It’s Good To Be Back
Posted by Captain Paul Watson
Founder, President and Executive Director – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Some 40 months ago I stepped down from the positions of Sea Shepherd USA Board President and Executive Director of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
This week I have returned to the bridge to once again take the helm. On Wednesday, April 6th, the Directors for Sea Shepherd USA voted unanimously to bring me back in the position of President of the seven-member Board.
I have also returned as Executive Director although Pritam Singh will be interim CEO until I return this coming summer to the USA from France.
The seven member Board is now as follows: President: Paul Watson. Chair: Pamela Anderson (CA). Vice President: Pritam Singh. Secretrary Treasurer Peter Rysman (FL). Directors: Ethan Wolf (NY). Tambrey Laine. (FL) and Ann Preyzna (WA).
Dave Hance is now Director of Operations. Andrea Gordon is in charge of Investigations. Farrah Smith is in charge of Development. And we will be recruiting new people to streamline Sea Shepherd with the goal of improving efficiency.
What Does This Mean?
It means that once again I will be able to direct the operations of Sea Shepherd USA, especially the three ships and the campaigns managed by Sea Shepherd USA.
These three ships are: The MARTIN SHEEN and the FARLEY MOWAT presently working in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico to defend the endangered Vaquita and the JULES VERNE presently in Key West Florida being prepared for campaigns in the Caribbean and the West coast of Latin America.
Sea Shepherd USA will also be working closely with Sea Shepherd Global and Global’s director Alex Cornelissen in the Netherlands. Global manages five ships, the BOB BARKER, now off the West coast of Africa, the SAM SIMON, presently in Belgium, the BRIGITTE BARDOT presently in La Ciotat in Southern France, the STEVE IRWIN now in transit from China to Australia and the OCEAN WARRIOR now under construction in Turkey. A ninth ship, the JAIRO MORA SANDOVAL is now being managed by the NGO Biosphera in Cape Verde in partnership with Sea Shepherd Global.
Together, the Sea Shepherd movement worldwide has the largest NGO marine conservation navy on the planet.
Sea Shepherd USA’s current campaigns include:
1. Operation Milagro – to work in partnership with the Mexican Navy to protect the world’s most endangered cetacean – the Vaquita in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez Vaquita Refuge.
2. Operation Jairo – to protect turtles and turtle nests on the beaches of Florida, Costa Rica and Honduras.
3. Our continued partnership with the Galapagos National Park and the Ecuadorian National Police to protect the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
4. Sea Shepherd is working on strategies to develop partnerships with Latin American and Caribbean nations to oppose the poaching of sharks, fish, and turtles.
5. Our continued efforts to work for the establishment of sea pens and for the rehabilitation of Orcas and dolphins from being held in captivity to being returned to the Ocean.
6. This summer Sea Shepherd will be working on a campaign to protect wild salmon in the waters of British Columbia and to oppose the destructive commercial salmon farms.
7. Sea Shepherd will be working to organize a campaign of opposition to the continued slaughter of baby harp and hood seals in Canada and to the slaughter of seals and whales in Greenland.
8. Sea Shepherd will be working to help produce films on sharks, fisheries, plastics, turtles and seals. We will be working to produce a television series for Discovery.
9. Sea Shepherd will also be working on re-organizing the campaigns against the slaughter of dolphins in Japan and the horrific slaughter of pilot whales and dolphins in the Danish Faroe Islands.
10. Sea Shepherd’s Operation Ultimate Justice will be opposing illegal Japanese whaling operations in the U.S. Courts.
11. Sea Shepherd will continue working with Parley for the Oceans to find ways of removing plastic from the Ocean, to develop alternatives to plastic and to educate the public on the threat of plastic pollution in the sea.
12. Sea Shepherd will also be organizing innovative low overhead fundraising initiatives. For nearly 4 decades I have maintained that Sea Shepherd is an organization that invests in campaigns and not in fund-raising and promotion. We will direct a very small percentage to development but the operations of the ships and campaigns has always been and will continue to be the primary mission of Sea Shepherd. Ships and campaigns are expensive and Sea Shepherd depends on shore volunteers and chapters to help raise the funds to keep the ships afloat and effective.
And of course there are numerous other projects and initiatives by Sea Shepherd chapters across North America.
Sea Shepherd will continue to be aggressive but non-violent. We will continue to be outspoken. We will continue to say what needs to be said and to do what needs to be done within the boundaries of the law and practicality with the resources available to us. And most importantly we will continue to serve our clients on behalf of our supporters and we will continue to do so with the three virtues that have made Sea Shepherd so effective for so long – passion, imagination and courage.
The strength of Sea Shepherd is our volunteer base. We want to encourage people to be involved and we want to make it easy for people to be involved in these much needed campaigns to protect life and diversity in the Ocean.
I am delighted to be back at the helm of this organization that I established way back in 1977 and I intend to set a new course that will make us even more efficient and successful that we have been in the past.
And how do we measure success?
In the only way that matters, with lives saved, habitats protected and illegal operations shut down.
Sea Shepherd is first and foremost an anti-poaching organization and part of a passionate activist movement dedicated to defending and protecting all marine wildlife and marine habitats and motivated by the reality that if the Ocean dies, we all die!
We are all in this together because the fate of the Ocean will determine the fate of humanity. #SeaShepherd #SSCS #CaptainPaulWatson
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