A Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel docked in George Town last week, en route to an anti-sharking mission in Colombian waters.
High waves forced the M/V John Paul DeJoria, a 110-foot fast patrol boat, to take shelter in Grand Cayman. The crew had planned to sail straight through from Cuba to Panama and then to Colombia’s Malpelo Island, crew members said.
Aboard a meet-and-greet Thursday on Cayman’s Jolly Roger, crew members Davey Jones and Jasmin O’Brien said they gave up jobs in Western Australia to join the mission. They are accompanying 16 other crew members on the trip, hoping to support the Colombian coast guard in targeting shark fin poachers.
Mr. Jones said this trip will serve as a fact-finding mission, to be documented by staff and followed by a direct-action campaign.
The society is a nonprofit that organizes global wildlife conservation and anti-poaching campaigns. Most of the crew work as volunteers.
Sea Shepherds was previously associated with Animal Planet’s Whale Wars program, which followed the organization’s founder, Paul Watson, on missions against Japanese whalers.
The M/V John Paul DeJoria stayed through the weekend in Grand Cayman, where Ms. O’Brien said the crew had been impressed with local kindness and interactions with like-minded people.
Jolly Roger sales manager Richard Kauffman said the crew were happy to share their story while in Cayman.
“They were extremely polite and courteous. They’re from all over the world so each of them has an interesting story. It was a pleasure to have them on board with all their positive energy,” Mr. Kauffman said.
Ms. O’Brien said the crew participated in several meet-and-greet events in Grand Cayman, including a presentation for students on Friday, and tours of the vessel on Saturday.