Friday, February 27, 2009

Sea Shepherd - Your Money, Farley Mowat

We have been active critics of Sea Shepherd for the past year. What prompted our sudden reversal from donors and supporters to critics, was the realization that Sea Shepherd was wasting our money by Wagging the Conservation Dog.

When you support an eco org you expect results. Your money stands in your stead to effect change, and Sea Shepherd skillfully plays the "results card" when courting donors. From self generated arrest warrants for the entire Japanese whaling fleet, to quotes on websites and in public interviews, Sea Shepherd claims they will protect and save wildlife.

SSCS are well practiced at the trigger wording for well meaning eco donors.

The ugly fact is for the past 31 years Sea Shepherd has failed to stop whaling, the Canadian seal hunt, and shark kills. While other eco orgs have moved wildlife agendas forward and gained legitimacy with world opinion, Sea Shepherd has all but painted itself into a radical corner with fewer governments supporting them and fewer ports to call on.

Sea Shepherds trail of titanic financial missteps and its headlong rush to irrelevance is the direct result of insular 1970's eco thinking, poor judgment, and poor use of new media where the public backlash is immediate and unforgiving.

Case in point Sea Shepherds other "eco enforcement vessel" the Farley Mowat. You do not hear about this multi million dollar debacle because Sea Shepherd has all but abandoned this vessel in Canada, after once again being absolutely ineffective with the ongoing Canadian seal hunt.

The financial loss of this vessel to Sea Shepherds donors is staggering. Currently the Canadian government is demanding well over 3 million dollars in fines from Sea Shepherd and this week put the entire vessel up for auction. Two crew members will be back in Canadian courts in April running up untold and unmentioned legal bills.

These are your dollars being wasted for an unchanging 1970's eco policy and an agenda that went nowhere once more in 2008. Seals are being killed again this season.

As we started to look into Sea Shepherd one other revelation came forth. Sea Shepherd is good at one thing, media and grabbing attention. This is what initially attracted us and many others. Unfortunately the blow back for Wagging the Conservation Dog is literally sucking all the air out of the room.

Legitimate eco orgs are finding it increasingly difficult to get equal media time and financial donations on pressing issues like whaling, sharks and seals. Your financial contribution to Sea Shepherd not only fails to effect change - but damages the global eco movement as well.

Great discussion on this topic here

10 comments:

Robbie 001 said...

Shark Diver you're right on the money! I lost faith after watching the fabricated "hostage" situation and it only went downhill from there. The SSCS doesn't seem to understand that most people act negatively to lies and bullying tactics. It might make them feel good to to think they "saved" a few whales but in actuality they are only making it easier for the Japanese to marginalize all anti-whaling efforts.

The SSCS is doing the Japanese a huge public relations favor by committing these attacks. Most Japanese people don't even realize their country is whaling so when they see their "researchers" are being attacked on the news they naturally take offense. The Japanese media only needs to play the SSCS attacks on TV to blunt any anti-whaling criticisms at home.

Shark Diver said...

More Wagging the Conservation Dog.

If the killing of whales was not bad enough Watson and Co "created" the great hostage standoff, the faked gun shot and enough faked media news clips to deforest most of the Amazon Basin.

Not to mention a completely fabricated reality television show designed to dupe a few more thousand well intentioned donors or B-List Hollywood actors in to giving SSCS one more year of legitimacy.

Surely we can do better than this?

Sharky said...

Let me catch my breath. You post so many Sea Shepherd posts, I can't even get my rebuttals straight.

Paul Watson has basically admitted that the Farley Mowat seizure was a backhanded way to get the Canadian Government to get them to scuttle the ship for them at the government's expense.

ALL WHALES ASIDE

And really in this case--Canadian Sealing--Sea Shepherd was pretty much acting live Greenpeace. They were not harassing or endangering Canadian Sealers, they were just documenting the nightmare. Their only alleged crime was documenting the slaughter without the proper permits.

Also, the Seal Fur industry is pretty damn close to collapse thanks to activists "breaking the law" by documenting the slaughter without permits. You know damn well the Canadian Government is not going to give permits to any one critical of the Seal Fur industry.

Shark Diver said...

Noooo Sharky,

We just respond and comment to ongoing Sea Shepherd missteps and misfires and lord knows there are many. Each week.

Since we started pointing out last year the SSCS Emperor Has No Clothes all manner of gov types, filmmakers, regular people have come forward to say "you know, you are right".

Really wish you could stop worshiping at the False Golden Eco Idol of SSCS - as a media guy you know better. I think you just love playing the "foil" (not fool, foil) and you play it well sir!

Sealing

The facts are this. Canada (my ex home country) has a 200 mile territorial limit. What goes on within that sphere is up to Canada to decide - there are rules.

SSCS knew this and decided to gamble. They thought Canada would not have the political resolve to actually call SSCS bluff entering the 200 mile limit to harass/film/offer hot cocoa to sealers. The laws (like it or not) are on the sealers side.

They lost the gamble. The vessel was impounded, their crew arrested. They will lose this vessel $900,000, they will be fined 3.3 million, and the legal costs in April will run?

It was an absolute failed hand by SSCS. Which, Sharky, gets to my ongoing point:

"What is not effective this year will not be effective next year".

You can keep running against a wall, but how about scaling the wall instead?

Seriously, don't you sniff just a little eco fraud here with SSCS? These are not dumb folks, misguided yes, but not dumb.Why do you think they keep running the same plays, year after year, after year?

Why has it taken 31 years to accomplish absolutely nothing and at what cost?

I would not be blogging about these folks if there was forward movement on any of it. If Japan was at the table, if the sealers were at the table, if the shark guys were at the table...brought to the table by SSCS and all the millions of donor money that enabled that to happen.

It has not happened and people are beginning to ask - why not? It's a fair question, if SSCS continues to ask for peoples money, people have the right to ask what are you doing with it and how is it being spent?

Do you want your $100-10,000 eco donation paying for the personal legal fees, flights and hotel rooms, dinners and taxi fares, for a vessel captain and crew that knew they were in the wrong place, placed there by a failed SSCS strategy that allows sealing to happen for one more bloody season?

You may say fine, here's my 10K, but most, when this issue of framed in reality getting past the images of dead seals would probably not want that, they would want results. SSCS has been at this sealing game for over 31 years.

A much smarter guy than me once said something to this effect and it resonates to this day:

"It is easy to radicalize people, the gift of true leadership is consensus and understanding".

Love your blog Sharky - hate your SSCS politics.

Come "over to the light" mate...your voice could move mountains.

Nota Eco Warrior said...

Farley Mowat being sold.

SSCS is saying the FM has $250,000 in liens against it. I checked, the vessel was bought for around $700,000.

The CDN gov is charging SSCS 2.2 million so the total loss to the SSCS is about $700,000 for the vessel, and more for the fuel, and all the electronics gear aboard. Not to mention the insurance and more.

It's a huge loss for SSCS donors any way you shake it. According to the CDN gov the lawsuit against the two crew members will ramp up in April and is meant to go on for 6 weeks.Who will pay for the lawyer at $350 an hour? These guys are facing at least a year in jail.

If SSCS does not pay the original fine of 2.2 million they will never be allowed back into Canadian territory with a vessel again.

Think about that the next time you want to try and save seals!

nikmann said...

It's very infuriating to see uninformed morons like Robbie 001 trying to damage the reputation of the only organization who is truly having an effect. In the past few years Sea Shepherd have helped hundreds of whales to escape from the whalers AND they have cost the Japanese whalers millions in the past 3 years (this is what will eventually stop the Japanese whalers for good). I'd like to see 'shark diver' or 'robbie 001' try to name one organization that has been more effective than Sea Shepherd - they would realize there are no organizations evenly remotely as effective.

Shark Diver said...

Nikman this blog is not directed at the SSCS faithful, you folks are a seriously lost cause.

This blog and others like it are directed at "those who think" and make change. Consider us overseers to the eco movement - the guys who are minding the store and the till. We want real and lasting action/results not PR and faked whale saving numbers.

As for your somewhat misguided SSCS Talking Points, consider this:

Next year Japan will most likely hunt whales off their shores and curtail hunting in Antartic waters. You may say this is a great victory brought about by SSCS antics that ranged from fake shots in the chest (Watson) to faked hostage crises (Watson and Whale Wars).

In reality it is a death sentence by SSCS on the whales of Japan. In Japans territorial waters no one has a say as to what goes on, and the laws there are Japans.

Great going SSCS, your wild hair ineffective eco antics will kill whales in Japan now, and good luck running any half baked protest vessel into those waters.

Where once there was a chance to get Australia to back a whale eco movement, now it's looking more and more likely SSCS has just pushed Japan into a corner to kill whales in the dark.

It's an absolutely failed 1970's policy you got going there and it is the few SSCS faithful who are leading the global eco movement dance.

What horrible dance partners you folks have turned out to be.

Matt said...

Two things I will suggest: SS has not just wasted money bumbling about the antarctic chasing the Japanese, money that could have been used more effectively by Greenpeace and other organizations who have a history of success that Paul Watson couldn't even possibly dream of given his incredible record of abject failure. No, the SS has most likely strengthened the resolve of the Japanese to continue whaling - funny how people resist change even stronger when they see their countrymen and feel their culture is being attacked. This is the only success of the SS, ensuring that the Japanese have an even greater motivation to whale in the antarctic. And that's where I believe you're wrong Shark Diver, I believe that the Japanese will absolutely show that they will not be intimidated by the violent thugs of the SS by coming back next year with an even larger quota.
Secondly, the SS has made it far more likely that the Japanese will resign from the IWC and begin commercial whaling again. They've already threatened to do exactly that and if Australia does not fulfill their obligation to uphold international maritime law with regard to this year's violent and criminal activity by Watson et al, you can bet that's exactly what they will do.

Common Sense said...

The Sea Shepherds methods are completely ineffective. The Japanese whaling fleet killed several whales while the Sea Shepherds sat and watch. Great job! Keep up the good work!

"Master Plan Watson" said...

I just read The Bloviator in Chiefs blog post about his lost ve$$el, and legal problems in Canada.

According to Watson it was all part of his "master plan" now.

He now claims the Farley Mowat's loss was planned by him, and his banning from Canadian waters a victory!

No mention of the loss of donors money or all the gear on the ship.

No mention that next year seals will be killed again!

Wow. If that's SSCS "master plan" to be banned from the places where they might make a difference and lose millions of donor dollars in the trade off, I think I will donate to Greenpeace.