On June 17th over 70 people attended a presentation by the newly-formed Organizing Committee for Sea Shepherd Korea at the Rachel Carson Hall, Korean Green Foundation.
At the information presentation, Sea Shepherd volunteer Hanmin Kim talked about his experiences on board the M/V Sam Simon for Operation Milagro working to protect the critically endangered vaquita porpoise, and Ye Eun Kim explained how Sea Shepherd Korea is looking for volunteers to help with investigation, education, beach cleaning and other conservation programs in Korea.
"Sea Shepherd is now a global movement," said Gary Stokes, Director of Sea Shepherd Asia. "The threats to our oceans is a global issue which threatens all of us. This is why establishing a presence in Korea is very important. Whaling is still an issue in Korea as well as dolphin captivity and illegal fishing. Awareness to these issues is paramount if we are to solve them and conserve, protect and defend life in our oceans for future generations, that is what we hope to achieve from Sea Shepherd Korea."
Marine conservation efforts first started to spread in Korea in 2006, a year after the International Whaling Commission (IWC) held a meeting in Ulsan, when the Korean Federation for Environmental Movements founded the Ocean Committee to work against whaling and ocean pollution. In 2012 animal rights organizations like Korean Animal Welfare Association and Hot Pink Dolphins worked together to free 'Jedol', an illegally captured Indo-pacific bottlenose dolphin, gaining more attention for the movement and bringing together major environmental and animal rights activists. Sea Shepherd Korea will be the second group in the region focused solely on marine conservation.
Sea Shepherd Korea is currently operating as an Organizing Committee, and will launch an official Sea Shepherd Korea entity after a year of preparation. If you’re interested in getting involved, visit their FB page here: ++https://www.facebook.com/SeaShepherdKR++