Saturday, October 8, 2011

Money Where Mouth Is

Sea Shepherd has had a long association with seals.
In fact, its first 'direct action' was against Canadian seal hunting in 1979.
In the early 1980s, Sea Shepherd activists were fighting against the killing of grey seals in the Scottish Orkney Islands. In 1981, Scottish SS volunteers camped on Little Green Holm and Muckle Green Holm Islands, and prevented sealers from landing to club seals. In November 1982, crew members put themselves in harm's way by snatching rifles from the hunters and physically stopping boats landing on the seal rookeries.
The Grey Seal Campaign generated enough financial support for SS to purchase Little Green Holm Island in 1985 for £5000, and declare it a permanent seal sanctuary (despite their protected status in UK waters, many environmental groups have concerns that seals are being illegally hunted in large numbers, including in the Orkneys).
This miniature island is only about as big as a football field, but it's covered with nesting birds and seals. The Orkney Islands Council describes this island as "a site of outstanding nature conservation interest within the UK for its nationally important breeding colony of breeding grey seals," also cormorants and otters.
To a whole new generation of eco-supporters, the purchase of the island won't be common knowledge. Some might even say, in the overall scheme of things, a football-field-sized sanctuary doesn't amount to much. Sure, the story's far less dramatic than fighting with whaling vessels, but is still a touching example of what can be accomplished when conservation-minded individuals come together for a common cause. And hey, thirty years ago, SS was putting its money where its mouth was...
Their ship Steve Irwin is now in London, fundraising for Operation Divine Wind – SS’s return to the Southern Ocean later this year, now that Japan has announced it'll again venture forth for another season of illegal whaling, even though the Institute for Cetacean Research is facing bankruptcy!

1 comment:

Mad Bush Farm said...

I'm reading a book written in the 1960's called Red Ice it's about the seal hunting in Canada and a conservationist's fight to stop the slaughter. As far as I am concerned I'm all for Sea Shepherd showing them how it is. I'm the same about whaling. It's unnecessary and unsustainable - not to mention downright wrong to do. And it should be ceased.