates and criminals.” Captain Watson still inspires folks to take up the battle against death and destruction.  We are Sea Shepherd and I am proud to wear the garb.  Every one of us who is a Sea Shepherd supporter should be proud too.  We have never been stronger.

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.