A Historical Achievement for Sea Shepherd
Update From Captain Paul Watson, SeaShepherd.org
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society made history July 5th 2007. We are now officially allied with the Ecuadorian government in the effort to protect not just the Galapagos but the Amazonian Rainforest.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is now a partner with the National Police Force of Ecuador. Never before has an NGO been appointed to such a position.
What does this mean?
It means that the Ecuadorian Navy will no longer be able to block our patrols or harass us. We are now an independent authority to the Ecuadorian Navy answering only to the Director General of the National Police. We can patrol where and when we wish to do so and without having a Navy representative onboard.
It means that we can solicit materials and financial support in the name of the Ecuadorian government and the Ecuadorian National Police and we can use their logos to promote our activities in the Galapagos.
It means we can do patrols, set up surveillance positions and we can make arrests. It means we are officially an environmental law enforcement agency.
This week we met with the Ecuadorian Vice-President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister, and the Director General of the National Police. All of the meetings were extremely positive.
On the evening of July 5th, I was awarded the Amazon Peace Prize from the Latin American Association for human rights I signed an agreement with the National Police that we would work in partnership to protect the Galapagos National Park and the Amazonian National Parks. The Director General of the National Police came directly from a meeting with the President of Ecuador where the President authorized the Director General to sign the agreement with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The United States Embassy sent a representative to attend the ceremony.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is now the most influential and respected environmental organization in Ecuador.
Our Galapagos Director Sean Oâ€™Hearn has worked hard for this and with the support of Mariana Almeida, Pieter Jan Brouwer and Juan de Dios Parra, we have achieved something both substantial and effective in our efforts to protect and conserve the Galapagos.
After seven years we are now free to do the job that we came to do in the Galapagos in 2000 and with the full support of the Ecuadorian government.
During the last month the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has intercepted and seized over 19,000 shark fins, 92,000 sea cucumbers and confiscated over 35 miles of illegal longline from the Marine Reserve. We have overseen the burning of the hark fins and sea cucumbers to keep them off the black market and five smugglers are in jail awaiting trial. This interception of shark fins is the first ever interception in Ecuador that has resulted in arrests.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society maintains a permanent office in the Galapagos and has provided a full time patrol boat to the National Park. We are now seeking to secure a patrol boat to operate in partnership with the Federal Environmental Police
Captain Paul Watson
Founder and President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (1977-
Co-Founder – The Greenpeace Foundation (1972)
Co-Founder – Greenpeace International (1979)
Director of the Sierra Club USA (2003-2006)
Director – The Farley Mowat Institute
Director – www.harpseals.org
“Sail forth – steer for the deep waters only,
Reckless O soul, exploring, I with thee and thou with me,
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,
And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.”
– Walt Whitman