About Sea Shepherd Australia

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sea Shepherd Australia doing at the moment?

In Australia, our Marine Debris Campaign is our fight against marine pollution. Our volunteers have helped collect well over 2 million pieces of debris since 2016. Operation Apex Harmony is campaigning for an end to cruel and indiscriminate shark nets that have killed thousands of marine animals in New South Wales and Queensland. Operation Jeedara is our campaign to protect the Great Australian Bight. In 2018, we worked with scientists to gather critical evidence of marine parks and sanctuaries and the pivotal role they have on the Bight's unique ecosystem. Globally, we're in Africa fighting illegal fishing, which indirectly results in the deaths of 300,000 whales and dolphins every year. We're also protecting endangered species in Mexico on Operation Milagro and in Central America with Operation Jairo. 

How do I get involved?

Volunteers are the backbone of Sea Shepherd. Whether they are on board our ships or conducting outreach at events, our volunteers are a fundamental part of our global efforts to defend, conserve and protect marine wildlife. You can find out more information about onshore volunteering onshore or crewing at sea at our Get Involved page, or by applying through your local country or region’s website here.

What do onshore volunteers do?

In Australia, they can join one of our local chapters in our major capital cities and towns. On shore volunteers are heavily involved in our fundraising events throughout the year such as our Ocean Defence Tour. They also help out at our merchandise stalls at public events or get involved in our regular Sea Shepherd Marine Debris beach clean-up events around the country.

I am under 18 can I still volunteer?

If you are 16 years or older you can be an onshore volunteer if you supply us with a Guardian Form. You must, however, be 18 years or older to be a crewmember on board one of our ships. 

I am currently on a holiday and I want to work on the ship?

We love your enthusiasm! Unfortunately, you will still need to go through the correct process of applying to become an offshore volunteer, before coming aboard, which might take longer to approve than your holiday!

What is involved in offshore crewing?

Offshore crewing can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Once on board, you’ll have to follow orders from your Captain (or the Ship’s Manager if its docked), and depending on what position you will hold, orders from your superior. On a campaign, you might have to take part in shifts that finish late at night or wake before the sun gets up. You’ll be asked to undertake many varied duties such as cooking, or cleaning. 

I have applied to volunteer on your ships, and not heard back?

Please be patient. Our Crew Coordinator, who handles applications from all over the world, is also a volunteer and endeavours to reply to everyone within 2-3 weeks.

What are you doing for whales in the Southern Ocean?

In December 2018, Japan announced that it will leave the International Whaling Commission and will only whale in waters off the coast of Japan, therefore ending over a decade of illegal slaughter in the Southern Ocean. This means that the entire Southern Hemisphere will be free of whalers for the first time in history which is a huge victory for our whales! Since 2002, we have been opposing Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean and over this period over 6,000 whales were saved by Sea Shepherd interventions. Sea Shepherd remains on the frontline of marine conservation; fighting illegal fishing around the world as well are removing harmful ghost nets and marine debris from Australia's coastlines. 

Why don’t you release sharks and other wildlife from drumlines and shark nets?

Operation Apex Harmony gathers evidence of the numerous marine wildlife wounded and killed on drumlines up and down the Queensland coast. It is an offence to tamper or damage equipment of the Queensland Government and the financial penalty is $63,000 and you can face imprisonment. To break the law and damage drumlines we would remove the focus away from the Queensland Government and allow them to focus on us – we don’t think this is an effective way to address the problem. Safety is also our priority. The only way to change this situation is by legislation so we need people to ring and email Queensland Fisheries, the Minister for Fisheries, and state MPs (if you live in Queensland) and respectfully tell them that this Shark Control Program is barbaric, that there are better options available to protect ocean users, and that by having sharks hanging-off drumlines places further risk to ocean users. 

I’m not sure if my donation went through, who do I contact?

By contacting the Fundraising Coordinator on 1300 623 267 or email Supporter Services supporterservices@seashepherd.org.au.

How can I fundraise/collaborate/partner with Sea Shepherd?

Sea Shepherd welcomes support from like-minded individuals and businesses. If you would like to support the vital work of Sea Shepherd Australia please contact australia@seashepherd.org.au.

Are donations tax deductible?

Whilst we are a registered charity with the ACNC, we unfortunately do not have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. We are working towards obtaining this status, but it takes quite a bit of time and can often be approved or denied based on the mood of the political climate. Thankfully, our wonderful supporters encourage us with their commitment to not let this influence their financial support.

How do I cancel my Direct Action Crew membership?

You can update or make changes to your Direct Action Crew membership by contacting the Fundraising Coordinator on 1300 623 267 or email Supporter Services supporterservices@seashepherd.org.au.

Are you part of Greenpeace?

No. Sea Shepherd founder, Captain Paul Watson was a founding member of Greenpeace but decided to start his own direct action movement to defend, conserve and protect our oceans with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in 1977.

What’s with the pirate logo?

Our Jolly Roger logo represents our fight against piracy against the oceans - whether that be pirate whaling, illegal fishing, or poaching in marine reserves. Our logo contains a shepherd’s crook and Neptune’s trident to symbolize protection of the oceans, and a dolphin and whale inspired by the yin-yang symbol to represent the fragile balance of ocean ecosystems.

My company would like to donate services, goods or equipment for the ships, who do I contact?
Your donation is greatly appreciated. Please visit the wishlists page for more information on donating to our ships.
Are you a vegan organisation?

Whilst we are not a vegan organisation, all our ships are vegan. Our ship's crews receive three nutritious vegan meals cooked by our galley crew each day, as we believe that a plant-based diet is the most environmentally responsible, and most importantly, has the least impact on the oceans we fight to protect.

Are you a political organisation?
Sea Shepherd is not a political organization. Our goal is to defend, conserve and protect marine wildlife worldwide, and fill law enforcement vacuums where governments are unwilling or unable to do so. We often work in cooperation with governments who request our assistance to enable them to uphold their fisheries laws, and to patrol their marine protected areas, however we do not accept donations from governments.
What’s the difference between Sea Shepherd, Sea Shepherd Global, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and all other national entities?

Sea Shepherd is a global movement to defend, conserve, and protect marine wildlife. Sea Shepherd Global is the coordinating body for all independent Sea Shepherd groups, with the exception of the US-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), which is financially and legally distinct from Sea Shepherd Global and other national entities.

What happened to Whale Wars and will there be another season?
Whale Wars is an Animal Planet series following our Southern Ocean whale defense campaigns, from Operation Migaloo 2007/2008 to Operation Relentless 2013/2014. Animal Planet crews were on board the Ocean Warrior and our flagship the Steve Irwin during the most recent whale defense campaign, Operation Nemesis. Although we get a lot of questions from supporters asking us when the next season of Whale Wars will air, that’s entirely in the hands of Animal Planet.
I’m writing an assignment for school. Can I please have some information about whales/the oceans/IUU fishing, etc?

Please check our campaigns section here, which contains extensive information on the topic that each campaign focuses on. Alternatively, you can visit our Education page on our website here. 

I’d like to use your photos, video footage or logo in a project of mine, how do I do this?

Please email media@seashepherd.org.au with a description of the project and nature of usage.

Who do I contact for photo or footage requests?

Please email media@seashepherd.org.au with a description of the platform and nature of usage.

How do I leave a gift to Sea Shepherd in my Will?

Leaving a gift to Sea Shepherd in your Will is a very special act of generosity and the process is easy. Click here to find out more. 

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