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Sea Shepherd Ship Farley Mowat Has Been Illegally Stormed and the Crew Assaulted
by SSCS r
Saturday Apr 12th, 2008 9:43 AM
At 0700 Hours (PST) and 0800 Hours Atlantic time the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel Farley Mowat was attacked by officers from two Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers the Des Groseilliers and the Sir Wifred Grenfell.

Photo of Canadian Coast Guard Ramming Farley Mowat on 3-30-08.
Captain Alex Cornelissen informed the boarders that the Farley Mowat is a Dutch registered ship in international waters and that Canada had no legal right to restrict the free passage of the vessel through international waters. The ship was in the Gulf of St. Lawrence well beyond the Canadian twelve mile territorial limit.

Captain Paul Watson was speaking by phone with Farley Mowat communications officer Shannon Mann when he heard the voices of men screaming for the crew to fall to the floor. The men carried guns according to Mann and could be heard by Captain Watson threatening the Farley Mowat’s crew. As Captain Watson was speaking with Shannon Mann, the Satellite phone went dead and nothing more has been heard from the Sea Shepherd crew.

The Farley Mowat was documenting violations of the humane regulations and gathering proof that the seals were being killed in an inhumane manner. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is assuming that the video tapes will be seized by the Canadian authorities. There are 17 crewmembers onboard the Dutch registered Farley Mowat from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, South Africa, Canada and the United States.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been cut off from communication with the crew and has no information on where the vessel will be taken. Sea Shepherd has no information on the condition of the crew and the Society is deeply concerned for their crew.

“This is an act of war,” said Captain Paul Watson. “The Canadian government has just sent an armed boarding party onto a Dutch registered yacht in international waters and has seized the ship. Considering that the mission of the Farley Mowat was to document evidence of cruelty by sealers to support a European initiative to ban seal products, I can predict that the Europeans will not be very pleased with this move and most likely this move by Loyola Hearn will guarantee that this bill is passed. In other words the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has just handed us the victory that we were looking for.”


About Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an International non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations. Visit for more information.
§Seal Slaughter '08
by SSCS r Saturday Apr 12th, 2008 9:43 AM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by jOE
Saturday Apr 12th, 2008 11:03 AM
americans should call the US embassy in canada at
1 902 429 2480
and demand that they contact the canadian authorities to make sure our citizens working aboard the farley mowat are safe. so far canada hasn't released any information about the condition of the crew or there whereabouts.
as suggested in the other comment (thanks for that phone number!) and posted the number on Democratic Underground too. This is a despicable act by these government officials. They've done this in the past to the Sea Shepherd crew and have never won in court after all was said and done! I hope, pray that the EU will ban the import of seal products. This will effectively bring these seal slaughters to an end. We must be proactive. Also, live reports are coming in now (April 12th) from the US Humane Society which has a helicopter there in the killing fields. There link is here:
by Derrick
Saturday Apr 12th, 2008 2:12 PM
Quoting the Canadian Press,

“Watson, speaking in an interview from New York, said armed federal officers from two coast guard vessels stormed aboard the Farley Mowat at around 11 a.m. ADT in the Cabot Strait - the body of water between Cape Breton and Newfoundland.”

Please do tell when the Cabot Strait became "International Waters. Also, because its Dutch registered supposedly means it doesn’t have to follow Canadian regulations, while sailing within Canadian waters? I believe Mr. Watson should review his sailing manual. Does this mean that as long as I leave my Canadian license plates upon my car, I can travel the world and not follow anyone else’s rules?” The Farley Mowat had re-entered Canadian waters without clearance and after previously ignoring demands to return to port. If this was a foreign vessel acting as such in American waters, I would not be surprised to hear the vessel had been fired upon.

Legitimate observers should be welcome to observe and keep record of the facts; however a rule of law must be followed. The Sea Sheppard’s Society, while endangering the lives of a country’s citizens is certainly not group that any government would likely welcome within their boundaries.
by Joe
Saturday Apr 12th, 2008 2:46 PM
The Farley Mowat was actually not boarded illegally. It was inside a 12 mile distance from Canadian shores...
by vincent
Saturday Apr 12th, 2008 5:18 PM
i don't know if you're being intentionally deceptive, joe ... or simply don't get it ... they boarded on the basis of a previous incident, that happened outside the territorial limit
by Mark
Saturday Apr 12th, 2008 6:58 PM
Right on Derrick, the last I heard the gulf was canadian waters and Joe we all know know there's only one group that being deceptive here. Hopefully when transport canada does their inspection of that piece of junk they find enough voilations and problems with her that they turn her into one of Mowats novels " the boat that wouldn't float." To bad the coward Watson ran when he knew there was going to be trouble like he usually does and leaves his band merry men and women to fight his battles.
by Jim
Saturday Apr 12th, 2008 10:54 PM
Sea Shepherd thinks it's ok to board other people's ships but they sure don't like when anyone boards theirs! They can dish it out but can't take it. If they ever come to my area I'll be sure to go on board and make a little "inspection" of my own and see if they try to stop me.

by paul
Sunday Apr 13th, 2008 8:59 AM
Well Mr. Watson and Company Finally met the Canadian Government in our territorial Waters. Yeah it was in our Waters and we also have rein over the entire Gulf of St Lawrence and 200 miles beyond our coast in regards to Fisheries Laws. The Sealing act is indeed a fishery Law.
I wonder why Paul Watson does not go after the Russians for their Hunt? The Reason is the Russians would have thrown a couple of 50 cal . Rounds into the Farley Mowat while Paul Watson was conducting operations for a hotel Suite in another country.
Paul Watson is a Coward who has a cult do his dirty work.

Act of War ? Gee the Dutch got a diplomatic note about a week ago on this and didn't care to inform MR Watson that the Troops would board the FM. Seems the Europeans are not so in tune with Paul Watson and the other Eco-Nutters After all. Hopefully The
officers have the book thrown at them and a Big huge bill is put to the FM for the violation of Canadian Laws and our territory.
Putting these people on the Terrorism Watch list would be a great step as well. An escort of this ship out of Canadian Waters after all bills are paid (if that does not happen the Farley Mowat should be turned into a Mother ship for the annual seal hunt)

putting all involved on watch lists would probably making coming to the United States very difficult but hey why not after all this same group of people threaten boycotts of Canada sea food products which that vast majority have nothing to do with Sealing
but are certainly effected if there was no Seal hunt. Either Way the EU could pass a hypocritical law they would not apply to Nroway, Greenland and Russia and the East coast would have the other fisheries destroyed by Seals.

oh by the way the vast majority of fishermen in Atlantic Canada shoot seals and will kill them all no matter what . Especially in the face of Back stabbing Europeans we saved from Hitler.
by Charliewack
Sunday Apr 13th, 2008 9:08 AM
ummm........just as an aside........Farley Mowat is alive and well and living the quiet life in Port Hope On. It seems to me he was never boarded after all he is in his late 80's. Oh and by the way ........ ah what's the use. Non native Newfoundlanders and Labradorians wouldn't understand the historic, cultural and survival issues behind the seal hunt.
by vincent
Sunday Apr 13th, 2008 1:22 PM
My, my. A lot of screaming and pounding of the chest ... which is exactly what the federal government wants ... this arrest was political theatre ... just to make sure some or you loud-mouths vote for the tories in the next election ...

Sealing is unnecessary ... plain and simple, and the rest of the world is disgusted by what's going on ... as to what actually happened ... either in the seizure of the vessel, or the earlier incident ... none of you know what happened ... you're just taking sides because life is hard and you want something to yell at ... well it's better than yelling at your kids, I guess ...

by Bill William
Tuesday Apr 15th, 2008 11:54 AM
Perhaps some of you should open up your atlases and figure out where the Gulf of St Lawrence and the Cabot Strait are. Then we wouldn't have this repetitive mantra about the Farley Mowat being in international waters. It wasn't. These are Canadian territorial waters, folks, and Watson and his dimbulb crew should have figured that out before ramming the icebreaker. The 12 mile limit doesn't even apply. (And that's nautical milesanyway, which are 15.2 percent larger than land miles)

Bunch of complete idiots, the Sea Shepherd Society. It's one thing to be against something, quite another to endanger other peoples lives. I hope they roast and get the full fine and lose the ship, I really do.
by let God sort them out
Tuesday Apr 15th, 2008 3:58 PM
Those damned seals! It's all their fault. Human over-fishing has nothing to do with it. In fact, there's no such thing as human over-fishing -- that's an eco-terrorist concept. Giant drag nets, trawling the ocean floor, not issues.

Kill the seals to save the fish (for us)! When the seals and the fish are all gone, no worries, we'll all be dead by then and it'll be someone else's problem to deal with.
by Wolverine
Tuesday Apr 15th, 2008 7:23 PM
"It's one thing to be against something, quite another to endanger other peoples lives"?

Oh really? What about the lives of the seals, which are not being killed for a legitimate purpose, i.e., to eat. What makes you think the life of a human is more important then the life of a seal? (Hint: it isn't.)
by Wonderbread
Tuesday Apr 15th, 2008 8:18 PM
Because my ancestors didn't work their way to the top of the food chain to eat salad, thats why!

Are you suggesting that if a dog and a human child were about to be hit by a train, but you only had time to save one of them, you'd have trouble coming to grips with your choice? What if it you could choose between saving two dogs or one child? Is the child sacrificed for the "greater good"? What if it was your child? See how your values change?

My loyalties are to humankind and extend to other life on this planet only as far as they support human needs. I believe in a natural balance among all living things, but only because I see that balance as necessary to human survival. If I were to see a wolf attacking someone and I have a gun, the wolf is going to die. I can understand how the wolf needs to sustain itself by eating, but that does not change the fact that my responsibility is to humans first. A simplistic example, I know, but I think it illustrates my point.

C'mon people, get a grip!! This place smacks of trendy hippies, rebelling for the sake of it.

Well, then, following your lead, what did they "work" their way to the top of the food chain to do? Eat anti-biotic- and hormone-overloaded factory farmed animals from plastic packaging while they sit in front of their TV drooling over the thought of a new giant SUV impressing the babes?

This human-first bravado you trumpet is largely what's gotten us into the ecological mess we are in now. Your me- (er, human-)first perspective is exactly what has allowed us to get so far away from any sort of sustainable balance with nature. It doesn't have to be so black and white, us versus them. Kill 10,000 rats to save one human baby. It just doesn't work that neatly, and analogies about who to save when trains are ripping down the tracks are overly simplistic. They might make you feel better -- about your inordinate impact on this planet and its non-human species -- but really doesn't do a single thing for our chances of survival here. Obviously, humans are overfishing and depleting resources faster and faster (it's not the seals doing it). Obviously, if we are to survives as a species ourselves, some big changes will need to be made, many where we make sacrifices ourselves in the short term for our own long-term viability, where we place the needs of the environment, and yes other species, ahead of our own pleasures or comfortability in order to maintain a livable planet. Me-first ain't gonna cut it.
by All for profit, not for need!!
Wednesday Apr 16th, 2008 1:29 PM
Some info from Sea Shepard's site;

Canada's seal hunt; 270,000 harp seals to be killed this year! For what? Cosmetics and vanity items. Human cruelty at it's finest..

In 2006, Canada allowed commercial seal hunts of over 300,000, and aboriginal (First Nations, Native Canadian indigenous peoples, etc..) and "personal" take of 10,000. Clearly an elimination of all commercial seal hunting is needed, and the Sea Shepard is attempting this. For the indigenous people of Canada who kill seals for meat during the winter, their take is on a considerably smaller scale when compared to the commercial seal hunting. It could be argued that the excesses of the commercial sealing is directly interfering with the First Nations take for food and survival..

It would be great if the Sea Shepard crew and the First Nations sealers could put aside their differences and unite as a team to outlaw permanently the excessive abuses of commerical seal hunting. Once the commercial seal hunts are over, the seal population can recover over time and the indigenous peoples of Canada can sustainably hunt seals without risking ecological catastrophe..

The Gulf of St. Lawrence is indeed in international waters beyond 12 miles away from the shoreline. The Sea Shepard was well beyond the 12 mile boundary and thus was in international waters when they were seized by Canadian government. The Canadian government is in violation of international law by seizing and detaining the Sea Shepard crew and vessel. This makes the Canadian government's actions against the Sea Shepard crew criminal in the eyes of the world court..

Furthermore, the Canadian government's actions are true to their status as invasive interlopers from Britian living on stolen indigenous land, by allowing the commerical taking of seals is also a direct attack on the indigenous peoples of what we call Canada who depend on the seals for their survival during the winter. Just ask the Irish about the tendency of the British to invade and claim that which isn't theirs!!

Seal hunting doesn't help the cod population either, as seals also consume the predators of cod like squid and skates. Killing off the seals in large numbers has effected the ecosystem balance and allowed cod predation to increase, and the cod population has dropped as a result..

In all aspects of hunting, whaling, fishing, etc.. it is the intrusion of corporate and commerical hunting that leads to the decimation of populations of bison, pronghorns, elk, seals, whales, etc.. and any other animal that was part of the indigenous worldview of extended family or spirit companions respected and needed for their survival. So maybe drawing a distinction between indigenous people hunting and fishing sustainably in North America for centuries (not including the collapse and extinction of Ice Age species like mammoth, mastodon, etc.., most likely lost from climate change) without causing ecosystem destruction as witnessed from commercial/corporate hunting for profit..

If the Sea Shepard site is not enough, there's other sources documenting the continued abuse by Canadian commercial seal hunts..

by Wonderbread
Wednesday Apr 16th, 2008 8:22 PM
Here's a 1978 CBC interview from Barbara Frum to Paul Watson:

Watson calls it like he sees it, admitting that protesting the seal hunt is totally unnecessary and is done for the sole purpose of exploiting kids and pensioners. Maybe Mr Watson decided he needed a retirement fund and wenset out to find the perfect scam... beats getting a real job, I guess...

"This interview recorded on CBC Radio in 1978 goes a long way towards revealing the motivation behind the activist groups that campaign against the Canadian seal hunt"

"The interviewier is the late Barbara Frum and the person being interview is Sea Sheperd founder and leader Paul Watson"

B.F.: Mr.Watson, how easy is it to raise money against the seal hunt ?

P.W. : Well, I think that of all the animals in the world or any environemental problem in the world the harp seal is the easiest issue to raise fund on.
Greenpeace has always manage to raise more moneyon the seal issue, for the campaigns, than has actually been spent on the campaigns themselves. The seal hunt
has always turn a profit for the Greenpace Foundation. And then other organisations like IFAW, API, Fund for animals, also make a profit off the seal hunt.

B.F.: Are you suggesting that they fight for seals rather then other animals because it's easy, or easier to raise money that way, or because it's a profit maker for them ?

P.W.: Well, it's definitively beause it's easier to make money and because it does make a profit because there is over a thousand animals on the endangered
species list, and the harp seal isn't one of them,

B.F.: Did anyone in Greenpeace ever expressed that aloud, that is was easier to make some hay, some money on the seal hunt, so let's get into that ?

P.W.: Well, a lot of people have done that. See the thing is the seal is very easy to exploit as an image. We have posters, we have buttons, we have shirts,
all of which portrait the head of a baby seal with the tears coming out of its eyes. Baby seals are always crying because- it's- they always - the salt tears keep their eyes
from freezing. But they have this image, they're baby animals, they're beautifuls, and because of that, couple with the horror of a sealer hitting them on the head with a
club, it's an image which goes right to the heart of animals lovers all over North America. And now we have a dozen people this year from Greenpeace California - I
mean they're coming from the highest standard of living region in North America- they're traveling to the lowest income per year on this continent telling them not to
kills seals because they're cute. But they're not an endangered species. Yet of the coast of California there three species of dolphin- the spinner, the spotted and the
white belly - and they're being slaughtered towards the bring of extinction by American tuna boats. And then the slaughter of Ridley sea turtles in Escobilia in Mexico.

B.F.: Now what happens within Greenpeace when you raise a point like that ?

P.W.: They know they can't raise money off out of it. They know that if they send a crew down to try to interfere with the killing of sea turtle in Mexico, they're not going to get any support. And they know that if they - the problems with the dolphins is that they're so much competition there is so many groups that are trying to raise money to protect dolphins and protect whales,

B.F.: How much money did Greenpeace raise the year you left against seal hunt ?

P.W.: Well, I had submitted a budget for 60 000$. We spent 55 000$, and I believe that we raise well over 100 000$. And I do know that...

B.F.: So you never did as well in raising money as Brian Davies group ?

P.W.: No, the IFAW is much more efficent. Greenpeace is a younger organisation. I think they're more efficient now. the money's coming in, you know,
a couple of thousand dollars a day into each office now, tehy're raising much more money this year then they have in years previous.

B.F.: Did you see any evidence that anyone prospered from the money raised in any of the organisatins against seal hunt ? When they go out for example
and take helicopters and take protesters, are these people paid a salary ? Do they spend the money they raise or do they keep it ?

P.W.: Well, Greenpeace protesters in the lasts two years were not paid a salary. They were all volunteers. This year the crew members are paid
volunteers". Theirs salaries, I would believe, I would think that the amount of money spend on salaries for the Greenpeace organisation right now is about a quarter
of a million dollars. There are other groups, too, like API - Animal Protection Institute ...

B.F.: How much do they spend to fight the seal hunt ?

P.W.: I don't think they spend anything. They put their money into advertising, which they say make the public aware, and also it has their address on the
corner which has people send in more money. So in fact, every time they invest money in advertising, they make more money back in return.

B.F.: Any idea of total sum of all the momney raised every year, to fight the seal hunt.

P.W.: I would estimated that between API, IFAW, Greenpeace and any others groups that's thee to four million dollars.

B.F.: Are these funds collected from individuals that feel badly or are there corporate givers, do you know ?

P.W.: No, mainly they're from a ...

B.F.: So two to five dollars customers ?

P.W.: Yeh. A lot of school children, a lot of pensioners.

B.F.: Your fear then is that it isn't just money that people can easily spend, that's is coming from people who you think would be better off keeping it ?

P.W.: Well, I think that a lot of the money is now being abused.

B.F.: In addition to their salary, I assume that there's a lot of money to be used from the group for your personal living expenses - traveling, money raising ?

P.W.: Oh certaintly. The people, in addition to getting a salary - Greenpeace people are flying around the world all the time. I mean Australia, Japan, Hawaii,
California, Norway, England. At any time there are a dozen peole that are on their way to or from these countries ...

by oh, yah
Wednesday Apr 30th, 2008 11:44 AM
Hello, he's talking about how Greenpeace wastes money. He split from Greenpeace a long time ago because of issues like that.

His current group operates off of a shoe string budget in comparison.