Sea Shepherd wins $4.5 million grant to support its mission to fight IUU fishing

Union Age (Sea Shepherd)

Posted on January 14, 2022 at 10:56 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

Sea Shepherd has renamed its patrol boat sam simon after the Age of Union environmental foundation, which announced a $4.5 million grant to support Sea Shepherd’s environmental conservation work. The funds are enough to cover the vessel’s operating costs for three years and will support its work off France and West Africa.

The legacy of Sam Simon, best known as the creator of The Simpsons, will always be commemorated inside the ship. Simon’s donation enabled Sea Shepherd to purchase the former Japanese vessel in 2012. The vessel, originally named Seifu Maru, was previously a weather observation vessel for the Japanese whaling fleet.

Currently docked in Portugal, the vessel’s first mission will be to observe the bycatch of the fishing fleet off the west coast of France. Bycatch in this region claims the lives of 6,000 to 10,000 dolphins a year, twice as much as in all other nations’ fisheries combined, according to Sea Shepherd.

the age of union will be off France until the end of March, then it will leave for the west coast of Africa for a marine wildlife protection mission of about three months. Support from Age of Union will keep the ship operational until the end of 2024.

“With these funds from Age of Union, we hope to help Sea Shepherd save the lives of endangered species, preserve their habitats, and support local communities disrupted by illegal poachers,” said Dax Dasilva, Founder of Age. of Union.

Canadian tech leader and environmental activist Dasilva established Age of Union in October last year with an initial pledge of $40 million, which will be used to protect ecosystems around the world. Sea Shepherd is the sixth global partnership announced by Age of Union using funds from the initial commitment.

Historically, Sea Shepherd has focused on whaling, but has expanded its efforts to include other issues, particularly IUU fishing. In West Africa, fish stocks are being depleted at an alarming rate. Countries like Gambia and Liberia have established protected areas reserved for local small-scale fishermen where industrial fishing is strictly prohibited, but enforcement is a challenge.

Working with West African host nations and their law enforcement agencies, Sea Shepherd provides fully manned vessels, crews, fuel and other tools that enhance nation states’ abilities to detect and deter IUU fishing. Over the past five years, the NGO has helped law enforcement arrest 73 illegal fishing vessels.

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