Sea Shepherd partners with Republic of Palau

Jaylemeux supports the SSCS-Palau agreement

Sea Shepherd Photo: Steve Roest

Sea Shepherd announced on March 31st that they have entered into a formal agreement with Palau to protect Palau waters from shark poaching.

Along with the Galapagos agreement, I find this partnership endlessly fascinating: A nonprofit activist organization has entered into a formal agreement to perform law and security functions normally reserved for the state.

It occurred to me that Sea Shepherd and private security companies like Blackwater might be worthy of comparison.  Blackwater is in countries around the world performing coercive security functions that, a few decades ago, were considered the purview of the state.  Sea Shepherd seems to do so as more of a force for good than Blackwater (obviously).

I wonder if the important distinction is between a private organization enforcing security for profit and an NGO enforcing security (mostly) because it’s the right thing to do?  I imagine that profit motive would be the most important distinction in a Marxist interpretation, but I’m not sure that one type of organization is immutably more ethical or moral than the other–and it certainly seems that Sea Shepherd has their share of behavior to explain.  Lying and property destruction are not in the same league as murder, of course.  Definitely a topic for further research…

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