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Welcome to the new Captain Paul Watson Foundation

From Captain Paul Watson Foundation
September 2021

The purpose of this Foundation is to carry on Captain Paul Watsonís effective agenda to defend life in the sea through a unique strategy of aggressive non-violence and intervention against illegal operations exploiting life in the sea.

oceans die, we die

Stand Fast. Stand Strong. A Commitment to Consistency and Direct Action

In 1972, I co-founded the Greenpeace Foundation where I served as First Officer and campaign leader on numerous campaigns to oppose nuclear weapons testing and expeditions to save whales and seals.

In 1977, without a penny to my name, I left Greenpeace to establish the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society with a specific strategy of aggressive non-violence. For over four decades, I served as captain, campaign leader and fleet commander.

I have now left Sea Shepherd USA and not because I changed. I left because Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA) changed. I refused to give in to demands to be non-confrontational and non-controversial. I refused to compromise with fishing corporations and governments, with dolphin killers and whalers. I refused to adapt to a mediocre course of research, lobbying, documentation and education.

Not that there is anything wrong with these approaches. Sea Shepherd has always been supportive of research, documentation and education. But Sea Shepherd was always something more vital and unique: we filled a niche in the ocean conservation movement like no other organization.

I am not ashamed of our history and what we accomplished. A history that saw the expulsion of the Japanese whaling fleet from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, a history that knocked the bottom out of the market for Canadian seal products, a history that saw the shutting down of the illegal Icelandic whaling industry for 17 years and so many other incredible victories that were only possible because of our bold, courageous and passionate interventions and brave volunteers and supporters.

Some of the current leadership of Sea Shepherd USA are ashamed of this history. I am proud of it and proud of every single person who served on my ships in the harshest and most dangerous conditions. I am proud of the fact that we never caused a single injury during all our confrontations.

Now I could have stayed on and wasted time and energy fighting those who have dismissed me, but the dice have been cast. Instead, I have a better idea.

Paul Watson

I established the Captain Paul Watson Foundation.

This Foundation intends to rebuild from the bottom up, to once again go where others fear to venture, to once again rock the boat and to make waves, to once again do the things that will be seen both as confrontational and controversial, and most importantly, to once again be effective.

Life in our ocean is dying before our eyes. Species are becoming diminished and extinct. Marine eco-systems are being destroyed. Just to give one example, since 1950, the year I was born, there has been a 40% diminishment of phytoplankton populations in the sea. These marine plants provide up to 70% of the oxygen in the air we breathe and sequester enormous amounts of CO2.

Phytoplankton are disappearing because of the diminishment of nutrients like iron, nitrogen and magnesium provided by all species of marine life like whales, dolphins, seals, seabirds, turtles and fishes.

The greatest threat facing the future of life in the ocean is the diminishment of biodiversity from over-fishing, pollution, and climate change.

Working with governments will accomplish only so much and interventions in territorial waters in cooperation with governments, although constructive, will not fully address the wholesale destruction of the high sea on the majority of the planetís surface that is wild and lawless, out of sight and out of mind.

Paul Watson

And we cannot be afraid of governments and industries. We need to challenge the ruthless destruction of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands and of dolphins in Japan. We need to abolish all whaling everywhere and for good. We need to be ready to rescue individual animals when their lives are threatened by humanity. The killing of Freya the Walrus for example recently in Norway or the recent tragedy of an Orca and a Beluga in the Seine or the young stranded Fin whale Sea Shepherd France recently rescued on a beach in Brittany.

In our modern media culture, controversy is a damn good tool, confrontation leads to controversy and both translate into saving lives, raising awareness and protecting marine eco-systems.

Join with me to return to sea. To once again rock the boat, make waves and, most of all, make a difference.

My Foundation has the support of Sea Shepherd France, the U.K., Brazil, New Zealand, Austria and Tahiti. These groups oppose the decision to diminish direct action campaigns and will stand with me to remain strong to our original value and objectives.

Become a charter member of the Captain Paul Watson Foundation. We can reorganize, we can reestablish and we will return to where we belong Ė placing ourselves in harmís way to champion life, diversity, interdependence and the collective future of all life in the sea and on land.

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