As part of its ongoing efforts to protect the world’s oceans utilizing law and policy, Sea Shepherd Legal entered into an official agreement today with Ecuador’s Office of the Attorney General to increase Ecuador’s capacity to fight illegal fishing and related criminal activity – scourges that threaten marine biodiversity and economies throughout Latin America.
These are just a handful of the ways in which Sea Shepherd Legal is Securing Justice for the Sea in 2019.
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Lima, Peru– Earlier this month, Sea Shepherd Legal filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of Peru (Sala Penal Permanente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la República del Perú) in support of the legal viability of criminal charges against the former owner of the Damanzaihao.
On May 21, 2019, Ecuador’s highest court issued a landmark rulingin the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Sea Shepherd Legal was honored to collaborate with Dr. Hugo Echeverría and a leading national organization, la Coordinadora Ecuatoriana de Organizaciones para la Defensa de la Naturaleza y el Medio Ambiente(CEDENMA), in the presentation of written arguments in this matter.
Peru is a microcosm of the world’s environmental challenges. A country endowed with dense jungle, soaring mountains, and one of the richest marine ecosystems on Earth, Peru is a nature photographer’s dream. Yet these same splendors attract individuals with nefarious motives — people and companies eager to strip Peru of its minerals, timber, and wildlife. When we add in crippling poverty and a lack of government resources, we have a recipe for environmental disaster.
No area is more emblematic of this toxic mixture than Madre de Dios. Ground zero for Peru’s illegal gold-mining industry, Madre de Dios, home of jaguars and pink river dolphins, is now infamous for scenes like this:
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Sea Shepherd New Zealand, and Sea Shepherd Legal (collectively, Sea Shepherd) refuse to allow New Zealand’s Māui dolphin to follow the same tragic path as the vaquita in Mexico. Today, Sea Shepherd took decisive action to defend the Māui dolphin by formally demanding that the Trump Administration immediately ban all imports from New Zealand fisheries that are driving the Māui dolphin to extinction.
Ecuador’s highest court (la Corte Nacional de Justicia) will soon hear a case of monumental proportions. As many Sea Shepherd supporters know, Ecuadorian authorities busted the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 in 2017 as the vessel transited through the Galapagos Marine Reserve with over 6,000 sharks on board, including CITES-listed hammerheads. It is illegal to possess or transport sharks within the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
THE STORM. YOUR HOPE. OUR COMMITMENT.
A perfect storm is upon us – lashing with vengeance at the last vestiges of healthy space in the oceans. Keystone species are vanishing, poaching is rampant, plastics are ubiquitous, and coral reefs are fading. The current U.S. administration’s pro-industry agenda makes these threats all the more menacing.
At Sea Shepherd Legal, we share in your hope that the oceans can weather the storm — to rise resilient, to prevail against the odds. We stand committed to using our expertise, extensive global network, and unwavering passion to ensure a future for the oceans and the extraordinary life that inhabits them. Our work throughout 2017 illustrates that commitment.
This report provides just a glimpse of our progress in 2017 and showcases how much we have accomplished in the few short years since we conceived of founding the only law firm dedicated solely to enhancing legal protections for the oceans. Whether demanding policy reform, collaborating with governments, or pushing for the prosecution of poachers, we are securing justice for the sea.
Thank you for your own commitment to marine life, for standing with us at the helm, and for your confidence in our ability to fight the good fight.
For the oceans,
Executive Director, Sea Shepherd Legal
Last week, Peruvian judges and other government officials gathered in the Amazonian city of Pucallpa for the Second International Congress for Environmental Justice. With more than 112 judges in attendance, in addition to representatives from Chile, Colombia, and the Organization of American States, the participants met over the course of three days to improve judicial treatment of offenses against the environment.
For far too long, offenses against the environment have been seen as just that – offenses, typically of an administrative nature, rather than crimes. This is especially true in the context of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Government responses to IUU fishing have historically included license revocations and low-level fines – hardly the stuff of meaningful deterrence. But with IUU fishing decimating marine wildlife around the world, it is high time for a paradigm shift.