Sea Shepherd Launches Iceland Whale Defense Campaign Operation Ragnarok 2007
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is launching its campaign to go after Iceland's illegal commercial whaling operations. The society will send its ship Farley Mowat to Iceland to intervene and disrupt their illegal whaling activities and focus the world's attention on Iceland's planned illegal killing of 60 piked (Minke) and 9 endangered fin whales.
After a 20 year absence, Iceland has returned to commercial whaling -- in flagrant violation of the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on the commercial slaughter of whales. They also intend to export the butchered whale meat to other countries in direct violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
"Sea Shepherd has an ongoing commitment to end whaling worldwide and we will not rest until this goal is accomplished," said Captain Paul Watson, president and founder of Sea Shepherd. "From the bottom of the planet in the Antarctic, to the North Atlantic, wherever continued violations of the global moratorium on commercial whaling take place, Sea Shepherd will be fighting for the whales." Sea Shepherd is the most aggressive non-governmental organization in the world with campaigns on the high seas for three decades intervening against illegal activities that exploit marine wildlife and habitats.
In 1986, Sea Shepherd enforced international conservation law in Iceland by sinking two of the Icelandic whalers at dockside and destroying the whale processing plant. This was accomplished without a single person being injured. That action shut down illegal Icelandic commercial whaling for twenty years. But two decades later Sea Shepherd is compelled to challenge illegal Icelandic whaling once again as illegal commercial whaling resumed there last year.
Sea Shepherd is calling this mission Operation Ragnarok after an old Nordic word that means "doom of the powers" or "destruction of the powers."
The Farley Mowat is scheduled to depart from Australia 15 May 13:00 hours local Melbourne time on its long journey to the North Atlantic with an international crew of volunteers from all over the world. The ship has been docked there since returning from a successful campaign in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary intervening against illegal Japanese whaling operations there with the society's other ship, Robert Hunter.
"We cannot and we must not allow them to destroy these whales, and therefore, we have no alternative but to put our lives and our ship on the line for the defense of the whales of the North Atlantic," said Watson.
Click here to learn more about our mission Operation Ragnarok