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Neptune’s Navy: Protecting our Oceans since 1977


1975 violent confrontations take place
between Greenpeace and the Soviet whaling fleet. During the clash an
injured sperm whale emerges.The dying animal makes eye contact with an
activist and chooses to fall back rather than crush his small boat.The
understanding and intelligence that the activist sees in the whale’s eye changes
his life forever. His name is Paul Watson. On this day he
vows to dedicate his entire life to defending marine wildlife. Sea Shepherd is born and with it the heroic story of its ships and crew. Numerous vessels have
contributed to building Sea Shepherd’s history throughout countless fights on
every ocean in the world in the toughest waters always defending those who cannot defend themselves from those without mercy. Here are some of the most iconic
fights. The Sea Shepherd’s first mission was in 1977 when we saved over 1,000
baby seals by spraying them with a natural indelible die. Afterwards Captain
Watson and his crew started tracking a whaler, the Sierra, notably responsible
for the disappearance of humpback whales in the Caribbean Sea. On the 16th of July
1979 the Sea Shepherd rammed the pirate ship twice in Portuguese waters. With
his ship arrested, Captain Paul Watson chose to scuttle it rather than have it
fall into the hands of the whalers. Then came the exploits of the Sea Shepherd 2. During a trip to Iceland, undercover crew scuttled two out of the four Icelandic
whalers in the port of Reykjavik. In the 80s the Sea Shepherd 2 fought actively
against the “grindadrap” in the Faroe Islands, the biggest massacre of marine
mammals in Europe, where entire families of dolphins are massacred every year out
of tradition. In 2002 the Farley Mowat intercepted the Varadero, a longline boat
that poached sharks for their fins in the waters off the coast of Guatemala. Later, during a mission in Japan, divers liberated captured dolphins from Taiji
Bay. In 2010 thanks to the courage of Sea Shepherd divers, the Steve Irwin managed
to liberate 800 bluefin tuna which were being poached in the Mediterranean Sea
in Libyan waters. In 2015 the Bob Barker led the longest
chase in maritime history, 110 days in pursuit of a poacher the Thunder sought
by Interpol for 10 years of illegal fishing in Antarctica. Provided with
supplies from the Sam Simon, a sister ship, the Bob Barker continued to follow
the Thunder until the captain of the poaching vessel scuttled his own ship to
destroy the evidence of his crimes. But in vain. The Ady Gil, an extremely fast
ship, was used to fight against whale hunting in the Antarctic, however it was
destroyed after being hit by a Japanese whaling vessel the Shonan Maru No. 2.
The crew members were all rescued by the Steve Irwin safe and sound.
But the Sea Shepherd fleet is also the Brigitte Bardot a trimaran which takes
part in numerous reconnaissance missions; the Martin Sheen, the only sail boat in
the fleet which carries out missions with scientists to better determine and
counter the disastrous effects a plastic and chemical pollution on marine life;
the Ocean Warrior donated to Sea Shepherd by the Dutch Postcode Lottery
and hailed for its speed; it allows us to track down and confront every kind of
poacher even in difficult sea conditions; the John Paul DeJoria, used to save
sharks in the waters of Central America; the Sirenian, given to the National Park
Service of the Galapagos Islands, and many more small boats that act to defend
marine wildlife. The 40-year story is still being written. Thousands of lives
have been saved, thousands of volunteers have served, numerous battles have been
won and still many more remain. The fleet leads our defense of the ocean. Without
it none of our interventions would be possible, and without you our fleet will
remain dockside. What keeps our fleet out at sea is the energy of our volunteers
and the financial contributions of our supporters. Many thanks to all of you who
have in one way or another chosen to come aboard with us. All of our victories
are your victories.

Tony wyaad

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