The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is one of the most well known environmental activist groups on the globe. Focused on the marine life, the core members dedicate their lives to change the current situation at sea. Although the group is fighting for a great cause, the organization has always been involved in some controversy. Unlike other large activist organizations that try to come to a solution using very civilized methods, such as Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd believes in direct action. This means that they take the actions necessary to solve a problem.
Depending on how you look at it, their methods can be perceived in different ways. The founder of Sea Shepherd, Paul Watson, was one of the most influential members of Greenpeace in his early years, but was notably voted out of the organization in 1977 after it was decided that his belief in taking direct action was not in line with the rest of the organizations opinions of how their goals should be achieved. Although supported by the vast majority of environmentalists as well as the media, critics to the Sea Shepherd organization mean that their sometimes violent actions are dangerous to fishermen, and not ethically acceptable.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but personally I think that Sea Shepherd is one of the few organizations that actually get things done. As i wrote in a previous article, people usually don’t care about these things. Considering the fact that their goal is to expose illegal fishing activity, I don’t see the problem in taking direct action. I don’t really agree with the opinion that they are putting fishermen to danger. Firstly, they don’t exactly start firing missiles at fishing boats and sink them. Their methods usually consists of trying to sabotage and make the actual fishing impossible to continue, by throwing bottles of butyric acid(also known as stink-bombs) as well as using substances to make the deck slippery on the fishing boat.
Secondly, if people decide to take part in illegal fishing, they should be prepared to take the consequences of it. What is so wrong with a group of people fighting for a good cause? Is animal life not worth anything in your eyes? What gives us the right to kill them if it’s not absolutely necessary? I mean, the governments are obviously not taking enough action to stop this, cause if they did, there would be no need for the Sea Shepherds. Personally, I don’t understand what some people complain about. These organizations consist of people who are out to stop criminal activities. I find it hard to imagine the same people that criticize the Sea Shepherds, criticize an organization that focuses on stopping bank robbery.
This said, I’m not trying to say that everyone should join organizations such as Sea Shepherd and start going out to sea to take part in their missions. I mean, I don’t even do it myself, but I care enough about the environment to support groups like these. These people have dedicated their lives into making the world a better place, and I think that is something worth investing in.