Volunteering

Do it with Passion, or not at all!

Volunteering

Do it with Passion, or not at all!
The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size,
but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others.

In 2013, during the time of my dive master training in Utila/Honduras, I became more interested in ocean conservation than ever before. I started organising beach clean ups, because that is something everybody can do, without the need of special skills. To do beach clean ups gave me the feeling of doing something good. Beaches covered in trash, animals crawling on plastic or feeding their offspring with trash, turtles and fish stucket in ghost nets, to see that all broke my heart. From those days on I couldn’t stop anymore to serve the ocean and it’s inhabitants. 

SEA SHEPHERD CAMPAIGNS

Operation Nyamba – Mayotte 2018

 

Mayotte is the 101st departement of France, an island right next to Madagaskar, where thousands of turtles come on land every year to lay their eggs. Sadly you can find many turtle carcasses on the beaches, because turtle moms are getting poached right before they can lay their eggs into the sand. It is said, that after laying the meat gets a bitter taste. This way it is not one turtle getting killed, but with her the whole next generation. 6 out of 7 marine turtles are endangered and protected, it is illegal to even touch these precious animals, but their meat is getting sold on the black market for up to 45€/kg. 

Sea Shepherd is on the islands of Mayotte to make patrols every single night to protect the turtles from poaching and to shine a light on this barbaric killing. 

Get to know the beauty of Mayotte by watching this video:

Operation Treasured Islands – Central America 2017

Sharks are apex predators, they are called the „doctors of the sea“. An ocean without sharks is a dead ocean and a dead ocean is deadly to us. Within the last years, shark populations declined up to 90%, numbers rising. Sharks get caught for their fins, their meat and as by catch. Shark fin soup is still a big business in many countries of the world, but belongs already since long to the past. 

I was as media officer, videographer, drone pilot, diver and editor on Sea Shepherd’s vessel M/V John Paul DeJoria to save sharks in Central America. This was a very hard campaign as we offered our help to the governments of Panama and Costa Rica to patrol the waters, but our help got denied for political reasons. The biggest problem which kept us away from saving sharks, was that many governments are involved in the big business as well. Costa Rica is not even hiding that, even though it is a country which sells itself as green for eco tourism. 

Check out all the videos on Operation Treasured Islands here: http://maggy-gschnitzer.com/good-mood-film-production/#videosforthegoodcause 

Cove Guardians – Taiji 2015

From September until February/March of every year, the drive hunt of dolphins in Taiji/Japan is happening. During this time 12 boats leave the harbour every day to search for dolphings and drive them into a cove, where the most beautiful ones get stolen from their families. Those ones get sold to dolphinariums to perform tricks for human amusement. All the others, those who are not pretty enough to perform in such facilities, get killed in a very brutal way for their meat. 

I will never forget the screams of the dolphins in Taiji. We have to bring this to an end! NOW!

You can help to stop this: DON’T EVER BUy A TICKET TO A DOLPHIN SHOW! 

 

The following video I made in 2013 to show the world what is happening in Taiji!

Operation Mare Nostrum I & II – Mediterranean 2015&2016

Operation Mare Nostrum is about removing ghost nets and all sorts of other thrash and plastic from the Mediterranean Sea. I did help as a diver and underwater videographer during these campaigns, where the Sea Shepherd volunteers removed a big quantity of silent killers from the ocean. Ghost nets are abandoned nets, that nobody takes care of anymore. These nets go on killing marine wildlife for decades – for nothing. 

Operation GrindStop – Faroe Islands 2014

Every year between 800-1200 pilot whales get killed on the Faroe Islands for their meat. The Faroe Islands are part of Denmark, but not part of the European Union, which means, they don’t have to follow the anti whaling laws of the EU. On the Faroes it was always a so called tradition to kill pilot whales for meat and many years ago, this was also needed to survive, but not anymore. Nowadays the food supply on the Faroes is the same as in other European countries, there is no more excuse nor argument to kill these beautiful animals for a non existing need of meat. 
TO CALL SOMETHING TRADITION DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT!!
 
For 3 months I was on the Faroe Islands in 2014 to stop the killing. I did talk a lot with the faroese people and the talks were many times really good. I believe, to open someones mind you have to listen as well. 
Than, during a grind – the killing of pilot whales – my team and I put ourselves beteween whales and whalers to protect the animals peacefully. We got arrested by the danish police, navy and military, people threatened us with guns and acted very aggressive towards us. Denmark throws thousands and thousands of Euros from tax money out to protect something, which is illegal in the European Union. The court found us guilty in „disturbing public freedom“ and we got kicked out of the country. 
 
Watch the video to see more about our arrest: