Here’s an update from Operation Toxic Gulf, the partnership between Ocean Alliance and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the Gulf of Mexico:
The Odyssey continues to work offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and has so far obtained 20 biopsy samples from sperm whales. The response from the Gulf community has been overwhelming with donations of food and supplies, lines to tour the Odyssey and even residents coming aboard to cook meals for the crew. Ocean Alliance CEO Iain Kerr is back in Gloucester overseeing the expedition from the Paint Factory while OA President Roger Payne leads the expedition on board. Residents of Rocky Neck will recognize crewmember Andy Rogan who is on board for the entire expedition, coordinating the science and writing blog posts on our Facebook page. Here is an excerpt from his most recent post:
“The very collaboration that we on the Odyssey are a part of brings great hope. As we continue to journey into this new century the whales will face more threats than ever before and no single individual, NGO or even methodology can address all these issues. If we can find ways to work together, to engage the general public and provide the scientific evidence needed for policy change at the governmental level then we have a good chance of protecting these magnificent creatures.”
In photos sent from the Odyssey we see Andy and Hillary Watson (niece of Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson) with a Pensacola resident demonstrating how easy it is to find tar balls on the beach. Another photo shows a pod of emaciated dolphins the crew encountered in the Gulf.