Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sea Shepherd Whale Wars-Sinking to New Depths

Observing Sea Shepherd these days is like watching the last days of any long running television series. The final shows are just tragically anemic versions of the original.

And so it goes with Sea Shepherd whose messaging has seemingly become more important than actual boots on the ground efforts.

Case in point the heroically poor "performance art" that is the ongoing Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign. While accomplishing very little in 2008 the entire campaign did manage to globally embarrass the NGO community at large this spring and was punctuated by a series of high seas stunts culminating in the "Fabrication heard round the world" that of Paul Watson being shot by Japanese Whalers.

As a point of order we are strongly against whaling of any kind and do not side with nor condone the Japanese "scientific whaling" in any form.

Now it turns out the eco-antics of the 2008 whale season were driven in some part by an on board film crew who are now launching a 7 episode series called Whale Wars on Animal Planet.

Animal Planet's programming is known for "reality style" television, plot driven with little focus towards facts. It is little surprise that Watson chose this programming outlet to team up with.

Allowing a reality televsion film crew to essentially direct eco protests is a new low for Sea Shepherd and highlights a rudderless organization whose primary eco focus has been turned into "big media at any costs".

To say that Sea Shepherd has strayed off the NGO reservation is an understatement and for those camp followers who think this is a good thing it is not.

Eco enforcement is serious work-not stunt work-and those few that heed the call to the world of front line eco protest are professionals-not reality television stage actors-for a television series whose mandate is ratings and not long lasting and effective action.


Robert Dennis said...

Well said. Sea Shepherd lost my vote years ago with the failed seal campaigns. It seems they just want to create noise and gather in the $$$.

This new reality television show just proves my point. Sadly a lot of money will get divereted from real NGO's when money is in desperate need right now.

Mandy Easton said...

I agree with this totally. As a producer in L.A with some experience in wild animal shows Animal Planet is 100% reality based television. If they can spice things up they will for ratings.

There's no way a credible NGO should be working with these guys. Not only will 70% of this be faked which takes away from the reason these guys are out there in the first place.

Are they serious about saving whales or looking good?

Anonymous said...

Sea Shepherd not being truthful about it's whale operations what a surprise (add dripping sarcasm here).

Sea Shepherds record is poor at best. They haul in a few miles of longlines every few years or so and video tape it then they go on a massive media campaign and claim to be defending wildlife.

Since it's inception Sea Shepherd has stopped none of the oceans plunder and by it's own actions has marginalized itself to the point where few countries actually want Sea Shepherd in their waters anymore.

Time for a change? You Bet!

dana burkhardt said...

I have to agree with these posts. These guys are all noise. I was at DEMA and was accosted by a nice lady who was with the Sea Shepherd telling me about saving sharks.

Your donation of up to $500 will do the following

1. Confiscate 10's of thousands of sharks fin leading to multiple arrests-no convictions

2. Pull in thousands of miles of longlines with baited hooks-no telling when this happened or if this is ongoing

3. Maintaining a permanent base in the Galapagos to defend against poachers-no mention of what vessel is doing this and how effective this is

It goes on from there, blah blah gives us money we're doing great to to save sharks.

In fact they are not. They do not defend sharks as claimed and sharks are still being killed at an astonishing rate.

The latest joke from S.S is the child like Shark Savers aka Shark Angels which to date has done nothing except put together a video of them swimming with sharks.

Save your money or better yet give it to the homeless, at least you'll know you'll be making a direct difference.