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From Denmark court, UK court, Dutch lottery notion, Costa Rica coast to high seas: Life of Ocean, Cetaceans in Sea

By WcP.Story.Teller - Posted on 26 February 2015

Across 10,260 nautical miles, 110 days aquatic pursuit ends. Sam Simon rescued 40 crew of Interpol-wanted poaching vessel Thunder

the reading of the UK Supreme Court’s decision:

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Costa Rica and Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) Association launch Operation Pacuare: saved 4,737 turtle eggs between April and October

masked officer onboard Interpol-wanted poacher vessel Thunder throws chain, orange flare at Sea Shepherd small messenger boat

Operation Icefish

"Real Men Don't Whale": Clive Standen, star of History Channel's "Vikings" speaks out against the continued barbaric slaughter of pilot whales and dolphins in the Faroe Islands.

Sea Shepherd welcomed by giant ocean creature: mola mola, world’s biggest bony fish at about 5,000 pounds

*update 06 March 2015 *
Wednesday, March 4 2015 - the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom announced its decision in the case of Sea Shepherd UK vs. Fish & Fish Limited - justice for endangered bluefin tuna

Killing cetaceans is a violation of European Union law. Denmark is a member of the EU and provides subsidies to the Faroe Islands. The Faroese claim they are independent, and for that reason, they insist that the law does not apply to them despite the fact that Danish police intervene to protect the whale killing in the Faroes. Last year, more than 400 Sea Shepherd volunteers traveled to the Faroe Islands to oppose the obscenity that the Faroese call the "Grindadrap," which translates to "the murder of whales." 33 whales were killed during the three-month period that Sea Shepherd volunteers patrolled the islands. The year before, in the same time period, more than 1,300 pilot whales and dolphins were massacred on Faroese beaches.

29 of the 33 members of the Faroese Løgting (parliament) voted in December 2014 to ban Sea Shepherd volunteers from coming to the Faroe Islands. Faroese politicians decided to take the drastic move to stop further Sea Shepherd intervention by simply banning Sea Shepherd volunteers from the Faroes after Sea Shepherd's successful campaign to protect pilot whales and dolphins this past summer, Operation GrindStop 2014.

A law banning Sea Shepherd would have required Danish approval, and Denmark was not about to head down the road of censorship and discrimination. Killing cetaceans is a violation of European Union law. Denmark is a member of the EU and provides subsidies to the Faroe Islands. Denmark Puts a Lid on Attempts by the Faroese to Implement Authoritarian Measures. It appears that the attempt to legally ban Sea Shepherd from the Faroe Islands has failed. Thus, if Sea Shepherd is able to return to the Faroe Islands in 2015, there is no legal impediment preventing our volunteers from doing so in order to protect pilot whales and dolphins.

18Feb2015 - According to a press release from Sea Shepherd, L.A.S.T.’s Pacuare program saved 4,737 turtle eggs between April and October, along with countless adult turtles that were able to lay their eggs on the beach without capture. Without the L.A.S.T. volunteers, poachers would likely have robbed every single one of those nests. For years L.A.S.T.’s Pacuare Program was able to save hundreds of the beach’s turtles each season; saved 4,737 turtle eggs between April and October. Poachers can get up to $1 per egg depending on the species and between 1,000-5,000 colones ($2-$10) per pound of green turtle meat (in Costa Rica they do not eat leatherback meat), or the equivalent in drugs. To keep turtle meat fresh, poachers won’t kill the turtle right away after they catch it.
17Sept2014 - Protect Sea Turtles on Pacuare Beach in Costa Rica
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Costa Rica and Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) Association have launched Operation Pacuare, an anti-poaching campaign to protect sea turtles on Pacuare Beach in Costa Rica’s Limón province. Marine biologists predict that September is likely to be the peak nesting month for green sea turtles; thus, they suspect an increase in poaching activity to occur during this time. LAST, a member of WIDECAST, an international scientific network with coordinators in more than 40 countries, has been spearheading the sea turtle protection project on Pacuare Island. With volunteer numbers steadily declining, LAST called upon Sea Shepherd to become an international partner to increase awareness of the local crises and recruit volunteers from its vast network of dedicated activists to protect green, hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles, which all frequent the small island to nest on a yearly basis.
Sea Shepherd and LAST volunteers are actively patrolling Pacuare Island’s coastline to locate and protect sea turtle nests, as well as the turtles. Eggs laid by these endangered animals — already facing a list of human-induced threats, including entanglement in fishing gear, by-catch and ocean pollution — can fall into the hands of poachers, a crisis that is driving sea turtles further toward the brink of extinction. Some species targeted by poachers are already nearly extinct.
27Jan2015 - Sea Shepherd received for this project 8.3 million Euros from the postcode lotteries in the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The Dutch Postcode Lottery contributed 7.5 million Euros. Further to the Dream Project, Sea Shepherd once again received a check for 900,000 Euros from the Postcode Lottery, bringing the total donation that Sea Shepherd has received from the Lottery since 2007 to the incredible amount of 15.5 million Euros. Sea Shepherd will use the donation to build a new ship, which will enable the organization to be more effective than ever in the fight against poaching on the high seas. “Sea Shepherd will now be able to have a custom-designed ship built, capable of achieving speeds that far exceed any of the vessels in our current fleet. After researching possible ship builders for the last two years, negotiations with Dutch ship builder Damen has resulted in a blueprint of our ideal ship”, said Alex Cornelissen, CEO of Sea Shepherd Global.
18Feb2015 - Triples Record for Longest Sea Chase of a Poacher as it Enters 3rd Month of Pursuit - Operation Icefish Today, the Sea Shepherd ship, Bob Barker, tripled the record for the longest sea chase of a poaching vessel, marking its 63rd day of pursuit of the Interpol-wanted, Nigerian-flagged toothfish poaching vessel, Thunder. The previous record was held by the Australian patrol vessel, Southern Supporter, which pursued the Uruguayan vessel, Viarsa 1, for 21 days in 2003.
The milestone comes just one day after the Bob Barker logged the second full month since it first intercepted the Thunder on the Banzare Bank in Antarctica. Captain of the Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, stated, “We first intercepted the Thunder on December 17. For two months we have ensured that this, the most notorious of all the toothfish poaching vessels, has not been able to kill any more of Antarctica's precious toothfish. In the process, we have cost the criminals behind this operation millions of dollars in lost profits. Sea Shepherd is sending a very loud message to the poachers who continue to threaten this region: your criminal activity ends here.” On Saturday, fellow Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, rendezvoused with the Bob Barker on the Melville Bank in the south Indian Ocean in order to resupply the Bob Barker with food. With the resupply operation complete, both Sea Shepherd ships are in pursuit of the Thunder.
20Feb2015 - Masked officer on board Interpol-wanted poaching vessel Thunder throws chain, orange flare at Sea Shepherd massagers’ crew on a small boat carrying a letters for communication. The incident occurred at approximately 1000 am AEDT when the Sea Shepherd ship, Sam Simon, launched one of its small boats. On board, Sea Shepherd crewmembers carried with them letters, requesting information on the welfare, safety and working conditions of the deck crew of the Thunder. The Thunder is one of six IUU fishing vessels that are known to target vulnerable Antarctic and Patagonian tootfish in the Southern Ocean. The vessels, which Sea Shepherd calls the “Bandit 6” are the focus of Sea Shepherd's 11th Southern Ocean Defence Campaign, Operation Icefish. The Sea Shepherd small boat crew successfully threw messages in plastic containers on to the decks of the Thunder. However, the messages were intercepted by a masked European officer and it is unclear if any of the messages reached their intended recipients. The masked officer then threw a number of items at the Sea Shepherd small boat crew, including a chain, a small metal object and an orange smoke flare. While the chain narrowly missed the crew, the photographer on the small boat was hit by the metal object, which then fell into the sea. All of the Sea Shepherd small boat crew are reported to be unharmed.

21Feb2015 - Sea Shepherd welcomed by giant ocean creature: giant Mola mola (or sea sunfish), one of world’s biggest bony fishes (weigh 5,000 pounds) basically nudged Sea Shepherd’s little boat near its propellers
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society deck hands happen to be going after ships involved with illegal fishing for Patagonian toothfish (Chilean ocean bass) within the south Indian Sea. However this week, they loved a short period of pause to marvel in a giant ocean creature which had become interested in a tiny inflatable boat employed for moving supplies backward and forward ships: the "Bob Barker" and also "Sam Simon".

The large Mola mola, or sea sunfish, basically nudged the little boat near its propellers, and also the bizarre-searching animal continued to be using the rubber vessel for pretty much an hour or so. These biggest of bony fishes can measure 11 ft and consider to 5,000 pounds, but they’re docile, ungainly animals that roam pelagic power, feeding on ocean jellies and small seafood in addition to plankton and algae.

the latest: *update 06March2015 *
Wednesday, March 4 2015 - the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom announced its decision in the case of Sea Shepherd UK vs. Fish & Fish Limited, a decision that brings a long-awaited victory for both Sea Shepherd and endangered bluefin tuna
The Supreme Court's ruling, which is binding and cannot be appealed, holds that Sea Shepherd UK is not liable to Maltese fishing company Fish & Fish Ltd., and that consequently Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson are not subject to English jurisdiction. The Court also restored an order that Sea Shepherd should receive £190,000 (approximately $290,000 USD) in respect of its legal costs in the Commercial Court within 14 days. Sea Shepherd's attorneys will be arguing that further legal costs exceeding £400,000 (approximately $610,000 USD) as well as a bond of some $800,000 USD should ultimately be returned to Sea Shepherd, and they will continue to pursue that matter. Wednesday’s victory comes after years of litigation that began in 2011.

In June 2010, the crew of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Blue Rage campaign freed approximately 800 bluefin tuna from the nets of a fishing operation in Libyan waters. The endangered fish were destined for a fish farm in Malta.

*update March 26, 2015*
Austral joins poacher hunt - One of Australia's biggest commercial fishing Perth-based businesses has joined forces with Sea Shepherd because it wanted to lend moral support to the group's efforts to stamp out poaching.

*update April 7, 2015*
Atlantic oceans news Sea Shepherd: Across 10,260 nautical miles, 110 days, longest aquatic pursuit in history ends. Sea Shepherd Sam Simon / Bob Barker rescued 40 crew of Interpol-wanted Poaching vessel Thunder (hunting Antarctic toothfish, known as “white gold”). Poaching vessel slipped below Atlantic oceans waves over 6-hour period.


Photos courtesy of Simon Ager, Jeff Wirth / Sea Shepherd

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