International Marine Mammal Conservation Society

Ending Whaling: Detection, Deterrence and Interception

The International Marine Mammal Conservation Society's Approach Relies On Being Highly Unpredictable To Combat Whaling.

Image by IMMCS.ORG. Campaign: Operation Whale Defense, Engaging the Nystrand.

The future of anti-poaching and anti-whaling is not just a ship, is not just a sensor, it’s a complete anti-poaching system, developed by the International Marine Mammal Conservation Society to effectively combat poaching activities further out at sea and faster than ever before using new tools, some of which are still in development by an array of different companies we’ve been in contact with regarding a variety of systems for our anti-poaching sea control by design program.

The systems within the program will ensure, wherever we operate, that illegal fishing and whaling activities will not be allowed to continue in the presence of these assets. Some of these systems will include new engagement strategies using undersea technologies to foul the propulsion on a ship without the suspect ship ever knowing that this is underway.

By using a swarm of fast unmanned assets with propulsion disabling lines or specialized choke systems for waterjet intakes this would occur by placing these assets ahead of the incoming ship to increase effectiveness of stopping a threatening pirate ship or illegal fishing vessel. It will enable future “ship trapping systems” by placing the systems ahead of the ship and using them to ensnare the ships propulsion at longer range, this will be expected to be launched up to 1,700 nautical miles from a mothership.

In 2015, the International Marine Mammal Conservation Society launched a whale defense campaign to disrupt whaling in Norway. Being a new organization, it allowed us unpredictability to combat whaling. It proved to be highly effective since the whalers and their security teams were unable to respond or deter our Sea Based Anti-Poaching Units (SBAPU).

Our strategy to monitor whales for research had proved effective in forcing the whalers close to our units at sea, rather than allow our units to breach the defined security zone to approach the whaling vessel – this would have given time to alert their security or for them to take action.

During our whale defense campaign, the whalers approached our units at sea, without any idea of what was going on and the result was a loss of two (2) minke whales for the whalers, though they’ve claimed there were more whales they were hunting that we managed to allow to get away. We had a 100% success rate on scene with our units – and it’s advancing, with the support of people like you, who enable our crew to defend wildlife using the latest capabilities.

The only time our teams had been unsuccessful during our whale defense campaign was when our team could not get the small boats to deploy them fast enough. This resulted in the International Marine Mammal Conservation Society (IMMCS) recently adopting military like simulation technology to aid in ensuring this does not happen again, and that we make the most use of our fuel resources and launch locations. This allows us to get an idea of what could happen and how or what we’d need to do to respond to any threats to the whales or our units themselves –  in an effective manner.

One strategy we used against the whalers before was to locate the whales first, because we knew this is the target species they were hunting, we decided to take this approach to force the whalers into a zone for intervention.

The problem for the whalers is truly that feel they enjoy this huge amount of security or protection, we decided to prove that this is not the case, and that no matter the whalers intent, they will not determine when or if an action will be taken. This frustrated the whalers even more, because unlike past groups which announced more of their actions, we took a more aggressive, non-violent, unpredictable and forceful approach that said “look, you may hunt whales, but there will be a continued deterrent presence you will have to deal with, and there is no assurance you will be capable of responding in time.”

The other approach we had is to occupy and protest at some of the security and processing facilities on-shore that we determined the whalers would use.

Basically we had to be everywhere and do everything we could. A fluid approach worked better than remaining in one area, it created uncertainty, (while enabling our teams to observe more often) and forced manpower to be used in various regions by the whalers or their security – on top of the duties they are already tasked with.

The whalers then stepped up their actions, fighting our crew and stealing our cameras being used to monitor them, they attempted to run down our on-shore crew-members and the drone which was deployed.

The crew on board the whaling vessels threatened to open fire and shoot our crew with weapons. We responded by allowing the use of ballistic vests and allowed self defense or coordinated citizen arrests by the entire anti-whaling team.

However these scenario’s will now be less likely due to the approach the International Marine Mammal Conservation Society (IMMCS) is now taking to ensure it can fully engage the whalers, as well as any other illegal fishing vessel from the surface and undersea at extended ranges, in excess of 2,700 nautical miles from a base of operations or a mothership at sea. 

This will make it nearly impossible for the whalers to protect their operations since we’re looking to perform anti-whaling and general fisheries protection ISR and engagements further and further from patrol vessels or a base of operations (this frees up the ship for local tasks in the region, while tasking an unmanned surface anti-poaching vessel (USAPV) for other regions for ISR/ operations between 2,700nm-10,000nm). In addition we’ll adopt systems, modify and advance our own innovative “Game Changing” undersea and surface based non-lethal engagement technologies to disrupt illegal fishing and whaling activities on the high seas, at greater ranges than is done today.

We’re working on the capabilities that will ensure we’ll be able to monitor or engage an illegal fishing ship within several thousand nautical miles from the patrol vessel. Using drones in the air and on the sea (manned by support crew due to laws regulating unmanned vessels), anti-poaching units can monitor and engage illegal fishing or whaling vessels at greater ranges than today’s current anti-whaling groups. 

These unmanned patrol boats can be guided by teams on board a ship or at a land facility anywhere in the world, and these state of the art craft will support the launch and recovery of long-range UAV’s, the most advanced Group 2 small tactical unmanned aerial system with a flight endurance of over 30 hours, and a stated range of 500-1,000 nautical miles depending on the configuration.

The UAV for the Distributed Persistent Anti-Whaling Area Control Strategy (DP-AWACS) requires no runway or launch and retrieval equipment. It is designed for intelligence gathering, communications relay (assisting another UAV’s communication range), surveillance, reconnaissance, security, and scientific data collection, and can operate in adverse weather conditions day and night, and combines endurance and expeditionary capabilities.

In addition to these capabilities, the International Marine Mammal Conservation Society (IMMCS) will re-include a helicopter platform for the (M/V Barracuda patrol vessel, pictured below). The new helicopter platform which was found to meet the mission requirements of having a range of 1,000 nautical miles, with a top speed in excess of 400 MPH. This is an advanced hybrid helicopter that features no tail rotor, and breaks the barriers of a traditional helicopter in speed and range.

The helicopter platform will assist in long range early warning, surveillance and unpredictable vessel boarding at extended ranges. With an array of systems in place, we hope to finally monitor any ship outside of the radar range of the patrol vessel pictured below (M/V Barracuda), and enable future partners with the organization to obtain the vital information from these systems deployed across the world’s oceans by IMMCS Researchers and Anti-Poaching Units.

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