'Eco-terrorist' conservation group with A-list backers
About Sea Shepherd
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is a charity like no other. Fronted by former Greenpeace founder, Captain Paul Watson, the SSCS operates a policy they call, "aggressive non-violence."
What does that mean? Well, in short, it means they'll do anything in their power to prevent the illegal destruction of marine life and their habitats, while staying true to their promise to never injure a human being in the process.
The result is a charity which has sunk more ships than the Norwegian Navy and is feared throughout the world by poachers, illegal fishermen and large-scale whaling companies.
When we first met Captain Watson in France, we jumped on a RIB out to his flagship ship, the Steve Irwin. Aboard that camouflaged, former navy ship emblazoned with the SSCS version of a skull and crossbones, we were shown around the water cannons, trunks full of home-made stink bombs and various small vessels that formed Sea Shepherd's 'weaponry' in the fight for the oceans.
We immediately told him: "People need to see this ship!"
Despite being the focus of a prime-time reality show on the Discovery Channel (Whale Wars), the majority of Sea Shepherd's work had been carried out on the other side of the world, especially on the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary near Australia. As such, their impact in the UK had been limited to hardcore animal rights supporters.
As luck would have it, Captain Watson was making plans to bring the Steve Irwin to Europe to disrupt the Grind - a horrific, annual tradition in the Faroe Islands that sees hundreds of whales herded into the shore before being butchered by locals, often including children.
So, we helped make plans for the Steve Irwin to visit London, where it could be visited by journalists, tourists and locals, who could learn about Sea Shepherd Conservations Society's brilliant work.
We docked the ship in Canary Wharf, where the juxtaposition between an aggressively rugged 'Pirate Ship' against the gleaming towers of commerce was at its most striking.
We then sailed her up the Thames - opening Tower Bridge as we went - to dock beside the HMS Belfast for the night.
Here, we threw a party where we invited journalists and celebrities to see the boat and its 'weapons' in action and to see performances by Hawkwind and Cult client, Adam Ant.
- We introduced UK-based celebrities to SSCS, who have gone on to become longstanding supporters and ambassadors for the charity, including actor Clive Standen.
- We helped SSCS to build a foothold in the UK - a platform they have gone on to grow ever since. Incredibly, they are now sponsors of an EFL football team, Forest Green Rovers.
- We achieved coverage in key titles including The Guardian, Independent and The Times, covering The Grind and subsequent Sea Shepherd missions
- We tied clients including surf-fashion brand, Hot Tuna together with SSCS for mutual publicity stunts.