August 08, 2008


Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was formally incorporated in the United States in 1981 in the state of Oregon. Previous to this, the idea of Sea Shepherd was formed when Captain Paul Watson founded the Earth Force Society in 1977 in Vancouver BC, Canada. The original mandate of both organizations was marine mammal protection and conservation with an immediate goal of shutting down illegal whaling and sealing operations, but Sea Shepherd later expanded its mission to include all marine wildlife.

With financial support from Cleveland Amory of the Fund for Animals, the society's first ship a North Atlantic sea trawler "the Westella" was purchased in Hull, England (UK) and renamed the Sea Shepherd. It's first mission was to the ice floes of eastern Canada to interfere with the annual killing of baby harp seals known as whitecoats.

In the same year, 1979, the Sea Shepherd hunted down and rammed the notorious pirate whaler the Sierra in a Portugal harbor ending its infamous career as the scourge of the seas.

The success of the seal campaign and the ramming of the Sierra was the start of Sea Shepherd's historical 160 voyages over the next 2 decades, enforcing international laws where no law enforcement existed - on the high seas.

Sea Shepherd continues to accomplish its mission by upholding and enforcing international treaties, laws and conventions of world governments.

Sea Shepherd is committed to the eradication of pirate whaling, poaching, shark finning, unlawful habitat destruction, and violations of established laws in the World's oceans.

To that end, Sea Shepherd assists national and international bodies in the enforcement of international law under authority of the United Nations World Charter for Nature.

Mission Statement

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.
Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

International Laws and Charters

Sea Shepherd campaigns are guided by the United Nations World Charter for Nature. Sections 21-24 of the Charter provides authority to individuals to act on behalf of and enforce international conservation laws.
Sea Shepherd cooperates fully with all international law enforcement agencies and its enforcement activities complying with standard practices of law and policing enforcement.
Sea Shepherd adheres to the utilization of non-violent principles in the course of all actions and has taken a standard against violence in the protection of the oceans.

The World Charter for Nature
U.N. Doc. A/37/51 (1982)

The International Whaling Commission (IWC)

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
March 3rd, 1973, Washington, D.C.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
December 10th, 1982, Montego Bay

The Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
November 23rd, 1972, Paris, France

The Convention of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)

The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Convention (NAFO)

International Convention for Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT)

The Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment
June 5th -16th, 1972, Stockholm, Sweden

ASEAN Agreement on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
July 9th, 1985, Kuala Lumpur

The Berne Convention

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is dedicated to working towards cooperative agreements between nations to protect species and habitats according to SSCS Mandate.

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Photobucket For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth. Driven by passion fed from a lifelong fascination with sharks, Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas. Filmed in visually stunning, high definition video, Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world's shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. In an effort to protect sharks, Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their unbelievable adventure together starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in pirate boat rammings, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives. Through it all, Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth's history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed. Stewart's remarkable journey of courage and determination changes from a mission to save the world's sharks, into a fight for his life, and that of humankind.