Facts, Answers, and Questions (FAQ's)

Start With the Basics

General Questions

Unfortunately, unless you have prior experience in the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Navy, Army, Marines or Air Force or another role such as a commanding officer, we will be limited in the area’s that we can deploy you. 

What this means is that we cannot have someone without training be deployed. If you are a civilian, someone who just wants to get involved – do not be deterred – please do get involved. 

We have roles that civilians can help support us in. Apply, but also be aware that you will be trained in certain operations in order to conduct field operations eventually and this could take months before you go on your first mission. 

For example; Confronting a whaler at sea who is armed or boarding a fishing vessel to inspect its catch and verify its activities and help to enforce the U.N. World Charter For Nature.

We define direct action by overwhelming poachers on all fronts. We equip our direct action enforcement teams with the tools to do their job, safely, effectively and overwhelmingly with no chance for an opposing poaching operation to retaliate against physical intervention. If we can’t do that, we research how to and ensure it — because the poaching must stop. We use tactical advisers, simulation tools and advanced technology to achieve our objectives.

We use a variety of simulation tools to plan direct action engagements. We do it to understand how threats will respond, to validate our approaches, to help reduce fuel consumption of IMMCS assets, and to optimize the anti-poaching task force. Some of the tactical, training, simulation, analysis and other tools used by NATO and the U.S. government are even used by IMMCS.

Yes. We use strict standards and protocols for encrypting, storing or transmitting your data. All credit card transactions are processed using industry leading systems that adhere to PCI Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). Additionally, we install security features or updates and actively monitor the system to detect suspicious activity. Our commitment is that we will never share your data or contact information with any charity or third party (except to complete your donation to IMMCS.)

The International Marine Mammal Conservation Society relies on an application fee to deter non-serious applicants, pay recruiting expenses and enable serious applicants to get involved. We’re unable to recruit anyone that is unable to travel for operations. Should there be any remaining funds from the fee, they will be used for campaigns or operations.

No, however you will need to fulfill that requirement within 3-months, and agree to preserve that to continue as an active duty volunteer. Failure to submit the volunteer funds notice within 3 months will mean that you cannot deploy and will be moved to reserve units until you can provide the required documentation to return to active duty. This will be reviewed every time you deploy to conduct anti-poaching.

The International Marine Mammal Conservation Society is a legally formed and registered non-profit, based in the United States without the 501 (c) 3 designation. If this is an issue and you would like to donate, you can do so, knowing that it will not be a tax-deductible donation. If you are unsure of what to do, please consider getting involved directly. You can change lives.

Yes, you can donate from outside the U.S. via any of our online donation methods listed.

No, unfortunately due to laws and regulations governing charitable contributions, donations are non-refundable. All donations are processed on IMMCS.ORG, which handles the receiving and dispersing of donations for its operation and branches. Please email us if you have donated in error or need to adjust your donation and, if the funds haven’t been distributed or used on campaigns, we will try to resolve your issue.

The International Marine Mammal Conservation Society does not seek or accept funding from governments, political parties or any other source that could compromise our aims and objectives, our independence or our integrity. The International Marine Mammal Conservation Society relies upon donations of supporters and on grant support from foundations. We accept sponsorship in the form of equipment and campaign supplies.

The International Marine Mammal Conservation Society offers the ability for anyone to sponsor a project run by our organization. This could be sponsoring building a global sea and land based rescue center, supplying that rescue center or helping to expand and upgrade the facilities or any other project on a set, recurring time basis.

An example would be this > 

  •  You visit a page called Sponsor our new rescue center.
  • It offers different levels. For now we will use this example: You choose to sponsor the construction of the center at $50,000 for 6 months or [you choose the tier that fits your sponsorship time frame and budget or pick a set amount.]
  • Fill your details out as required in the form field and complete your sponsorship.
  • Create an account when asked, this will help to track, manage and view all your donations and visit the donor wall from a single location. 
  • We will start the project once enough funds are received.
  • We will keep you informed with the latest news, please note you will need to sign up at the bottom of our page ‘subscribe for the latest’, so that you can stay up to date with your donation and the project and any other breaking news we share.

No. IMMCS does not intend to reveal its full array of surveillance capabilities and volunteers do not have access to these assets – they are guided by global level strategic campaign commanders. 

This program run by IMMCS is not public in nature like the Global Fishing Watch or Pew Charitable Trusts projects. Our program is to monitor illegal activities and engage illegal fishing and whaling vessels using the intelligence, so we retain that data for operational simulations and other tasks. 

The other organization’s projects are different in nature with different operational goals – to increase transparency publicly and allow you to monitor the movements of fishing vessels. 

It is for this reason the information we retain on whaling fleet movements or those of the Nordic whalers will not be disclosed.

Active duty units are tasked with conducting research, rescue, rehabilitation and release as well as directly engaging armed and unarmed poachers, stopping illegal pet trade activities and more on land, at sea and even undersea – a dangerous area to confront. 

Reserve units on standby will conduct research of poaching activities, their assets and more. They will also be conducting training, event management, anti-poaching equipment modifications and research and development, partnerships, maintaining assets and much more to combat poaching. 

Wherever our units intend to fly, sail and operate – our standby units ensure that active units can stop the poaching and when called upon be a back up force to confront poachers in large numbers.

We generally seek the skills already, however in the face of limited special anti-poaching task force units, IMMCS will conduct all its training on public or private property of all civilian volunteers [those without documentation or proof of being in the armed services]. Former military will help to fill in adviser roles, and when needed or required, the organization will pay for the training of two to four unit’s (to then transfer that knowledge) to other units under going IMMCS training, without causing increased costs to IMMCS to train thousands with donor funds. Instead we have a small number receive the training. 

Do you need more information?

Other Questions

We accept almost all major forms of online payment, including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Offline donations. New methods will be available in the future. Make a Donation Here

No, the International Marine Mammal Conservation Society currently leases vessels for duties when needed, while funding for new assets to take action. Leasing makes it difficult for poachers to identify and track IMMCS around as it is not its own fleet of vessels. We retired the only vessel operated globally, a sailing vessel called the Pegasus.  It was retired in 2017 due to it being too weather dependent to operate. This vessel also campaigned for Sea Shepherd under their Grindstop campaign. It was not a partnership between SSCS or IMMCS.

No. The M/V Barracuda will never be the last thing we develop to combat poaching – it and other projects will continue to be researched and developed until they are at a point to field them. 

We make this quite clear through several projects underway. We do not want to launch a platform that is no longer relevant or can no longer confront the challenges or perform the requirements we’ve laid out.

It is essential that it is developed properly now to avoid higher modification costs later or repercussions in quality or capability and of you – the donor, being upset.

So if it takes time, it is for reason. We do not want to make a mistake with your well intentioned donation, we must ensure that your donation is spent wisely, on the most possible capability.

The International Marine Mammal Conservation Society does not intend to reveal what yard would build the new vessel when it comes to that time, due to vessel security concerns. The vessel would not be publicly acknowledged until long after it is on its first deployment.

We take an approach to anti-poaching operations that some organization have not done yet. We conduct high level research and development programs to create new tools and equipment, operational enforcement plans, ships, drones, sensors and more to combat poaching and we do it with naval architects, engineers and people like you who volunteer. We research new tools, announce those new tools, allow donors to hold us accountable and ensure it becomes a fielded capability for our units. We provide next generation, high level capabilities for high threat environments around poachers for our units and other organizations around the globe. 

We have a diverse force working to combat poaching all around the world. These people can be civilians, experienced former military and certified and qualified wildlife rescue and rehabilitation volunteers and marine biologists.

Often times, this is because more work is being done and we cannot provide further details yet, but we wanted to inform you, the donor and supporter of what we’re doing. Sometimes it may be because the project name changed and so you are not seeing it as the same project [Usually we will announce that type of change.] So if you hear about something from 1 year ago, we are very much still working on it. We just haven’t been able to provide consistent updates — until now with our new website launch. 

We do not have a set time when it will be completed, due to the complex model of fundraising, it is expected that this will take several months or more to get in a launch-able state. The M/V Barracuda under development will have its very own crowdfunding, news and statistics information provided at www.mvbarracuda.org. This dedicated website will be all about the Barracuda, its planned campaigns, follow on boats and assets and any other project that would aid the M/V Barracuda once launched.

Due to incoming changes, leadership and other ongoing changes, we’ve launched a new website to get the word out, recruit more people and provide you with the latest information – in a far better manner then ever before. We also launched this new website to provide you even more information than we’ve ever had on any of our websites and to make it easy for you to get involved. We also did it because we want to increase our transparency.

Initially no, over time, yes. The vessel will always be upgraded with the latest technology developed right here @IMMCSORG with various companies and people.

There is no information available to the public yet on this feature or capability. In theory, yes it could detain poachers with government agreements and officials aboard.

Not militarily. It will carry private security forces to deter pirates, defend the ship and provide escort assets to IMMCS units on land or sea. It will be equipped with the capabilities to launch payloads into orbit via launch systems on board to aid its marine conservation and anti-poaching surveillance efforts to quickly deploy sensors.

The M/V Barracuda will be equipped with the latest next generation anti-poaching equipment and capabilities, some of which are still in active development or yet to be devised. Some of these new capabilities will place IMMCS in a unique position among marine conservation groups when established and will allow our organization to act. 

The simple response to this question we get sometimes is that we can, and we will with some smaller assets, but the majority will need to be custom and the reason for that is poachers are surely going to do unknown things and our assets must be quick to respond and be tough.

A used vessel also has a major problem – their costs are often cheap, but to upgrade and continue to maintain a used vessel is ineffective and costly. It forces IMMCS to use donor funds on an old asset that is nearing the end of its service life. Why would we want something like that and have our donors foot that bill?

This is the reason we are going to use new equipment and spend some time to develop those assets.

The International Marine Mammal Conservation Society closed down its German branch and never fully established its Indonesian branch. Due to changes that are now taking effect, this is the reason. We encourage you to no longer contribute through the German chapter’s website. This is no longer active and the website is provided in a archived state for viewers and supporters.

The International Marine Mammal Conservation Society provides advice in all fields, including the unknown, today, tomorrow and all the days to follow. In order to combat poaching, we must imagine all scenarios which could occur so that the International Marine Mammal Conservation Society and other NGO’s can act before its too late!


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