Sealing vessels - Labrador Sea and Labrador Challenger II



Report from the Farley Mowat

By Captain Paul Watson

1030 Hours ADT

Position: 50 Degrees 16 Minutes North
53 Degrees 33 Minutes West
North of Fogo Island and East of Notre Dame Bay

It was 93 years ago this week, and in this very area that the legendary White Star liner Titanic sank. It was April 15, 1912, when 1,500 passengers and crew died in the frigid ice strewn waters off of Newfoundland.

There is a gray bleakness and a lingering sadness that hovers over these waters. Added to the ghosts of the Titanic are the less innocent lost corpses of the S.S. Newfoundland disaster of 1914 and S.S. Greenland disaster of 1898. Forty-eight sealers perished under the command of Newfoundland Captain Abraham Kean on the Greenland and it was the same Abraham Kean who was responsible for the loss of 72 men from the Newfoundland. The Newfoundland sealing ship Southern Cross was also lost in 1914 with all hands, a staggering loss of a further 181 men. All were lost in the greedy pursuit of seals. This avarice was so perverse that Captain Abraham Kean simply stacked the bodies of his frozen crew on his deck and covered them with seal skins, refusing to return to port until he had taken his entire quota.

Of the 1898 Greenland disaster, the ship's surgeon wrote, "Somehow, we limped into St. John's with a cargo of dead seals under hatches and a cargo of dead men roped in a heap on the foredeck. I never went sealing again. Nor ever wanted to."

Both men and seals were expendable in the quest for profits by the men who owned the ships.

And every year men died, but many times more seals died. And they died in agony, by the millions.

The blood of men and seals mingles with the brine in these waters and I saw it last night as the setting sun flashed a scarlet glow across the "bergy" ice and black water, exposing symbolically for a moment, the sea of blood that lies beneath the surface.

This is the area where we now navigate in search of seals and sealers.

The world's largest mass slaughter of a marine mammal species begins in less than 24 hours. Today we are searching for the sealing fleet. We have passed numerous patches of broken ice and bergy bits and seen seals but we have yet to find the main herd or the hundreds of sealing vessels waiting to slaughter them.

We don't have the advantage of Canadian government aircraft searching out the locations for us. We don't have Canadian government icebreakers cracking a path through the ice for us.

We are one ship and 20 volunteers being shadowed by a Coast Guard ship that stays eerily silent, trailing us from a distance, watching our every move and relaying our position to the sealers.

The sealers have the resources of the entire government of Canada at their disposal. The seals have only us, the Farley Mowat.

This old ship has weathered much in the last two months. Two hull breaches, harassment from Canadian bureaucrats, near collisions with Coast Guard ice-breakers, locked into the ice where we weathered a severe storm, and our crew violently assaulted by enraged sealers. Many of the crew are tired yet undaunted. Our Chief Engineer Charles Hutchings and his assistant engineers have endured the stress of flooding in our engine room and successfully fought back the rise of water twice. Our First Officer Alex Cornelissen and our Bosun Adrian Haley have dove into the icy waters many times to insert and inspect the temporary wooden plugs that stopped the flooding until we could weld temporary patches into place underwater. Seven of our crew suffered blows and had their faces bloodied from the fists and hakakpiks of the sealing crew of the Brady Mariner. They now laughingly refer to those sealers as the "evil Brady bunch." The same crew also had to endure being arrested after the assault and charged with the crime of seeing a seal being killed. We have also seen volunteer crew depart in Halifax, Port aux Basques, Eastport, Maine, Charlottetown, and St. Pierre, France and their positions taken up by volunteer replacements. Of the crew of twenty on board now, only twelve of us remain of the original crew of twenty that departed from Bermuda on February 21st. In total, 42 volunteers from 10 different nations have participated in this campaign on this ship since February 21st.

This morning the dark shroud of this lonely sea is undulating with mild swells. It is grey overcast day, fitting for the eve of the largest marine mammal massacre on the planet.

Out there on the ice is hope and emerging awareness as young seals explore their new world, fascinated and captivated by each new experience. Tomorrow however, tens of thousands of these young creatures will suffer the final brutal and bloody experience of their short and young lives. They will be wasted and snuffed from existence - all hope in their young lives forever gone in yet another testament to the unforgivable horrific cruelty of this species we call humanity.

My greatest lamentation, my greatest regret on this planet and in my life, is that I was born a human being, and thus I have inherited the history and tradition of the death and misery that we have inflicted since the dawn of our time, both to other species and to each other.

Tomorrow these innocent creatures will die for our collective sins. They will die because we are an arrogant and ignorant species, divine legends in our own perverse self-glorified minds, and unfit to proclaim ourselves superior to anything. For of all these species on this Earth, we are the most deceitful, most violent, and most unnatural, and what we sow we shall reap -- thousandfold.

Pin It
Sea Shepherd
Taiji: Hell on Earth for Dolphins
Taiji: Hell on Earth for Dolphins
New video with drone footage from Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians Operation Infinite Patience 2016/17 Campaign.
From the JV to the JPD
From the JV to the JPD
Sea Shepherd crew transform the former M/V Jules Verne in to the new M/V John Paul DeJoria, as they work to get it ready for the grand unveiling on January 31st, 2017 in Miami, Florida.
Operation Milagro III: Unprecedented Amount of Illegal Nets Pulled in a 48-Hour Period
Operation Milagro III: Unprecedented Amount of Illegal Nets Pulled in a 48-Hour Period
Over 1000 Animals Saved - Sea Shepherd’s M/V Farley Mowat and M/V Sam Simon pulled a record number of illegal gillnets – 18 -- in Mexico’s Gulf of California during a 48 hour period, saving and releasing over 1000 marine animals including Hammerhead Sharks, Mantis Shrimp, Guitar Fish, Crabs an...
Biodiversity in the Gulf of California
Biodiversity in the Gulf of California
Once called the World’s Aquarium by Jacques Cousteau, the Gulf of California has always had a high level of endemism. Today, fishing is the main cause of the destruction of its ecosystem. Featuring Sea Shepherd crew and Dr. Roy Houston, professor emeritus of biology at Loyola Marymount Universit...
Unveiling of the M/V John Paul DeJoria
Unveiling of the M/V John Paul DeJoria
On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, Sea Shepherd unveiled its ninth vessel, the M/V John Paul DeJoria, at EPIC Marina in Miami, Florida. Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson and John Paul DeJoria were on hand for the press conference and a ceremonial bottle of the DeJoria-owned Patron Tequila was smas...
Sea Shepherd Rescues Fisherman in the Gulf of California (with subtitles)
Sea Shepherd Rescues Fisherman in the Gulf of California (with subtitles)
On the night of the 25th, The Farley Mowat came across fishermen in a small panga boat. When approached by The Farley, the fishermen fled at high speed. Some distance from the fishing boat, The Farley crew noticed a large splash as fishing boat come to a stop. Once arriving on the scene, the Farle...
Taiji, Japan - Dolphins for Cash
Taiji, Japan - Dolphins for Cash
Taiji, Japan. Where dolphins are seen as commodities, dead or alive. The hunting is fueled not by tradition or by a need for food, but by out-and-out greed. A lust for money. Money that is tainted by the blood of the slaughtered dolphins and the misery of those families torn apart. Go to http://www....
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
On December 16, 2016, the New York City chapter hosted the premiere of Why Just One? Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s first full length, in-house documentary. The sold-out event was Captain Paul Watson's his first New York appearance at a Sea Shepherd event since returning to the United States...
Sea Shepherd vs Poachers in the Gulf of California
Sea Shepherd vs Poachers in the Gulf of California
Six fishing boats engaged in illegal activities were spotted by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, ending in their arrest by the Mexican Navy.
Ghost Nets Go; Vaquitas Stay
Ghost Nets Go; Vaquitas Stay
Sea Shepherd and the M/V Farley Mowat break down how illegal underwater nets in the Sea of Cortez are snagged, pulled, cut and bundled. Footage also includes freeing and releasing live animals from the nets and cataloging those who unfortunately did not make it.
Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
The Sam Simon has arrived in Mexico to join the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society-led campaign, Operation Milagro III. A partnership between Sea Shepherd and the Mexican authorities, Operation Milagro III intercepts, intervenes and interrupts any illegal activities found in the Vaquita refuge in the...
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
**If you cannot see the captions on this video, just click on CC on the lower right corner of video settings on the video ** #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 t...
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