The Byron Bay Council has unanimously voted for a two-week shark spotting feasibility study at Wategos Beach, the first trial of shark-spotting using land surveillance to take place within Australia. This is due to the hard work of Shark Spotters, Sea Shepherd Australia, No Shark Cull, and the support of the Greens MP Tamara Smith.
In response to BP’s plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight, in waters deeper and rougher than the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Sea Shepherd launches Operation Jeedara.
The name Jeedara comes from the Great White Whale referred to in poetry from Mirning Elder and whale song man, Bunna Laurie. In honouring Bunna, the Mirning people, and the great white whale, (with permission) we have named our campaign Operation Jeedara, Sea Shepherd’s Bight defence campaign as part of the Great Australian Bight Alliance.
The Great Australian Bight is rich in beauty and biodiversity, boasting the world’s most significant southern right whale nursery, as well as humpback, sperm, blue, and beaked whales. It is also Australia’s most crucial sea lion nursery, and supports orcas, great white sharks, southern blue fin tuna, and other fish down to the small pelagic.
“Our mission will be to showcase the beauty and the diversity of life that will be destroyed if BP even have a conservative spill, compared to their catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico. With the recent spill last week by Shell in the Gulf, it’s clear that it’s not a matter of if a spill will occur, but when,” – Jeff Hansen, Managing Director, Sea Shepherd Australia.
Sea Shepherd Did to a Swimming Pool What Humans do to the Oceans
Plastic pollution is recognized as a massive, global environmental issue, responsible for the deaths of over a million marine animals each year.
“Faced with the option of swimming in a pool full of plastic pollution, most people would choose not to enter the water. However, this is not an option extended to the many marine creatures who are forced to live in this kind of pollution everyday,” said Sea Shepherd Global CEO, Captain Alex Cornelissen.
A few of our onshore volunteers spent their drizzly, cold Sunday morning down in kayaks on the Yarra River doing an impromptu cleanup last weekend. Several bags of rubbish were removed from the riverbanks of the Yarra, with items including a car tyre, a curtain rod, children’s toys, tennis balls, tonnes of plastic water bottles, and countless disposable coffee cups.
Fresh off the back of the successful Operation Icefish, The MV Steve Irwin encountered another fleet of illegal fishing vessels, this time in the Indian Ocean. Watch the video to see how Captain Sid Chakravarty and the crew of the Steve Irwin successfully delivered the Fu Yuan Yu fleet into the hands of justice.
“If we are to change and secure the future health of our oceans, then the countries of the world really need to wake up to the realities of illegalities on the high seas, and work towards securing a convention to be able to tackle and put an end to this form of illegality.” – Capt Sid Chakravarty.
Sea Shepherd’s flagship vessel Steve Irwin will arrive back in Williamstown, Victoria at 0800 Wednesday, after two successful campaigns shutting down illegal fishing on the high seas.
Bob Barker Intercepts the Thunder in the Southern Ocean
Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vesselThunder, at 62˚ 15’ South, 81˚ 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) region of management.
Fishing gear, marked by the presence of three orange buoys, was also located in close proximity to the Thunder.
A known poaching vessel, the Nigerian flagged Thunder was issued with an Interpol Purple Notice following a joint effort by New Zealand, Australia and Norway. Thunder is also on CCAMLR’s black list of illegal operators, and is known to utilise gillnets in its poaching operations – a method of fishing that is outlawed by CCAMLR.
In the 2006/07 Austral summer, the Australian Customs and Fisheries patrol vessel, Oceanic Viking and the Australia research vessel Aurora Australis, sighted the vessel – then named Typhoon – within the CCAMLR area. In 2013, Australian Fisheries Management Authority reported that regional strike force denied Thunder port access in Penang, Malaysia, and Bali after it tried to offload millions of dollars worth of illegal catch.
Captain of the Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, immediately ordered the Thunder to Fremantle, Australia, to report to Australian law enforcement authorities.
GPS coordinates confirm Thunder’s location within the CCAMLR area.
“I have notified the Captain of the Thunder and his crew that they have been placed under citizen’s arrest; that they must cease their illegal fishing activities immediately and report to the Australian authorities. Should they ignore this order, I have notified the Thunder that Sea Shepherd has no choice but to directly intervene in order to obstruct their continued illegal activities.”
Captain Hammarstedt then notified CCAMLR authorities, the Australian Federal Police and Australian Fisheries Management Authority that the vessel had been located within the CCAMLR region.
Captain Hammarstedt has urged Australian authorities to take action against the poachers. “Australia is an integral member of CCAMLR, and has dedicated much time and many resources to combat IUU fishing that targets toothfish in the Southern Ocean. We call on them now to uphold this reputation and take action against these criminal operators.”
Thunder is currently heading in a westerly direction. The Bob Barker is in pursuit.
IUU (Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported) fishing of toothfish continues inside the CCAMLR region, despite the Commission’s efforts to eliminate this threat to the Antarctic ecosystem. Currently six operators are known to be involved in IUU fishing of toothfish inside the area.
Operation Icefish is Sea Shepherd’s 11th Southern Ocean Defence Campaign, and the first to target IUU toothfish fishing operators in the waters of Antarctica.