Wins for the ocean in 2020

Thursday, 17 Dec, 2020

Here are just some of the ocean wins that we have achieved in 2020 – thanks to YOU.

Despite the challenges of 2020, Sea Shepherd has continued to defend marine life all around the world. 

In February, oil-giant Equinor joined BP and Chevron in ceasing their plans to conduct risky deep-sea oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight!

In fighting for the protection of this marine wilderness area, over 30,000 people wrote to Australia's offshore oil and gas regulator NOPSEMA to voice their opposition against Equinor’s plans, and #FightfortheBight paddle-outs along Australia’s coastline garnered the support of tens of thousands of Australians. 

Sea Shepherd's partnership with The Gambia resulted in the arrests of eight fishing trawlers through joint at-sea patrols. The waters of The Gambia are particularly rich in biodiversity, and over 200,000 Gambians depend on local fisheries for their livelihood. 

Read more about the most recent arrests.

Passionate volunteers from our marine debris campaign facilitated an incredible 96 clean-ups in 2020, removing 16.7 tonnes of trash and ocean plastics from Australia's beaches and waterways.

Our team safely travelled to remote parts of the country to conduct clean-ups including Moreton Island in Queensland, Ningaloo in Western Australia and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean. 

A ground-breaking new report developed by Sea Shepherd's Apex Harmony Campaign, in partnership with Humane Society International's Australia team, Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Envoy: Shark Cull team, demonstarted that a modern shark control program would cost less to run than Queensland's current lethal program.

The report presents a fully-costed plan to modernise the Queensland Government’s 'Shark Control Program', covering beaches from Cairns to the Gold Coast using drones and barriers, including Eco-Shark barriers.

For the second year in a row, no whales were harpooned in Iceland’s waters. While physical distancing measures, put in place to address COVID-19, affected the operations at the Hvalur hf whaling station at Hvalfjörður, there are many other factors also adding pressure to stop Icelandic whaling companies from slaughtering whales long term. 

In August, Gabonese authorities working on board the Sea Shepherd vessel Bob Barker arrested two trawlers with over one metric ton of rays and ray fins in the waters of Central West Africa.

After six years of dedicated conservation efforts in Cabo Verde, and following a remote beach clean in 2019 ​assisted by the crew of the M/V Bob Barker, Sea Shepherd’s partners at Biosfera have announced that record numbers of loggerhead sea turtles are returning this season to lay their eggs.

As part of its ongoing efforts to protect marine life in the Eastern Tropical Pacific and other biodiversity hotspots, Sea Shepherd and Sea Shepherd Legal entered into an official agreement in August with SERNANP, Peru’s national agency for natural protected areas. Through the agreement, Sea Shepherd will support Peru’s efforts to establish several new marine protected areas and reduce threats to aquatic ecosystems.

Researchers working with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society believe that they have discovered a previously unknown species of whale off the western coast of Mexico.

In December, Subsea 7 withdrew its proposal for an oil and gas pipeline fabrication facility and towing operation in Exmouth Gulf, Ningaloo. Exmouth Gulf is a sanctuary for dugongs, whale sharks and a place where humpback whales nurse their newborn calves. Thank you to everyone who took a stand. This is a huge victory for marine life! 

Queensland, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia all announced their plans to phase-out  some harmful, single-use plastic items such as cutlery, plates, stirrers, straws and thick plastic bags. 

Help stem the tide of marine plastic pollution by joining our of our Marine Debris Campaign beach clean-ups near you. 

In Beninese waters in West Africa, three trawels were arrested as part of our joint at-sea patrols with the government of Benin to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Watch our new video about the most recent arrests. 

In November, Sea Shepherd Australia's Managing Director Jeff Hansen spoke at TEDxPerth's prestigious 'Climate Countdown' event.

"My talk was all about bringing down barriers and perceptions and that we need to work together to fight this climate emergency because we can achieve so much more when we do" - Jeff Hansen.

Keep an eye out for the video recording of the talk!

Sea Shepherd's Apex Harmony Campaign was featured in a thrilling new documentary Envoy: Shark Cull, narrated by Eric Bana. The film, which has recently premiered around the country, is a feature-length documentary uncovering the longest marine cull in history.


Sea Shepherd has been defending, conserving, and protecting the world’s ocean for over 40 years, but it is only with your support that we can continue this vital work. 


Find out how you can join the Sea Shepherd movement today

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