|Sea Shepherd crew members|
It has recently been reported that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's high-speed trimaran known as the Brigitte Bardot successfully assisted the Guatemalan Department of Fisheries in its anti-poaching enforcement actions. The Sea Shepherd was asked by officials of the fisheries department to help battle poaching in Guatemala's waters, and now the conservation society is assisting in reducing the impact of illegal fishing of billfish by commercial fishermen. The crew of the Brigitte Bardot joined forces with a three-person Naval commission and two officials of the fisheries department for patrolling the waters. During the first night, as many as seven boats were boarded by the officials who found that two of the boats had an illegal catch of sailfish. The illegally caught fish were recorded and returned to the sea, while governmental action was taken against the perpetrators. The crew will continue to provide help to the fisheries department on anti-poaching patrols, whose main goal is to gather evidence to the government of Guatemala. The Sea Shepherd is optimistic that if these patrols indicate that illegal fishing takes place on a large scale and shows a tremendous threat in Guatemala's waters, more operations will be conducted to battle this problem. In addition, the crew of the Brigitte Bardot will also give lectures at schools in order to spread awareness and asserting the crucial need for ocean protection.
|The Brigitte Bardot at Circular Quay in Sydney.|
This article indicates what the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is about when it comes to protecting marine wildlife. This non-profit organization, which was founded in 1977 by Captain Paul Watson, was made famous in the Animal Planet series Whale Wars and is known to use direct-action tactics to inspect and record to reveal and confront illegal activities responsible for the destruction and slaughter of marine wildlife around the world. One of the organization's exploits has recently made news in Guatemala, where it provided assistance to authorities in exposing the threat of illegal commercial fishing that is greatly affecting the country's billfish population. The perpetrators of illegal commercial fishing are known to use two kinds of methods: gillnetting and longline fishing. Both of these techniques are considered to be highly destructive and often aimlessly kill ocean life, and must be in consent with a set of government standards. When the Sea Shepherd and Guatemalan authorities confiscated the recent illegal catch, they discovered that it did not meet the criteria of being in compliance with government standards. This indicated that Guatemala's waters are rife with such illegal activities threatening to eradicate not just the billfish, but other wildlife as well. I feel that with organizations like the Sea Shepherd being around and conducting protection efforts, there is a good chance that the world's marine wildlife will be safe. The Sea Shepherd is known to operate along coastlines around the world, but I also think it would be equally beneficial if the organization would conduct protection efforts in-land especially in the Amazon region which is home to the Amazon river dolphin. This dolphin, like its oceanic relatives, is under severe threat from issues such as pollution, habitat destruction through dam construction, and fishing. Recently, it has been reported that this dolphin is under threat for being used as bait to catch fish. This is why I feel it is extremely crucial for the Sea Shepherd to look into this issue, and somehow provide a helping hand in curbing such atrocities affecting the river dolphins.
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