Well here we are. On September 5th, 2012 I began Operation Sadistic Truths. My mission was to expose some of the terrible truths that are occurring in the world. This mission focused heavily on whales and dolphins. Sharks also had their fair share of attention given to them in this campaign as well. I weighed in on a lot of different subjects and made my feelings known and backed those feelings up with real facts. This blog will be a brief summary of what has happened over the last 6 months leading up to incredible news.
Dolphins: From September through late February, Japanese fisherman set out to kill hundreds of dolphins and sell many more into a life of captivity. Inspired by the documentary, The Cove, I read up on the slaughter. This year, Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians livestreamed some of the action from the cove. The videos I watched were truly heartbreaking. To this day, I still call upon Sea World and other large aquariums and dolphinariums to stop the support of this slaughter and help save these amazing animals.
Whales: The chaos in the Southern Ocean has come to an end. After the most chaotic whaling season I have seen, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society managed to have it's most successful campaign, entitled Operation No Compromise. The biggest development of the season was several collisions between whaling ships and protest ships along with Japan finally admitting that there is no scientific research going on in the Southern Ocean. All that is happening down there is commercial whaling.
Sharks: Shark finning has continued to ravage shark populations around the world. There was a totally heartbreaking story that came out with a new estimate on how many sharks are being killed on an annual basis. The number is staggering, heartbreaking, scary, and downright alarming. The number is 100 million. 100 million sharks are being killed every year by humans. This fact now leads to this incredible news and final mark on Operation Sadistic Truths.
CITES has voted to add smooth hammerheads, scalloped hammerheads, great hammerheads, porbeagles, oceanic whitetips, and manta rays to Appendix II. This upgrade puts these animals under the same protection that basking, whale, and great whites have. Appendix II means that any nation that fishes for these animals must issue licenses to those who catch these animals. There is also set limits on the number of these fish a nation can catch. If a nation is caught overfishing, that nation will be subject to sanctions that will be imposed by CITES. This is a massive step towards saving these species of sharks and mantas. Though illegal shark finning and overfishing will most likely continue to run rampant, there are now restrictions in place that will cause nations to begin to take a closer look at just how many sharks are being killed in their waters. All three species of hammerheads that have been added to Appendix II are currently listed as Endangered Species. Any help that these animals can get is a step in the right direction.
Despite lobbying by China and Japan to not pass the vote, the vote went through, largely pushed by South American nations that realize sharks are far more valuable alive than dead. Another major factor in the vote going through were African countries that have seen their local shark populations plummet. Money was also a factor as usual, but this time in a good way. The EU has stated that they will be willing to help poorer countries financially to change their fishing practices. There is still a chance this vote can be overturned, but as of now it has not been. It looks like these 5 species of shark and manta rays are finally getting some of the help they so desperately need!
In my opinion, that is probably the best way for me to end Operation Sadistic Truths. So in closing I would like to thank each and every one of you for reading these blogs over the past 6 months. It means so much to me that even one person has taken the time to read these blogs that I feel so strongly about. So with that, Operation Sadistic Truths is officially at an end. Thank you all again so much and stay tuned for the future of this blog!