Sea Shepherd Could Lose Dutch Certificate of Registry

UPDATE: Sea Shepherd’s Registry safe, for now

The Dutch cabinet wants to revoke the Dutch Certificate of Registry currently being used by the Sea Shepherd organisation for two of its ships. This after complaints from the Japanese government about the tactics used by the organisation. The ships in question are the Farley Mowat and the Steve Irwin.

If the Certificate of Registry is revoked than the two ships aren’t allowed to sail under the Dutch flag anymore. And the organisation would need to apply for a new certificate for their ships from the Dutch government, or gain a certificate from another country. Which would effectively mean that the two ships can’t sail until they have a new certificate, as they wouldn’t have any legal status under maritime law (their legal status would be dubious at best).

Although not everybody might agree with the tactics employed by the organisation (there are certainly a few uncertainties about what exactly happens during their campaigns). Almost nobody has qualms with their primary mission as stated on their website:

Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

The activity they are most famous for is interfering with Japanese whalers. This by placing their ships between the Japanese whaling fleet, and generally hindering them in any way possible. For example by throwing rotten eggs or rancid butter bombs on the decks of the Japanese ships. Due to the close proximity of the vessels during such operations there have been accidents in the past where ships have collided with each other.

This has sparked the Japanese government to submit their complaints to the Dutch government with a demand for action. This despite the global opposition against the industry, and the fact that the industry isn’t profitable anymore. The whaling industry wouldn’t even exist anymore if governments wouldn’t subsidise it.

For those who can understand Dutch can follow the report from the Dutch news organisation RTL Nieuws on their website.

UPDATE: Sea Shepherd’s Registry safe, for now


Collin Maessen is the founder and editor of Real Skeptic and a proponent of scientific skepticism. For his content he uses the most up to date and best research as possible. Where necessary consulting or collaborating with scientists.