Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd was founded in 1977 by Captain Paul Watson in Vancouver, Canada, with a mission to protect and conserve all marine wildlife. Registered in Oregon in 1981 as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, today the movement has independent entities in more than 20 countries working together on direct action campaigns around the world. In 2013, Sea Shepherd Global was established in Amsterdam to coordinate communications and logistics for the Sea Shepherd fleet on campaigns outside of the United States.


Our mission is to protect marine life and end habitat destruction in the world’s oceans. Since 1977, Sea Shepherd has used innovative direct action tactics to defend, conserve and protect the delicate marine balance and biodiversity of our seas and to enforce international conservation laws.


Defend wildlife in the oceans

From the majestic giants of the sea to the smallest creatures, Sea Shepherd’s mission is to protect all species of marine life that live in our oceans. Our campaigns have defended whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, penguins, turtles, fish, krill, and waterfowl from poaching, unsustainable fishing, habitat destruction, and captive exploitation.

“I have had the honor of serving the whales, dolphins, seals and all other creatures on this Earth. Their beauty, intelligence, strength and spirit have inspired me.” -Paul Watson


Why we fight

Poaching boats plunder marine sanctuaries with impunity, and illegal, unreported and unregulated ( IUU ) fishing goes unchecked on the high seas, far from the eyes of international authorities and public scrutiny. International laws and agreements exist to protect wildlife and marine habitats, but they can be difficult to enforce due to lack of political will, insufficient financial resources, or transnational borders that blur jurisdiction. When there is a police vacuum, Sea Shepherd acts to fill it.


“Unless we stop the degradation of our oceans, marine ecological systems will start to collapse and when enough of them fail, the oceans will die. And if the oceans die, then civilization collapses and we all die.” -Paul Watson

Dead Hammerhead Shark Killed as By-Catch. Photo Denis Sinyakov/Sea Shepherd.

Illegal Shark Catch Seized on Operation Albacore. Photo Sea Shepherd Global

Inspecting Cargo of an Unlicensed Trawler. Photo Denis Sinyakov/Sea Shepherd.

Crew Hauling in Thousands of Illegal Driftnets. Photo Jeff Wirth/Sea Shepherd.

Boarding an Illegal Fishing Vessel in Gabon. Photo Sea Shepherd Global

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