Eco-chief trawls for local support



THE world's most active ? and some say most aggressive ? ocean "eco-warrior" organisation has dropped anchor on the Gold Coast and at Byron Bay.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's aim is to conserve and protect the world's marine wilderness eco-systems and marine wildlife species, particularly whales, at times using controversial tactics.

Sea Shepherd was established in 1977 by one of the founders of Greenpeace, Canadian Captain Paul Watson, who with others pioneered the tactic of using ships to disrupt whaling.

Watson has just been named by influential UK newspaper The Independent as "one of the planet's top 10 eco-warriors" and visited Australia just last weekend to film a segment on TV current affairs program 60 Minutes.

Following a positive reception in Melbourne when the Sea Shepherd's protest ship the Farley Mowat docked in Melbourne, Sea Shepherd's international director Timothy Midgely arrived in Australia this month to establish new chapters of the organisation, including on the Gold Coast.

An information session last week at Burleigh Heads formally established the group, with a Northern Rivers branch at Byron Bay following a few days later.

For more information go to www.seashepherd.org or call 55933631 (Gold Coast) or 0437001050 (Byron Bay).



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