Today our oceans and wildlife are in crisis. Pirate fishing fleets continue to plunder the seas with impunity. Poaching and smuggling of endangered wildlife continues largely unabated. And natural habitats are being destroyed like never before. In many cases government agencies are powerless to act through lack of vessels, training and resource.
Earthrace Conservation works to support these governments and NGOs through providing highly trained Operatives and assets to assist them with their conservation efforts. Our missions have been limited though because we lacked out own ship. So last year we started development of an amazing new vessel to become our base of operations. This will significantly improve our operational effectiveness, allowing us to catch and prosecute more people involved in illegal activity.
The team has just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to complete design, and we are now working to secure sponsors, partners and co-owners to make this project happen.
Our conservation missions are mostly run by Pete Bethune’s team, generally linking up with local enforcement units or NGOs. These have resulted in a large number of successful Arrests and Prosecutions for a whole range of wildlife and environmental crimes. Over half of the missions have been marine based, with many targeting illegal fishing by foreign vessels. A number of missions are filmed and included in our TV Series “The Operatives” which airs in around 20 countries. Below are links to the 4 main areas our missions focus on.
The Operatives TV Series
The Operatives’ TV Series follows Pete Bethune and his team of hand-picked former Military Operatives, drawn from Special Forces and regular units, including Navy SEAL, SAS and Marine Recon. The team run high-risk missions in countries struggling with poaching, illegal fishing and wildlife smuggling. 18 Episodes of compelling Television have been produced over two seasons. The team is now in pre-prouction for Season 3 which will be shot in Africa.
The show has covered a number of marine conservation issues, including illegal fishing by foreign vessels, fishing in Marine Protected Areas, Turtle poaching, and dynamite and cyanide fishing. Anti-poaching episodes have covered rhino and tiger poaching, plus several episodes saw the team closing wildlife smuggling rings. Four episodes were dedicated to habitat destruction by illegal goldmining and illegal logging. In most cases the team has linked with local enforcement units to ensure criminals caught are arrested and prosecuted.
The original Earthrace vessel was was launched in 2006, and in 2008 she set a new world record for circling the globe, running 100% renewable biodiesel fuel. In 2009 she was purchased by Ady Gil and taken to Antarctica, where she became the star of Animal Planet’s Whale Wars TV Series. In an event that rocked the conservation world, she was run over by the Japanese security vessel the Shonan Maru 2, and Sea Shepherd made the decision to abandon her and pursue the whaling fleet. Bethune subsequently boarded the Shonan Maru 2, presenting the Captain with an invoice for $3m. He was arrested and taken back to Japan where he spent five months in a maximum security prison.
In 2011 the Earthrace team reassembled and started work on conservation missions, initially focussing on marine issues. A new TV Show “The Operatives” was developed, and this follows the various missions Bethune and his team undertake. The team is now entering a new era, developing an amazing new boat to become their base of operations, and to facilitate more effective enforcement missions.