Sea Shepherd Extremists Use Dead Dolphins As “Props” For Protest
A group of staff and volunteers from the Friday Harbor, WA-based Sea Shepherd organization decided that it would be “clever” to abuse dolphin carcasses during a protest in Paris, France.
Having to have grown up visiting the New England coastline with my family every spring and fall, I had been fortunate enough to have experienced marine wildlife that was pretty much close to home. I have seen a number of marine mammal species such as Atlantic white-sided dolphins, North Atlantic right whales, grey seals, humpback whales, minke whales, and of course, fin whales. In addition, I had also grown up seeing other marine species that are often found in New England waters like swordfish, blue sharks, and even a great white shark. Seeing such marine wildlife has inspired me to not only know more about the Gulf of Maine’s marine ecosystem, but it also inspired me to work with animals, and even educate others on marine ecosystems and what they can do to protect it.
Educating others about marine wildlife and how to protect fragile ecosystems is no easy task as it takes a lot of convincing people to do simple things that would help wildlife like reducing their use of plastic in their everyday lives, plant a tree, or two, visit an accredited zoo or aquarium, symbolically adopt an animal, or take part in a beach clean up. However, there is one group of people who decided to take things a little too far by deciding to abuse dolphin remains in order to convince the public about the dangers of overfishing.
Sea Shepherd, an animal-rights organization that is known for its radical campaign methods, decided to exploit the remains to two deceased common dolphins in order to make a point about how overfishing and marine bycatch is affecting wild dolphin populations in the Bay of Biscay. The two animal carcasses, which were used as “props” by both employees and volunteers alike, claimed that the two animals were found dead off the western coast of France before they were brought to Paris to exploited by the group.
The group claimed that during the winter of 2019, around 11,300 dolphins were accidentally killed by French fishermen who are primarily looking to catch sea bass. As it turns out, in the Atlantic, dolphins and sea bass have an ecologically neutral relationship and dolphins will often swim through areas where the sea bass breed, which incidentally, that is where many fishermen in that area will often work and have been doing so for centuries.
While there is no arguing that overfishing and bycatching are both having major impacts on marine ecosystems around the world, exploiting animal carcasses to make a point about a serious wildlife issue is just sicking on so many levels. It is just hypocritical for a group that goes around and claims to have respect for nature, only to disrespect it by holding a sign in public for hours in front of two dead dolphins in order to create a media-worthy shock factor and earn some donations in the process of doing so. I would put an image of the actual protest on this article, but after nearly crying out of disgust, I just could not do that. So, I went with an image of a living dolphin instead just to spare you all from the graphic imagery that threw me into tears.
This more recent protest in Paris just shows the whole world that there are better ways of having your voice be heard rather than mistreating the bodies of the dead in the name of the cause, and I thought the anti-abortion movement was bad for parading aborted fetuses around in the name of religion.
What Can You Do To Help Troubled Marine Ecosystems?
1. Give money to organizations that are focused on conservation funds, rescue and rehabilitation efforts, or are actually helping to develop safer and more sustainable fishing practices.
2. Volunteer at your local zoo, aquarium, wildlife rehabilitation facility, or science center.
3. Reduce your use of plastic products in your everyday life by investing in alternatives.
4. Buy seafood products that are sustainable.
5. Go on a whale watch or an eco-tour.
6. Visit an accredited zoo or aquarium.
7. Symbolically adopt a marine animal through organizations that offer symbolic animal adoption programs.
8. Take part in a beach clean-up at your local beach.
To learn about Sea Shepherd’s dangerous anti-zoo agenda, please go here: https://www.nashuatelegraph.com/opinion/letters/2018/09/04/sea-shepherd-takes-it-way-too-far/
If you are brave enough to handle watching the protests for yourself, please go here: https://www.euronews.com/2020/01/14/sea-shepherd-brings-dead-dolphins-to-central-paris-to-make-their-point
Trigger Warning: The following video is graphic.
About the author
Zoo and Aquarium Professional, Educator, Cosplayer, Writer and B.A. in Psychology whose got a lot to share when it comes to animals, zoos, aquariums, conservation, and more.