Age of Union Alliance Announces $4.5 Million Donation to Sea Shepherd
Age of Union Alliance Announces $4.5 Million Donation to Sea Shepherd. The donation will fund operations for an Age of Union namesake vessel that will patrol critical ocean waters and protect marine wildlife around the world
The fight to protect marine wildlife and preserve threatened species receives a major boost today. Age of Union Alliance, led by tech leader and environmental activist Dax Dasilva, is proud to announce a $4.5 million donation to Sea Shepherd, the global non-profit organization (NGO) that partners with governments to patrol their Ocean and fight illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing all over the world.
Overfishing, climate change, ocean acidification, and habitat deterioration threaten our planet’s fragile marine ecosystems, which are teetering on the verge of collapse. IUU fishing, in particular, is threatening our world’s oceans. Fish populations are being decimated, endangered species are nearing elimination, and developing nations’ waters are being emptied. Given that over 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, a healthy ocean leads to a healthy planet.
IUU fishing is a global threat, and this transformational donation will fund the operating costs of a 56 metre Sea Shepherd vessel for three years, beginning January 2022, under the name Age of Union. The ship will begin patrolling waters to prevent the bycatch of dolphins off the West Coast of France until the end of March. From there, the ship will journey on to the West Coast of Africa to protect marine wildlife for approximately three months.
“I have long admired Sea Shepherd’s unyielding efforts to protect our planet’s most sacred oceanic ecosystems. With these funds from Age of Union, we hope to help Sea Shepherd save the lives of endangered species, preserve their habitats, and support local communities disrupted by illegal poachers. We must continue to shine a light on the important work organizations like Sea Shepherd do to keep our waters safe for the prosperity of critical marine wildlife.”
– Dax Dasilva, Founder of Age of Union.
Key Statistics About the Marine Wildlife at Risk
- Every year, between 6,000 and 10,000 dolphins are killed off France’s West Coast. Notably, there are twice as many dolphins killed as bycatch off the West Coast of France compared to all other countries combined.
- With populations of fish off the coasts of Europe and Asia collapsing drastically, the waters of West Africa are a place where recently there has been significant depletion of fish stocks. That is quickly changing — the Gulf of Guinea is a critical habitat for tuna, humpback whales, whale sharks, and megafauna, and IUU fishing is responsible for up to 40% of the catch in West Africa, requiring immediate action to prevent this.
- Fish is the number one source of protein for local communities in West African countries. For example, at least 33,000 people in Liberia and 200,000 people in The Gambia depend on small-scale artisanal fisheries for their livelihood. To protect their interests, governments have established protected areas reserved for small-scale local fishers where industrial fishing is strictly prohibited. Without the presence of a vessel like the Age of Union, industrial ships routinely illegally fish in these areas, stealing from local communities, by robbing them of their food source and livelihoods, leaving little for their families.
Sea Shepherd’s projects off the coasts of France and Africa only mark the beginning of the Age of Union vessel’s plans for the next three years. Support from Age of Union will keep the vessel operational until the end of 2024, helping to ensure the worldwide protection of marine wildlife and threatened species.
This announcement follows Age of Union’s initial launch as a non-profit in October 2021, when Dax Dasilva announced an initial pledge of $40 million toward protecting ecosystems around the world. Sea Shepherd is the sixth global partnership that Age of Union has announced using funds from this initial pledge, which will continue to grow in years to come.
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