While Assisting the Guatemalan Dept. of Fisheries & Navy on Patrols, Sea Shepherd Halted Several Large-Scale Poaching Operations
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Sea Shepherd Global have successfully halted several large-scale poaching operations in Guatemalan waters during three weeks of anti-poaching patrols in cooperation with officials from Guatemala’s Navy and Department of Fisheries.
Sea Shepherd provided its vessel — the Brigitte Bardot — and her crew to aid the patrols conducted by Guatemalan officials, joining members of the Fisheries Department and Navy. These patrols were arranged based on a prior agreement between Sea Shepherd Global and Guatemalan authorities, in accordance with Guatemalan legislation. Sea Shepherd applauds Guatemala for being open to cooperative efforts to stop poaching.
On each patrol, through the use of intelligence, the Sea Shepherd crew and Guatemalan officials were able to locate and halt poaching operations. These results point to the effectiveness of the patrols as well as the need for a continued partnership between the Guatemalan government and Sea Shepherd to halt these illegal activities.
During one patrol, Sea Shepherd crew and Guatemalan officials located a large fishing boat, which made an initial attempt to flee but then stopped for inspection. Onboard the ship, a catch of approximately one ton of sharks was discovered. The boat was being used to illegally fish in Guatemalan waters, without any papers or permits. One of the vessel’s crewmembers was also found to be underage at 16-years-old. Armed Naval officers took control of the vessel and escorted it back to port to face fines and other penalties.
On the third patrol, poachers who were found during the first patrol and fined $500 were once again found illegally fishing, proving that minimal fines are not enough to deter career-poachers from their illicit activities. Stronger punishments are needed.
Sea Shepherd Applauds the World Court for Protecting the Whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary
In a stunning victory for the whales, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague announced their binding decision today in the landmark case of Australia v. Japan, ruling that Japan’s JARPA II whaling program in the Antarctic is not for scientific purposes and ordering that all permits given under JARPA II be revoked. The news was applauded and celebrated by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA and Sea Shepherd Australia, both of which have directly intervened against Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean.
Representing Sea Shepherd in the courtroom to hear the historic verdict were Captain Alex Cornelissen, Executive Director of Sea Shepherd Global and Geert Vons, Director of Sea Shepherd Netherlands. They were accompanied by Sea Shepherd Global’s Dutch legal counsel.
The case against Japan was heard by the ICJ in July of last year to decide whether Japan is in breach of its international obligations in implementing the JARPA II “research” program in the Southern Ocean, and to demand that Japan cease implementation of JARPA II and revoke any related permits until Japan can make assurances that their operations conform with international law.
In a vote of 12 to 4, the ICJ ruled that the scientific permits granted by Japan for its whaling program were not scientific research as defined under International Whaling Commission regulations. It ordered that Japan revoke the scientific permits given under JARPA II and refrain from granting any further permits under that program.