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The Viking Dies



Sea Shepherd

The VIKING. This is the ship that Captain Sid Chakravarty and his crew on the Sea Shepherd ship STEVE IRWIN hunted and tracked for the last three months, from the Southern Ocean across the Indian Ocean into the waters of Indonesia where he alerted the Indonesian authorities to intervene with an arrest warrant from Interpol.

And now, the no-nonsense Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti will oversee the destruction of the VIKING.

The fuel and oil have been pumped out and the Indonesian Navy will send the VIKING to the bottom. Instead of killing fish it will now be a habitat for fish and other marine life – and it will make one hell of a dive site.

The STEVE IRWIN has departed for another important mission, but a Sea Shepherd documentary crew led by Sea Shepherd Asia Director Gary Stokes will be on site in Indonesia to witness and document the sinking of the last of the Bandit Six – the VIKING.

The first of the Bandit Six, the THUNDER was scuttled in the waters of Sao Tome last April 6th. The crew of the SAM SIMON rescued the 42 crew of the poaching vessel while crew from the BOB BARKER boarded the THUNDER to secure evidence of their illegal activities.

That evidence led to a fine of 15 million Euros or the incarceration of the Captain and two of his officers who are now serving three and two year sentences respectively. The evidence also contributed to the arrest of six members of the Vidal family in Galicia, Spain, the money and the organization behind many organized crime operations on the high seas.

The other four vessels have all been arrested. The YONG DING and SONGUA in Cape Verde thanks to the efforts of Captain Peter Hammarstedt, the PERLON in Malaysia and the KUNLUN last month in Senegal.

Sea Shepherd would like to thank the authorities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sao Tome Principe, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Mauritius, Spain and Indonesia and of course INTERPOL for their efforts in this most successful campaign.

This fleet which has operated with impunity for over a decade in the Southern Ocean has been completely shut down.

Operation Icefish was organized for the express purpose of stopping the Bandit Six. It was initiated in December 2014 and now, with the destruction of the VIKING, it is 90% over.

All that remains now is a conviction of the Vidal family in Spain.

Every volunteer crewmember, shore volunteer and supporter of Sea Shepherd can be proud of what has been accomplished over the last fifteen months. Together we accomplished what everyone told us was impossible to do but the one thing that Sea Shepherd has developed over the years is the ability to take on impossible missions and to make the impossible – possible!

In addition to being one of the co-founders of Greenpeace in 1972 and Greenpeace International in 1979, Paul Watson is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - an organization dedicated to research, investigation and enforcement of laws, treaties, resolutions and regulations established to protect marine wildlife worldwide.


Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados



In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.

Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.

For more images from Barbados and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)



Introduced by Jeff Goodman

Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.

A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.

CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.

Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts

Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.

During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!

Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.

For more information about the CCMI click here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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