May 13th Marks One Year Since Captain Watson’s Arrest
Hard to believe it has been one year, as of today, that our esteemed Founder, Captain Paul Watson, was arrested in Frankfurt, Germany on politically motivated, 10-year-old charges stemming from an incident in which he tried to intervene, at the Government's request to stop Costa Rican shark poachers. No one was hurt, no property was damaged, and the case was dismissed by local authorities. In fact, the entire ordeal was documented in the 2007 film, “Sharkwater.”
However, Japan, who has thrown $30 million dollars of taxpayer and Tsunami Relief Funds into stopping Sea Shepherd at all costs, later convinced Costa Rica to re-open the charges, which led to his arrest.
Since that time, Captain Watson has been added to the Interpol Red List by Costa Rica and subsequently Japan. He is listed alongside serial killers, child abductors, and drug traffickers and still can't make landfall or else he'll face unfair extradition and “kangaroo” trials in Costa Rica and Japan, from which he will likely never be released or worse. All this for the “crime” of intervening against illegal shark-finning activities, on order of Guatemalan authorities, being conducted by convicted shark poachers in a Costa Rican vessel in Guatemalan waters and for saving thousands of whales in a whale sanctuary.
Many caring individuals have written, called, and pleaded to these and other governments — reportedly more than 158,000 letters asking for Captain Watson’s freedom received by the German Foreign Ministry alone — to pardon Captain Watson and provide him safe haven. We continue to fight for his freedom within the legal system. However, no matter what happens, his legacy — Sea Shepherd Conservation Society — lives on as the most effective direct action marine conservation organization in the world, and that is what matters most to Captain Watson.
Please take a few moments today to watch this video, which was recorded at Sea Shepherd's 35th anniversary celebration in Lyons, Colorado just two days before Captain Watson’s unexpected arrest. Use this information to keep fighting for this eco-warrior and to motivate all of us, individually, to continue to fight for the future of our oceans.
Please continue to support Sea Shepherd and consider making a donation today in honor of Captain Watson’s pioneering work. Your support is needed now more than ever. Show Captain Watson as well as the poachers that the citizens of the world will not stand down in the face of corruption and greed, and that we will continue to fight so that our grandchildren, too, will see and experience healthy, living oceans.
On behalf of everyone at Sea Shepherd, we thank you for your support!