BruceSea Shepherd Australia is pleased to announce that another boat will be added to the fleet of observers following the Department of Fisheries undertaking the shark bait and kill initiative in Western Australia.

The boat, which has been named “Bruce” is a brand new 6.5m rib with a 150 horsepower engine and is capable at travelling at a speed of 40 knots. “Bruce” which has kindly been donated to Sea Shepherd by supporters Liza, Mike and Georgie Dicks, will fit six people comfortably and will depart from Fremantle, providing support to the current crew departing from Hillary’s.

Jeff Hansen, Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia is overwhelmed with the generosity of the donation and is hopeful that the new addition will ensure a higher accountability and transparency of the actions undertaken by the Fisheries staff.

“It is appalling that the WA Government has not ensured an independent observer is in place to oversee the actions of both the South-West contractor and the Fisheries Department in order to note any particular issues and concerns which could be improved,” Jeff Hansen said.

“Since the day the drum lines were dropped, we have had a multitude of concerns which include the misidentification of a shark, crew tagging a shark incorrectly as dead, causing delays in the shark returning to the water, sharks not properly being irrigated in order to maximise survival chances, and improper techniques being used to remove hooks.”

Sea Shepherd are committed to assisting the fuelling of the boats on the waters in order to compile a record of concerns and issues to present to the Federal and State Governments in order to prevent the drum lines from returning to the WA coastline once they are removed on 30 April.

“Bruce” is a welcomed addition to the Sea Shepherd Response Team. Anyone with suitable boating, photographic or videoing skills that would like to be a part of the new observation crew are invited to email to advise of their interest.

Mike and Georgie, who will be managing the rib were appalled and saddened by the introduction of the drum lines to Western Australia’s coast and felt compelled to do something. Having been involved in Sea Shepherd for six years, they feel very fortunate to be able to assist Sea Shepherd defend the wonderful marine life in our oceans.

“Governments and corporations look at our seas as a resource to be used for financial gain and benefit, whereas we believe that every animal has a right to peaceful coexistence,” Mike Dicks said.

“The shark cull is a ludicrous policy with no scientific basis, nor widespread community support and anything we can do to help in monitoring the process is time and money well spent.”

“Contributing this boat to the campaign and being able to get out on the water everyday is over very small contribution to the enormous task of protecting our oceans around the world,” Liza Dicks said.

Liza, Mike and Georgie reflect Sea Shepherd’s mission with every ounce of their being. They have proven time and time again to be a force to be reckoned with in the battle to save our oceans.

“Their commitment to the ocean, our precious marine life and all life on our wondrous planet is nothing short of remarkable,” Jeff said.

“On behalf of our clients, the whales, the sharks and everyone at Sea Shepherd, thank you Liza, Mike and Georgie Dicks, a wonderful family of Ocean Warriors.”

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