UPDATE to this posting on 4/05/2006:

On March 30th, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society posted the story: Costco Makes Business Decision - Good News for the Seals.

Costco was very much aware that we would be posting this story.

Sea Shepherd representative Steve Thompson wrote to Richard Duffy prior to the posting and said:

Mr. Duffy,

As I expressed in our phone conversation earlier today this is certainly welcome news and we look forward to updating our members as well as ending the boycott of Costco Wholesale as soon as we have a written statement to this effect that confirms what you have mentioned below....

To get to the heart of the matter, we have a duty to our members to report accurate information and at this point in time the only way we feel we can be assured of this favorable response sticking is if it is in writing.

In closing I can appreciate this was not an easy decision for your senior management team and that this decision will produce some (limited) Fallout in Newfoundland, however this will be next to nothing compared to the positive press Costco will certainly receive in exchange for this compassionate decision."

First Costco agrees to remove the seal oil capsules. When the decision is publicized, Costco then claims it was a routine business decision and that there was never any communication with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Sea Shepherd then released the agreement that was signed from Costco. Consequently, Costco is threatened with a boycott of one store in Newfoundland by people who claim to want seal oil capsules (led by Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams). Costco then reneges on their commitment to remove the seal oil capsules and agrees to put the vile product back on the shelf. Now Costco is claiming that they made the decision to put the product back on the shelf because Sea Shepherd released the agreement which they said we had agreed to keep quiet despite the fact that Costco was informed in advance that the decision would be made public by Sea Shepherd.

So now we have a full blown controversy with Costco caught in multiple lies.

ORIGINAL POSTING OF MARCH 30TH:

After discussions with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Costco's senior management team have decided to remove seal oil capsules from the shelves of their St. John's location, their only store in Canada where the capsules were available.

Sea Shepherd applauds the decision to remove this vile product.

Canada has spent millions of dollars searching for and creating new products and markets for seals. Some of these products have been perverse and some have been ridiculous. Most have been impractical and all have involved the inflicting of incredible cruelty and death to hundreds of thousands of young seal pups every year.

Canada has been desperate to justify the annual slaughter of seals ever since 1984 when the European Union banned whitecoat pelts on the grounds that the product was obscene. A decade later, Canada revived the practice of viciously clubbing seals with a newly improved, and according to the Canadian government, "morally acceptable seal hunt."

Canada announced that only adult seals would be killed. The trick was in redefining what it means to be adult. By allowing the seal pups to grow for an extra week or two until losing their white coat, the still defenseless baby seals now dressed-out in a mottled coat could be slain "more acceptably."

Turning a three-week old baby seal into an adult requires some suspension of disbelief but Canadian bureaucrats apparently have no problem in convincing themselves that the slaughter is now justified because only "adult" seals are slain.

This disbelief is even more incredulous when they parrot the Department of Fisheries and Oceans unsubstantiated and ridiculous claim that the slaughter of the seals is "humane." Sea Shepherd and other groups have filmed repeated violations of regulations illustrating blatant abuse and cruelty.

To create markets, Canadian diplomats actually traveled to places like China to convince them that baby seal penises, if severed and dried, could be powdered and made into a tea that could cure impotence.

Not content with pushing voodoo snake oil remedies for Chinese erectile "disfunctionates," Canada recommenced the marketing of sealskin coats to Russia and Japan.

With seal products banned in the United States, the only product they could develop for the Canadian market was Omega-3 seal oil capsules to sell as some sort of health benefit. Still posing as snake oil salesmen, Canadian government civil servants working as seal product promotional salesmen began pushing seal oil as a cure for everything from warts to a remedy to prevent heart attacks. They conveniently failed to inform consumers of the toxins in this product such as trace amounts of PCB's and heavy metals including mercury. And so, bottles of seal oil capsules began to be produced and marketed.


Seal oil capsules - these products have passed the tests of Health Canada. Seal oil
capsules can contain traces of toxins and still meet the government standards.
Flax seed oil and hemp seed oil are healthy alternatives.

Costco inadvertently provided some credibility to this product by stocking the shelves of their Eastern Canadian outlets with Omega-3 baby seal oil capsules. But, thanks to the efforts of Sea Shepherd volunteer Stephen Thompson of Vancouver, who brought this product to the attention of Costco's executive team, they reviewed the feasibility of selling this product and subsequently made a business decition to remove this product and not offer it again. He has been tirelessly tracking and opposing the baby seal oil capsule market in Canada.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is pleased and satisfied about this decision.

Captain Paul Watson responded by saying, "I have been an executive member of Costco for over fifteen years and Sea Shepherd has utilized Costco to supply our ships on both the Atlantic and the Pacific coasts. We are happy that we can continue to do business with Costco and we are very happy that this despicable and vile product has been removed from Costco shelves. It is a product from an industry that has brought Canada nothing but shame and disgrace. Costco has made a decision that will benefit the seals and that will ultimately benefit Canada."

One thing is for certain, the Canadian government along with the government of Newfoundland will more than likely not take this lying down. After being on the receiving end of one broadside after another, from pop icons such as Sir Paul McCartney, to international film stars the likes of Brigitte Bardot, we can expect the seal slaughter proponents to come out (yet again) kicking and punching at any and all who would oppose the massacre of seal pups.

Expect nasty words from Canada's government officials, expect them to accuse our side of the same things, the same lies they have repeated over and over again; that we are misinformed, that this will lead to no sales of meat, and that children will be denied their milk at school.

This is the ranting of a desperate group who will stop at nothing to get their way, anything to allow their people to kill seals.

If you think the images of twelve-day old seals being bludgeoned with a bloody club bothers you then now is the time to act -- and you don't need to travel to the ice floes to be effective. Write to Costco and thank them for their compassionate and morally-correct decision and if you are a Costco member it would be a good idea to include this information in your letter.

If you would like to let Costco know how you feel about the fact that they sell a product derived from dead baby seals:

CEO of Costco:

Jim Sinegal
Chief Executive Officer
Email: jsinegal@costco.com

Karen Paulsell
Administrative Assistant to Jim Sinegal
Direct phone: 425-313-8565
Fax: 425-313-8103
Email: kpaulsell@costco.com

Shareholders - Two contacts best used by anyone who holds shares in Costco or who is thinking about purchasing shares:

Sharon Rugh
Executive Assistant to Richard Galanti
Direct phone: 425-313-8256
Fax: 425-313-6593
Email: srugh@costco.com

Richard Galanti
Chief Financial Officer
Direct phone: as of yet unknown
Email: rgalanti@costco.com

Canadian Senior Executives - Costco's top decision-makers in Canada (the ones who ultimately pushed to restock the shelves with seal oil caps):

Louise Wendling
Senior Vice President of Costco Canada
Direct phone: 613-221-2000 ext. 2020
Fax: 613-221-2001
Email: louise.wendling@costco.com

Pierre Riel
Senior VP and General Manager for Eastern Canada
Direct phone: 613-221-2000 ext. 2003
Fax: 613-221-2001
Email: pierre.riel@costco.com

Pharmaceuticals - Two individuals in Canada in charge of Costco's pharmaceutical division which handles the seal oil product:

Reza Farmand
Director of Pharmacy
Direct phone: 613-221-2313
Fax: 613-221-2001
Email: reza.farmand@costco.com

Mitch Johnston
Buyer - Canadian Pharmacies
Direct phone: 613-221-2385
Email: mitch.johnston@costco.com

The old adage of voting with your dollars presently could not be truer, we at Sea Shepherd recommend to all our supporters and to those of you who like us care about the seals choose to shop at locations that support your way of thinking, do business with the compassionate.

An Alternative Solution

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has endeavored to create alternative employment for sealers.

In 1995, Captain Paul Watson developed the idea of a cruelty-free non-lethal form of sealing. This would have involved the collecting of the naturally-molted hairs from whitecoated baby seals. These hairs, which are transparent and hollow, have qualities similar to eiderdown. Sea Shepherd was able to convince a German bedding and fabric company to market the hairs for the production of bed comforters.

The Canadian government refused to issue permits for the development of this alternative after sealers objected to the idea saying, "This is a faggoty idea. Seals are meant to be clubbed not coddled."

In 1995, when Captain Watson and Sea Shepherd Advisory Board member Martin Sheen traveled to the Magdalen Islands to promote this alternative, they and their crew were violently attacked by sealers. Captain Watson was severely beaten and Martin Sheen had his life threatened. Reporters were beaten and had their cameras broken. Canada responded with then Minister of Fisheries Brian Tobin declaring that he could understand the frustrations of the sealers, and of course, no sealers were charged with assault or for damaging property.

It was Sea Shepherd's goal to end the violence (to both seals and people) and present an economically viable solution for the community at the same time. The tradition and industry of killing could be turned into a business which would both aid the local people and remove the stain of seal "hunt" from Canada's reputation.

Sea Shepherd hopes that in the near future more retailers will decide that they want no part of the "old tradition" and will not support it through the sale of products obtained through ruthless cruelty and slaughter.

Sea Shepherd
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
#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 the video to learn more about these elusive creatures. With #science we can help protect these beautiful animals from seismic b...
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.