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Sea Shepherd's Flagship Vessel the Steve Irwin is Free at Last

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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-06-11 01:37 AM
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Sea Shepherd's Flagship Vessel the Steve Irwin is Free at Last
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Due to the generosity of our supporters around the world, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has raised over $735,000 to save the flagship Steve Irwinless than two weeks after the launch of our SOS! - Save Our Ship fundraising campaign! Thank you to everyone who helped make it possible for us to fund a bond to release the vessel from detainment! Together, we will continue to make a difference.

As many of you are aware, on July 15, the Steve Irwin was detained in the Scottish Shetland Islands pending our ability to fund a bond we estimated to be in the amount of USD $1,411,692.87. The detainment was ordered by British courts due to a civil lawsuit brought against us by Maltese fishing company Fish & Fish Limited.

Thankfully, the bond was posted earlier today, and the Steve Irwin will soon depart to the Faeroes for Operation Ferocious Isles. The Steve Irwin will join the vessel Brigitte Bardot and her crew, who are already onsite defending pilot whales.

The British court set the bond today at 520,000 British pounds (approximately $846,290 USD). Once the exact amount was set, Sea Shepherd UK Director Darren Collis scrambled to the bank and set up the money transfer (to the court) with only one minute to spareand the bond was posted!

A court date has not been set for the civil case brought against Sea Shepherd by the Maltese bluefin tuna company Fish & Fish Limited. However, Sea Shepherd is ready to battle with this company that is contributing to the demise of the imperiled bluefin. We firmly believe we caught their boats red-handed, unlawfully taking bluefin tuna from Libyan waters. We have evidence, and we look forward to our day in court against these plunderers of the ocean.

Fish & Fish has a history of using the legal system to harass their opposition. In 2007, journalist Raphael Vassallo with the publication Malta Today began writing about local tuna companies. He pointed out alleged shortcomings in import-export data, fattening rates that appeared biologically impossible, and a case of illegally re-flagged vessels. Vassallo and his newspaper were later served with a civil suit in what he described as a mass libel legal action by all five companies on the island Ta'Mattew Fish Farms, Fish & Fish Tuna Ranch, Malta Fish Farms, AJD Tuna, and Mare Blu Tuna Ranch. The companies accused Vassallo of being responsible for financial losses caused by his libelous and defamatory allegations.

The charges against Vassallo were eventually dropped but the tuna companies continue to sue the newspaper because the lawsuit functions to prevent the newspaper from reporting on the issue.

Fish & Fish are trying to intimidate Sea Shepherd as well, and hoping to cripple us financially, and thus reduce our ability to oppose tuna poaching in the Mediterranean.

We will not be unsettled or bullied by their wealth and their reputation of using litigation to silence their opposition. The bluefin tuna is on the threshold of extinction, said Sea Shepherd Founder and President Captain Paul Watson. We owe it to this species to fight the poachers on the sea, in the media, and in the courts. We acted justly in intervening against their illegal operation. And win or lose, we believe that the bluefin tunaan awesome, magnificent species on the brink of extinctionis worth whatever money and effort we can muster to save it. Sea Shepherds mission Operation Blue Rage will continue to intervene against bluefin tuna poachers.'ll have to click the link to see the FULL story. Heh...
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LaurenG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-06-11 05:27 AM
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1. "...we estimated to be in the amount of USD $1,411,692.87."
So Fish & Fish use brietbart tactics? After reading that I was even happier to donate.

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