Search and Destroy Mission for Illegal Longlines En Route The Farley Mowat has departed New Zealand on a Trans South Pacific crossing to the Galapagos.
Plans to take the ship to the Canadian seal hunt off Newfoundland were cancelled due to damage sustained during the recent Antarctic campaign to oppose illegal Japanese whaling operations.
Farley Mowat required emergency repairs that caused a month long delay and made it impossible to undertake the two-month voyage required to reach the seal hunt off Canada's Eastern coast.
The Sea Shepherd flagship will be heading to the area of the Eastern Tropical Pacific bordered by the four points of the Galapagos, Colombia's Mapelo Island National Park, Panama's Coiba National Park, and Costa Rica's Cocos Island National Park.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is working in cooperation with Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica to protect the four offshore National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries from poaching activities by longliners.
En route to the Galapagos, the crew of the Farley Mowat will be searching for illegally set longlines. The hooked and baited lines are the reason for dramatic declines in populations of sharks, billfish, albatross and sea turtles.
Any lines found will be confiscated under the justification of the United Nations World Charter for Nature.
The international crew of fourteen volunteers is expected to reach the Galapagos by the 2nd week of April. The ship is under the command of Australian Peter Woof.
Captain Woof has been a longtime supporter of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He was Chief Engineer on the original Sea Shepherd vessel when he and Captain Paul Watson hunted down and ended the career of the pirate whaler Sierra in 1979.