Fishers and First Nations: hipster hypocrites are using you

If you fish for a living, are an Indigenous Person, or even just love eating seafood, the Sea Shepherd Society is not your friend. You’re their next target, if you haven’t been attacked already.

402556They don’t care about your livelihood. They don’t care if you’re trying to fish responsibly. They don’t care about your culture, your traditional practices, or even if you live or die.

You are a means to their end.

They might seem friendly now. That’s because you’re useful to them. But their end game is that they don’t want anyone to eat seafood at all. Period.

What’s that? You have a 10,000 year-old tradition, culture, and lifestyle based on seafood? Too bad, become vegan, or else.

You want to help restore wild salmon to abundance, so healthy fisheries can help feed millions? Tough, shut down your hatcheries and pull your boat out of the water. Start spreading the vegan gospel, or else.

This shouldn’t sound shocking. Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd followers are open about how they’re willing to use deceit to achieve their goals. They think commercial fishermen are “greedy, stupid” people and that Indigenous People who hunt seafood for subsistence and as part of their culture are “murdering little bastards.”

Like countless religious zealots and cultists before them, they are clearly willing to sacrifice facts, the truth, and anyone they disagree with in pursuit of what they believe.


And like countless churches and religious movements before them, they save their most poisonous venom and odious self-righteousness for supporters and potential allies who dare ask questions.

This was obvious in a recent social media exchange that was deleted from the society’s Facebook page, when a few innocently curious people started asking the wrong questions. The Snarky Intern running the society’s page got caught in a cognitive dissonance loop when they posted a video encouraging people to eat only wild-caught salmon.“I don’t understand why you share it if it doesn’t represent your values,” said one commenter, confused that the fiercely vegan society would promote eating any seafood at all.

Snarky Intern backpedalled, hard, trying to justify the video while at the same time being condescending, and trying to justify why everyone should be a vegan. It didn’t go well, and and Snarky Intern decided to throw the whole conversation down the memory hole instead of owning it.

Good thing the Internet never forgets.

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If you are supporting the Sea Shepherd and their “Operation Virus Hunter” campaign, this behaviour should concern you. Do you want to be lied to? Do you like being tricked? Do you approve of being seen as a disposal human shield? Do you mind having your cultural heritage, practices, and beliefs being used as a smokescreen for people who honestly don’t give an organic, granola-filled shit about you?

It’s time to start thinking for yourself, and asking yourself these questions.

Sea Shepherd throwing around a (red) herring

 Sea Shepherd throwing around a (red) herring

The following conversation posted on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Facebook page shows the Sea Shepherd caught in a lie. Although Sea Shepherd leader, Paul Watson, admits that “lying to everyone is OK” as long as it served his cause, we’d suggest Sea Shepherd try harder to make the lie more resilient to a simple web search.Insert 1











Herring fisheries have been closed for 31 years” (since 1986) they say. “The decline is not due to overfishing” they say.

We fact checked, and what we found probably won’t surprise you: Sea Shepherd is wrong. Dead wrong, in fact.

The last time a herring fishery occurred in the Broughton area (referred to as fishing area 12) was in 1976 – 40 years ago – and a full decade before the first farm-raised salmon was stocked into the area. But perhaps more relevant, the last consistent fishery took place in Area 12 in the 1950s: well over 30 years before the words “salmon farming” was uttered by a Canadian (see Figure 1).

According to life-long fishermen, this area and others with similar attributes (depth, current, temperature, and phytoplankton) are productive “nursery” grounds for herring, but they don’t often produce fish that are the right size for commercial catch.


Figure 1: Broughton Archipelago herring fishery (Area 12, subsection 125W). For coast map of all regions, see

 Coast wide, B.C.’s herring fishery collapsed in the mid-1960s (see Figure 2). But there are a few known catch areas in British Columbia that still produce fish large enough to catch, consistently: Haida Gwaii, Central Coast, and Georgia Strait. In fact, the Georgia Strait had a record high catch of herring in 2016.


Figure 2: BC Herring Catch and Estimated Spawners (1900-2017). Read more at

 So, Sea Shepherd is lying about of the Pacific Herring fishery in British Columbia.

But are they right when they say “Alaska doesn’t farm salmon”? We’ll leave you with this photo of one salmon aquaculture facility in Alaska:


OK, just one more photo then we’re done…