Sea Shepherd History

Standing fast on the front lines of marine conservation since 1977.

Sea Shepherd was founded in 1977 by Captain Paul Watson in Vancouver, Canada, with the mission to protect and conserve all marine wildlife. Incorporated in Oregon in 1981 as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, today the movement has independent entities in over 20 countries working together on direct-action campaigns around the world. In 2013 Sea Shepherd Global was established in Amsterdam to coordinate communications and logistics for the Sea Shepherd fleet on campaigns outside the United States.

2017

May, 2017

27 Members of Parliament Back Legal Action Against Denmark

With the formal support of 27 Members of the European Parliament, Sea Shepherd Netherlands submits a request to the European Commission to launch infringement proceedings against Denmark for facilitating the slaughter of pilot whales and other cetaceans in the Faroe Islands.

March, 2017

Shark Finning Investigation Revealed

Sea Shepherd Global releases findings of a three-month investigation verifying that large shipments of shark fin are still arriving in Hong Kong on airlines and shipping lines that have made ‘No Shark Fin’ carriage ban commitments.

February, 2017

Tackling IUU Fishing in Liberia

Sea Shepherd launches Operation Sola Stella in cooperation with the Liberian Ministry of National Defense to patrol Liberia’s waters to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

January, 2017

40 Years of Direct Action

Sea Shepherd celebrates its 40th anniversary with events at locations around the world including Los Angeles, Sydney, London, Paris, and Berlin.

2016

December, 2016

11th Antarctic Anti-Whaling Campaign Begins

Operation Nemesis, Sea Shepherd’s 11th Whale Defense Campaign in the Southern Ocean is launched.

October, 2016

Great Australian Bight Saved From Oil Rig

Sea Shepherd Australia’s campaign Operation Jeedara is instrumental to stopping BP from drilling in the Great Australian Bight as part of the Great Australian Bight Alliance, a coalition of local environmental groups.

July, 2016

Custom-Built Ocean Warrior Revealed

Sea Shepherd Global launches the custom-built high-speed patrol vessel Ocean Warrior, a Dream Funds Project awarded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. 

June, 2016

Third Mediterranean Illegal Fishing Campaign Begins

Sea Shepherd Global announces the launch of Operation Siracusa 2016; the third consecutive campaign to tackle poaching and illegal fishing in the Plemmirio Marine Reserve on the east coast of Syracuse, Italy.

June, 2016

Operation Bloody Fjords Launched

Operation Bloody Fjords is launched, focusing on judicial, economic and media pressure to bring an end to the pilot whale hunts of the Faroe Islands.

May, 2016

Operation Jeedara Launched

As part of The Great Australian Bight Alliance, Sea Shepherd Australia launches Operation Jeedara, in order to highlight the importance of the Great Australian Bight and rally community pressure to oppose BP’s deep water drilling plans.

April, 2016

Operation Albacore Commences in Gabon

Launch of Operation Albacore, in partnership with the governments of Gabon and Sao Tomé & Principe to patrol both countries' Exclusive Economic Zones for IUU fishing.

March, 2016

Operation Driftnet Shuts Down Fleet of Driftnet Poachers

Operation Driftnet launched; succeeds in shutting down entire fleet of illegal driftnet poachers.

February, 2016

Sea Shepherd Dive Launched

Sea Shepherd Global launches a new initiative, Sea Shepherd Dive, to provide a “support and report” network to enable the dive community to report environmental crimes that they witness while diving, anywhere around the world.

2015

December, 2015

Operation Icefish II Commences

Operation Icefish II commences, with the Steve Irwin departing Williamstown, Australia to shut down the remainder of the ‘Bandit 6” poaching fleet. It succeeds, culminating with the Indonesian government scuttling the Viking.

November, 2015

Australian Federal Court Fines Japanese Whalers $1m

Using evidence provided by Captain Peter Hammarstedt in a contempt case against Japanese whaling company, Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd (Kyodo), the Australian Federal Court issues a $1 million fine to the whalers (to this date it remains unpaid).

November, 2015

Sea Shepherd USA announces Operation Milagro II

Sea Shepherd USA announces Operation Milagro II to defend the critically-endangered vaquita porpoise in the Sea of Cortez (Mexico)

July, 2015

Operation Mare Nostrum Launched

Sea Shepherd France launches Operation Mare Nostrum to clean up ocean plastics and remove dangerous ghost nets from the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of France, Italy and Spain.

July, 2015

Documenting Endangered Fin Whale Meat in Norway

The Sam Simon stops in the northern port of Tromsø, Norway to document a shipment of endangered Fin whale meat being shipped to Japan. The Norwegian navy board to inspect the Sam Simon then allow it to leave.

June, 2015

IWC Rejects Whaling Program

The Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) rejected Japan’s proposed NEWREP-A whaling program, demanding more information to clarify uncertainties about the program’s scientific objectives.

June, 2015

Sea Shepherd USA Acquires Two New Ships

Sea Shepherd USA acquires two decommissioned US Coast Guard Patrol Ships, naming them the Farley Mowat and the Jules Verne.

May, 2015

Second Operation Siracusa Campaign Launched in Italy

Following on from the incredibly successful 2014 campaign, Sea Shepherd Global launches Operation Siracusa 2015. Led by Sea Shepherd Italia, the campaign aims to defend the fragile ecosystem of the Plemmirio Marine Reserve, off the eastern coast of Siracusa in Sicily, against illegal fishing.

April, 2015

Belgium Bans Gill Nets

Operation Mailles Fatales, or Warrelniet (Fatal Nets), supported by Sea Shepherd Belgium as well as with Natuurpunt, Sea First Belgium and BlueShark, succeeds in convincing the Belgian government to enact laws (in line with all EU countries) banning “recreational fishing” with gill nets on Flemish beaches.

April, 2015

Operation Sleppid Grindini Kicks Off in the Faroes

Operation Sleppid Grindini sees Martin Sheen, Ross McCall, Pamela Anderson and German actress Anne Menden support Sea Shepherd’s campaign and calls for Faroe Islands to end the whale hunt.

March, 2015

Operation Milagro Launched to Protect the Vaquita

Sea Shepherd USA launches Operation Milagro to defend the critically-endangered vaquita porpoise in the Sea of Cortez (Mexico)

March, 2015

Operation Saimaa Seal Launched in Finland

Operation Saimaa Seal is launched to protect the world's most endangered seal and one of the most endangered mammals in the world, the Saimaa ringed seal of Lake Saimaa, Finland. They succeed in removing 10 illegal nets and almost 200 illegal fishing traps. No seals were killed during the 6-month campaign.

March, 2015

UK Supreme Court Win

UK Supreme Court rules in favor of Sea Shepherd UK in a lawsuit brought by Fish & Fish Limited against Sea Shepherd for cutting nets to free endangered bluefin tuna in Liberia in Operation Blue Rage in 2010.

January, 2015

Dutch Postcode Lottery Awards €8.3m for Custom Ship

Sea Shepherd Global is awarded €8.3 million Euros from the Dutch Postcode Lottery to build a Southern Ocean Patrol Ship to protect the Antarctic whale sanctuary.

2014

December, 2014

Record-Breaking Operation Icefish Commences

Operation Icefish is launched with the Sam Simon and Bob Barker, to shut down IUU fishing by the “Bandit 6” in the Southern Ocean, and embark on the longest chase in maritime history of 110 days following the Thunder.

October, 2014

Headquarters Open in Amsterdam

Opening of Sea Shepherd Global Headquarters and Shop in Amsterdam on October 17th.

September, 2014

Operation Pacuare Launched in Costa Rica

Sea Shepherd Costa Rica and Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) Association launched Operation Pacuare, an anti-poaching campaign to protect sea turtles on Pacuare Beach in Costa Rica’s Limón province.

June, 2014

Pamela Anderson and Ross McCall Join Sea Shepherd in the Faroes

In the Faroe Islands, Operation Grindstop commences with Pamela Anderson and Ross McCall coming to the Faroes to lend support to the campaign. Volunteers are arrested when attempting to interfere with the Grind, and several small boats are seized.

May, 2014

Operation Siracusa launched in Italy

Sea Shepherd Italia launches the first Operation Siracusa to protect sea urchins and the endangered dusky grouper from poachers in the Protected Marine Area of the Parco del Plemmirio, off the Eastern coast of Syracuse, Sicily.

April, 2014

Operation Sturmmöwe Begins in Germany

Sea Shepherd Germany’s Operation Sturmmöwe (Operation Common Gull) is launched, aiming to protect common gull colonies from looting, particularly during nesting season.

April, 2014

Court Win for the Whales at the ICJ

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague announce their binding decision in the landmark case of Australia v. Japan, ruling that Japan’s JARPA II whaling program in the Antarctic is not for scientific purposes and ordering that all permits given under JARPA II be revoked.

March, 2014

Operation Relentless Concludes

Operation Relentless concludes, with Sea Shepherd locating the Nisshin Maru on a record four separate occasions. The whaling fleet’s operations were hampered by Sea Shepherd’s continual pursuit, which included twice exposing the whalers in the process of butchering protected Minke Whales, poached from the waters of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

January, 2014

Jairo Mora Sandoval Unveiled for Operation Sunu Gaal

Sea Shepherd Global unveils the new vessel Jairo Mora Sandoval and launches Operation Sunu Gaal to patrol Senegal’s Exclusive Economic Zone for illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.

2013

December, 2013

Ships Depart for Tenth Antarctic Defence Campaign

The Steve Irwin, Sam Simon and Bob Barker depart Australia for Sea Shepherd’s tenth Antarctic Defence Campaign, Operation Relentless.

September, 2013

Operation Grindstop Launched

In response to the slaughter of over 1,600 pilot whales in just 63 day in the Faroe Islands, Sea Shepherd announces Operation Grindstop 2014.

July, 2013

Sea Shepherd Global Established in The Netherlands

Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Sea Shepherd Global is established naming Captain Alex Cornelissen as CEO.

June, 2013

Researching Gulf Spill

Ocean Alliance and Sea Shepherd join forces for Operation Toxic Gulf aboard the research vessel Odyssey, to collect scientific data regarding BP’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

June, 2013

Double Court Win for Sea Shepherd France

Two court wins are awarded in France: Four Spanish poachers are ordered to pay Sea Shepherd France €5,000 each after being found guilty of poaching Gooseneck barnacles in French territorial waters. In partnership with l’Aspas and Longitude 181, Sea Shepherd also wins a court case against the mayor of La Reunion Island to revoke a bylaw which used taxpayer money to encourage the killing of sharks in a National Marine Reserve.

May, 2013

Reef Defense in Hawaii

Sea Shepherd launches Operation Reef Defense campaign in Hawaii.

May, 2013

Tenth Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign Announced

Sea Shepherd Australia announces Operation Relentless, the tenth Antarctic anti-whaling campaign, to take place in the Austral 2013-2014 summer.

April, 2013

James Price Point Saved From Drilling

After enormous public pressure and the work of Environs Kimberley, Save the Kimberley, the Wilderness Society, and Sea Shepherd Australia’s Operation Kimberley Miinimbi, Woodside Petroleum scraps plans for its controversial $45 billion Browse joint-venture at James Price Point, Australia.

March, 2013

Biggest Antarctic Whale Defense Success Ever

Operation Zero Tolerance comes to a close as the most successful campaign to date, with the Japanese whalers returning home with the lowest kill ever.

February, 2013

Supreme Court Application Against ICR

Sea Shepherd USA files application to the Supreme Court against the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR). The application is in response to the 9th District injunction which preliminarily enjoins Sea Shepherd U.S. from navigating “dangerously” and “physically attacking” or coming within 500 yards of ICR’s whaling vessels.

February, 2013

Bob Barker Rammed by Nisshin Maru

During a confrontation in the Southern ocean where Sea Shepherd was blocking a refueling operation by the Japanese factory vessel, Nisshin Maru, two Sea Shepherd ships are rammed, causing significant damage to the Bob Barker. The ramming of the Bob Barker between the 8,000 ton Nisshin Maru and the fuel tanker Sun Laurel resulted in a complete loss of power and mayday call from Bob Barker’s Captain Peter Hammarstedt.

2012

December, 2012

Denmark Challenged in EC

Sea Shepherd challenges Denmark in the European Commission regarding pilot whale slaughter in the Danish Faroe Islands, citing the Bern Convention, Bonn Convention and Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Seas.

November, 2012

Biggest Antarctic Anti-Whaling Campaign Yet

Sea Shepherd commences Operation Zero Tolerance, the ninth Southern Ocean anti-whaling campaign featuring its biggest fleet yet: including four ships, a helicopter, eight small RHIB’s, three drones and more than one hundred international volunteers.

October, 2012

Sea Shepherd Opens Australian Base

Sea Shepherd announces the opening of the Southern Operations Base in Williamstown, Australia.

October, 2012

Captain Watson Receives Jules Verne Award

Captain Paul Watson becomes only the second person, after Captain Jacques Cousteau, to be honored with the Jules Verne Award, dedicated to environmentalists and adventurers.

October, 2012

ICR Confirms Sea Shepherd Caused $20.5m in Losses

In a New York Times article, the Institute of Cetacean Research confirms that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society cost the illegal Japanese whalers $20.5 million in losses for the 2010-2011 whaling season in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

September, 2012

Sea Shepherd Returns to Taiji

Operation Infinite Patience 2012-2013 begins in Taiji, Japan as the first Cove Guardians arrive.

September, 2012

Phoenix Islands Shark Defense

Sea Shepherd partners with the nation of Kiribati to patrol the Phoenix Islands to protect the South Pacific shark population.

August, 2012

Namibian Cape Fur Seal Defense

Operation Desert Seal II, Sea Shepherd’s covert campaign to end the slaughter of Cape Fur Seals at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve in Namibia, begins.

August, 2012

INTERPOL Red Notice Issued

An Interpol red notice is issued for Captain Watson in response to Costa Rica’s politically motivated warrant for his arrest.

July, 2012

Captain Watson Skips Bail on Extradition Attempt

Captain Watson leaves Germany, skipping bail, after learning Japan is attempting to extradite him.

July, 2012

Sea Shepherd Australia vs. Fossil Fuels

Bob Brown and Sea Shepherd Australia launch Operation Kimberley Miinimbi to oppose the construction of a large gas hub amidst the largest humpback whale nursery in the world.

July, 2012

Shark Defense in the South Pacific

Operation Requiem, Sea Shepherd’s campaign to defend sharks in the South Pacific begins.

June, 2012

Court Win For Tuna

Sea Shepherd UK wins lawsuit filed by Fish & Fish regarding Sea Shepherd’s release of 800 illegally caught Bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean.

June, 2012

Sam Simon Purchases Japanese Vessel for Sea Shepherd

The Simpsons co-founder Sam Simon funds the purchase of the Seifu Maru, a former vessel of the Japanese government used to collect data for Japan’s North Pacific whaling fleet. Sea Shepherd renames the ship Sam Simon in his honor.

May, 2012

Captain Watson Arrested in Germany

Captain Watson is arrested in Frankfurt, Germany on a warrant issued by Costa Rica. Extradition process begins in Frankfurt.

March, 2012

Dolphin Imports Banned in Switzerland

Sea Shepherd Switzerland is instrumental in the banning of dolphin imports to the country.

March, 2012

768 Whales Saved in Antarctica

Operation Divine Wind comes to a successful conclusion, as Sea Shepherd saves the lives of 768 whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

February, 2012

Hong Kong Airlines Ban Transport of Dolphins

Sea Shepherd visits the corporate headquarters of Hong Kong Airlines to confront the airline for transporting live dolphins to captive facilities. Shortly after airline officials ban the transport of wild animals.

February, 2012

District Court Denies Injunction

U.S. District Court judge denies the Institute of Cetacean Research’s request for a temporary injunction against Sea Shepherd’s activities in the Southern Ocean.

January, 2012

Ninth District Court Injunction

An injunction is issued by the Ninth Circuit court in the United States that prohibits Sea Shepherd USA, Paul Watson, and all its employees from coming within 500 yards of the Japanese whale poaching vessels. In order to continue Operation Zero Tolerance, Captain Paul Watson steps down from Sea Shepherd USA and Australia, as well as his position as captain of the Steve Irwin. Captain Siddharth Chakravarty takes over the Steve Irwin, and Sea Shepherd Australia Managing Director Jeff Hansen and Australian former Greens Party senator, Bob Brown take over as leaders of Operation Zero Tolerance.

2011

December, 2011

Eighth Antarctic Anti-Whaling Campaign Begins

Operation Divine Wind, Sea Shepherd’s eighth Antarctic whale defense campaign is launched. The Brigitte Bardot is damaged by a rogue wave in the Southern Ocean and must be escorted back to Australia for repairs. Sea Shepherd receives approval from Australia to use drones to search for the whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean.

November, 2011

Saving Sharks in Australia

Sea Shepherd Australia is instrumental in raising awareness to prevent a proposed shark cull in Western Australia.

September, 2011

Second Year in Taiji

Operation Infinite Patience begins its second season as Cove Guardians arrive in Taiji.

July, 2011

Operation Desert Seal Begins

Operation Desert Seal begins in Namibia. Crews attempt to document and expose the largest slaughter of marine mammals in the world, Cape Fur Seals. Crewmembers are robbed, harassed, and chased.

July, 2011

Steve Irwin Detained

The Steve Irwin is detained in the Shetland Island after Maltese fishing company, Fish & Fish files a suit against Sea Shepherd in civil court for alleged damage to fishing gear caused during Operation Blue Rage. The Steve Irwin is released in August after Sea Shepherd supporters raise $735,000 to free the ship.

July, 2011

Faroe Islands Whale Defense

The Faroe Islands whale defense campaign Operation Ferocious Isles is launched, and runs until August with no pilot whales slaughtered in the Faroe Islands while Sea Shepherd was present.

May, 2011

Mediterranean Tuna Defense

Operation Blue Rage 2011 commences in the Mediterranean Sea.

May, 2011

Gojira Becomes Brigitte Bardot

The Gojira is renamed Brigitte Bardot, named after the dedicated animal rights activist.

February, 2011

Another Anti-Whaling Success in Antarctica

After being tailed by the Bob Barker for nine days, the Japanese whaling fleet flees the Southern Ocean; Operation No Compromise is declared a victory.

February, 2011

Sea Shepherd in Times Square

Sea Shepherd’s first outdoor advertising campaign is launched in Times Square in NYC. A large graphic depicting a breaching whale and a harpoon exploding into a whale’s back are featured on the CBS screen.

January, 2011

WIkileaks Reveals Sea Shepherd a "Threat"

Through a classified U.S. State Department document quoting the Japanese Fisheries Agency, Wikileaks reveals that Sea Shepherd is a considered a serious threat by the illegal Japanese whaling fleet.

2010

December, 2010

Seventh Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign

Sea Shepherd ships depart for Operation No Compromise, the seventh Antarctic whale defense campaign. The Bob Barker confiscates illegal poaching gear from the Southern Ocean’s Waters, including hundreds of feet of long lines, and Sea Shepherd intercepts the illegal Japanese whaling fleet before a single whale is killed.

November, 2010

New Ship Gojira Announced

Sea Shepherd welcomes fast interceptor vessel, Gojira to the fleet.

September, 2010

First Cove Guardians Stand in Taiji

 Sea Shepherd crew arrive in Taiji, Japan to stand as the first Cove Guardians and begin the first season of Operation Infinite Patience.

July, 2010

Undercover in the Faroes

Sea Shepherd sends an undercover operative to the Faroe Islands to document the cruel pilot whale slaughter known as the Grindadráp.

July, 2010

Sea Shepherd Responds to Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Operation Gulf Rescue begins in the Gulf of Mexico in response to BP’s catastrophic oil spill.

June, 2010

Steve Irwin Hunts Tuna Poachers

The Steve Irwin patrols the waters of Malta looking for illegal bluefin tuna poachers and continues to patrol the surrounding areas for the next month. Operation Blue Rage, Sea Shepherd’s first campaign to defend endangered Bluefin tuna, takes place in the Mediterranean.

January, 2010

Taiji Documentary Wins Oscar

The Cove, a documentary highlighting the dolphin massacre in Taiji and featuring Sea Shepherd, wins the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary.

January, 2010

Antarctic Campaign Saves 528 Whales

The Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Ady Gil navigate to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary for Operation Waltzing Matilda to intervene against illegal whaling activities. The Shonan Maru No. 2 deliberately rams and sinks the Ady Gil. Captain Peter Bethune boards the Shonan Maru No. 2 to deliver an invoice for the loss of his sunken boat, which results in his transport to a Japanese prison. Operation Waltzing Matilda is a success, resulting in saving the lives of 528 whales and costing the Japanese whaling fleet tens of millions of dollar in losses.

2009

December, 2009

Sixth Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign Commences

The Steve Irwin and the Ady Gil depart for Antarctica on Operation Waltzing Matilda in search of the Japanese whaling fleet while the newly-acquired Bob Barker secretly departs from Mauritius to locate and surprise the whaling fleet.

October, 2009

Bob Barker Purchases Former Norwegian Whaling Ship

Thanks to a $5,000,000 contribution from American television personality and icon Bob Barker, Sea Shepherd was able to purchase and refit a former Norwegian whaling ship, to be named Bob Barker.

October, 2009

New Ship Ady Gil Unveiled

Sea Shepherd unveils their newest ocean defense vessel: the Ady Gil, a trimaran that holds the world record for global circumnavigation and who is named after its benefactor who helped acquire the vessel.

September, 2009

Crew Fined for "Crime" of Witnessing Seal Slaughter

Captain Alex Cornelissen and 1st Officer Peter Hammarstedt are each fined $11,607 and forbidden to enter Canada for their 2008 “crime” of witnessing a seal hunt within 926 meters.

August, 2009

4-Star Charity Award

Charity Navigator awards Sea Shepherd with the coveted 4-star charity rating for sound fiscal management.

June, 2009

6th Antarctic Anti Whaling Campaign Announced

Sea Shepherd’s 6th Antarctic whale defense campaign, Operation Waltzing Matilda, is announced.

June, 2009

Charges Dropped Against Captain Watson

All charges are dropped in a Canadian court against Captain Watson for allegedly operating a Canadian-registered ship without a commercial license. Defense attorney Terry La Liberte was able to prove that Captain Watson upholds the law and furthermore keeps an unblemished record of never having a single criminal felony conviction or a conviction for a maritime related offense.

May, 2009

Whale Sharks Safe From Resorts

The Resorts World at Sentosa, Singapore, opts out of plans to install a major aquarium exhibit designed to display captive whale sharks. This victory is thanks in part to Sea Shepherd and other conservation groups who actively opposed the development in Singapore.

2008

December, 2008

Antarctic Whale Defense Success

Operation Musashi launches to protect whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, intervenes against the illegal Japanese whaling fleet and saves the lives of 305 whales.

October, 2008

Permanent Base Established in Galapagos

Sea Shepherd Galapagos helps to establish a permanent floating base at Darwin and Wolf Islands, to guard against poachers on a continuous basis.

September, 2008

At The Edge of the World Premieres

At the Edge of the World by Tim Gorski and Dan and Craig Stone premieres at the Toronto Film Festival. This film documents Sea Shepherd’s 2006/2007 Southern Ocean anti-whaling campaign, Operation Leviathan.

June, 2008

Operation Musashi Announced at IWC Meeting

Captain Watson attends the International Whaling Commission meeting in Santiago, Chile, along with former Australian Minister for the Environment and Whaling Commissioner, Sea Shepherd Advisory Board member Ian Campbell. Sea Shepherd announces Operation Musashi, the return to the Southern Ocean to once again intervene against illegal Japanese whaling in December 2008.

April, 2008

Court Win in Brazil

Sea Shepherd Brazil wins legal battle against illegal fishing operations in Brazil. The court fines the companies based on evidence gathered by Sea Shepherd crew.

April, 2008

Crew Arrested in Canada for Observing Seal Slaughter

Farley Mowat departs from Bermuda for the ice floes of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to document illegal sealing operations. Although the ship never enters Canadian territorial waters, the Canadian government sends a SWAT team to board and seize the ship, and to confiscate all video and photos taken of the seal slaughter. Dutch Captain Alex Cornelissen and Swedish First Officer Peter Hammarstedt are arrested and charged for approaching too close to a seal hunt. They are released on $10,000 bail that Captain Watson posts in Canadian $2 coins. The ship is held and placed under 24 hour armed guard until the trial, which is scheduled for April 2009. The timely voyage focuses international attention on the Canadian seal slaughter and contributes to the European Parliament adopting a proposal to ban all seal products.

March, 2008

Captain Watson: Wildlife Warrior of the Year

Captain Paul Watson receives the Steve Irwin Wildlife Warrior of the Year Award from Terri Irwin.

March, 2008

Sea Shepherd's K-9 Unit Established

Sea Shepherd organizes a K-9 unit in partnership with the Ecuadorian National Police to detect smuggled shark fins and sea cucumbers at ports and airports.

February, 2008

Steve Irwin Discovers Toothfish Poachers in Antarctica

The Steve Irwin and crew discover, document and report the activities of illegal Patagonian toothfish poachers off the coast of Antarctica, inside the Australian Antarctic territorial limits.

January, 2008

Crew Arrested, yet Operation Migaloo a Success

The Steve Irwin voyages twice to the coast of Antarctica to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Two Sea Shepherd crew board a Japanese harpoon boat, are detained for three days and then released. The Japanese Coast Guard throws concussion grenades and fires upon Sea Shepherd crew. Operation Migaloo concludes with over 500 whales saved, and a large loss of profits for the Japanese fleet.

2007

December, 2007

Robert Hunter Renamed Steve Irwin, Departs for Antarctica

The Robert Hunter is renamed the Steve Irwin, and departs Melbourne, Australia, on Operation Migaloo, to intercept and obstruct illegal Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

June, 2007

45,000 Shark Fins Seized by Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd's Galapagos Director Sean O'Hearn leads raids on the mainland of Ecuador that seizes 45,000 shark fins and 92,000 sea cucumbers, arresting more than a dozen poachers and exposing the operations of the Ecuadorian Shark Fin Mafia.

February, 2007

Third Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign

The Robert Hunter joins the Farley Mowat in the Ross Sea for the third Whale Defense Campaign, locating the Japanese whaling fleet in February. Sea Shepherd chases and disrupts the activities of the Nisshin Maru, shutting down their operations. Two Sea Shepherd crew are temporarily lost when heavy fog moves in but are located and rescued 8 hours later. The Japanese vessel Kaiko Maru rams the Robert Hunter twice causing damage to the hull.

2006

October, 2006

Purchase of the Robert Hunter

Sea Shepherd purchases a Scottish Fisheries Patrol vessel and renames it Robert Hunter in honor of the man who was a journalist, co-founder of Greenpeace, friend of Captain Watson, and Sea Shepherd Advisory Board member.

January, 2006

Ramming the Oriental Bluebird

The Farley Mowat intercepts and rams the whaling fleet supply vessel Oriental Bluebird. The supply ship is ordered out of the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary and complies. Afterwards, the Farley Mowat is detained by South African authorities due to pressure by the Japanese government.

2005

December, 2005

First Antarctic Anti-Whaling Success

The Farley Mowat leaves Melbourne, Australia en route to the Southern Ocean to search for the Japanese fleet for the second Whale Defense Campaign. On December 25th, the Farley Mowat intercepts and chases the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru for three thousand miles along the Antarctic coast. The Nisshin Maru stops whaling activities and flees.

August, 2005

Galapagos Office Opens

Sea Shepherd opens a permanent office in the Galapagos and extends the agreement with the Galapagos National Park (GNP) to assist in the patrols of the Galapagos National Park Marine Reserve.

February, 2005

Violence Against Sea Shepherd in the Gulf of St Lawrence

Farley Mowat enters the Gulf of St. Lawrence to intervene against the slaughter of seal pups. A Sea Shepherd crew member is attacked and violently assaulted on the ice. Eleven crewmembers are arrested and charged with documenting the killing of seals. The police refuse to lay charges against the sealers for assault.

2004

January, 2004

Farley Mowat Patrols the Galapagos

The Farley Mowat patrols the Galapagos National Park, intercepting and assisting in the arrest of a Costa Rican longliner, an Ecuadorian gillnetter, and an Ecuadorian- and American-owned tuna seiner.

2003

October, 2003

Sea Shepherd Exposes Taiji Dolphin Hunt

Sea Shepherd crew document illegal capture and slaughter of dolphins in the Solomon Islands and Taiji, Japan, bringing international media attention to the slaughter. Allison Lance and Alex Cornelissen are arrested after diving into the bay at Taiji, in order to cut the nets to release 15 dolphins awaiting slaughter. Both spend three weeks in jail before being released.

2002

December, 2002

First Antarctic Anti-Whaling Campiagn

The Farley Mowat travels to Antarctica in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the Japanese whaling fleet on Sea Shepherd’s first Southern Ocean Whale Defense Campaign.

April, 2002

Ocean Warrior becomes Farley Mowat

Sea Shepherd changes the name of the Ocean Warrior to Farley Mowat in honor of the Canadian writer and Sea Shepherd international chairman, and re-registers the ship to Canada.

April, 2002

Costa Rica Orders Captain Watson Arrested

The Ocean Warrior catches the Costa Rican longliner Varadero I poaching off the coast of Guatemala. Guatemalan authorities give Captain Watson permission to escort the poacher into San Jose, Guatemala. When the Varadero I attempts to flee, the Ocean Warrior deploys fire hoses and the Varadero I accidentally strikes the hull of the Ocean Warrior, causing some damage to the poacher. The next morning, the Port Captain of San Jose informs Captain Watson that he would be arresting the Ocean Warrior for using force against the Varadero I. Captain Watson releases the Varadero I and proceeds on to Costa Rica, where he is charged with attempted murder and destruction of property based on accusations from the crew of the Varadero I. Captain Watson presents video evidence disputing the claims, the charges are dropped and Captain Watson is released. Ten days later another prosecutor and another judge have reopened the case after pressure from the Costa Rican fishing industry. There are no charges because of insufficient evidence, but the court orders that Captain Watson be arrested and held indefinitely without bail until a determination on charges could be made. Captain Watson replies that he will not comply with any arrest order unless there were official charges, eludes police to return to his ship, and departs Costa Rican waters.

March, 2002

Sea Shepherd Given Authority to Patrol Costa Rica

Sea Shepherd signs an agreement with the government of Costa Rica and the Cocos Island Foundation, giving Sea Shepherd the authority to intervene in all illegal fishing operations around the Cocos Island.

January, 2002

Seal Wars published

Paul Watson publishes Seal Wars, Twenty-Five Years on the Front Lines with the Harp Seals

2001

August, 2001

Ocean Warrior Apprehends Longliner

With Cocos National Park rangers on board, Ocean Warrior apprehends the large Ecuadorian longliner San Jose, caught poaching off Cocos Island, Costa Rica, and confiscates 30 miles of longline and their illegal catch of sharks, turtles, sailfish, and dolphins. Found guilty, the San Jose is ordered confiscated by the courts.

August, 2001

Exposing Ecuadorian Corruption

Sea Shepherd secures evidence of corruption in the Ecuadorian Navy and releases it to the public. As a result, when the Ocean Warrior stops in the Galapagos to re-supply the Sirenian, the Ecuadorian Navy places the Ocean Warrior under guard and then orders the ship to depart from the Galapagos.

August, 2001

Sirenian Seizes Longliners in the Galapagos

The Sea Shepherd patrol vessel Sirenian seizes four longliners and two commercial shark-finning boats caught inside the Galapagos Marine Reserve, and closes down a sea cucumber poaching camp.

July, 2001

Exposing Whaling in St Lucia

During the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the Ocean Warrior sails to St. Lucia in the West Indies and films a fisherman bringing in a slain pilot whale on the same day the government denies that St. Lucia hunts whales. Sea Shepherd coordinates a campaign against the Caribbean nations which vote with Japan at the IWC in exchange for "fisheries aid." St. Lucia receives more than 400 cancellations of resort bookings as a result.

January, 2001

Sirenian Assists Oil Spill Cleanup

The oil tanker Jessica runs aground off San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos, spilling 160,000 gallons of diesel and 80,000 gallons of bunker fuel. Sirenian is the first vessel on the scene, and proceeds to spend three weeks assisting the Galapagos National Park and a special U.S. Coast Guard team in oil spill cleanup and wildlife rescue.

2000

July, 2000

Ocean Warrior in the Faroes

The Ocean Warrior sails to the Faeroe Islands to intervene against the annual slaughter of pilot whales. Once again, the issue of the hunt is brought to the front pages of the European media. Sea Shepherd brings economic pressure against those companies still purchasing seafood from the Faeroes, and over 20,000 European retail outlets terminated their Faeroese fish contracts at Sea Shepherd's request.

April, 2000

Anti-Poaching in Brazil

Sea Shepherd Brazil signs an agreement with the State of Rio Grande du Sol in Brazil to conduct anti-poaching patrols along the nation's southern coast.

March, 2000

Sirenian Patrols for Ecuador

Sea Shepherd signs a 5-year agreement with the Ecuadorian National Park Service and Navy to provide the Sirenian and its crew for joint conservation patrols. In cooperation with the Darwin Research Center, the agreement aims to clamp down on illegal fishing and shark finning within the 50,000-acre Galapagos National Park marine reserve.

February, 2000

Belize: "No Bribe, No Boat."

Sea Shepherd III is struck from Belize registry after Captain Watson refuses to pay a bribe to Belize officials. The ship is re-registered under the Cayman Islands and renamed the Ocean Warrior.

January, 2000

Sea Shepherd Brazil Oil Spill Rescue

A Petrobras Oil Company pipeline ruptures near Rio de Janeiro and spills over 300,000 gallons of crude oil into the bay and marshes. Sea Shepherd volunteers coordinate wildlife rescue efforts. The Rio Grande do Sul state government contracts with Sea Shepherd Brasil to develop an oiled wildlife rescue plan.

1999

December, 1999

Sea Shepherd Europe Oil Spill Rescue

The oil tanker Erika breaks up in heavy seas off the coast of France, and the Russian tanker Volgoneft 247 breaks up in the Bosporus Strait off Turkey. Sea Shepherd Europe volunteers travel to both countries and assemble international volunteer teams to rescue and transport oiled seabirds from the Erika spill to care centers. Cooperative training programs are established with Pieterburen Wildlife Rescue Center in the Netherlands. The Turkish government agrees to work with Sea Shepherd on oil spill disaster response issues.

May, 1999

Sirenian Siezed Over Makah Whaling

Sea Shepherd returns to Neah Bay, Washington, in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the Makah from killing gray whales. Numerous activists are arrested and the Sirenian is seized by the U.S. Coast Guard.

April, 1999

Aldi Drops Faroese Seafood

In Germany, Sea Shepherd successfully persuades Aldi, one of the largest food distributors in Europe, to terminate its contracts with the Faeroe Islands until they agree to stop slaughtering pilot whales.

March, 1999

Captain Watson Receives the Earth Trustee Environmental Award

Captain Watson receives the Earth Trustee Environmental Award in a United Nations Earth Day ceremony at U.N. Plaza.

1998

September, 1998

A Win for the Whales Over "Cultural" Whaling.

At the urging of the commercial whaling industries of Norway and Japan, the Makah Indian tribe claims a right to resume whale hunting guaranteed in their 1855 treaty with the U.S., which is granted an exception to the worldwide moratorium on whaling for purely "cultural" purposes. Because this would give every nation on earth a new category for whaling, Sea Shepherd sends two ships to Neah Bay, Washington, where they are joined on the water by local citizens and other anti-whaling activists. Despite mob violence, arrests, and harassment, the coalition of activists shields the local whales and succeeds in focusing enough media attention to the hunt to make the Makah stand down without taking a single whale.

March, 1998

Captain Watson Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Captain Watson is awarded the Genesis Award for Lifetime Achievement in Los Angeles. The award is presented by Pierce Brosnan and Martin Sheen.

March, 1998

Sea Shepherd III Protects Seals in Canada

With mortalities from the Canadian sealing industry reaching 500,000, the Sea Shepherd III makes the voyage to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as the first conservation vessel at Canada's annual wildlife slaughter since 1983. The visit attracts international journalists to the hunt, and wards sealers off from the main seal nursery.

1997

October, 1997

Opposing Indigenous Whaling at the IWC

Sea Shepherd attends the International Whaling Commission in Monaco with U.S. Congressman Jack Metcalf (R-WA) and a delegation of Makah tribal elders, to give voice to the strong opposition to the Makah's request for permission to start hunting Gray whales.

September, 1997

Sea Shepherd III Stops Italian Driftnetting

The Sea Shepherd III makes her maiden voyage to the Mediterranean to intervene against ongoing illegal driftnetting there. Italy's driftnetters, the primary offenders, immediately announce they will halt the practice.

March, 1997

Captain Watson Arrested for Scuttling Whaling Ship

Captain Watson is arrested on a Norwegian Interpol warrant for a conviction in absentia for the sinking of the outlaw whaler Nybraena in 1992. He is held for one day and released by the Bremen prosecutor who rules that the warrant contains contradictory information. Concerned that the Norwegian warrant would hinder his travel in Europe, Captain Watson turns himself in for arrest in the Netherlands on April 2nd. Supporters protest at Norwegian and Dutch embassies worldwide. Following a hearing, Norway's extradition request is denied, and Captain Watson is freed after spending 90 days in jail.

1996

January, 1996

Non-Lethal Seal Fur, Sea Shepherd III

Sea Shepherd returns to the Gulf of St. Lawrence one year after the sealer’s attack with a bedding company interested in commercializing baby seal fur. They successfully gather baby harp seal fur without incident. Canada kills 250,000 seals.

Sea Shepherd purchases a British-registered, Norwegian-built trawler, renaming it Sea Shepherd III and repairs and refit work begin in Edinburgh, Scotland. In December, the British Ministry of Fisheries hires Sea Shepherd crew to guard their patrol boats over the holidays.

1995

October, 1995

Captain Watson's UN Award Denied

Paul Watson is voted to receive the 1995 Eugene Rogers Award by the United Nations Association of Canada for his work in defense of the salmon in British Columbia. The Award was denied after the Western Canada Wilderness Society protested.

August, 1995

Ireland Bans Driftnetting

The government of Ireland rules to ban driftnetting after lobbying by Sea Shepherd representatives.

August, 1995

Protecting California Gray Whales From Death By "Cultural Values"

The Makah Indian tribe of Neah Bay, Washington, claims the right to hunt California Gray whales under an 1855 treaty with the U.S., which they wanted revived in the name of "cultural and spiritual values." Over a dozen tribes along the coast of British Columbia assert that they would press for an extension of their fishing rights to include whales should the Makah's petition be approved. Thanks to two visits from the Sirenian in Neah Bay, Sea Shepherd's ongoing presence, media campaign, and work with US Congressman Jack Metcalf (R-WA), the U.S. Administration withdraws support of the Makah's formal petition before the International Whaling Commission meeting in Scotland.

March, 1995

Sealers Riot in the Gulf of St Lawrence

Actor/activist Martin Sheen agrees to support Sea Shepherd efforts in seal conservation and accompanies Captain Watson and a crew to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Before they could fly out to the seals on the ice floes, a mob of angry sealers invades their hotel on Magdalen Islands, breaks down the door to Captain Watson's room, and beat him. The Police intervene only to forcibly expel Captain Watson from the Magdalens. The campaign receives international media coverage.

January, 1995

Sea Lions of San Francisco Saved

Sea Shepherd negotiates an agreement with the City of San Francisco, preventing the cull of Californian sea lions.

1994

July, 1994

Whales Forever Attacked by Norwegian Navy

Whales Forever confronts illegal whaling operations off the northern coast of Norway, provoking extensive media coverage in Europe. The Norwegian Naval vessel Andenes intercepts and attacks the Whales Forever and causes considerable damage to the ship. After a fundraising tour in Germany, Whales Forever is sold in Florida, with funds set aside for the purchase of a new ship

March, 1994

New Ship, "Whales Forever" Sabotaged

Sea Shepherd purchases a British ship and renames it Whales Forever, which is sabotaged by two arson attacks. The first causes minor damage, while the second causes an explosion and fire in the ship's engine room that take over a month to repair.

January, 1994

Ocean Warrior Published

Paul Watson's book Ocean Warrior, My Battle to End the Illegal Slaughter on the High Seas is published.

January, 1994

Scuttling the Senet

A Sea Shepherd team scuttles the illegally operated Norwegian whaling vessel Senet in southern Norway. An investigation revealed that the vessel had just returned from smuggling a new engine in from Denmark, and the owner was fined accordingly. There were no charges brought against Sea Shepherd by Norway for the sinking.

1993

May, 1993

Cleveland Armory Controversy

Captain Watson purchases a retired Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker and renames it the Cleveland Amory. Its first and only campaign is in the Grand Banks off Newfoundland confronting illegal fishing by Cuban trawlers. The political controversy results in ten Cuban drag trawlers departing the Banks with reported losses of thirty-five million dollars. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police board the Cleveland Amory and arrest Captain Watson outside the two-hundred-mile limit, charging him with three counts of criminal mischief, and impound the Cleveland Amory in St. John's, Newfoundland. To avoid the bureaucratic obstacles and $30k fine involved in getting the Cleveland Amory released, Sea Shepherd sells the ship to a private buyer at a profit. All felony charges against Captain Watson are dropped in the 1995 Newfoundland Supreme Court trial, when a jury accepts the argument that the World Charter for Nature granted him authority to intervene.

January, 1993

Earthforce! Published

Paul Watson's book Earthforce! An Earth Warrior's Guide to Strategy is published.

January, 1993

Norway Refuses Prosecution

Sea Shepherd challenges the government of Norway to prosecute the Sea Shepherd crew responsible for sinking the Norwegian whaler Nybraena. Norway refuses to respond.

1992

December, 1992

Scuttling Illegal Norwegian Whalers

After months of surveillance, Captain Watson leads a team to Norway to search for illegal Norwegian whaling vessels. Dwight Worker engineers the scuttling of the Norwegian whaler Nybraena at dockside in the Lofoten Islands on December 26th.

September, 1992

Sea Shepherd II Retires

After ten years of service, the Sea Shepherd II has become too costly to maintain and is retired on Vancouver Island. Sea Shepherd purchases a Japanese-built, Taiwanese-registered driftnetter to be outfitted as a decoy to infiltrate driftnetting fleets.

March, 1992

Edward Abbey Becomes Sirenian

The Edward Abbey is re-registered as a Canadian research vessel and given the name Sirenian before traveling to Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island for a summer of controversial protest against the clear-cutting of the Clayoquot valley.

February, 1992

Evicting Poachers in Costa Rica

The Sea Shepherd II and the Edward Abbey evict poachers in Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica. The ships then intervene against tuna seiners killing dolphins in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, and cut and confiscate the nets of a Japanese driftnet fleet in the mid-Northern Pacific Ocean.

1991

December, 1991

Intercepting the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria for the First Nations

Sea Shepherd II departs from the Bahamas with a crew that includes fourteen members of the Gitk'san Wet'su'e'ten nation of British Columbia. For the voyage the name of the ship is changed to Aligat meaning Warrior, with the objective is to intercept the Quincentennial voyage of Christopher Columbus’ fleet, the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. En route the crew stops at San Salvador Island to reclaim it for the First Nations. The Santa Maria is seized and held until the Spanish Consul in Puerto Rico signs a letter of apology for five hundred years of injustice to the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

November, 1991

Purchase of the Edward Abbey

Sea Shepherd purchases a former U.S. Coast Guard patrol vessel and names it the Edward Abbey in honor of the author, friend of Captain Watson, and Sea Shepherd Advisory Board member.

July, 1991

Sea Shepherd II joins Trinidad & Tobago Coast Guard

Sea Shepherd II is given a reception and made an official auxiliary to the Trinidad & Tobago Coast Guard for its efforts against illegal Taiwanese longliners. After assisting in investigating and exposing the bribery of Trinidadian government officials by the Taiwanese fishing industry, the politicians taking the bribes are arrested.

January, 1991

Rescuing Dolphins from Tuna Seiner in Guatemala

Off the coast of Guatemala, the Sea Shepherd II discovers the Mexican tuna seiner Tungui with its nets in the water and dolphins struggling to escape. Despite the darkness of night, Captain Watson orders the Mexicans to release the dolphins. When they refuse, he rams and damages the Tungui and turns a high-pressure hose on her onboard helicopter. The dolphins are released. Guatemala officially thanks Sea Shepherd for the intervention.

1990

August, 1990

Battling Driftnetters in North Pacific

Sea Shepherd works with a marine biologist and a physicist to find a method for sinking driftnet without ecological damage. The Sea Shepherd II departs from Seattle to search for driftnet fleets in the North Pacific, and rams two Japanese driftnet vessels and sinks sixty miles of monofilament driftnet, costing the Japanese in excess of two million dollars. Despite Sea Shepherd video documentation of the action shown worldwide, the official Japanese response is that "nothing happened”.

1989

August, 1989

Protecting Dolphins in Central America

Sea Shepherd II intercepts Venezuelan tuna seiners Puntarenas, Costa Rica with evidence of dolphin killing, and chases numerous Mexican tuna boats away from pods of dolphins in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

1988

November, 1988

The Divine Wind is sold to pay for a complete overhaul of the Sea Shepherd II

March, 1988

Evidence of US Vessel Killing Dolphins

When a Sea Shepherd agent documents the killing of dolphins by a United States tuna seiner, the footage is released to the public in addition to film taken by the Earth Island Institute on board a Panamanian tuna seiner. The footage scandalizes the tuna industry and contributes to the ban on dolphin killing by U.S. tuna companies.

January, 1988

Challenging Iceland to Press Charges

To address accusations of committing crimes in Iceland, Captain Watson returns to the island with activist Dr. Joanna Forwell and Sea Shepherd Sweden Director Sten Borg and demands that Iceland lay charges against Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and himself for sinking half of their whaling fleet. When Iceland refuses, Sea Shepherd announces that any accusations of criminality against Sea Shepherd are unwarranted as they had not been charged, let alone convicted, of any crime in Iceland.

1987

August, 1987

Sea Shepherd Acquires Divine Wind

With the Sea Shepherd II in Britain and in need of repairs, in June Sea Shepherd acquires a Japanese skip-jack tuna vessel renamed Divine Wind, for anti-driftnet campaigns in the North Pacific Aleutian Islands. They document "ghost nets" in Amchitka and Attu, and removes many miles of driftnet material on the expedition.

1986

November, 1986

Shutting Down Icelandic Whaling

Sea Shepherd activists take action against illegal Icelandic whaling operations by sinking of two of Iceland's four whaling ships in Reykjavik harbor. They also destroy the whale processing station at Hvalfjörður, effectively shutting down Icelandic commercial whaling activities for the next 16 years.

July, 1986

Anti-whaling Campaign in Faroe Islands

After attending the June meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Malmo, Sweden, the Sea Shepherd II departs for the Danish Faroe Islands to document and obstruct the Faroese pilot whale hunt. Captain Watson sends in a team of five crewmembers to meet with the government, who are arrested and held without charges. The Sea Shepherd II refuses to depart from Faroese waters until the crew is released. The Faroese respond by attacking with rifle fire and tear gas. Captain Watson defends the ship with water cannons and cannons loaded with chocolate and lemon pie-filling. The Faroese attackers are humiliatingly slimed with goo and the Sea Shepherd II escapes with documentation of whaling activities and a dramatic confrontation filmed and aired in a BBC produced award-winning documentary Black Harvest.

1985

December, 1985

UK Bans Relief Voyage to Ethiopia

After the Canadian Supreme Court upholds the ruling of the Quebec Court of Appeal and orders the return of Sea Shepherd II, the ship sails to London to prepare for a relief voyage to Ethiopia for Band Aid (Captain Watson and Bob Geldof had worked together years before for the same alternative newspaper the Georgia Straight). However, after departing London the Sea Shepherd II is ordered into the port of Brest, France, by the U.K. Board of Trade, which had changed its bureaucratic mind, stating that the Sea Shepherd II is not a registered cargo vessel and thus cannot transport relief supplies.

1984

February, 1984

Confronting Aerial Wolf Hunters in Canada

Without a ship, Captain Watson and his crew launch a high-profile land-based campaign against the aerial shooting of wolves in Northern British Columbia. In the hostile town of Fort Nelson, Captain Watson holds a press conference and debates four hundred hunters and trappers in heated arguments that make national news. Captain Watson and Robert Hunter publish "Cry Wolf!" exposing the corruption behind the government's wolf eradication programs. The publicity forces the resignation of the British Columbian Minister of the Environment, Anthony Brummett.

1983

March, 1983

Sea Shepherd II Confiscated in Canada

Sea Shepherd II blockades the harbor at St. John's, Newfoundland, and prevents the Canadian sealing fleet from leaving for two weeks, then moves to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and escorts sealing ships away from the harp seal nursery. RCMP and Canadian Coast Guard units ram and board the Sea Shepherd II in a tear-gas assault, arresting Captain Watson and nineteen crewmembers. The Sea Shepherd II is confiscated and Captain Watson is fined $75,000 and sentenced to 15 months in prison for conspiracy to violate the Seal Protection Act, and another 6 months for approaching within a half a nautical mile of a seal hunt. Captain Watson is ordered to not communicate in any manner, with any journalist, anywhere in the world, on any subject for a period of three years, and banned from the five Eastern Canadian provinces for three years. Engineer Paul Pezwick is given a 7-month prison term and fined $7,000. All other crewmembers are fined $3,000 each. However, the Quebec Court of Appeal releases both men nine days later and in January 1984 rules in favor of Captain Watson and the crew of the Sea Shepherd II, dropping all charges. The Canadian government appeals the decision and maintains possession of the Sea Shepherd II.

January, 1983

Humanitarian Trip to Grenada

Sea Shepherd II transits the Panama Canal to deliver a cargo of relief supplies to the Caribbean island of Grenada after a military coup and the US-led invasion. Witnessing deplorable conditions in the capital’s zoo, Sea Shepherd crew raid and release all the primates in the jungle on the island. Captain Watson responds to criticism of the release by saying Sea Shepherd did not bring the monkeys to Grenada and his crew would not sit by and watch the animals abused without doing what was needed to alleviate their suffering. "Besides," he said, "these primates cannot possibly do more damage than the primate Homo sapiens already has to this island."

1982

November, 1982

Seal Sanctuary in Orkney Islands

Sea Shepherd crew completely disrupt the killing of grey seals in the Scottish Orkney Islands, and establish the Sea Shepherd Islands Trust to purchase the Orkney Island of Little Green Holm and transform it into a permanent sanctuary for the grey seals.

September, 1982

Confronting Soviet Whalers

Captain Jet Johnson (a former Canadian Air Force fighter) pilots a plane for Paul Watson and Carroll Vogel to drop sixteen large light bulbs full of red paint -- and a message in Russian protesting the illegal kill of whales by the Soviets -- onto the deck of a Soviet spy ship off the coast of Washington State. Paul Watson was the only one arrested and charged with the dangerous operation of an aircraft despite not being the pilot, but the charges were dismissed when the Russians failed to appear as witnesses.

September, 1982

Historic Swim in Vancouver

Captain Watson and crewmember Tate Landis become the first people to successfully swim the 56-kilometer Georgia Straight from Naniamo on Vancouver Island to Jericho Beach in Vancouver, organized to focus attention on the Canadian seal hunt.

May, 1982

Stopping Ireland's Seal Hunt

Sea Shepherd crew members from Ireland camp on Iniskea Island in the Irish Sea to interfere with the killing of grey seals by Irish fishermen. At the end of the season the government of Ireland finally rules to shut down the grey seal hunt in the Irish Sea.

May, 1982

Publication of Captain Watson's book "Sea Shepherd, My Fight for Whales and Seals"

March, 1982

Saving Dolphins at Iki Island

Sea Shepherd II prepares for a campaign to stop the slaughter of dolphins at Iki Island, Japan. To avoid a confrontation, the Japanese government invites Captain Watson to Iki Island for three days of negotiations with the local fishermen, who eventually agree to end the slaughter of dolphins at Iki Island.

1981

July, 1981

Whale Campaign in Siberia

The Sea Shepherd II departs for Soviet Siberia on a campaign to protect Gray whales. Although pursued by the Soviet Navy, the crew documents illegal Soviet whaling activities off the coast of Siberia, and turns over the evidence to the US Congress.

April, 1981

Official Charity Registration of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Portland, Oregon

March, 1981

Return to Canadian Seal Hunt

Despite a court order from 1980 barring Captain Watson from going near the Canadian sea hunt, he leads a crew with three ocean kayaks to the Gulf of St. Lawrence to spray hundreds of seals with harmless blue dye. After Captain Watson defies Canada to arrest him, his conviction of 1980 is overturned on appeal.

1980

October, 1980

The Purchase of Sea Shepherd II

Captain Watson options the movie rights to the Sea Shepherd and Sierra story to Warner Brothers and raises enough money to purchase another Yorkshire trawler in Britain which would become Sea Shepherd II.

September, 1980

The End of Illegal Whaling in the Atlantic

In response to the worldwide publicity of the sinking of the pirate whalers in Spain and Portugal, the South African Navy sink the Susan and the Theresa after seizing them from the owners of the Sierra, and all illegal whaling operations in the Atlantic cease.

April, 1980

Sea Shepherd Goes After More Pirates

Sea Shepherd is responsible for the sinking of two Spanish pirate whalers which had been violating whaling quotas, the Ibsa I and Ibsa II, in Vigo, Spain. After Sea Shepherd posts reward posters all over the waterfront of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands offering a $25,000 bounty on the outlaw whaler Astrid, the pirate ship’s owners are unable to trust their own crew and retire the vessel.
February, 1980

The Sinking of the Sierra

After the Sierra Trading Company spends over one million dollars to repair the Sierra, the whaling ship is scuttled in port by members of Sea Shepherd without injuries to her crew, thus permanently ending the career of the world's most ruthless illegal whaling ship.

1979

July, 1979

Hunting Down a Pirate Whaling Ship

Sea Shepherd hunts down one of the world’s most notorious pirate whalers, the Sierra in Leixoes, Portugal. After ramming and disabling it, Captain Watson surrenders to the Portuguese Navy. The story makes headlines worldwide and exposes the operations of the pirate whalers and their Japanese and Norwegian connections. The Port Captain rules that there will be no charges against the Sea Shepherd crew, but the ship is seized and held until Captain Watson and Chief Engineer Peter Woof scuttle the ship on New Year's Eve in Leixoes harbor to prevent it from being handed over to the whalers’ Sierra Trading Company.

March, 1979

The First Sea Campaign

In March, the Sea Shepherd becomes the first ship to go to the ice for the purpose of protecting seals on the Eastern Coast of Canada. Before Captain Watson and his crew are arrested, they save over a thousand baby seals by spraying their white pelts with an indelible organic dye to render them commercially worthless.

1978

November, 1978

Sea Shepherd acquires its first ship

Cleveland Amory of the Fund for Animals and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) provide funds to purchase the British trawler Westella, renamed Sea Shepherd, to be used on the first campaign opposing the Canadian Seal Hunt.

February, 1978

The first campaign

The first Earthforce campaign is launched to protect elephants from poachers in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Uganda, and the Sudan).

1977

June, 1977

Captain Watson Establishes Sea Shepherd

After parting ways with Greenpeace, which he co-founded in 1971, Paul Watson establishes the precursor to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, called the Earthforce Environmental Society, in Vancouver, Canada.

Next
Fleet
We Need Your Support

Take Action for the Oceans!

Please rotate
your device