Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019
New Sea Shepherd T-Shirt in Support of African Marine Wildlife
Tuesday, Mar 19, 2019
Sea Shepherd’s newest t-shirt design highlights the amazing marine wildlife off the African coastline, with proceeds from every sale supporting our direct-action campaigns to protect this rich biodiversity from illegal fishing with our partners in Liberia and Gabon. Photos by Tara Lambourne/Sea Shepherd.
The animals featured on the shirt commemorate the marine wildlife Sea Shepherd has saved since our campaigns off the African continent began in 2016, including endangered whale sharks cut free from purse seine fishing nets off the coast of Gabon for Operation Albacore, hammerhead sharks saved from several shark finning operations in Tanzania for Operation Jodari, over 250,000 Leafscale gulper sharks saved when Sea Shepherd helped the Liberian Coast Guard arrest the notorious poaching vessel Labiko 2 on Operation Sola Stella, and the countless sea turtles and shrimp saved on that same campaign when the Star Shrimper XXV was arrested for not only fishing without a license, but also for not using the turtle excluder device required for “sustainable-certified” vessels.
“I’m proud to lend my art to this campaign because each arrested poacher is a wildlife slaughterhouse shut down,” said the shirt’s designer, Edinburgh-based artist Kate Louise Powell. “The color schemes chosen for the two versions of the shirt represent the colors of the flags of Liberia and Gabon, acknowledging the work of countries that are leading the way in the fight against illegal fishing.”
The rich biodiversity of the African coastline provides vital habitat to a wide range of marine wildlife. From Gabon’s recently-established network of marine protected areas to the endangered mangroves of Tanzania, these waters are home to many species of tuna, leatherback sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and migratory species such as whale sharks, birds, humpback whales, porpoises and Bryde’s whales.
Unfortunately, the waters of many African coastal and island states are beset by illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Most people know Africa’s iconic elephants, rhinos, and gorillas need protection from poachers, but few people realize that illegal fishing activities are also wiping out Africa’s precious marine wildlife.
“As elephants and rhinos are poached for their ivory on land, sharks are poached for their fins at sea. The inspiration behind this shirt is to create awareness that the poaching of African wildlife is not a problem limited to armed gangs of poachers making illegal incursions into some of the world’s most spectacular national parks. Other poachers plunder marine protected areas using industrial fishing vessels and prohibited fishing gear”, said Peter Hammarstedt, Director of Campaigns.
Since many African coastal and island states do not currently have offshore patrol vessels that can cover the entirety of their waters, Sea Shepherd has partnered with the governments of Gabon, São Tomé & Princípe, Liberia and Tanzania, to conduct joint at-sea patrols that have resulted in the arrest of 28 industrial fishing vessel for illegal fishing and other fisheries crimes.
Like all official Sea Shepherd merchandise, proceeds from the sale of these new shirts help support our direct-action campaigns. Get yours today! Shirts can be shipped internationally from either eStore: