Life on the high seas for wildlife conservationist

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A FORMER Sleaford man is living on the far side of the earth to help protect ocean wildlife.

Ryan Jones, 24, a former pupil of Carre’s Grammar School, is now living in Sydney, Australia and has worked as a volunteer for four years with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Ryan told the Standard: “From a teenager I was always questioning how I was spending my money and how my actions were impacting on this planet and the creatures we share it with.

“I started helping animals in whatever way I could; I found my feet years later volunteering for Sea Shepherd. Right now the oceans are in a very fragile state, collectively we have a very big choice to make; we continue destroying them and the life within it or we face up to our responsibilities as a whole to turn this around. “Everyday species are going extinct and we can’t sit around and watch this happen in front of my eyes, we can’t allow it to get to the point where we are looking at this in the history books of what it used to be. If the oceans die, we die. It really is this simple.”

Sea Shepherd is known for taking direct action and its radical work has not always endeered it to others.

Ryan added: “On the ship I am a deckhand, which means I am part of team responsible for the maintanance of the ship, from cleaning, rust chipping, wood work, painting, small boats, lines and anchors. We have enjoyed some memorable victories. Last summer we patrolled the waters of the Faroe Islands stopping the slaughter of a single pilot whale. Then last winter we spent nearly four months in Antarctica saving 768 whales from being harpooned by the Japanese whaling fleet. All around me are people who have given up everything for the cause.”

People can watch them on Discovery Channel’s Whale Wars.