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 over 7 million pieces of debris since 2016. Our Shark Defence Campaign 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 ongoing campaign to protect the Great Australian Bight from industrialisation. 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 results in the deaths of up to 300,000 whales and dolphins as "bycatch" every year. 

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, the Japanese government announced that its whaling program in the Antarctic was finally over, ending over a decade of illegal slaughter in the Southern Ocean. This means that the entire Southern Hemisphere is now free of whaling! Between 2002 and 2017, we conducted eleven Southern Ocean Whale Defence campaigns. Over this period, more than 6,000 whales were saved by Sea Shepherd's interventions. Today, Sea Shepherd remains on the frontline of marine conservation; protecting whales and other marine life all around the world. Visit our 'Our Campaigns' webpage to find out more. 

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

Our Shark Defence Campaign 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 Sea Shepherd donations tax deductible?

Yes donation to Sea Shepherd are now tax deductible. On the 4th March 2020, Sea Shepherd Australia Public Fund was granted Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) charity status with the Register of Environmental Organisations (REO). This Public Fund is wholly owned by Sea Shepherd Australia Limited.


This means that supporters can now claim donations off their taxable income. This has been a long time coming and a drawn-out process that goes back to when Sea Shepherd Australia Limited was first established in Australia back in 2007.



The full announcement from our MD, Jeff Hansen can be read here


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.

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.
Where are your ships and what are they doing?

You can keep up to date with each of our ships and their activities on social media. 

Are you a vegan organisation?

Sea Shepherd events are plant-based as Sea Shepherd opposes destructive fishing practices and recognises that an animal protein diet among Western consumers is one of the top four contributors to climate change. 

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 ocean 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 independent Sea Shepherd groups, including Sea Shepherd Australia. 

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. 

Thank you. Please consider sharing with your family and friends to help save more marine lives!