Operation Reef Defense
Launches in Hawaii

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is proud to announce the launch of Operation Reef Defense, a global campaign to end the destruction of coral reefs and the many threats they are facing worldwide.

Healthy coral reefs are disappearing fast — 30 percent of the world’s coral reef population has died in the last 50 years. Another 30 percent has suffered severe damage, and 60 percent could die in less than 25 years because of human-induced activities such as pollution, overfishing, reef wildlife trafficking, coastal development and global warming.

According to Sea Shepherd Hawaii Director & Operation Reef Defense Campaign Leader, Deborah Bassett, "With the oceans of the world under attack from commercial extraction and pollution, our mission remains steadfast to defend marine habitat and wildlife to the fullest extent — from the smallest of reef species to the largest marine mammals and apex predators. Time is running out for these great rain forests under the sea, so we must act now."

Sea Shepherd Vice President, Robert Wintner added, “Sea Shepherd will champion marine habitat and wildlife from the ravages of urban and corporate effluent and the destruction caused by the aquarium trade. Massive reef wildlife dies every year as disposable ornamentation in the vicious cycle of wildlife trafficking for the pet trade. Death generates continuing demand, driving the aquarium trade to strip reefs bare. 25 million creatures are in the commercial aquarium pipeline at any given moment. Nearly all will die within a year from the point of capture."

Sea Shepherd Vice-President Robert Wintner is a veteran campaigner against the aquarium trade and its devastating impact on Hawaii reefs.Sea Shepherd Vice-President Robert Wintner is a veteran campaigner against the aquarium trade and its devastating impact on Hawaii reefs.
Photo: Deborah Bassett / Sea Shepherd

"Sea Shepherd is very much concerned for this wildlife and needs your support to translate these concerns into action. We may lose support from people who keep captive marine wildlife for a hobby, but as always our clients are the creatures of the sea. So we hope that all people who are concerned for the sea will recognize the importance of protecting reef eco-systems worldwide, and that if any of our supporters do keep marine wildlife in an aquarium, they will care for the wildlife they have and refrain from purchasing any more” stated Wintner.

Maui Reef Expert, Rene Umberger, with SSCS Vice President Robert Winter and Sea Shepherd Hawaii Director & Operation Reef Defense Campaign Leader, Deborah BassettMaui Reef Expert, Rene Umberger, with SSCS Vice President Robert Winter and Sea Shepherd Hawaii Director & Operation Reef Defense Campaign Leader, Deborah Bassett
Photo: Deborah Bassett / Sea Shepherd

Operation Reef Defense Earth Day Launch included a presentation on wildlife reef trafficking for the aquarium trade at Deep Ecology Dive Center in Haleiwa, Oahu.Operation Reef Defense Earth Day Launch included a presentation on reef wildlife trafficking for the aquarium trade at Deep Ecology Dive Center in Haleiwa, Oahu.
Photo: Deborah Bassett / Sea Shepherd