Fishermen Had Been Shooting Any Seal That They Saw

Ocean Passion Series

 

Welcome to our "Ocean Passion Series" where we are interviewing ordinary people doing extraordinary actions for the ocean. We believe learning from others can help our own life become more engaged and inspired. This week we have a driven man from the United Kingdom who was on a campaign where the fishermen had been shooting any seal that they saw.

 

Hello Kyle, can you tell us about yourself and where you are in the world ?

Sea Shepherd UK My name is Kyle Russell and I live in the UK about 60 minutes from the south coast.
Sea Shepherd UK

How long have you known your passion for the ocean and can you remember that day or situation that brought it to the surface?

l have always loved being around the ocean or large amount water even when I was a kid. I bought my house as its on a few minutes walk to the Canal. When I was in my senior school I got involved with my local nature reserve and I think that is where my love of nature came from. I became a State Instructor as an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor . I loved working in the hills and mountains but I was more at home working at centres on the coast. I just love passing on my knowledge to kids.
Sea Shepherd UK

Impressive! Working in the hills and mountains as well as living near water. Your life has been molded around nature. Very cool! So please tell us what actions have you done or do  to give back or help the ocean? 

I was shore crew in the the Faroe Islands. My job was to monitor a number of the whale killing bays and look out for any boat movements and more important keep an eye open for pilot whales or dolphins. If any were spotted, the boat teams where called in to guide the pilot whales or dolphins to safety.

 

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In Scotland we were there to monitor one of the salmon netting companies who were killing large number of seals. Under Scottish law it is legal for licensed fishermen to shoot seals that are attacking the fish that are in the nets but Sea Shepherd had been given information that these fishermen had been shooting any seal that they saw.  The Scottish government has now put a  temporary ban on this type of fishing. Sea shepherd crew and volunteers from all over Europe came together to protest the killing of whales at the IWC international whaling commission  conference that was taking place on the island of jersey in the channel islands

 

Brigitte Bardot

Those campaigns sound honorable to protect whales, dolphins, and seals. Fishing has become a massive business that is extremely destructive with overfishing and in this case killing animals that need to eat the food their stealing. Great work Russel! How has your passion for the ocean changed your thinking and your life? 

As I have found out about more habitat destruction it has changed the way I spend my money on food so I do look at what I buy and if I can buy something that will have less of an impact on the environment. Some of my recent clothing purchase have all been made from recycled plastic. I have be come a bit of an Adidas fan that I have bought some off their parley range. I don’t think you can ever have totally environmentally friendly travel but I do try to make as less of an impact as possible when I do travel by booking with companies that do have an environmental policy. I also use the time to talk to other travelers when I’m away and spread the word about ocean conservation.
Sea Shepherd UK

You have shown us that everyone can make choices of change. Voting with our dollar can make a massive difference in this world. By clothing, food, and even who you choose to fly with since many things have a dark-side that many of us are not aware. Has your passion for the ocean brought out strengths or confidence that would have or may have been a fear? 

To be honest nothing much scares me I have always been very good at dealing with confrontation which I have had to do when I have been on campaigns. 
Kyle Russel United Kingdom

Of course! The campaigns you have served to protect the animals definitely would have some heated opposition. Especially when they are pulling out rifles to kill. We are sure we know this answer but what ocean organization is your favorite and why? 

As a sea Shepherd volunteer then sea shepherd is my favourite organisation. I have loved how the organisation has changed from this very small one that most people have never heard of to this organisation that governments are turning to for help with major conservation projects or illegal fishing. Closely followed by Sea Shepherd is 11 hour racing who are doing an an amazing job spreading the word via the sailing Community about Plastic pollution in the oceans.
Sea Shepherd Global

Yes! We knew you were going to say Sea Shepherd and for great reasons. Sea Shepherd is the largest private navy having 12 ships under its command in just a matter of years. That is so impressive to say the least. In your own words what would you like people to know that was a great lesson you have learned because of your passion?  

I think the best message I think I can give people is to stop and think what type of impact we are having to the environment and what can I do to lower any impact that  I am having on the planet. 
Sea Shepherd UK

Well said Russel! The impact that we have on the earth starts from home. Many feel they cannot make a difference for the ocean when they live in a landlocked city. Well if we take away Russel's advice then our choices will help greatly. So Russel what do you feel you could have done differently to get you to where you are now that may help as a stepping stone for someone else into helping the ocean?

I don’t think that there is much more I could have done. As someone who has a love of nature and the environment from such a young age I have grown-up around making things better.
Sea Shepherd UK

We thank you for making things better too! What would be your favorite thing about the ocean? 

 I love everything about being by the sea from the sounds to  the smell it does mater if I am sailing, diving, jet skiing, power-boating. I just love being on or near the ocean.

 

Thank you Kyle for the work you have done for the ocean through the protection of whales, dolphins, and seals. The planet needs more people like yourself especially if they are fearless for positive change. Keep up the great path you have created for your life and the life around you. 

Year Of The Shark 2018

 

Check back next week on the Ocean Passion Series to find out who our next ocean passionate guest will be and you will never be disappointed! Check out our past guests here >>Ocean Passion Series<<

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Sea Shepherd UK

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