Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Founder, Paul Watson is down to the wire and may lose their flagship, the Steve Irwin. Watson, made famous by Animal Planet's reality TV series, "Whale Wars" has been an animal rights activist for decades and was an original member of Greenpeace.
Today, he and an elite team of Sea Shepherds sail the oceans in their efforts to stop whaling and other endangered sea life, including bluefin tuna.
In an attempt to save the Steve Irwin, Watson has posted the following letter and video clip (click link in video box to left of article) asking for help to prevent the ship from being detained and possibly sold by United Kingdom (UK) courts.
I am writing to you from the ship, in Lerwick, Scotland: I need your help to free our flagship vessel, the Steve Irwin.
On the afternoon of Friday, July 15, the Steve Irwin was detained in the Scottish Shetland Islands by the British courts due to a civil lawsuit brought against us by Maltese fishing company, Fish and Fish Limited. They are claiming damages for the bluefin tuna we rescued from their nets in June 2010, fish that we believe were illegally caught after the season has closed, without an inspector onboard, or any paperwork documenting the legality of their catch.
We have a legal firm representing us, and believe we have the necessary evidence to support our case. This lawsuit will also give us the opportunity to expose what we allege to be illegal activities by Fish and Fish and we will be aggressively defending the case on this basis. The protection of the endangered bluefin is vitally important to our oceans, and to humanity, because if the oceans die…we die.
Now, unless we post a bond for USD$1,411,692.87, the Steve Irwin will be held indefinitely and possibly sold. This would not only be a financial hardship for Sea Shepherd, but more importantly, it could prevent us from reaching the Faeroe Islands to protect pilot whales and threaten our ability to defend whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary from the Japanese whaling fleet this December.
I urge you to help Save Our Ship today! We must urgently raise USD$1,411,692.87 to post bond. Gifts are coming in, but we have a long way to go. I urge you to send the largest gift you can today – your gift is incredibly important and will make a difference by helping us save the lives of endangered whales.
You've already helped save thousands of whales and untold numbers of other marine creatures, but unless we get our ship back soon, whales will die tragic deaths because of our inability to move this ship and protect them.
Please make a donation to save the Steve Irwin so we can return to sea and do what we do best – defend life in our oceans.
Never has the need for your help and support been any greater.
For our Oceans and for the Steve Irwin,
Captain Paul Watson
According to Watson's video (see video link to left of article) the Steve Irwin may be sold in 30 days if they don't retreive the vessel from the UK Courts.