Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies Articles

Ahoy! It Has Been a Challenging Year

From Paul Watson Foundation
December 2022

I said in 1977 that my lifelong ambition is to eradicate the crime and the horror of whaling. I intend to do just that. Many veterans of Sea Shepherd campaigns, the most loyal of my crew, are with me in this new endeavor.

Paul Watson Fooundation

I suppose it is inevitable when an organization becomes larger, there is a temptation by some to want to change the program and to remove anyone who opposes such change.

So in June of this year, the Sea Shepherd U.S. Board of Directors made the decision to stop doing what we have been doing for 45 years.

No more confrontational or controversial campaigns. No more blocking poaching vessels, whaling ships, and other illegal activities. No more confiscating illegal nets.

I was told I was too outspoken to speak for Sea Shepherd. The new direction focused on working with governments and researchers.

In other words, being like dozens of other organizations.

This was not what I intended Sea Shepherd to be when I founded it in 1977. I told the Board I could not support nor take part in this radical change in our course. This was not the Sea Shepherd I created.

Sea Shepherd needed to be on the front lines, unafraid of the challenges and determined to intervene using the strategy of aggressive non-violence, meaning intervention without causing injuries, something we have been doing for over four decades.

The Board told me I was now just an employee and I had to do what I was told. They would continue to pay me a comfortable salary in return for saying and doing nothing.

I said that was something I would not do.

They then informed me that I had no rights to the name Sea Shepherd and no rights to the logos that I designed and created for Sea Shepherd.

I resigned, and did so because I was still a Board member of Sea Shepherd Global. I could carry on working under the Global structure on campaigns to protect the Ocean and was told by Global that I would be welcome to work with them.

In August, Sea Shepherd USA informed Global that the U.S. branch had covertly registered some 70 trademarks on the name Sea Shepherd and the Logos.

Global was now told they had to comply with what Sea Shepherd USA wanted.

In response, I received an email from Global Director Alex Cornelissen telling me I was officially dismissed from the Board. There was no Board meeting, no discussion and no vote.

So, in response to this hostile takeover of the organization I founded, and in order to carry on doing what we have been doing, the way we have been effectively doing it, I established the Captain Paul Watson Foundation.

My foundation has now partnered with Sea Shepherd France, the United Kingdom and Brazil to form Sea Shepherd Origins for Sea Shepherd groups that wish to remain loyal to our original objectives and operational strategies.

So now, just a few months after founding my Foundation in the USA and in Australia, we have secured our first ship.

I am excited to share with you that the Captain Paul Watson Foundation now has an impressive ship, and we will rebuild and replace what has been taken away from us.

Thanks to my longtime friend John Paul DeJoria, we have secured a 72-meter former Scottish Fisheries Patrol vessel that is now the John Paul DeJoria #2.

John Paul DeJoria II

We are also working on securing a 2nd ship. Plus, Sea Shepherd France has their own ship.This means we now have a fleet which we will call Neptune’s Navy.

In 1977, I was voted off the Board of Greenpeace for being too controversial and too aggressive in my opposition to high seas criminals. That was a positive transition which allowed me to establish the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an organization that became a movement and shut down whaling, sealing and illegal fishing operations around the world, including forcing the Japanese whaling fleet out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Now that I have been forced out of Sea Shepherd USA and Sea Shepherd Global, I see it as an opportunity to carry on unencumbered by bureaucracy and complacency. I am feeling both motivated and inspired.

Our first ship, the John Paul DeJoria #2, will be ready for action in early 2023.

Priority actions for 2023 will be to oppose the illegal Icelandic slaughter of endangered fin whales, the slaughter of pilot whales and dolphins in the Faroe Islands, whaling in Norway and Japan, and Super Trawlers on the High Seas.

Since 1977, we have shut down 90% of the world’s illegal whaling operations.

We need to finish the job.

I said in 1977 that my lifelong ambition is to eradicate the crime and the horror of whaling. I intend to do just that.

Many veterans of Sea Shepherd campaigns, the most loyal of my crew, are with me in this endeavor.

We stand ready to once again make waves, to rock the boat and deliver a strong and aggressive opposition to the world’s most notorious and ecologically destructive high seas criminals.

Take this important first step with us.

I invite you to join Neptune’s Navy and together we will defend and protect life and diversity in the sea.

Please join us today.

It’s time to take action.

I look forward to welcoming you,

Captain Paul Watson

Captain Paul Watson

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