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Sea Shepherd Australia

What We Came to Protect

By | Commercial whaling, mar14, Ocean Alliance News, Sea Shepherd Australia | No Comments

A Guest Post from Our Sea Shepherd Science Liaison in the Southern Ocean–Eva Hidalgo:

Ice Field in Southern Ocean - Photo by Eliza MuirheadAfter a few weeks of sailing between the 60°S and the 70°S latitudes, the amount of whale sightings seemed to be below our expectations. That may not be very good news for our data collection program, where we collect information from all the sightings of cetaceans; but it was certainly comforting, as we don’t forget how the whaling fleet never sleeps. While the reasons for this lack of sightings may vary, as the days went by, it seemed to become a bit clearer where some of the whales were hiding. As we sailed into the mouth of the Ross Sea, the southernmost sea on earth, numerous small spouts were appearing on the horizon, and some encounters started taking place. The sun was shining on a relatively warm morning, when a pod of fast minke whales joined us, and started what seemed like a race against our ship across the calm ocean. During the summer months, while the rest of baleen whales seem to prefer the periphery of the Ross Sea, Antarctic minke whales seem to have found paradise in one of the most remote oceans on the planet. Read More

MEET OUR SCIENCE LIAISON IN THE SOUTHERN OCEAN – EVA HIDALGO

By | Commercial whaling, Ocean Alliance News, Pollution, Sea Shepherd Australia | No Comments

Eva HidalgoEva Hidalgo, Bosun’s Mate on the Sea Shepherd’s Steve Irwin, has dedicated her life to the conservation of whales and their environment. For this season’s  campaign in the Southern Ocean, Operation Relentless, not only is the Sea Shepherd fleet trying to thwart Japanese whalers, but they’re collecting invaluable data from an environment that is not easy to work in or even access. Read More

FORMER ODYSSEY CREW CONFRONT JAPANESE WHALERS

By | Commercial whaling, Ocean Alliance News, Sea Shepherd Australia | No Comments

As I write this, commercial whaling (under the false premise of scientific whaling) is going on in Antarctic waters.  Roger Payne calls this, “as egregious a misuse of science—the field I love—as I have ever seen.” This year three RV Odyssey Operation Toxic Gulf crewmembers (our 2013 Gulf of Mexico campaign) are there to try and stop it. Hillary Watson, Eliza Muirhead and Erwin Vermeulen are on board the Sea Shepherd fleet as it confronts Japanese whalers. When these three came to the Odyssey to work last summer they were already veterans of Sea Shepherd’s campaigns around the world. Now they’ve left the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico for the harsh conditions of the Southern Ocean.

Front from left - Eliza Muirhead, Lauren Paap, Second row from left - Andy Rogan, Bob Wallace, Iain Kerr, Erwin Vermeulen, Hillary Watson, Camron Adibi

Front from left – Eliza Muirhead, Lauren Paap, Second row from left – Andy Rogan, Bob Wallace, Iain Kerr, Erwin Vermeulen, Hillary Watson, Camron Adibi

The news broke this week that the Sea Shepherd fleet – the Bob Barker, Steve Irwin and Sam Simon had found the Japanese whaling fleet, but not before they had harvested four minke whales, three of which were on the deck of the factory ship, and one that had evidently already been processed. As we are collaborating with the Sea Shepherd fleet collecting sightings and other data in Antarctica, Roger Payne has been in touch with Eliza Muirhead and identified the sex of the whales lying on the deck of the Japanese ship. From left to right in the photo they are male, female and the far right whale we think but cannot confirm is also female.  Males have two genital slits while females have one, in the case of Minke whales the females can grow to be a lot larger than the males, which is what suggest to us that the far right animal is female.Dead Minkes on Nisshun Maru - Photo by Sea Shepherd Australia

We will be thinking of the safety and well-being of our friends and everyone working in that hostile environment during this campaign.

“WHALE WARS” CREW TO COLLECT DATA FOR OA IN ANTARCTIC WATERS

By | jan14, Ocean Alliance News, Sea Shepherd Australia | No Comments

Sea Shepherd fleet - photo by Iain KerrAt this moment a fleet of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Australia vessels are heading to the Southern Ocean to prevent Japanese whalers from killing and processing whales. For 10 years Sea Shepherd vessels have run annual campaigns in Antarctic waters; in the last few years these campaigns have been documented in the Animal Planet series “Whale Wars,” but this year they have a new objective to add to their campaign. Read More

Open Books Talk – Pensacola

By | Ocean Alliance News, Sea Shepherd Australia | No Comments
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Pensacola has provided a safe and friendly home base for the Sea Shepherd and Ocean Alliance crew on board the RV Odyssey over the summer. With the initial research phase of our oil disaster campaign Operation Toxic Gulf nearing an end, it’ll soon be time for us to set sail for distant shores; but we couldn’t leave without saying goodbye. The crew would like to thank the locals of Pensacola for their hospitality with TWO BIG EVENTS! Read More

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Cry if I Want To

By | Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Alliance News, Odyssey, Sea Shepherd Australia, Whales | No Comments

eliza_0001Tomorrow I will celebrate my one year anniversary as a Sea Shepherd crew member. Over the past 12 months I have sailed enough miles to circumnavigate the globe. I have been a part of defending two of the last remaining pristine wildernesses areas left on this planet: Antarctica, and The Kimberley region in Western Australia. I’ve seen the same humpbacks breaching against the blue mountains of icebergs while they’re feeding in Antarctica, breach against the red cliffs of the Kimberley coast while they socialize and calve in Western Australia.

But today I find myself somewhere quite different: The Gulf of Mexico.

The Gulf of Mexico could not be more opposite to Antarctica and the Kimberley, it’s a picture example of what it means to “industrialize” a body of water. Hundreds of oil rigs light up the horizon through the night and bright orange buoys scatter the surface attached to long lines that stretch their deadly tentacles 3 miles into the depths. eliza_0009 In the Gulf we have sailed through oil slicks that we could smell before we could see them, casting their rainbow sheen over the horizon. Over a 100 miles from land we’ve picked up human trash in the form of styrofoam boxes, discarded fishing buoys, balloons celebrating birthdays and newborns and floating plastic versions of just about everything imaginable. Read More

Ever wondered what a boat ‘looks’ like to dolphins and whales underwater?

By | Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Alliance News, Odyssey, Sea Shepherd Australia, Sounds | No Comments
[sws_picture_frame10 src=”https://www.whale.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/passingship.jpg” title=”” alt=”” align=”sws_frame_left” lightbox=”1″ album=”” video=””] [/sws_picture_frame10] Whales and dolphins spend a lot of their lives in a dark underwater world. Instead of ‘seeing’ the underwater world, they ‘hear’ it.  They live in a world of sound as against sight.

This particular recording is taken from the 100 meter hydrophone array that is towed behind the RV Odyssey. A series of underwater microphones, more properly called  hydrophones, are used to help the crew find their principle study species, the sperm whale. In this particular recording you can hear the propellers of a passing cargo ship almost 5 miles away passing the Odyssey in the Gulf of Mexico. Read More

A Typical Day in the Galley aboard Research Vessel Odyssey

By | Food, Ocean Alliance News, Sea Shepherd Australia | 2 Comments
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Galley cooking poses an interesting dilemma.

To start with, you need to bring everything you anticipate needing with you. There is no going back to the local market to get that essential ingredient. You are just plum out of luck and will either need to improvise, get creative or abandon your plan altogether and create a new one.

I like to start each new expedition by asking each of the crew the following questions. Do you have any food allergies or intolerances? Do you follow a special diet? And then finally, what foods put you into a happy and sad place? For example, are you a someone with a gluten allergy who dislikes celery and green peppers, but give you a fruit smoothie and all of your cares after a particularly grueling day are forgotten? Read More