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Producers Paid Sea Shepherd $750K For 'Whale Wars' Access

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The current article you are reading does not reflect the views of the current editors and contributors of the new Ecorazzi

While the promotion given the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society via the hit reality series “Whale Wars” has been priceless, it appears that the group has managed to squeeze some cash out of cable TV execs.

An annual charity return by the SSCS says that reality TV producers paid $750,000 in 2010 for “access” to the group’s activities; an amount that covered the fuel required for the conservation org’s Southern Ocean anti-whaling campaign.

Paul Watson said earlier that 2010’s Operation No Compromise campaign cost roughly $4M total.

In 2010, the group brought in revenue of $11.4M, ending the year with assets of $6.2M. From the article,

“The society’s chief financial officer, Nicholas Makhani, said 84 per cent of the income came from individual donors, and 16 per cent from merchandise sales. The annual return said $8 million was spent on ”program services” – that is, the organisation’s charitable functions. The rest, $3.4 million, covered administrative and fundraising expenses.”

Salaried employees of SSCS earn between $30K-$60K, while founder Paul Watson is paid $96,000. ”But I brought in $180,000 last year in appearance fees and royalties, which I gave back,” the 61-year-old told TheAge.com.au.

One other interesting tidbit – Doug Tompkins, co-founder of the global clothing brands Esprit and North Face, paid an additional six-figure fuel bill.

Since Animal Planet expanded the “Whale Wars” brand in 2011, I expect that $750K number will jump when returns are filed next year.

For additional details, check out The Age report here.

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0 Comments
  • romika3

    Well, well Mr. Watson. I seem to remember you stating publicly that you and the SSCS organization received no money from Animal Planet. Another lie buddy and it further supports the contention that the SSCS is all about getting the “footage” and reality floating TV set and it seems all you have done this year is focused on getting next season’s footage!!!!

    • Claire

      Do you have proof that AT THE TIME Paul Watson stated that Sea Shepherd was getting money from Animal Planet?? Didn’t think so :)

      I only see it as fair that AP donates some money to SSCS, especially to cover their large fuel cost for all 3 ships.

      • romika3

        It is either on Youtube or in an editorial. If I have the time I will search for it.

  • romika3

    “Doug Tompkins, co-founder of the global clothing brands Esprit and North Face, paid an additional six-figure fuel bill.” my days of buying North Face are over….

    • Eddyloomans

      I could not care less how much Seasheperd makes or their individual directors…the only thing I care about is that they get RESULTS!!!! SSCS stops the killing. Greenpeace collects dozens of millions of dollars without doing anything and nobody criticizes them. Wake up people, wake up!!!!!!!

      • romika3

        Actually, there is evidence that the SSCS actions have actually lead to an increase in whaling in the southern ocean and have resulted in the Japanese digging in their heels. And I don’t blame them as nobody wants to bow to a bunch of terrorists who attack and demonize a people….

  • Dagmar

    I assume the show makes millions for the network. Would you prefer Animal Planet keep all the Whale Wars profits? Or some of the funds getting pumped back into the organization which makes the show possible? I guarantee no one at the nonprofit is getting rich off the meager Animal Planet contribution.

  • sidewinder

    SS deserve all the money they can get whether this is true or not who cares. The bigger issue is these whaling scum bags wiping out whales with their high tech ships. What a HUGE waste of tax payer money and disaster funds. An absolute disgusting disgrace Japan is….

    • truthbroker

      Why all your contempt for Japan? There are a dozen countries still actively whaling, some with quotas from the IWC, some in defiance of them because they are not bound by its rules. Russia kills 140 gray whales a year, which have a significantly smaller population than the Minkes the Japanese take. The problem is, you’ve bought into the hype and lies spread by the SSCS and their head goon, Paul Watson. The reason he only bothers the Japanese is because if he goes to any of the other whaling countries, he’ll be arrested.

      • Dagmar

        1. Japan is whaling in International waters not their own territory
        2. SSCS has active campaigns all over the world

        • romika3

          “SSCS has active campaigns all over the world” lets see. He attacks Canadian sealers. The harp seal in not endangered, the harvest is legal, managed, and sustainable with a population approaching 10 million. But blood on ice brings in money and he ignores the six species of endangered seals one of which is in his own backyard, the monk seal in Hawaii. He attacks the people of the Fareo Islands who harvest pilot whale from a healthy and sustainable population. Blood and water brings in big bucks. He rammed legal tuna fishermen in the Med because he “felt” they had illegal tuna. He sends his nut cases to Tiaji to abuse and name call fishermen. Yes he does have active campaigns all over the world what a man, what a conservationist!!!

          • sidewinder

            Sure, easy to criticise from behind the safety of your keyboard and mouse… do you have any hobbies or passions that don’t involve trolling?

          • romika3

            Sorry to disappoint you but you know nothing of who I am and if Watson knew he’d shit his pants…..

      • Joseph Kool

        Sea Shepherds are Japanese hating racists. Racism is a very effective motivational tool. Just look at the contempt and anger being spewed by the sea shepherd conditioned moron racists in these comments.

    • romika3

      What you don’t know is that the majority of the whales taken are minke. Check the harvest statistics from the last two years. There are other counties that take a greater number of ENDANGERED WHALE SPECIES. Did you ever wonder why you don’t see Watson filming him reality show in those places….

      • sidewinder

        Painting “Research” on the sides of the whaling vessels and continuing the whale slaughter a year after the global commercial whaling moratorium goes into effect, is well – think about it, a pretty slimy way to disrespect and treat with utter contempt the IWC and the entire conservation movement.

        Maybe the only difference with the “Research whaling” is that they take some notes and hold up banners saying things like “We’re collecting samples”.

        – Japan has already admitted to member vote buying for the IWC
        – Japan has acknowledge and admitted to the whale meat scandal
        – Japan admits to breaching blue fin tuna quotas worth millions of dollars

        Therefore, Japan has already discredited themselves, so one should never believe a word of the ICR and the fisheries department as it is probably full of untruths.

        The International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) scientific committee has rejected this cynical subterfuge several times. In 2007 the full IWC formally asked Japan to stop its lethal research (Resolution 2007-1). Japan has said no. …

        … Japan is unique but not privileged. It cannot make its own rules and enforce them by violence. The oceans are not Japan’s for the taking. ..

        • romika3

          The SSCS society paints “Terrorists on the side of their ships, lists the boats they ‘dreamed” that they sank…..

  • sidewinder

    Every year, Japanese whalers kill:
    Endangered Fin whales
    Endangered Sei whales
    Vulnerable Sperm whales
    Bryde’s whales
    Common Minke whales (many from the vulnerable J-stock)
    and Antarctic Minke whales (listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN due to conflicting population data which could indicate a significant decline)

    As recently as last year it was reported that the government of Japan purchased large quantities of whale meat back from Kyodo Senpaku (the commercial arm of the whaling industry) at 1/3 market price in order to reduce the amount of meat stockpiled in cold storage. The meat was served in compulsory school lunches in order to create the illusion of a national “tradition” for children who otherwise might go their entire lives without consuming whale.

    • Soco73

      They do not kill sperm whales. You are making that up.

      • sidewinder

        They don’t kill sperm whales? Not in the Southern Ocean they don’t – but they do in the lesser known Northern Pacific Hunt (JARPAII):

        The Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Antarctic (JARPAII) includes 50 Fin whales (Endangered ESA & IUCN) and 50 Humpback whales (Endangered ESA & vulnerable IUCN) and of course hundreds upon hundreds of Minke whales (“The cockroaches of the sea” said a Japanese official).

        Even though they have a special permit for 50 Humpbacks, they seem to be leaving these alone (although this may be hard to prove) for the purposes of political bargaining.

        The Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the North Pacific (JARPNII) deserves a special mention here because it is the hunt that is not as well known as JARPAII. The North Pacific hunt consists of a much larger variety of endangered whales. They include:

        – Sei
        – Bryde’s
        – Sperm

        Along with a large haul of “common minke” whales.

        So it really does look like important science is being undertaken (NOT) when they are plucking endangered whales out of the oceans – the same whales struggling to get back to pre-whaling industry numbers which face even more challenges these days due to pollution, shipping ( & ship strikes), sonar tests (noise pollution, some of which can be lethal), loss of breeding grounds, climate change and loss of food sources (humans taking krill now too). And lastly, these science expeditions seemingly keep increasing their quotas of “samples needed” as Japan is longing for the day when they can begin full commerical whaling and until that day, they will continue to commercially whale under JARPAII and JARPNII.

        Therefore, Japan is an absolute international disgrace driving whales and tuna to extinction.

        • romika3

          Hey, what about the countries that take more endangered whales than the Japanese? Why is Watson there? Answer,.. He can get away with murder in the southern ocean.

          • sidewinder

            What about them? They are a disgrace too… What is your point? We are talking about the Japan & the Southern Ocean here…

          • romika3

            My point is that Mr. Paul Watson is only in the southern ocean because he can get away with what he pleases and for no other reason.

          • sidewinder

            You are entitled to your own opinion… but really, you should direct your anger elsewhere… Paul is a too easy target, and i’m sure as hell dont think he cares what you think.

          • romika3

            There is no anger only discuss in terms of how he and his organization states that they are a conservation organization when in reality they are a terrorist organization that select issues based on their money and media potential. He preys on fishermen, who he hates, and preys on the pocket books of those who do not know the difference.

          • Jonny_Ringo55

            I am gonna guess you are from GreenPeace lol

      • Aegisowl

        In the North Pacific they do.

    • romika3

      Perhaps you might post the numbers here. There is a difference between hunting and taking……

      • sidewinder

        Numbers? Sure:

        Rissos Dolphin: 550 per year
        False Killer Whale: 100 per year
        Common Bottlenose Dolphin: 1000 per year
        Pantropical Spotted Dolphins: 900 per year
        Striped Dolphin: 700 per year
        Pacific Whiteside Dolphin: 260 per year
        Short finned pilot whale: 400 per year
        Bairds Beaked whale: 60 per year
        Common Minke whale: 150 per year
        Dalls Porpoise: 16000 per year
        Sei Whale (ENDANGERED): 100 per year
        Sperm Whale (ENDANGERED): 10 per year
        Brydes Whale (ENDANGERED): 50 per year
        Antartic Minke whale: 900 per year

        Fin Whale (ENDANGERED): kill quota of 50 per year
        Humpback whale (ENDANGERED): kill quota 50 per year

        • romika3

          oops, take a look at your data. There is a difference between kill quota and the number of whales taken. Go back an give us the REAL numbers of whales taken.

          • sidewinder

            Fin Whale (ENDANGERED): kill quota of 50 per year
            Humpback whale (ENDANGERED): kill quota 50 per year

            No one knows how many Fins/Humpbacks are killed. I think 2 Fins whales were killed last season. But as for the rest of them they are KILLS… it is there in black and White.

          • romika3

            First kill quotas mean nothing and “I think” doesn’t count here. Paul Watson is notorious for this, I think these are “illegal” so I will ram them. Perhaps somebody can post the real data here. I know that the majority are minke and the numbers of endangered whales taken have been decreasing.

          • sidewinder

            So you are happy to acknowledge they do hunt endangered whales? THe figures above come from the Japanese ICR website – they happily publish their kill data for JARPAII & JARPNII (and previous JARPN & JARPA programs). Love it how RP = Research Program. Uh huh guys, some reasearch.

          • romika3

            The fact is they do take endangered whales but so do other countries. If you look at the numbers they take very few. But Watson is there because he can get away with murder and make reality TV….

          • Jonny_Ringo55

            He was there 5 YEARS before the show started! obviously not for fame. He even admits that more press and publicity is better and it is true. without the show I never would have become involved

          • Jonny_Ringo55

            I take the greenpeace comment back…. I think you are Japanese…

  • DavidB23

    Before I watched the show; I was against whaling After watching the show, and see how embarrassingly incompetent the sea shepard crew is; Im voting for the Japanese.

    • sidewinder

      Good for you David – no one really cares.

      • Tomas Smith

        I found David’s comment to be refreshing and illuminating.

      • Joseph Kool

        You cared enough to reply

  • Florian Radke

    Congratulations to SSCS to be able to turn around corporate money and use it to protect animals. Whale Wars is a powerful public relations tool already to raise awareness about the issue that no one really cared about before the show started. Being able to get even more out of this production in corporate and private donations is a good thing for the whales. Even if you don’t agree 100% with the campaign tactics of SSCS and Captain Watson, no other organization has managed to bring this topic in that big of a spotlight all over the world.

    • Staff

      Its too bad that SSCS show Whale Wars is sandwiched between corporate advertisements for earth destroying products like big pharma, the auto industry, and of course meat. Hun, wonder of Paul Watson factored any of that in when he made anti-whaling and faked moments of him getting shot by Japanese snipers a reality show?

  • Crwler

    So Paul Watson made over $275,000 dolars last year. Thats means that he is part of the evil 1%. Sea Shepherd is a multi-million dollar corporation that will soon be losing its tax excempt status. They a more a political action committe than an animal rights orginization. I think we need to “Occupy Sea Shepherd”. Non-profit? Hardly.

    • sidewinder

      Chill out bro. He’s hardly part of the 1% corporate greed mob out to make money to line their own pockets. I’m sure he spent all that on his passion – saving the oceans.

      • Crwler

        ” 1% corporate greed mob out to make money to line their own pockets”? Really? So when company provides goods or sercives and is fortunate enough to make a profit, what should they do with the money? Give it away? Hard to stay in business that way. I assume when you go to work, you do it to “line your own pockets”. There is nothing wrong with making a profit. The world runs on profit, except for a few places, like North Korea and Cuba. Don’t see people lining up to get in there, they risk their lives to get out. Apparently you missed the sarcasm in my original post.

        • sidewinder

          calm down crawler…you have missed the point.

  • Whitesideddolphin

    …and still they have made no discernible dent in whaling (http://www.southernfriedscience.com/?p=6156). But hey, they’re raking in lots of money, getting media attention and they HAVE succeeded in alienating the Japanese even further so they’ll be even less cooperative during the next IWC talks….Watson is an incompetent, egocentric, spotlight addicted maniac with no regard for anything or anyone but himself. But then being a real conservationist rather than an eco-terrorist with a major contract with a glossy television channel doesn’t pay as well I guess….

  • Trc4849

    “sidewinder”, like Paul Watson, is a liar. Even the Sea Shepherd, with no regards for the truth, doesn’t make such asinine claims.

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