Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd – officially the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society – really needs no introduction… at least not to New Matilda readers. It’s an ‘activist’s activist organisation’, famed for its direct action in defence of marine life, particularly whales in the Southern Ocean.

Founded in 1977 by Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd came about after Watson was kicked off the board of Greenpeace for being too confrontational. The Canadian-American environmentalist convinced author Cleveland Amory to fund a single ship (appropriately named ‘Sea Shepherd’), and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, Sea Shepherd runs a fleet of 12 ships, most of them named after their benefactors: Ocean WarriorBrigitte BardotBob BarkerSteve IrwinSam SimonJohn Paul DeJoriaFarley MowatSharpieJairo Mora SandovalWhite HollyMartin Sheen and Sea Eagle.

And courtesy of Australia’s growing population of whales, Sea Shepherd has a strong presence here, with a base in Melbourne (and another in Washington in the US).

Sea Shepherd has been dubbed an ‘eco-terrorist organisation’ by numerous governments and major organisations around the world, which clearly suggests they must be doing something right. Rock on.