Deborah Bassett

Et tu, Sea Shepherd Global? The Betrayal of Captain Paul Watson Continues…


On September 1, 2022, after Captain Paul Watson’s recent resignation from Sea Shepherd USA and upon mass criticism of abandoning their famous direct action tactics for their new focus on scientific research, Sea Shepherd USA (SSCS) and Sea Shepherd Global jointly released the following statement: “Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA and Sea Shepherd Global continue standing shoulder-to-shoulder in defense of marine wildlife around the world.”

And to make matters even more capricious, Watson received notice the next day that he has also been removed from Sea Shepherd Global’s Board of Directors. 

Sea Shepherd Global Director, Alex Cornelissen, who Watson mentored  and provided the opportunity to rise from the ranks of galley cook all the way up to captain on numerous Sea Shepherd campaigns, wrote:

“I am sorry to inform you that based on the conversations that we’ve had, and the legal issues between you and SSCS (USA), we asked you to step down from the board. Since you have not complied with that request, the majority of the Global Board has decided that it is a conflict of interest for you to remain as a Director on the Board of Sea Shepherd Global; and has therefore reached the decision that you are no longer a Director of Sea Shepherd Global.”  

This shocking betrayal has prompted many long-standing Sea Shepherds to wonder if anyone left in this movement has any integrity?

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Setting the Record Straight: Captain Paul Watson’s Departure from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA)

In recent conservation news, Captain Paul Watson, Founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society resigned in late July, 2022 from the organization he created and has fiercely led for close to half a century. A lifelong Environmental Activist, Watson founded Sea Shepherd in 1977 and has dedicated his life to the preservation and protection of biodiversity of oceans and marine life.

Throughout the years Sea Shepherd has made global headlines for its innovative tactics to stop illegal poaching and end wildlife slaughter in the world’s oceans. The #1 Animal Planet TV series Whale Wars gained worldwide recognition for the organization’s relentless campaign to end Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean: a victory that earned Watson international eco-celebrity status.

Watson’s recent decision comes after the USA Board of Directors has decided to turn away from the organization’s fundamental mission and motto to defend, conserve, and protect marine wildlife species and habitat through frontline direct action campaigns. Abandoning Watson’s core values, vision and the critical issues he and his crews have been bravely confronting for decades on the high seas, Sea Shepherd USA will shift its focus to elite, donor funded, scientific-based research endeavors.

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