Sea Shepherd seeks agency

A battered Bob Barker docked in Melbourne yesterday

A battered Bob Barker docked in Melbourne yesterday

Sea Shepherd is interested in talking to agencies about producing a campaign to raise funds for next year’s efforts to combat whale hunting in Australian waters.

The hardline conservation group has just completed another eventful mission to stop whaling in the Southern Ocean, but the next campaign faces funding issues after the US arm withdrew financial support from Sea Shepherd Australia after losing a legal case to Japanese whalers.

Jeff Hansen, who co-directed the recent operation and runs Sea Shepherd Australia, told Mumbrella that the group “would welcome any help” from agencies, particularly from those with digital and social media savvy, to produce a campaign to boost donor support. Work would be pro bono.

“Because of the Ninth Circuit hearing, Sea Shepherd USA can’t help us financially any more. We have to say to our supporters, we can’t run the next campaign unless we raise some serious money. We have to put fuel in tanks and repair our ships,” he said.

Last week, Sea Shepherd called on the Dutch government to prosecute Japanese whalers for ramming their vessels. Damaged caused by the collisions is reckoned to be worth $1m in repairs. An anti-whaling campaign, which runs from December to March, costs around $3m to run.

Hansen said agencies interested in working with Sea Shepherd should email communications director Adam Burling at

Sea Shepherd has produced some hard-hitting advertising in recent years, particularly overseas, such as the ‘Until they can defend themselves, we will do it for them’ campaign, which featured whales and dolphins armed with missiles and machine guns.

Sea Shepherd ad

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 9.24.13 PM

These graphic anti-shark fin ads, which aim to end the tradition of serving shark’s fin soup at Chinese weddings, were created by Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore.

Sea Shepherd ad by Ogilvy Singapore

Sea Shepherd ad

This disturbing TV ad, which also opposes shark-finning, ran in the US.

The recent anti-whaling campaign in the Southern Ocean has been widely reported by the local and international media. Hansen said: “No matter successful our campaigns are, they amount to little if our story is not covered.”

Getting the Sea Shepherd story in the press has been “an easy win” because, Hansen says, the organisation represents “the interests of the majority of Australians who are disgusted with what’s been happening to whales in Australian territory.”

Ships clashing in the Antarctic has added high-seas drama to the story, and celebrity support from Sean Connery, William Shatner, Piers Brosnan, Christian bale and Richard Dean Anderson, and backing from politicians such as former Green Party leader Bob Brown, has kept Sea Shepherd in the public eye.

“We have Batman, McGuiver and two James Bonds on our side, which helps,” Hansen said.

The sandwiching of Sea Shepherd vessel Bob Barker by Japanese whaling factory ship Nissin Maru and fuelling tanker Sun Laurel, captured on video in February, has been viewed more than 1m times on YouTube.

Robin Hicks


  1. winston kirk
    25 Mar 13
    12:48 pm

  2. I love you more than you can imagine Sea Shepherd. It makes me cry my eyes out when I see what the Japanese do is so cruel. They break my heart in two.

  3. Liz
    25 Mar 13
    1:13 pm

  4. Shouldn’t be hard to devise something focusing on the fact that, whatever one thinks of saving the whales, the Japanese are breaking OUR laws in OUR waters, and totally thumbing their noses at us.

  5. Nacho
    25 Mar 13
    1:16 pm

  6. I’m a long time Sea Shepherd supporter, and I must say it is good to see this happening in Australia.

    I was horrified (nay, mortified) to discover, earlier this year that Ginja Sushi at Southbank in Brisbane had Shark Fin listed on it’s menu.

    Something must be done to look after sea life, and if the Governments are so tied up diplomatically, then I am happy to see that SOMEONE is doing something to help.

    Go Sea Shepherd, give them hell !

  7. AdGrunt
    25 Mar 13
    1:17 pm

  8. Having a few celebs on their roll-call does not negate their consistent and outrageous actions that are, demonstrably, Piracy.

    How Watson continues to avoid arrest is beyond me.

    Minke whales are not endangered. Quite why minke whales have such remarkable romanticism attached to them is beyond me.

  9. CS
    25 Mar 13
    1:35 pm

  10. I’m pretty sure the Sea Shepherd would pay for petrol, staffing, food and all other expenses related to their campaign, so why ask for pro-bono support from an agency?

  11. Nacho
    25 Mar 13
    1:53 pm

  12. AdGrunt, are you related to PropaganaBuster at all?

    You seem to have the same attitude as that dolt.

  13. Worried
    25 Mar 13
    2:27 pm

  14. Tone it down Nacho. It was a US appeals court judge who declared the organization pirates, which resulted in this present funding crisis

  15. Angie T
    25 Mar 13
    2:30 pm

  16. A great opportunity for an agency to do some great work (possibly at the expense of upsetting the odd Japanese client) with a gutsy organisation and the wonderful Bob Brown.

    Who wouldn’t want to work with the man who was part of the world’s first ever green policital party and help them raise donations?

  17. JohnC
    25 Mar 13
    3:44 pm

  18. Why don’t they just do what pirates have done from time immemorial- steal?

  19. Encyclic!
    25 Mar 13
    3:53 pm

  20. Well Sea Shepherd seem to have already discovered the solution. Strap missile tubes to whales and wait.

    And that dolphin with twin-linked miniguns? THAT’S THE COOLEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN.

  21. King Ingoda
    25 Mar 13
    5:05 pm

  22. That’s ridiculous. Who would donate their time to this organisation while it pays its executives huge salaries and then spend yet more on legal bills defending them in court? What gall.

  23. Joshua Bell
    26 Mar 13
    12:26 am

  24. Well King Ingoda, these people actually care about living breathing animals that keep this world so great. They believe in keeping them alive so when I am old enough to have kids then my kids have kids that whales will be seen in the wild not etched on a big piece of Plexiglass. You are a whale meat loving douche who cares about only himself and nothing else!

  25. Ice
    26 Mar 13
    1:12 am

  26. So the Sea Sheep just want more money. Nothing new here then.

  27. Your Seaporter
    26 Mar 13
    3:06 am

  28. King Ingoda,

    I would donate my time, and money to support their cause. I strongly suggest you should try supporting in something that you believe in, rather than flailing your nonsense here. Your lackluster defense of “their huge salaries, and mounting legal bills” is idiotic. I know for a fact Watson would love it if he had nothing to do…..but there will always be someone illegally killing whales, or cutting the fins off a shark and throwing it back in the sea alive, or clubbing a seal for a hat, or sawing the horn of a rhino to help cure some disease or another.

    You sir are a disappointment.

  29. John
    26 Mar 13
    3:29 am

  30. Sea shepherds spend more money defending Watson than they do whales. Maybe if the got rid of this egotistical dead weight they wouldn’t have funding issues. Sea shepherds get more money than most organizations and have very little results. If you dolts want to keep throwing away money send it to as.

  31. H. Melville
    26 Mar 13
    3:44 am

  32. Time to make the donuts people!! This time w/o the USA!! I can see the boats sinking now….yours!!

  33. Craig
    26 Mar 13
    7:22 am

  34. King Ingoda, try facts on Sea Shephard staff pay:

  35. John
    26 Mar 13
    8:28 am

  36. Ah, you want me to work for free? Do you work for free Jeff Hansen?

  37. Angie T
    26 Mar 13
    9:29 am

  38. The lack of informed comment in this stream is disappointing. Watson has confined himself to a ship in freezing conditions for a good cause and some people consider this merely the actions of an egotistical dead weight. I would have thought ‘self sacrifice’ would be a more apt description.

    I think we all want to continue to see whales exist on this planet don’t we? Or do some of the contributors above genuinely not care if this species is hunted into extinction under the guise of science or some other commercial enterprise?

    P.S. I did meet a guy about 3 years ago whose girlfriend volunteered for Sea Shepherd and spent months on the ship chasing Japanese whalers. I don’t believe she was paid but this didn’t deter her from committing to another tour of duty with Sea Shepherd again.

  39. AdGrunt
    26 Mar 13
    10:17 am

  40. Angie – how is my commentary uninformed?

    Watson is a fugitive and a pirate. Do not confuse this description as some amiable Jack Sparrow-tpye larrikin. Watson is a reckless narcissist who feeds from the conflict he has self-created. His cause and that of Sea Shepherd is flawed, its execution is illegal and the consequences are of his own making.

    It’s not Sea Shepherd’s right or duty to enforce Australia’s contested whaling ban. And their efforts have no demonstrable positive impact on the minke whale population, massive as it is.

    The continued existence of whales is a noble goal which I share, but the justification for this piracy seems based in the same vengeful esteem-based emotion found with other eco-militia such as PETA. Minke whales are simply not under any meaningful threat, japanese fleet or not.

  41. Nacho
    26 Mar 13
    10:48 am

  42. Don’t make this all about Paul Watson. Last time I counted there was nearly 200 brave members of planet earth VOLUNTEERING to put their lives inbetween whalers and whales for this noble goal.

    Adgrunt, when people look back on this commentary in 100 years time, when whales, sharks and dolphins (and therefore humans) are endangered species, I really hope they look back on your comments with some amount of shame.

    I also help that your descendants also feel that shame for your negativity, when there was a time and need for something to be done… Hope it feels good to stand on your soapbox and call all these people pirates 😉

  43. Angie T
    26 Mar 13
    11:20 am

  44. Japan’s whaling activities are illegal. The whale meat is not used for research as claimed. Up until recently their hunt included Humpback whales and other species.

    “The minke whale was originally overlooked by commercial whaling until the later half of the 20th century because they were considered too small to be of value. Because of the decimation in larger baleen whale stocks, and the minke’s apparent abundance, they have since been very heavily targeted by whaling in other parts of the world. No commercial whaling has happened in British Columbian waters since 1968.”

    For more information regarding the illegal hunting of whales by Japan please visit the website below.

  45. King Ingoda
    26 Mar 13
    11:49 am

  46. Angie, both minkes and humpbacks are listed by the IUCN as “Least Concern”. It literally doesn’t get more abundant than that. And Japan’s whale hunt is conducted in compliance with all relevant international laws. So what is there to complain about? IT’s just feel-good nonsense that has no conservation merit whatsoever. Why not spend your energy on something that actually matters? There are plenty of species out there that are actually endangered. Or do you only care about cute mega-fauna?

  47. Nacho
    26 Mar 13
    12:20 pm

  48. King Ingoda,

    I suggest that you return to your Yakuza ruled homeland and ICR mothership.

    Your opinions will buy nothing to people who are determined to see an end to commercial whaling.

  49. Angie T
    26 Mar 13
    12:28 pm

  50. I’m a self confessed megafauna devotee and feel quite protective about them as history clearly demonstrates we are not good at protecting them. I’m also partial to smaller species too e.g. Eastern barred bandicoots, Tasmanian devils and pigmy possums etc.

    Megafauna — in the sense of the largest mammals and birds — are generally K-strategists, with high longevity, slow population growth rates, low mortality rates, and (at least for the largest) few or no natural predators capable of killing adults. These characteristics, although not exclusive to such megafauna, make them vulnerable to human overexploitation, in part because of their slow population recovery rates.
    Source: Wikipedia

  51. King Ingoda
    26 Mar 13
    1:10 pm

  52. Ok, so I take it that there’s no disagreement with my statement that the present-day anti-whaling movement has no conservation merit whatsoever. That being so, what gives you or anyone else the right to enforce your arbitrary and sentimental whims upon others? If the Japanese suddenly decided that potatoes are cute and cuddly, should they be allowed to stop you from eating them (let alone launching violent crusades against your local potato farmers)?

  53. Nacho
    26 Mar 13
    1:29 pm

  54. ^^^^ Pro Whaling Troll ^^^^

  55. AdGrunt
    26 Mar 13
    3:42 pm

  56. ^^^^ Anti Whaling Troll ^^^^

  57. Nacho
    26 Mar 13
    4:20 pm

  58. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So thanks :)

    After looking up this term, it says that you would like to be more like me.

  59. King Ingoda
    26 Mar 13
    4:54 pm

  60. Who wouldn’t want to be more like you, Nacho. You just single-handedly won the entire whaling debate without having to provide a single rational argument, nor having to stoop to engaging in reasoned and factually-based debate. My hat is off to you, dear sir. The world needs more intellectuals like you.

  61. Nacho
    26 Mar 13
    5:06 pm

  62. Hows the pinkie finger?

  63. Julie
    27 Mar 13
    1:27 am

  64. I’d really like to know where in the world people get the idea that Sea Shepherd “pays its executives huge salaries”? Exactly where do you get this information?

  65. Stopthegreed
    27 Mar 13
    1:33 am

  66. Some of the comments here are completely ridiculous. First off, Sea Shepherd do not pay their executives huge amounts of money. Most of them donate their time for free. Paul Watson takes in my opinion a very small salary. Especially when you see what he gives up and time he actually gets to spend at home with his family. Most sporting heroes spend the majority of the time off the field, and get paid millions and don’t save a single life. Also Sea Shepherd don’t get far more than other groups in funding. Greenpeace who also ask the public for money to “save the Whales” bring in tens of millions have several hundred million sitting in bank accounts and do Nothing to save the Whales. And Sea Shepherd have the highest rating for a NGO with the US charity navigator for how money is spent.

  67. Your Seaporter
    27 Mar 13
    2:33 am

  68. ^^^LOL^^^

  69. King Ingoda
    27 Mar 13
    9:47 am

  70. It is well established that Sea Shepherd diverts large amounts of the money it receives in donations to pay its executives salaries that are many multiples of the average wage in the United States. This is despite its extensive use of volunteer labor and requests for free services as shown above.

    The amounts of money floating around in the upper levels of the Sea Shepherd entity are discussed here:

    As for whether Watson deserves these big bucks, well, one need only look at his record whilst at the helm of the group. Under his leadership, the group has lost entire vessels – the Farley Mowat confiscated in Canada for breaches of law, and the Ady Gil rammed into a Japanese vessel then dumped (along with its diesel fuel) into the waters of the Southern Ocean. Law suits have subsequently been filed against Sea Shepherd in relation to this travesty. Also, Sea Shepherd has been sued by Maltese fishermen, Watson has been sued by the president of Malta, the Steve Irwin was impounded in Europe and only released after half a million British pounds were paid up, Watson was arrested in Germany and then he skipped bail, thereby forfeiting €250,000 of bail someone donated for him. And then of course Sea Shepherd is being sued in the US courts by the Japanese whalers and have been labelled by the court as pirates. It goes on and on.

    But what’s worse about all this is that they don’t even stop the whaling. Right now, as far as we know, the Japanese whalers are still down in the Southern Ocean whaling to their hearts’ content. No interference, no nothing. Sea Shepherd threw in the towel about a month ago, deciding it was all too hard and let the whaling happen, even though they solicited millions upon million of dollars in donations under the guise of “shutting down the whaling”. Can you believe it? And yet the fat cat Sea Shepherd executives continue to lavish upon themselves these generous salaries despite the whalers having their most successful season yet.

    You’d have to be nuts to send these characters your money, huh?

  71. AdGrunt
    27 Mar 13
    10:19 am

  72. Blah. Blah.

    Yes, Greenpeace are green-mailing pot-bangers.

    Salary, schmalary. I don’t care how you waste your donations, though the ATO might have a different view.

    Why no rational explanation for this pointless piracy from the Sea Shepherd claque?

    Fill in the gaps:
    Sea Shepherd employs fugitives and uses ineffective illegal piracy to protect a sole, un-endangered species because ___________.

    My answer: …because animal activists have a distorted view of reason, cause and effect.

  73. Rugby fan
    27 Mar 13
    11:32 am

  74. Is this why Wales won the grand slam? Because of the donations? They certain harpooned England!

    I read about a fat cat yesterday in an news article. She is suing her own children or something? Another really fat cat is building a replica Titanic and a few others look like they are in for a bit of grief for rigging a mining deal. Oh, and last year I followed news on some other fat cats who head up a news company, which listened into a dead teenagers mobile phones voicemail!

    All of these fat cat’s mentioned above earn ‘ridiculous’ salaries and some of them do not do any philanthropy, whatsoever. Can you believe that?! YUCK! What awful people.

    Cael diwrnod da!

  75. Angie T
    27 Mar 13
    11:46 am

  76. Don’t believe everything you read … like Canada Free Press. Some hilarious insights as to the type of quality journalism (not) they are responsible for can be found on the following!

  77. Anonymous
    27 Mar 13
    1:47 pm

  78. Unless you’re a real hardcore whale lover, given the huge amount of charities out there doing all sorts of worthwhile work (for humans AND animals), why bother with such controversy?

    Donate some of your time to World Vision or the local animal shelter instead.

  79. James
    27 Mar 13
    1:58 pm

  80. I support the cause of Sea Shepherd but not the methods it has stated it is prepared to use to achieve them.

    I saw Paul Watson speak at a conference a few years back, and was frankly appalled at what he was saying. Essentially his argument was that those carrying out whaling were breaking the law, accordingly, Sea Shepherd had the right to break laws with impunity to stop them – and this extended to taking of actions that involved significant risk to the lives of the whalers. Watson argued that essentially, by killing whales they gave up the right to respect for their own lives. He spoke with glee as he claimed responsibility for sinking a number of vessels.

    I thought this was a sick and twisted morality. It’s not often that someone makes me ashamed to support a cause but Watson is such a person. I can’t support Sea Shepherd as it’s clear Watson runs it according to his personal views. I’m sure there are many sincere people who are not as extreme involved in the organisation. However, having heard him speak and read some of his writings I don’t trust a thing that Sea Shepherd claims. Watson is a master media manipulator, and it’s amazing how unquestioning the Australian media seems to be about someone who seems to countenance manslaughter as an acceptable consequence of defending whales.

  81. Calm C
    27 Mar 13
    2:21 pm

  82. Idea time. Everyone involved in the verbal ping pong each have a point. Nothing makes you understand better than experiencing the issue for yourself .


    Both sides of the argument gather at north Sydney pool, one team plays the whales, one team plays the whalers.

    Real harpoons for the authentic experience.

    Seems fair. You are not on the endangered list.

    Ever been stalked by someone with a harpoon?

  83. Nacho
    27 Mar 13
    2:52 pm

  84. I am hereby calling for an organisation (just like the IWC) that could green-light some lethal scientific research on Japanese Whalers (therefore making it “perfectly legal”)

    Then after we set our quotas for about 30 whalers per year, we could paint “RESEARCH” in big letters on our ships and wave placards at the helicopters as we flense a couple, dumping the parts that we haven’t been able to use into the southern ocean and then put the good bits into storage for the connoisseurs.

    THEN we could start some half arsed website and post updates about our harassment and get flunkies like Glenn Inwood to spruik the merits of our cause.

    Yeah, no…

    Hows about we just end whaling now, or people like myself will take it into our own hands to “sink the whaling fleet”…

  85. King Ingoda
    27 Mar 13
    3:21 pm

  86. Calm C and Nacho, your points would be valid and well-considered, except for one minor point: whales are not humans. It’s important point to try to remember that.

    See, while it is entirely legal to harvest whales for the purposes of scientific research, it is not legal to murder humans for any reason whatsoever.

    In fact, it’s not even legal to try to harm humans by firing acid at them or ramming the ships that contain them. Doing so makes you an illegal pirate, as the US judiciary has made very clear. Harvesting whales for the purposes of scientific research, on the other hand, makes you a law abiding citizen and a valued member of the scientific community.

    Any other ideas you guys would like to have blown to pieces as if by a penthrite grenade harpoon?

  87. Nacho
    27 Mar 13
    3:36 pm

  88. Quoting “King” Ingoda (who made you king anyway?)

    “Harvesting whales for the purposes of scientific research, on the other hand, makes you a law abiding citizen and a valued member of the scientific community.”

    You’ll find that the ACTUAL scientific community has agreed there are efficient ways of collecting ACTUAL “scientific” data without lethal means having to be employed at all.

    But then meat doesn’t end up int he King’s freezer, so we can’thave that? can we?!

  89. Calm C
    27 Mar 13
    3:53 pm

  90. King in vodka. I agree whales are not humans. But you have to agree pain and fear are universal.

  91. King Ingoda
    27 Mar 13
    4:16 pm

  92. I’m not sure that pain and fear are necessarily universal, but I do agree with what I believe to be your underlying point that the suffering of animals we harvest ought to be considered. And I would say that this consideration applies equally to cows, pigs, sheep, whales and chickens.

    As for the claims about the non-necessity of lethal cetacean research, well I’d say that advances in astronomy from earth-based research does not derogate from the scientific merits of sending a man into space. Likewise cetacean research – you can learn things from attaching tracking devices to whales, but that doesn’t derogate from the scientific breakthrough that is the lethal cetacean research.

    Apollo Space Program & JARPA II Cetacean Research Program. Both are giant leaps for mankind.

  93. Your Seaporter
    27 Mar 13
    4:52 pm

  94. King,

    You amaze me with how well written and executed your comments are, so it perplexes me as to how you can be so naive. The Japanese cloak their very illegal whaling operations with some bogus scientific research claim and you buy into it? I read your banter about the Sea Shepherd pirates, and their ramming of ships and etc. etc. etc., but still you praise the Japanese for their scientific research and commend them as law abiding citizens? Which everyone outside of Japan ( and a growing number of those within) know is a barrel of lies. It sickens me to how people like yourself try to defend these whalers (let’s call them what they are, shall we) while pointing out how illegal SSCS and their methods are. If we are going to point fingers and label, lets do it in spades, no? Lets call these Japanese scientist what they are….whalers. If it could all be done with pamphlets and fliers there wouldn’t be any need for groups like SSCS, but the truth is, some one needs to take a hard stand against people or a country, like Japan, who feel they are entitled to do as they wish, with what they wish. I hate this “who me? What did I do, I’m innocent” card Japan and ICR play ad nauseum. You have a hidden agenda sir, you reek of it. People like you disgust me with your barrage of BS. Come on….what’s the agenda? Lets hear you sound off like you got the pair you portray you do.

  95. Joshua Bell
    28 Mar 13
    12:30 am

  96. King? If pain and fear are not universal I want you to think about something. Next time you try to step on a spider. Observe how it doesn’t sit there and put up a fight. It runs to live another day? Next time you go to pet your dog, cat, bird, etc. lunge at it. hit it a few times. Notice the fear in its poor eyes and tell me there is no fear for its life!

    Also if the Japanese are a research team and only believe in research. Why is Research written in English on the side of the vessels and not in Japanese? Why wouldn’t the Japanese need to know the vessel is for research?

    I believe that you are a scared man that fears for his life and believes that he is on top of everything. Why can’t I kill humans to figure out their migrating patterns and diet? Why is that so wrong? I’m only conducting research of another living, breathing, feeling creation.