“It is important to remain calm and collected while documenting the atrocities in Taiji. I know that it will not help the dolphins if I cry and cannot focus my camera. And I know that showing my emotions, either through tears or yelling, will only show the dolphin killers and dolphin trainers that they are the ones in control.” – Ethan Wolf, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Cove Guardian, Operation Infinite Patience
After more than a decade involved with organizations which primarily used protests as their only activity, Ethan Wolf wanted to be involved in an organization with a broader scope. “I saw many of those organizations start strong,” Ethan says, “but dwindle as volunteers lost interest or moved.”
In 2010, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit devoted to ending the destruction of habitat and slaughter of ocean wildlife in pursuance of conservation and protection of ecosystems and species, started their first chapter in the United States.
“I volunteered to start the second one,” says Ethan, the Founding Coordinator of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society New York City Chapter.
Ethan works full-time as a child protection attorney in New York City. “My remaining time goes to my work with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.”
“Locally,” explains Ethan, “we organize fundraising and outreach events to help fund Sea Shepherd’s work and raise awareness regarding the plight of the oceans.”
“During summer, we also organize beach clean-ups, so volunteers can take direct action and help prevent trash from entering the oceans.”
Flashback to November 2012, Operation Infinite Patience, Ethan’s first visit to Taiji, Japan as a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Cove Guardian, on a mission to document captive dolphin training facilities and the watery grave of mother nature’s children.
Annually, from September to March, thousands and thousands of dolphins, porpoises, and small whales are herded by fisherman into shallow bays and stabbed. Slaughtered in the sea, the shimmering blue water mutates to red. The butchered dolphins are used for food.
Hand-picked by trainers, other dolphins are starved to teach them to eat dead fish, taught tricks, then sold into slavery at marine mammal parks around the world.
“If the dolphin killers are unsuccessful in finding a pod of dolphins, we celebrate those small victories. But we quickly move on to our continuous monitoring of those dolphins enslaved in one of the three dolphin training facilities in Taiji,” Ethan says of his Cove Guardian experience.
“The little victories help Cove Guardians get through the horrific situations we witness.”
Sea Shepherd Australia recently completed a highly successful campaign to defend whales in Antarctica. Other Sea Shepherd Conservation Society crusades have defended endangered long and short-finned pilot whales in the Faeroe Islands and bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean.
“There are many ways for people to take direct action and get involved to help our planet and its ocean inhabitants,” Ethan states. In addition to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society operations conducted in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, the Galapagos, Hawaii, and La Reunion, France, Ethan says, “We are gearing up again for the Cove Guardian campaign in Taiji.”
“The Earth and her inhabitants are being murdered at an alarming and increasing rate. Now, more than ever, is the time to stop asking for petition signatures,” Ethan concludes, “and start using our voices and our physical actions to defend what is left of the natural world.”
Ethan Wolf is a featured speaker at the 2013 Anti-Fur Society Animal Rights Conference in Alexandria, Virginia. His Saturday, June 1 presentation will cover Sea Shepherd’s campaigns in Canada, Namibia, and Japan.
Register for the Anti-Fur Society Animal Rights Conference, May 31 to June 2, 2013, at the Sheraton Suites in Old Town Alexandria, 801 N Saint Asaph Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.
Read the featured speaker biographies at the 2013 Anti-Fur Society Animal Rights Conference.
Click here to volunteer on shore with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society International. In New York, potential volunteers can write to Ethan Wolf: firstname.lastname@example.org