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
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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