Magazine article E Magazine

Paul Watson

Magazine article E Magazine

Paul Watson

Article excerpt

Somewhere in the Pacific, bodyguard of the seas Captain Paul Watson maneuvers the hulking Sea Shepherd as if he were cruising in a motor boat on a Sunday afternoon. Righteous glee brightens his face as he closes in on a Japanese fishing vessel and rams it hard, ripping its destructive driftnets off the side. This is one crew that won't be killing any more dolphins.

Watson is through talking to outlaw ocean harvesters. Instead, he confronts them where they do their dirty work and batters them into submission. After an estrangement from Greenpeace, which he co-founded, Watson started the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in 1977. The society has taken credit for sinking eight whaling ships and for ramming seven whalers and driftnetters.

Watson, a Canadian-born former captain of international merchant vessels, empathized with besieged animals early on, destroying trap lines set for beavers after one he had befriended was killed. Watson takes no salary from Sea Shepherd, supporting himself by teaching and lecturing about the environmental movement. He is the role model of activists like the Animal Liberation Front's Rod Coronado, who in 1988 dismantled an Icelandic whale-processing plant and sank two whaling ships for Sea Shepherd before narrowly escaping the country. Sea Shepherd volunteers are so committed they pay up to $2,000 to go on anti-whaling missions. "None of my crew has ever been injured," Watson says.

As for Watson himself, that's another story. Sea Shepherd went to Canada's Magdalen Islands last March to demonstrate an alternative to "harvesting" seals for their penises. But the crew found that sealers had no patience with the idea of brushing molting Harp seal pups and selling the hair to a German textile manufacturer for insulation. Watson was seen as their nemesis, the man who once handcuffed himself to a sealing ship, calling worldwide attention to the seal hunt. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.