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Paul Watson

Saving Our Oceans

Date Recorded: Sep 15th, 2005
Recorded At: Edmonton, Alberta
Recorded By: CJSR FM88
Duration: 59:45  

Topic Background

They fire chocolate pies and stink bombs from cannons. They also sink docked ships. They’ve dismantled the illegal Icelandic whaling industry and have been attacked by the Norwegian Navy. Governments and the corporate media call them ecoterrorists, but these activists call themselves the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their sole mission is to defend marine wildlife. The group’s founder, Paul Watson, has been denounced by many as a misanthrope. He finds fault in the concept of “sustainable” living, and has been arrested in Canada, Norway and Holland for his direct actions against the fishing and hunting of maritime animals. The Sea Shepherds draw a clear line between property destruction and physical violence and there are few that would argue against their commitment to enforcing international environmental laws, yet their methods put them at the center of much controversy. A run in with the group may be very costly, as when they sank half the Spanish whaling fleet, but they have never been convicted of a crime. Paul Watson defends his actions as falling within International Law, and defends Sea Shepherd’s right to enforce maritime regulations against illegal whalers and sealers.

Speaker Biography

Born in Toronto, Paul Watson was raised in the lobster fishing town of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea in New Brunswick, the eldest of seven children. He was a cofounder Greenpeace in 1972, and left the organization in 1977 because he felt its original goals were compromised. That same year he started Sea Shepherds to continue direct action tactics to defend marine wildlife. Watson majored in communications and linguistics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, and was a professor of Ecology at Pasadena College of Design from 1990 to 1994. He was also an instructor in UCLA’s Honors Program in 1998 and 1999.

In 2000, Watson was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the environmental heroes of the 20th century.And was also awarded the George H. Bush Daily Points of Light Award in 1999 for his volunteer efforts with conservation activism.

He is author of Shepherds of the Sea (1979), Sea Shepherd: My Fight for Whales and Seals (1982), Cry Wolf (1985), Earthforce! (1993), Ocean Warrior (1994) and Seal Wars (2002).

For more information about Paul Watson visit

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