In , Sea Shepherd returned to fight driftnetters in the North Pacific. They encountered a fleet of Japanese driftnetters. They chased one away, and fired air cannons and fire crackers at another to slow it down. However, no ramming took place because the fishermen on deck would not move. They did manage to retrieve a cargo hold of driftnet and create an international incident. While there, he sank the driftnetting ship Jiang Hai in harbor. He also documented thousands of miles of driftnet being added to 43 driftnetting vessels, despite a ban on ships being outfitted with new net.
Shepherd only reduced their campaign activities after the United Nations in banned driftnetting, but they did not stop their campaigns. In , Sea Shepherd convinced the government of Ireland to disallow driftnetting in their territorial waters. In , Sea Shepherd announced a campaign to fight driftnetting in the Mediterranean. Italy's driftnetters, the primary suspects, immediately halted the practice. Sea Shepherd in noted that drift netting had again gained prominence, due to the reduction of fish stocks tempting commercial fisheries to again use the method to keep up their catch volumes.
In March , Sea Shepherd announced the launch of Operation Driftnet,  to combat illegal fishing in the Indian Ocean and subsequently employ direct-action techniques to shut-down their operations. In , Sea Shepherd released footage of dolphins being killed by an American-owned tuna seiner. The film was edited by Peter Brown. The footage scandalized the tuna industry and led to a ban on dolphin killing by U.
In , Sea Shepherd travelled to Costa Rica to ram a tuna seiner and bring the issue to public attention. They found a tuna seiner called the Pan Pacific , which they confirmed had been illegally killing dolphins. The ramming was eventually called off due to a dispute between Paul Watson and Scott Trimmingham. Scott said that ramming would upset his negotiations to have tuna fishing banned in Costa Rica, to which Watson replied that they created international incidents—they didn't negotiate.
In the end, they boarded the Pan Pacific and inspected the logbook, which revealed locations where dolphins were being killed. Using the information, they travelled along the Mexican coast and stopped several tuna seiners from various Latin American countries from killing dolphins. Sea Shepherd accused it of catching and killing dolphins in its tuna nets and confirmed its ship had dealt the tuna boat a "glancing blow.
They also turned a fire hose on the fishermen's helicopter used to herd the dolphins in order to ensure costly repairs.
In , Sea Shepherd launched another campaign to stop tuna seiners from killing dolphins. Despite warnings from the Mexican navy that they would be arrested due to the incident the previous year, they entered the country and covertly did repairs with no incident. They later stopped a tuna seiner from killing a pod of dolphins off of Mexico. The group and Costa Rica had negotiated an agreement for this work which was due to be finalised on April 30, The authorities were contacted and Sea Shepherd was told to bring the ship in.
The Farley Mowat forced the other vessel into a nearby Guatemalan port with the use of pressure hoses, and in the altercation, the two vessels collided, causing some damage to the Varadero I. Subsequently, Watson was charged with attempted shipwrecking and murder by the fishermen. These charges were dropped on April 29 by the prosecutor when footage of the incident taken by a documentary team aboard the Farley Mowat was shown. Footage of the event can be seen in the film Sharkwater. The prosecutor was reported to have found no evidence of any wrongdoing.
Sea Shepherd had previously worked to protect Cocos Island. In , they chased over a dozen poachers out of the marine reserve with flares, water cannons, pie cannons, stink bombs, paintball guns, and air from a Civil War-Era cannon. Footage of the poachers was sent to the Costa Rican authorities, and several of the poachers were later arrested.
The vessel was arrested and later confiscated. In November , the fishers reacted to new catch limits on lobster by ransacking the Park Service offices, the facilities of the Darwin Research Centre and trashing the park director's home, burning his possessions in the street. This occurred after the Park Service captured seven illegal shark fishing boats at sea and Sea Shepherd criticized the Ecuadorian Navy for not enforcing the law. In June , a Sea Shepherd crew-member, Cathy Davies, along with at least six other Sea Shepherd members, was taken hostage during protests by fishers who were protesting recently enacted quotas on sea cucumber Holothuroidea.
The Park Service banned the catch of sea cucumber for and to allow for the populations to recover from over-fishing. The WWF refurbished the boat, which now operates as the Yoshka. In May , the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa , relaxed an International ban on shark finning by legalizing the sale of fins from sharks caught accidentally. Sea Shepherd's Ecuadorian representative, Sean O'Hearn-Giminez, accompanied a police raid that found two tons of sharks fins caught before a Presidential decree.
However, a prosecutor ordered them released and the shark fins were returned to the fishers. O'Hearn-Giminez was arrested and ordered to be deported. This order was revoked later that day at the request of President Correa. The reason given was that O'Hearn-Giminez had a valid visa, as his wife is Ecuadorian. In June , O'Hearn-Giminez participated in a raid on a house in Libertad that was being used for illegally processing sea cucumbers.
At least 40, sea cucumbers were seized and two men arrested. Watson also signed two agreements at this time, one for Sea Shepherd's involvement in the protection of the Amazon river dolphin and the Amazonian manatee ; the other with the Ecuadorian Police to work with them to detect and destroy illegal fishing boats. In , US Federal agent Scott West resigned his position and joined Sea Shepherd to work in its intelligence and investigations department. They found a ship after the fishing season with a net full of bluefin tuna.
They cut the net, freeing all of the tuna. The lawsuit was settled in March in favor of Sea Shepherd. They attempted to cut the nets, but several Sea Shepherd crew members were injured when a fisherman threw a steel chain at one of the delta boats. A French naval jet flew over to document the incident.
Several other ships fishing illegally for toothfish were also put out of action by Operation Icefish. The ships were part of the group of toothfish poachers known as the " Bandit 6 ". Actions by Sea Shepherd and national governments led to the detention or sinking of all six ships. The last of these was captured toothfish poacher Viking , which was sunken by the Indonesian government in The first direct action undertaken by Sea Shepherd was against Canadian seal hunting in the Gulf of St.
In March , 32 crew aboard the Sea Shepherd protested the hunt and eight members were arrested after going on the ice to spray the pups with colored organic dye so as to render the pelts worthless to traders. About 1, seals were sprayed with the dye. In , Sea Shepherd severely damaged the sealing ship Martin Karlsen in port, smashing its navigational equipment. They attempted to sink it, but were unsuccessful as the owners arrived before the vessel went underwater. The incident is featured in Paul Watson's book Seal Wars. In , so as to avoid easy detection, Sea Shepherd travelled to the Canadian ice floes in ocean kayaks instead of a ship.
They were protesting the announcement of the Canadian government to have a hunt occur at Prince Edward Island, because inexperienced sealers would mean more cruelty for the seals.
They managed to spray hundreds of seals with organic blue dye before being arrested. The Canadian government was furious, as they had promised to not allow the Sea Shepherds to return to the ice. Sea Shepherd did not face any major jail time over the incident. Sea Shepherd protested a Canadian seal hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off the north coast of Nova Scotia in March The arrival of the group led to a one-day suspension of the hunt.
On March 25, the Sea Shepherd II was ordered back by Canadian authorities after the vessel came within one half-mile of seal hunters. Watson promised to scuttle the ship if they attempted to board it. John's, Newfoundland, they blockaded a dozen sealing ships in harbor, threatening to ram any ship that left. The Sea Shepherd II was fortified with barbed wire and a water cannon.
The crew was arrested without any resistance or injuries. They were charged with conspiracy to commit mischief and conspiracy to commit extortion. The campaign saved the lives of 76, seals. In March , the group protested the seal hunt in the Magdalen Islands. While staying in the town of Cap-aux-Meules, witnesses reported that club-wielding fishermen stormed the hotel where the group was staying.
The group, including Martin Sheen , was escorted to the airport under a heavy police guard.
The attackers trashed the room in a two-hour rampage while Watson and Sheen caught a flight to another island. In , Sea Shepherd proposed brushing the fur off of molting seals instead of killing them. Using a research permit, they discovered that seals enjoyed having molting fur brushed off of them, and that the fur could be used to make great filling for such this as mattresses. A mattress company in Germany had expressed interest in cruelty-free seal products, and about 70 bags of seal fur were collected. In , Sea Shepherd warded sealers from the main seal nursing grounds by bringing celebrities on the ice to take photos with the seals.
While on the ice, the Sea Shepherds were under constant watch by the Canadian Coast Guard, whom Paul Watson criticized after Sea Shepherd documented the icebreakers running down seal pups. While there, the government set up a trap to get the Sea Shepherd ship arrested by sending a fake sealing ship to daw in the Sea Shepherds. They did not fall for the trap, and the incident brought the seal hunt to public attention. In March , Captain Paul Watson led a helicopter investigation of escalated sealing activities on the ice floes of eastern Canada.
In , Sea Shepherd campaigned against that year's seal hunt in Canada, which includes a boycott of Canadian seafood products. The group contends it was in international waters observing Canada's seal hunt, while Canadian authorities allege the vessel was harassing the seal hunters. The group says their vessel was rammed while the Canadian Fisheries and Oceans department says the coast guard ship was grazed by the Farley Mowat. The captain and first officer were arrested for bringing their vessel to within one-half nautical mile of seal hunters on March 30, April 11, and April The location of the ship at the time of the seizure is disputed.
Sea Shepherd claims the boat was seized illegally in international waters,. The lawyer set to defend the Captain and First Mate withdrew from the case.
On June 30, they were convicted of endangering lives by bringing the Farley Mowat to within one-half nautical mile from sealing activities without an official permit. Seal products were banned in the European Union in In , Sea Shepherd interfered with the hunting of grey seals in Ireland. They prevented boats from landing and took clubs and rifles away from the sealers. The media attention garnered from the campaign led to Ireland banning sealing in October of that year. They once again snatched rifles and stopped boats, and also slept among the seals. In , Sea Shepherd once again worked to end the slaughter of seals in Scotland, this time by salmon farming companies who claimed the seals ate their fish.
They filmed violations by fishermen shooting seals who ate fish. The violations included shooting seals not considered threatening, dumping trash, and burying dead seabirds. Sea Shepherd volunteers were assaulted, and both sides were arrested.
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Scotland gave the seals full protection in , the end of Sea Shepherd's second year there. In , while returning from anti-driftnetting activity in the North Pacific, Sea Shepherd documented the state of the northern fur seal, requesting that the commercial harvest of them be stopped. Their safety was violated when their house was broken into. They relocated and found that the Namibian navy was guarding the culling.
Sea Shepherd suspected police involvement, and were forced to flee the country when a raid was about to take place. They managed to capture footage of dead seals being unloaded for processing. The footage was used in the Whale Wars special Seal Wars. Using a drone, they managed to film the cull for around 15 minutes, and have stated that the wish to return to Namibia.
In , Sea Shepherd donated an inflatable zodiac to the group Seal Alert South Africa to assist in the rescue and rehabilitation of fur seals shot illegally by fishermen in South Africa. Sea Shepherd has protested against whaling throughout the world. Some of its first actions were against whalers. The group has also acted against whaling by countries who they feel have not followed the internationally recognized nonbinding moratorium on commercial whaling. Sidney Holt, formerly of the International Whaling Commission and a chief architect of the moratorium, has called Watson's involvement in anti-whaling an "absolute disaster" for the cause.
He referenced "blowback"  for those who want to see an end to whaling by "playing piracy on the ocean. Sea Shepherd spent part of hunting for the whaling ship Sierra which was notorious for having undetermined ownership, ignoring whaling agreements, hunting indiscriminately, and using non-explosive harpoons. In July, the Sierra was found off the port of Oporto , Portugal. Sea Shepherd put non-essential crew ashore and manned by three crew Paul Watson , Peter Woof, and Jerry Doran , returned to ram and cripple the Sierra. The ship and crew were not arrested but the ship was held for what was called an "informal inquiry.
They found the ship had been stripped of equipment and the Portuguese police advised them to leave, as they could not guarantee their safety. Watson decided to scuttle the ship rather than have it be sold for scrap and potentially used to compensate the owners of the Sierra. While in Lisbon in February , the Sierra was sunk with limpet mines.
It never did so: on February 6, , my crew blew the bottom out of her and permanently ended her career. We traded a ship for a ship, but it was a great trade because we also traded our ship for the lives of hundreds of whales. Watson said that the boats were "victims of magnetic mines, one of them homemade, which had been planted by the same trio that destroyed the Sierra.
The whalers Susan and Theresa are also shown on these tallies. No one was injured during the attacks. The whaler was unable to trust his own crew and retired the ship. The Soviets signaled for the Sea Shepherd vessel to stop, dropped flares on the deck, and attempted to foul its propeller.
In the summer of , Watson offered a reporter an exclusive story on the group's plan to ram a Soviet vessel. The reporter informed authorities and the ramming did not take place. The charges were dismissed by a provincial court judge because they did not specify where the act had occurred. In late December , O. A Force Sea Shepherd sabotaged the whaler Nybraena in response to Norway's decision to resume commercial whaling of minke whales in Police found the vessel's engine room nearly full of water at her moorings in the Lofoten Islands but were able to keep it afloat. Watson was held in the Netherlands on a Norwegian-issued Interpol extradition notice, but after 80 days in detention the notice was denied.
In July , Sea Shepherd operated the ship Whales Forever off the coast of Norway to protest the renewed commercial whaling of minke whales. The ship was intercepted by the Norwegian Coast Guard patrol ship Andenes. The Whales Forever and the Andenes , collided in disputed circumstances. The Andenes fired two warning shots, claimed to be non-explosive. The Norwegian Coast Guard warned that they would follow the Sea Shepherd vessel to the Shetland Islands if necessary to arrest the activists.
The Whales Forever was later sold due to the extensive repair costs. In , the Sea Shepherd unsuccessfully attempted to scuttle another Norwegian whaling vessel called the Senet at its wharf in Gressvic. The slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands is allowed and has been practiced for providing food for free to the local communities of the Faroe Islands as far back as , as regulations for slaughtering of whales was mentioned in the Sheep Letter.
In , Sea Shepherd diverted several pods of pilot whales away from the hunting grounds. The authorities told Sea Shepherd that the killing would be halted for the remainder of the season if Sea Shepherd left, saving pilot whales.
In , Sea Shepherd went to document and obstruct whaling in the Faroe Islands. The Faroese Coast Guard claim the vessel defied orders to leave territorial waters.
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The Faroese Coast Guard claimed that they were fired upon with pistols while attempting to board,  while Sea Shepherd claimed that they had been repelled by cannons firing chocolate and banana cream pie. Learn more about how Verizon Media collects and uses data and how our partners collect and use data. Select 'OK' to allow Verizon Media and our partners to use your data, or 'Manage options' to review our partners and your choices. Tip: Sign In to save these choices and avoid repeating this across devices. You can always update your preferences in the Privacy Centre.
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