|One of the Sea Shepherd's vessels: the MY Steve Irwin.|
When most people think of the Sea Shepherd, what comes to their mind is a conservation society made famous in the Animal Planet series Whale Wars. While it is true that this society is known to save lives of marine mammals such as whales, it is also committed to the protect other types of wildlife in the world's oceans. One recent example is seen in this article, in which the society is providing help to patrol and protect the waters of Australia's new marine reserve in the Coral Sea. The announcement came last week by the Australian government, which is establishing the marine reserve to fight the dangers fragile marine ecosystems are facing. Conservation groups believed that it is crucial to prevent threats such as poaching and overfishing, which would damage the reserve. But the problem, according to former M.P Peter Lindsay, was that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority needed help such as being provided proper funding in order to patrol and police the reserve. That was when the Sea Shepherd stepped in, saying that it would help protect the marine sanctuary from foreign vessels functioning illegally at the Coral Sea. This meant that Australian taxpayers would have to pay nothing. The conservation society also stated that it would allow members of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, or other proper authorities to use vessels and go onboard during patrols. In addition to that, it will also work with different Australian authorities to formulate strategies that would result in prosecution of illegal fishing activities.
|Yellowfin goatfish in the Coral Sea.|
I'm very proud to see what a renowned conservation society like the Sea Shepherd is doing, in order to help Australian authorities in an effort to protect a newly-established marine sanctuary as part of the majestic Coral Sea. This vast stretch of water covers an area of more than half the size of Queensland, and is known to have green sea turtle nesting sites along with various species of sharks and other predatory fish. With such an abundance of marine life, it is not uncommon for the Coral Sea to be prone to threats ranging from poaching to overfishing. For this reason, the Sea Shepherd announced that it would participate in the protection of the marine reserve whose roots date back to November 2011. This conservation society is known to have a strong track record of defending and preserving marine ecosystems and their inhabitants worldwide. The group has in-depth sources and experience, which includes worldwide awareness and support, media relations, and vessel identification systems. In addition to that, it also known for using direct-action strategies when necessary to reveal and stand up to illegal marine activities. The group's founder, Captain Paul Watson, explained that it is "prepared to work with any government or local agency to protect their waters." Before Australia, the Sea Shepherd had helped the government of Ecuador protect the shark population and marine ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands. As part of their effort to help Australia, the Sea Shepherd spent more than $4 million to buy a patrol boat, set up vessel identification systems, conduct training, and introduce a team of sniffer dogs to sniff out shark fins and other illegal marine contraband. The actions have been applauded by the Australian government, the Navy, and the officials of the marine reserve. Overall, I feel that this marine reserve has a bright future with the Sea Shepherd helping in its protection and preservation. I also believe that based on the group's qualifications, any government of a nation bordering any of the world's oceans or other similar water bodies should depend on joining forces with the Sea Shepherd in order to protect their local marine life.
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