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Sea Shepherd's Antarctic Campaign To Cost $4 Million

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To help clear up any confusion over the acquisition of their new vessel (tentatively called “Ocean Adventurer), Captain Paul Watson left a comment laying out the specifics of the deal — and why the group does not yet have the cash to outright purchase the boat.

“The new vessel will be participating in Operation No Compromise under the command of Captain Lockart McLean,” he writes. “The vessel has been secured, meaning, it is in our control. Have we raised enough money to pay for it? The answer is; not yet. Why? Because the total cost of Operation No Compromise will be around $4 million U.S. dollars and Sea Shepherd is a relatively small organization. This $4 million represents half the Sea Shepherd’s annual budget, leaving the rest for tuna in the med, sharks in the Galapagos, dolphins in Japan etc. Ship and equipment cost money – lots of money and we need to spend time fund raising by necessity. Thankfully our support base is growing steadily and we become stronger every year.”

Watson added that the SS are also spending $250K for new engines and propellers for the OA. As stated before, Sea Shepherd hope to raise additional funds by selling the naming rights to the vessel.

Check out the rest of Paul’s comments — including information on the partnership with Ady Gil and Pete Bethune — after the jump below.

Captain Paul Watson:

“The Ady Gil was not a Sea Shepherd vessel. It was owned by Ady Gil and captained by Pete Bethune. It was a partnership with Sea Shepherd BUT Sea Shepherd is not under any obligation legally to replace the Ady Gil or to rename this vessel the Ady Gil II. The responsibility for the Ady Gil was Pete Bethune’s alone. Sea Shepherd covered Bethune’s legal fees of close to half a million dollars. However Pete became a security risk to us when he made a deal with the Japanese to give testimony (including false statements) to the Japanese prosecutor. Bethune’s allegation that I ordered him to scuttle the Ady Gil are ridiculous because I never had any authority over him to give him any such orders and on Whale Wars I say quite clearly, “It’s Pete’s ship, it’s Pete’s call. Pete’s decision to scuttle the Ady Gil was the right decision because the Ady Gil could not be salvaged and presented a navigational hazard. Pete can be seen on camera making that decision. But it was his decision and not mine.

Captain MacLean is a much more experienced ship’s officer than Pete Bethune and I trust him to ensure that his ship will not be damaged and his crew will not be hurt. Competence, resourcefulness, confidence and courage trump cowboy courage any day.

Great and boastful talkers do the least, we see.
– Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson

Operation No Compromise will have three vessels and an upgraded helicopter (Hughes 500). We will have 80 volunteers from 16 different nations including Japan. I am confident that this will be our most effective campaign ever.

The ships will depart from Australia on December 2nd.

Now one final word. If you do not like what Sea Shepherd does or if you disagree with our tactics, our strategies, or our objectives, I need only say, it matters not. People are entitled to their opinions but opinions and criticisms mean very little to us. Our clients in this campaign are the whales, not people, and especially not those who oppose us or indulge in worthless criticism. Calling us names, insulting our character, denouncing our tactics are simply the prattling of individuals who neither contribute to nor cause damage to our activities, in other words it is the hum of insignificance in the background of our campaigns.

And for those who support us, we express out thanks because it is your support that is translated into action and thus support and not criticism is the currency of our activities.

The Night for the Oceans in Hollywood was a very successful event and we very much appreciate all those who have made us stronger with their attendance and contributions.”

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