Statement from Captain Paul Watson

January 7, 2013

Statement from Captain Paul Watson

Captain Paul Watson on the bridge of the SSS Steve irwinCaptain Paul Watson on the bridge of the SSS Steve irwin
Photo: Tim Watters / Sea Shepherd
For the 35 years since I founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society I have strived to act non-violently and within the boundaries of the law.

Sea Shepherd has never been a protest organization nor have we engaged in civil disobedience. We are an anti-poaching organization established to uphold international conservation law. We operate within the guidelines of the United Nations World Charter for Nature that allows for intervention by non-profit non-governmental organizations and individuals to uphold international conservation law.

During Sea Shepherd’s long history we have never caused a single injury to any person. Although we have broken some bureaucratic regulations like Canada’s so called Seal Protection Act, we did so to challenge the validity of these regulations, which were in contradiction to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In all other respects we have always operated within the boundaries of the law, both international and national.

In 1998 Sea Shepherd USA complied with the order by the United States Coast Guard to not approach within a thousand yards of the Makah whaling operation in Washington State.

I myself have never been convicted of a felony crime.

And for this reason, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the United States and myself as a U.S. citizen must comply with the order by the 9th Circuit court of the United States.

Because I have been personally named in the injunction I have resigned as the President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the United States and as President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Australia. I have also resigned my position of Executive Director of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA and I will hold no paid position with Sea Shepherd anywhere Sea Shepherd is registered and operates as a non-profit organization in any nation.

I have also stepped down as campaign leader for Operation Zero Tolerance. Former Greens Party leader and former Australian Senator, Bob Brown of Tasmania will now hold this position.

I have also stepped down as Captain of the Steve Irwin. Captain Siddharth Chakravarty of India is now in command of the Steve Irwin. The other three Captains are citizens of Sweden, France and Australia.

As a United States citizen, I will respect and comply with the ruling of the United States 9th District Court and will not violate the temporary injunction granted to the Institute for Cetacean Research.  I will participate as an observer within the boundaries established by the 9th Circuit Court of the United States.

Read more in our article Sea Shepherd Australia To Lead Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign

 
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