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Operation Zero Tolerance Takes Sail

Danielle LeVee, Global Animal

“The most important issue on this planet right now is to protect and conserve biodiversity in the world’s oceans, and I don’t think people realize just how intimate our connection is with the oceans themselves. Not only do they provide the very foundation of life and control our weather, but life could simply not exist without a healthy ocean. The real problem though is apathy—it’s all out of sight, it’s all out of mind and people don’t even think about it… If the oceans die, then civilization collapses, we all die.” — Captain Paul Watson

shepherd conservation1 Operation Zero Tolerance Takes Sail

Boat crew throws butyric acid at a Japanese harpoon whaling ship in attempt to end illegal whale hunting activities. Photo credit: Adam Lau/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

November 5th launched Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s (SSCS) ninth annual Southern Ocean campaign “Operation Zero Tolerance (OZT)” with the departure of flagship Steve Irwin from Melbourne. Four ships (including Bob Barker, Brigitte Bardot, and Sam Simon), a helicopter, eight small RIB’s, three drones, and more than 100 international volunteers,  plans to follow closely behind. This marks the year of SSCS strongest fleet yet and their new-found zero tolerance policy for whale poachers. 

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is an international non-profit organization created with the mission “to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.” And this year, SSCS has taken on a substantial goal: to send the illegal Japanese whalers home with zero whale kills.

Captain Paul Watson, who has been master and commander of over 225 ocean-going expeditions, states , “The key to success in stopping these illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is basic economics. We will negate their profits. Our objective is to sink the Japanese whaling fleet economically — to bankrupt them,” said Captain Paul Watson. “And we are well on our way to doing just that.”

The New York Times confirmed Captain Watson’s statement in its report on the Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR), the government-owned organization that operates the Japanese Whaling fleet. According to ICR, the SSCS cost the whalers $20.5 million during the 2010-2011 whaling season in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The whalers, who are already operating solely on government subsidies, were further submerged into debt. It’s now just a matter of time before the institute loses all of its funds that the government no longer finds profitable to replenish.

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7 Responses to Operation Zero Tolerance Takes Sail

  1. Silver Peace November 27, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    Take a few moments to view this most vital information. You will be so glad that you did.

  2. Kevin Noell November 27, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    you need at least a 2nd helicopter. you can get funds for another ship but you still only have one helicopter. get some funds and get another so you can be twice as productive. when the Steve Irwin goes to port for fuel the rest of the fleet is left without area coverage. get a 2nd helicopter.

  3. Trish Behrens November 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    GodSpeed Captain. We are with you in spirit and hail your success every step of the way.

  4. Hélène Limouzin November 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Hats off, Captain Paul Watson! Good luck to you and Sea Shepherd fleet for this wonderful campaign full of hope for whales of the oceans! Thank you so much <3 <3 <3.

  5. Terry Korman November 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    Seems to me that I read something about recent research indicating that whales, porpoises and dolphins having emotional and intellectual make-ups not all that different from our own. Killing them only demeans us. Good on you, Paul Watson; and thank you.

  6. Tanmay Kota November 10, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    I love this.

  7. Anna Bakaj on Facebook November 9, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    We came out from the Ocean, this is OUR place of birth, respect it for fake sake!!!!