Overharvested and underprotected, our oceans are dying. Scores of marine wildlife species are at risk of extinction, and marine ecosystems are in grave danger of total collapse. There is only a patchwork of international environmental conventions that provide protection for marine wildlife. Domestic laws are rife with loopholes and are inadequately enforced.

To address these tragedies, we formed Sea Shepherd Legal.

Our Tools


Sea Shepherd Legal pursues litigation to ensure protection of marine species and habitats. Our litigation campaigns elicit effective application of law, prompt appropriate government enforcement and action, and punish and deter criminal and irresponsible actions that jeopardize ocean life.

Policy Development

Sea Shepherd Legal works to enhance laws and legal regimes, bolster the capacity of government officials to carry out effective enforcement, facilitate reform and transparency, build coalitions, align international and domestic obligations, and address legal loopholes in furtherance of marine conservation.

Public Outreach

Sea Shepherd Legal raises public awareness about marine conservation, providing facts, law, resources and tools to help mobilize citizens to make responsible choices that will protect marine wildlife and habitats in the long term.

Our Focus Areas

Inadequate Species Protections

Marine wildlife and habitats are severely imperiled.Laws that are supposed to be protective are replete with systemic loopholes that value economic gain over species protection. Sea Shepherd Legal fights to right the balance by bringing government agencies to task through policy development, take-action campaigns and litigation.

Illegal & Irresponsible Fishing

Rampant poaching, lack of regulation, lax oversight, as well as inappropriate subsidies and quota setting are leading to the loss of numerous species and collapse of marine ecosystems. Sea Shepherd Legal is targeting these problems by working with governments across the globe to build stronger protective regimes and take a firm stance against illicit fishing activities.

Marine Mammal Exploitation

Sea Shepherd Legal fights to end the slaughter and captivity of marine mammals by enhancing legal protections, demanding effective application of laws, and generating greater public awareness. Marine mammals play an indispensable role in ocean ecosystem health, making this a critically important area of focus.

Marine Habitat Destruction

Sea Shepherd Legal is working to combat marine habitat destruction, which comes in multiple forms ranging from deep seabed mining and marine fracking to marine debris and harmful coastal development. We fight to ensure appropriate regulation, permitting, enforcement, and transparency.

Our Campaigns

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