Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
|A bunch of tree-huggers|
|Save the rainforests!|
|Watch that carbon footprint!|
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is a vigilante international non-governmental environmentalist organization which is dedicated to combating the menace of whaling. It engages in direct action against whaling. It has its own fleet of ships which conduct raids and engage in frontal combat with whaling ships, and star in their own "reality" television series Whale Wars.
Paul Watson founded Sea Shepherd after leaving Greenpeace in the 1970s, when Greenpeace rejected his preference for eco-terrorism against seal and whale hunters. He also claims to have had telepathic communication with whales, and wrote a book, Earthforce! An Earth Warrior's Guide to Strategy, on environmental tactics which is full of crank warrior mysticism.
The SSCS is hardly a peaceful organization, with this preference for violent action being a major reason for Watson's split with Greenpeace. Sample tactics include use of butyric acid against whaling ships, use of limpet mines without regard for collateral damage against non-whaling ships, ramming a tuna boat and passing it off as a "glancing blow".
Needless to say, they are treading on thin ice.
But is it effective? In general, probably not. They might slow down whaling and make it more expensive, but it wouldn't be profitable even without them, and the decline in Japanese whaling probably would happen without them since few people in Japan actually want to eat whale. They also make it impossible for the Japanese political establishment to make plans to end whaling subsidies without feeling like they'll be skewered by the media for literally "letting the (eco-)terrorists win", by making the issue "Us vs. Them" and an issue of whose culture is morally right instead of the more easily resolved "Nobody wants to buy it" vs. "But it's traditional".
 South Park
An episode of South Park lampooned the efforts of the Sea Shepherd society. In the end, Stan Marsh's opinion of the Sea Shepherds was that they existed primarily as a means for its founder to garner attention to himself.