,If our oceans die, we die’ (Paul Watson).
Today I got the pleasure to interview a good friend and colleague, Eva Pacifico, who recently joined the ONG “Sea Shepherd”, that reached Ibiza last year to impulse the fight for protection of the oceans and its creatures against human’s greed, who always tries to exploit sea resources with the only goal of earning limited revenues – destroying once again the natural balance and consequently the biggest value there is on this planet, nature itself. This very nature that – on Balearic Islands for instance – also guarantees our survival and the touristic model that is the fundament of our life.
A: Hi Eva, it’s a pleasure to have you back on Dub, this time not for the top ten music charts but rather to support a very good cause, essential for the protection of our oceans, that of the Sea Shepherd organization. Explain us how’s your relation with them.
E: I’m born loving the planet. Since I was a little kid I wanted to protect animals, I started early by freeing lizards that my cousins would catch to torture. I had to realize at quite a young age that not all humans have loving feelings towards the environment. Getting to a more conscious age, when I found out about ONGs work in protection of the environment, I signed up as a cyberactivist – since the beginning of these online activities in the 90’s, signing petitions and spreading info. I also participated in environmental actions carried out on the island, as the mobilisation against the oil platforms and against the insecticide fumigations with planes, wishing all the time to be part of an ecologist movement that could operate in Ibiza. Sea Shepherd caught my admiration and support since I became aware of its work; I follow their daring actions for more than 20 years, where committed humans risk their lives to defend marine creatures. The images of Sea Shepherd’s small boats crossing the path of harpoons pointing at whales or that of the ships challenging Antarctics rough waves to protect the sanctuaries are epic!
Eva Pacifico & Alex Cornelissen @ Ibiza Global Radio
Captain Paul Watson is an inspiration for the world, as a person who dedicated his own existence in defending marine life, creating the biggest private fleet that sails on the seas – for its preservation and that of its inhabitants. His determination, intelligence and charisma have enthused millions around the globe, creating a strong and ignited movement.
And because of that, Sea Shepherd also got my unconditional support and devotion. I feel honored and filled with purpose and motivation, for having been chosen to represent this organization and to help it in its tasks, to be able to dedicate part of my energy in rescuing the oceans, to contribute with my sand’s grain so that it keeps being blue. I feel that the oceans are the most primordial to protect, for a healthy life on this planet.
Because what’s happening with the ocean is very symbolic – our origins rise from the waters, from there we walked on solid ground, the ocean is the cradle of life on Earth and now we are dumping all of our plastic trash in the very own heart where we come from……We contaminate our own being until the deepest core! We got to stop this, instilling consciousness – it is very urgent.
A: Tell us how Sea Shepherd acts.
E: They defend the sea against illegal fishing, whale hunting, protecting turtles, dolphins and sharks as well, as there are already some species that are disappearing. Right now, there are 3 ships in the Sea of Cortez to save the vaquita from extinction, fighting against poachers who are even threatening and shooting them with firearms. While they proceed over the waters, Sea Shepherd’s boats also collect plastics and ghost nets, freeing entangled animals. These are only some of the ONG’s actions, which is constantly patrolling the 7 seas.
A: You said that Paul Watson is Sea Shepherd’s founder and of Greenpeace as well.
E: Yes, he was among the founders of Greenpeace and later he created Sea Shepherd in 1977. First he joined Greenpeace and then he realised that their path was going on a more diplomatic way, presenting petitions to governments or staging media actions and that wasn’t enough for him. He’s a man of action, so he created Sea Shepherd to be able to act directly in the sea against those that aren’t respecting the natural balance. At that time, they sabotaged and sunk several whalers in port and rammed others, so they became worldwide famous with these attacks until they called them pirates and that served as an inspiration for the organisation’s image. Paul converted the pirate’s flag into Sea Shepherd’s logo with the skull reflecting the death that humanity brings to the ocean, including a yin yang with a whale and a dolphin symbolising our desire to reestablish harmony and balance in our sea, to restore the grace of the dolphin and the wisdom of the whale. Neptune’s trident, which is one of the bones and also includes a dolphin, signifies our determination to fight, crossed with the shepherd’s crook that symbolises protection. The two together, stand for the philosophy of “aggressive non-violence” that characterises the ONG. The black background represents the state in which the oceans are right now, deprived of life and the white color symbolises the light of life.
A: How’s it funded?
E: Through donations and sale of merchandise. The brand’s image, the famous pirate logo is used to create all kind of items that are sold through the web page or at the events, from t-shirts to jackets, key holders, caps etc and all the money goes directly to support the fleet. There are also impressive gifts such as the one of the Dutch Postcode lottery that has donated a full ship, the Ocean Warrior. Celebrities have also joined the cause in support, as for example Brigitte Bardot, Pamela Anderson, Martin Sheen, Steve Irwin and many more. Now they created a program of donations called “part-time heroes” where people can subscribe to a monthly donation, so that Sea Shepherd can count on a constant income to coordinate the proper functioning of the fleet. There are several options for people to sign up, you can be a “shark bodyguard” or a “turtle ranger”, among others and so you always know where your money is directed. One can also sign up as volunteer and enlist for the boat campaigns, but that’s something for the tough ones, as you are not actually going to see pleasant stuff but rather the opposite and you can end up sailing in rough seas as the Antarctic or other far away destinations.
A: As you well said before, the difference between Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd is that this act directly, it’s really present in all oceans with the vessels, making life difficult to those who are threatening them.
E: As they are plowing the waters, ships are also collecting ghost nets, something that’s horrible. Every year 600 million tons of nets are cast off into the oceans, carelessly abandoned by the fishing boats, those are causing the unnecessary death of countless marine creatures, animals get entangled and die slowly, suffering sometimes an agony that lasts months, tortured by the nets. The fishing boats are unconcerned about nets, they just cut and toss them into the sea. There is a lot of indifference in this sector, more than in others; they do not care about the sea.
A: It’s true, humans got the tendency to throw stuff into the sea because the moment it sinks, seems like it disappear, what you can’t see doesn’t exist….
E: Yes, they were even dumping nuclear waste into the ocean and god knows if they are still doing it. The ocean is the most affected ecosystem on the planet.
A: We are trying to reach Mars and return to the Moon spending fortunes in the process, but we don’t know much about our oceans that cover 70% of the planet’s surface. It’s something so incomprehensible that every time I think about it, it fills me up with anger and sadness.
E: If we would spend on Earth all the money allocated for those space missions, we wouldn’t have that many problems and every day more arise. We are trying to find a drop of water on Mars while here we are covered by water and we contaminate it, it’s real madness. There’s a reason why Paul Watson defines the human specie as dangerous and insane.
A: All this info is available on the web, we will provide the links at the end of this interview. So tell us about Sea Shepherd Ibiza.
E: Sea Shepherd Ibiza was born last summer with the arrival on the island of Captain Alex Cornelissen, present CEO of the organisation and hero of numerous campaigns, who’s also my personal hero! The founder Paul Watson, is slowly withdrawing from the front line and Captain Cornelissen relieved him in coordinating the fleet in the ocean and supervising the ONG presence in more than 20 countries. I met him through a common friend who invited me to a dinner where he was present. Next day the “Oceanic” event took place (we wrote about it in Dub on last August issue) where Alex gave a conference, there he already presented me with the possibility to create a support group here in Ibiza and to collaborate with the ONG. I decided to invite him to my show on Ibiza Global Radio for an interview, which was also broadcasted on Ibiza Global TV, informing people about the birth of this new Sea Shepherd group. From that moment on, the interest on Ibiza has been growing and we have been structuring little by little our plan of action, together with Sea Shepherd Global and the coordinator of volunteers on the island, Victor Aixandri. I am Ambassador, will take care of spreading our actions in the media and will organise events for the ONG, especially musical ones! We already organised our first cool events this winter, at Sant Joan Market and at Las Dalias. Besides, I got a couple of projects/wishes that would love to materialize.
A: For them, as for many other brands and projects that want to get worldwide exposure, Ibiza is an ideal platform to reach people all over the planet.
E: One of the good sides of the island is that here you can find people of all ages and social status and you can get to them through music, which is a direct and elegant way to connect. Wherever I go djing, I always got my Sea Shepherd flag in the booth.
A: They stole it from you once at Las Dalias, no?
E: Yes, they did at a Namaste party, it was a present from Alex Cornelissen…
A: If the person who has done it read this, shame on you….
E: Anyways, it’s like I received it 3 times because Namasté got me another one by making a donation to Shepherd and the Captain also wanted to send it back. The most important to me is that Sea Shepherd Global gave me the possibility to collaborate with them, something that I wanted to do all my life, I admire them since I was 20 years old. The good thing about this Ibiza initiative is that now they got a safe haven on the island, from this year onwards Sea Shepherd can dock their ships here and receive assistance, that would contribute in making the ONG even more widely known. Being ambassador for Sea Shepherd, something that is still hard to believe for me, because as I said before it has been my dream, gives me an enormous pleasure because I’m able to collaborate with them in an active way through my music, my radio sessions and my contacts with media.
A: That’s the reason why we are here to help, to make yourself and Sea Shepherd more known to our readers. Tell us something about you, what are you doing in wintertime?
E: I’m doing everything you can’t do in summertime, taking care of my home, making order in all of last year’s music folders which is a DJ task that people usually don’t see, hours and hours to catalog and archive the music so that you can access it in a quick and direct way. I also produced my own web page to have a stronger presence on the net, apart from social media.
A: Cool, I also got loads of music to put in order but I didn’t have the time to do it yet, I hope I will get to it before next season starts. Tell us how do you see the island, are you happy about how everything is developing? There are people saying that because of all the masses, the spirit has gone….
E: I heard this story since more than 20 years, I arrived in Ibiza in 1989 and already then people told me that I got here late, that Ibiza was much better before…. If I tell this to people they consider me a dinosaur, but with the arrival of the new millennia many people also believed it was the end of the world and look where we are still standing today, we go on doing the same stuff, fighting for a better island, so I do not worry too much about that, you got to be positive and give it all to the max, and the ones that don’t agree then they better go. Ibiza’s spirit keeps inspiring millions all over the planet!
A: The very same I say!