by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: Sea Shepherd

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society came within minutes Tuesday of losing their flagship vessel, the MY Steve Irwin, but scored a last minute reduction in bond to free her.

The ship has been held in the Shetland Islands for the past two weeks after a claim filed by a Maltese company over an incident in 2010 led to a Scottish court holding her as bond. The original cost to free the Irwin was set at nearly $1.4M, an estimate based on damages reported by the plaintiffs. A fury of last minute work by the SSCS however, convinced a judge to lower the bond to the actua value of the vessel – or around $850K.

“I am quite confident we will get our bond back,” Captain Paul Watson told the BBC. “It is just one of those inconveniences. We have learned how to deal with inconveniences over the years and just weather them.”

The Steve Irwin will reportedly depart for the Faroe Islands within the next 24-hours to participate in the organization’s Operation Ferocious Isles campaign to defend pilot whales.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • AnimuX

    WOOHOO! Fantastic news! Well done everyone! Godspeed Sea Shepherd!

    • sscs-antifan

      And you didn’t need to use any of your own money Donald :)

      • boo radley

        Great result, go SSCS supporters, you are magnifico!

    • hjoli

      Stand strange people don’t let those terrorists scare you. Stand on your rights!

  • Jon Johnson

    I am sure there are a lot of smiling faces out there today. There can not be many conservation organisations out there where the members are so passionate about what they do they can raise funds for emergencies such as this, with a few weeks. Well done! The sooner we all realise that the ocean’s resources are finite, the better!!! well done SSCS … now let’s hope they win the case and have the bond returned to put it to some good use

  • http://3 Edi Williams

    Bon Voyage Sea Shepherd & so pleased you are out of dock! Welldone….
    Where are you Visiting exactly?

  • pip

    “There can not be many conservation organisations out there where the members are so passionate about what they do they can raise funds for emergencies such as this, with a few weeks.”

    My guess is that most conservation organizations could raise emergency funds from their members within a few weeks. Of course most conservation organizations don’t do things that get them in situations where they have million dollar emergencies.

    • boo radley

      Thats because most dont do what SSCS do. For example, Greenpeace just stay at home and have tea parties in Hong Kong. They dont bother going to the Faroes or to Antarctica to save whales. Instead they make all their members make origami whales and send them to Obama so he can think about whether he wants to “compromise” with the illegal Japanese whalers. Then they ask everyone to donate so they can get their floating pleasure palace built. SSCS is the real deal!

  • Rm

    Good news

  • Sea Cucumber

    What are you cheering for? You didn’t give anything but a handful of change and a ball of lint! It will only be a matter of time before Fatson gets caught in Faroese waters doing something really stupid as usual, and gets the boat arrested again – hopefully he will too but he’ll probably ruin away – again!!

    Lol – Fish and Fish will enjoy the money that the SSCS sheep have given them! It’ll go to buying new tuna nets for the next season in the Med! The fishermen REALLY appreciate the cash – they can always use it!

    I can’t with for the court case when the “incredible evidence” is brought forward! It will sound like this:

    Judge: Paul Watson, please present your evidence.
    Watson: It was an illegal catch…
    Judge: OK, but where is your evidence?
    Watson: It was an illegal catch…
    Judge: I heard you the first time, where is your evidence?
    Watson: I don’t like that they sell it to Japan.
    Judge: OK, I see where this is going….
    Watson: We were sitting still in the water and they rammed us with the tuna cage…
    Judge: Bailiff.. Please escort Mr. Watson out of my face….
    Watson: If the oceans die we all die!!!!
    Judge: F&F Rep – I’m going to rule in your favor.
    Watson: Ok, but where was the cafeteria again?
    F&F rep: Thanks to all the SSCSheep for all the cash – we’re investing in new boats and nets – thanks!!!!

    Coming soon to Tuna Wars next season!!!


    • Kimitake Hiraoka

      “Watson: We were sitting still in the water and they rammed us with the tuna cage…”


  • romika3

    Readers: I have pointed out many times why Watson has choose to “attack” the fisher-persons of the Faroe Islands. The harvest of Pilot whales, which by the way are not endangered, is legal, managed, and sustainable with the meat providing approx. 30% of the isolated islands protein needs. However, the traditional harvest provides what Watson needs, bloody red water, a safe protest environment, a simple people that he and his fellow eco-terrorists can demonize, another opportunity for Animal Planet to make money off the backs of a people, and lots of video and photos. The demonization of the people of the Faroe Islands has already began (see Youtube Posts).

    Watson has a history of attacking legal fisher-persons and has pointed out in his book “Earthforce” that it is acceptable to lie and distort data. In a CBC interview he stated that he goes where the money is and that it is basically all about money.

  • AnimuX

    For anyone who doesn’t understand why Sea Shepherd is going to the Faroe Islands, the pilot whale slaughter goes something like this:

    1) Pilot whales swim too close to the Faroe Islands.

    2) Faroese fishermen hop on the radio to tell everybody on the islands to get ready for the grind.

    3) Metal poles are dipped into the water and repeatedly struck to create noise that frightens the pod of whales and directs them in a fearful panic toward the shore.

    4) Waiting at the shore are a town of Faroese killers with various tools of destruction including both sharp and blunt hooks, knives, and small spear-like tools.

    5) As the panicking whales thrust themselves up into shallow water the screaming village of sickos rushes into the water and begins piercing the airways and skin of the whales with ropes attached in order to pull them ashore.

    6) Once ashore, another sick-o will use a knife to cut into the neck of the animal and its spine in order to kill it OR will use the spear-like tool to sever the spine from the brain of the animal (this is the supposedly 5 second process that Faroese liars want you to believe is the limit of the whales’ suffering).

    7) Then the meat of these whales, which were primarily killed as an opportunistic bit of “fun”, is distributed to the participants so they might consume the toxic metals and chemicals within it for a few free meals, thus ignoring the health risks and advice of Faroese doctors.

    8) What remains of the pilot whales is dumped back into the sea thus eliminating the MYTH that all of the animal is consumed or utilized.

    9) In some cases, people sell their shares of the grind to restaurants.

    10) Oh yes, and the entire process is justified by the killers because it’s supposedly their “tradition”…

    • sscs-antifan

      Donald you forgot to mention the real fact why SSCS is going to Faroes.

      1) It is small and isolated
      2) During all the SSCS visits, the islanders have never attacked SSCS
      3) SSCS needs to target somebody, since the Japanese dont want to play
      3) Faroe Islands is a better target then USA, Canada, Russia, Norway and Iceland

      • AnimuX

        Amazing that even in a year where Sea Shepherd is involved in action against Japan, Namibia, tuna poachers in the Med, and the Faroe Islands….

        Pro-whaling propagandists continue to make false assertions about SSCS intentions.

        When Sea Shepherd was last busy in Taiji, the pro-whalers used to cry, “what is Sea Shepherd doing about the Faroe Islands?!”

        You see, anti-whalers (including Paul Watson) first confronted the Soviet Union’s whalers in 1975. (I know… small and isolated right?)

        Then Iceland, Australia (yes even Australia before it became an anti-whaling country), Norway, pirate whalers, Spain, the Soviet Union again (in Soviet waters and on the ground in Siberia), and more… long before there was any confrontation with Japan (although Japan did setup and fund illegal pirate whaling operations all over the world).

        There are just some of the important details left out by those whose only purpose in commenting here is to demonize activists with false allegations and gross exaggerations…

      • sscs-antifan

        I know Norway fired 1 shot that scared Paul so much, he or sscs hasnt been back.
        Soviets also scared them away, so they have not been back (Russia still whales).
        What about USA and Canada? They have been whaling for a long time, right in sscs neighbourhood.

      • pip

        A perfect summary of what really goes on sscs-anti. One day these pros will get over their obsession with Paul Watson.

    • boo radley

      A perfect summary of what really goes on Animux. One day these antis will get over their obsession with Paul Watson.

    • romika3

      So what are you trying to say? You know that Pilot whales have healthy populations and are from from endangered, but refuse to admit it. The reason why SSCS is in the Faroe Islands is because of the media potential that exists there. Blood and water and SSCS harassing these people on their remote island will bring in the donations and best of all it is a safe area. I am sure they will be flying in cocktail sipping actors for photo ops and SSCS fashion shoots. Watson’s organization of pathetic and makes a mockery of the conservation movement.

  • Kyle Noble Quandel

    Great news! Score yet another victory for the animals, thanks to SSCS & their amazing work. Keep it up gang & go get ‘em!!!

  • faroeislander

    …great stuff!!!…hope that Sea Sheppard gets a lot of publicity from the people in the Faroes…The Faroe Islands need the public eye as well to promote these wonderful islands…probably to evironmentally healthiest place in the world with people living in and off the nature…war and news is as ever showbusiness to the citydweller well protected in the 5th floor apartment buying some kind of food in the supermarket…wrapped in plastic…Good luck

    • boo radley

      The only problem is that no-one wants to go there cause they kill whales.

      • pip

        Another fail there boo.

        They have a thriving tourist industry. In fact they just had their St Olaf’s Festival with thousands of tourist.

  • romika3

    From SSCS web page “As many as 1,000 endangered long-finned pilot whales are brutally killed in the Faeroe Islands each year.” The problem here is that the long-finned pilot is not listed as endangered.

    • boo radley

      They deserve to live just as muhc as you do romika, you are not endangered either.

      • pip

        Gee it appears boo still has that reading and comprehension problem.

        The point was they info on the SSCS is a lie.

      • herwin

        Amen to that, Boo, that is a rock solid argument, i am sure the trolls will ignore such a valid and humane argument.

    • romika3

      According to the American Cetacean Society — a whale protectionist group — pilot whales are not considered endangered. The society cites that there are likely about 1,000,000 long-finned and at least 200,000 short-finned pilot whales worldwide. The harvest is less than 1000. Perhaps the SSCS page should read “less than a thousand long-finned pilot whales are harvested to meet the islands protein needs. These numbers are down from over 18,000 in the early 1990’s.” You see folks there has been a steady decline in the harvest of pilot whales as access to off island food and transportation has improved. But SSCS sees this declining harvest has media and money making potential. The movement of Watson and his SSCS eco-terrorist followers into the Faroe islands clearly demonstrates their mockery of the conservation movement.