SEA SHEPHERD AND OCEAN ALLIANCE CREW OF “OPERATION TOXIC GULF” TO DOCK IN PENSACOLA THIS WEEKEND FOR SHIP TOURS
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA June 19, 2014 – The crew of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Ocean Alliance’s Gulf of Mexico research campaign, Operation Toxic Gulf, will be docked at Palafox Pier in Pensacola, Fla. starting today through June 23, 2014. Ocean Alliance’s research vessel RV Odyssey — home for the duration of the campaign — will be open to the public for ship tours this weekend on June 21 and 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The crew will also be available to speak to visitors and media about the critical work being done on this campaign to document the long-term effects of the BP oil spill and toxic oil dispersants on sperm whales and other Gulf wildlife.
The stay in port from June 19 until June23 will also be an opportunity to restock the Odyssey with supplies needed by the crew to continue their work in the Gulf. Any donations of vegan food, fresh produce and other provisions would be greatly appreciated by the crew. Sea Shepherd has a wish list on Amazon.com that includes items needed for this campaign.
“Sea Shepherd and Ocean Alliance are so thankful to the many people making this important campaign possible. Our fantastic supporters continue to send much-needed supplies to the RV Odyssey, and the crew is encouraged by this amazing support,” said Sea Shepherd USA Administrative Director, Susan Hartland.
Hartland added: “The crew aboard the Odyssey is looking forward to meeting supporters in Pensacola and some of the people who live in and deeply care about this region that both Ocean Alliance and Sea Shepherd are working to protect. We hope that many people will come out to tour the vessel and learn more about our campaign.”
Sea Shepherd and Ocean Alliance have proudly joined forces for Operation Toxic Gulf, a collaborative campaign meant to expose the long-term impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and chemical oil dispersants on the Gulf of Mexico wildlife and ecosystem. Campaign research will focus mainly on sperm whales; as apex predators, these whales are excellent bio-indicators of the health and balance of the entire Gulf food chain. The RV Odyssey, a 93-foot, steel-hulled ketch, equipped with a state-of-the-art, cell-culture laboratory, is especially well suited for studying whales and other marine life. Operation Toxic Gulf will run from June through August.
Founded by Captain Paul Watson, a world renowned, respected leader in environmental issues and co-founder of Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA is a non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced oceanic ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations. Visit www.seashepherd.org for more information.
Ocean Alliance, a 501(c)3 organization, was founded in 1971 by biologist Roger Payne. Led by Dr. Payne and CEO Dr. Iain Kerr, Ocean Alliance collects a broad spectrum of data on whales and ocean life relating particularly to toxicology, behavior, bioacoustics, and genetics. From that data we work with our scientific partners to advise educators and policy makers on wise stewardship of the oceans to reduce pollution, prevent the collapse of marine mammal populations, maintain human access to fish and other sea life, and promote ocean and human health.