After three months of working undercover, Gary Stokes – the Asia Director at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society – was finally about to make his biggest breakthrough.
While he was standing at a port, he was greeted by a nauseating smell, sadly one that he knew too well.
But nothing could have prepared him for what he was about to witness.
Gary Stokes is based in Hong Kong and takes a hands on approach to marine conservation in his job with the Sea Shepherds.
The conservation group was formed by ex-green peace member Paul Watson back in 1977. The group takes direct action in the name of conservation and uses large vessels to do so – something that is thought of as very controversial by many.
The organisation focuses its energy on illegal fishing, whaling and seal hunting. If the Sea Shepherds see this behaviour they will often intervene, using methods such as ramming and limpet mines.
In 2016, Stokes was working on a major investigation for the organisation. Sea Shepherd Global had discovered the likes of Maersk, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Australia Cargo had been carrying unusual cargos – something that was of great interest to them.