Since the early Sixties, an insidious trade of intelligent, self-aware, sentient beings has been growing like a malignant cancer within human society. It is a slave trade that has been the cause of unimaginable misery and has claimed the lives of thousands of dolphins. This cruel industry has spread across Europe and Asia with hundreds of marine aquariums operating, many of them with grossly inadequate facilities.
Sea Shepherd has been documenting and opposing the dreadful slaughter and capture of dolphins in Taiji, Japan since 2003. In the beginning Sea Shepherd cut nets and freed 16 pilot whales back in October 2003, an action that sent two volunteers to jail for over a month. Sea Shepherd brought the story to the world’s media with headline stories and coverage on CNN...but the killing continued.
Sea Shepherd has accomplished something absolutely remarkable over the last 12 years.
In 2005 we set out to tackle the world’s largest and most destructive whaling fleet. We were told it was impossible by some governments and a few NGO’s.
Hardly anyone even knew about Japan’s illegal slaughter in the Southern Ocean. It was out of sight and out of mind. They were targeting 1,035 whales a year including a yearly quota of 50 endangered Humpbacks and 50 endangered Fin whales.
We had few resources but we took our one battered and slow vessel, the Farley Mowat and we chased the whalers across the Southern Ocean, catching them only for a few hours at a time until they sped away from us.
What caused Kelly Slater to so radically change his views about sharks?
Or perhaps he did not change his views after all.
In 2014, Kelly was quoted in the Australian media saying in response to Premier Colin Barnett’s plan to kill sharks in Western Australia:
“I think it’s kind of silly. Humans want to control everything. We try to control (beach) erosion, we try to control sharks … we just try to control everything on this earth and it’s just crazy. We kill 100 million sharks a year or something crazy to make (shark fin) soup. We throw them back finless and dying. It’s like we’ve lost all feeling for other creatures on some level and I think that’s kind of sad. If I got eaten by a shark, I’d be honoured.”
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