Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is excited to welcome Dame Vivienne Westwood to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Advisory Board. Vivienne Westwood will help the organization strive to cultivate a diversity of ideas, skills, experience and imagination, to defend, conserve and protect our oceans.
Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson said, "When I first met Vivienne last year in Paris, I was struck by her genuine passion to make this a better world, and her willingness to jump right into controversy to get involved. While speaking with her, I realized very quickly that this was an artist that we need to have onboard with us at Sea Shepherd."
Worldwide, Sea Shepherd has worked with many diverse groups to rally around a cause that impacts us all—the defense of biodiversity in the ocean. Sea Shepherd has been supported by communities like surfers, boaters, divers and marine biologists, but the fate of the ocean goes well beyond those who sail, surf, dive and study the sea.
Paul Watson added, "For no matter where you live or what you do, the ocean is the foundation for our collective survival because if the ocean dies, we all die. Vivienne Westwood understands this."
Vivienne Westwood began designing in 1971 when London was at the forefront of cultural trends. In 2006, her contribution to British fashion was officially awarded when she was appointed Dame of the British Empire by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In her lifetime, Vivienne Westwood has become a fashion icon and what this embodies are the virtues of creativity and imagination. She has combined these virtues with the passion of an activist and the insight of an artist. This enables her to understand the connection between diversity and interdependence and to have empathy for the other species that share this planet with us.
Vivienne Westwood has always used her collections and catwalk shows as a platform to campaign for positive activism. She has spent many years tirelessly speaking out about the effects of climate change and has mobilized international attention around ecological crusading.
“It’s a war for the very existence of the human race," said Vivienne Westwood. "And that of the planet. The most important weapon we have is public opinion: go to art galleries, start to understand the world you live in. You're a freedom fighter as soon as you start doing that,” she added.
Vivienne inaugurated her "Climate Revolution" at the 2012 London Paralympics closing ceremony and continues to rally charities, NGO’s and individuals to join forces and to take action against disengaged political leaders and big business. Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson recently spoke alongside Vivienne at COP 21 (Conference of Parties) in Paris, this December 2015, on the urgent need to address climate change.
Vivienne has said, “The Revolution is already begun. The fact of man-made climate change is accepted by most people. Through every walk of life, people are changing their values and their behavior. This continues to build the Revolution. The fight is no longer between the classes or between rich and poor but between the idiots and the eco-conscious.”
The year 2016 presents great challenges for Sea Shepherd. Some of the organization's ongoing campaigns include fighting to save the endangered vaquita porpoise in the Gulf of California, while also protecting sea turtles in Costa Rica, Honduras and Florida. Sea Shepherd is additionally focused on opposing the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, the slaughter of pilot whales in the Danish Faroe Islands, defending the Galapagos Marine Reserve from poachers and removing ghost nets and plastic from the ocean.
"I believe that Vivienne Westwood can help us to deliver an important message to millions of people," said Paul Watson.