Last Sunday, we visited the Vic Park Farmers’ Markets for the first time. I love morning markets but only if it was on a field where doggies run free and sun-shiny people put down everything to listen to buskers, perhaps even-ever-more-slightly out of tune than desired. I always wished I had a garden to grow little succulents, or little tomatoes in – so that I could buy a potted plant or some seeds to sow. Something to care for constantly, something reminiscent finally, of a home I could call my own. And finally I could.

But instead of buying anything, Didi dragged me over to this stall that said ‘Sea Shepherd’. I heard the excitement in his voice and knew it was significant, but didn’t have an inkling what this was about. We saw some pictures of sharks, brown seal, dolphins being trapped in drift nets and i found myself just shaking my head from page to page to page. How did I grow up to know so much and yet care so little?

——–excerpt from Operation Driftnet (http://www.opdriftnet.org/)——–

“In January of 2016, while patrolling the South Indian Ocean for illegal fishing vessels, the Steve Irwin came across a fleet of ships engaged in the illegal practice of fishing with driftnets. Banned since 1992, this style of fishing is notorious for its indiscriminate killing of wildlife.

Upon seeing the Steve Irwin, the vessels ran, abandoning approximately 5 kilometers of driftnet which the crew of the Steve Irwin confiscated and brought on board. In this section of net were the bodies of 321 animals.

Having submitted evidence to all relevant international authorities, and with the vessels still at-large, Sea Shepherd has launched ‘Operation Driftnet’ and is returning to the Indian Ocean to shut down the illegal fishing fleet.”

What are driftnets? (Here’s the definition taken from Operation Driftnets)

A Blue shark entangled in the abandoned driftnet. (Operation Driftnet - http://www.opdriftnet.org/the-issue/)

A Blue shark entangled in the abandoned driftnet. (Operation Driftnet – http://www.opdriftnet.org/the-issue/)


“Driftnets are defined as nets whose purpose is to enmesh, entrap or entangle fish by drifting on the surface of the ocean. In the last century, fishing vessels deployed large-scale driftnets across the world, but it quickly became evident that these nets kill all wildlife that come into contact with them. As a result of this, in 1992, the United Nations (UN) banned the use of driftnets on the high seas.”
The Mission:

“The high seas are areas that are governed by various international rules, regulations and agreements. However, in the absence of proactive enforcement, illegal fishing can thrive in these isolated and distant waters.

Sea Shepherd‘s role is to expose, confront and shut down illegal fishing operations on the world’s oceans.”

How we can help:

Immediate (if you are in Perth, Australia)
Beach Cleanup: 9am, Sunday 19th June at Bathers Beach, Fremantle (wear covered shoes)

At Sea:
Job description taken from application form here.

Please note that there’s ‘no pay, long hours, hard work, dangerous conditions, extreme weather but they gurantee adventure, fulfilment, and the hardest work you will ever love. The experience of a lifetime.’

‘We are looking for navigators, sailors, engineers, mechanics, electricians, carpenters, welders, cooks, doctors, medics or nurses, small boat operators, helicopter pilots, scuba divers, photographers, videographers, computer and networking specialists, electronics hobbyists and experts, software developers, radio and antenna technicians, and even a few unskilled dedicated Whale Defenders.

Time Frame:
Sea Shepherd Campaigns rarely last less than a month. Preference is given to crew who can give the most time.

Room and Board:
Sea Shepherd provides bunk, bedding, food, and water.

Warning:
No whiners, malcontents, mattress lovers, and wimps need apply.

Goals:
Our objective is protect and save ocean wildlife and to uphold International Conservation Law.’

On Shore:

“We’re always in need of outreach volunteers, fundraisers, donated supplies, information distribution, research work, etc.”

Apply here.

As I’m doing my small bit here, you can too.

I like their ideas for creating awareness, there’s just room to get creative no matter how old/young you are, and how you contribute.

If you haven’t the time to commit or aren’t sure about working with big groups but want to do your bit, you can have a look at their Wish List and grant them one or two.

Or simply Donate.
Paypal, Sea Shepherd Australia Store, or simply dial:
1300 OCEANS (+61 1300 623 267) and donate by card.

I am in the midst of working on a tune for the high seas.

My love for animals and people, is something I had always felt strongly about, and always in my music. It is the love that makes the art and the music. This reminds me of a tune we performed with the Shangri-La Choir for Earth Hour called ‘Take care of the Earth’. A simple phrase that beats all smarts and arts that I will not waste my time on:

“Take care of the Earth, Take care of the Sky,
Take care of the Water with the waves rolling by;
Take care of the Earth, that’s what we should do;
Take care of the Earth, God made it for you”.”

I leave you with the shocking footage of Illegal Fishing in the Indian Ocean:

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