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Paul Watson Steps Down From Sea Shepherd

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Paul Watson is once again going the distance in an effort to prevent more whales from dying at the hands of the Japanese whaling fleet.

The 62-year-old founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society announced his resignation yesterday as President of the U.S. and Australia chapters; adding that he will “hold no paid position with Sea Shepherd anywhere Sea Shepherd is registered and operates as a non-profit organization in any nation.”

“I have also stepped down as campaign leader for Operation Zero Tolerance,” he added. “Former Greens Party leader and former Australian Senator, Bob Brown of Tasmania will now hold this position.”

Sea Shepherd’s Australian manager, Jeff Hansen, will also help guide the campaign.

Watson’s decision comes on the heels of a US appeals court decision to temporary block the SSCS from attacking the whalers or coming within 450 metres of their ships in the Antarctic.

“As a United States citizen, I will respect and comply with the ruling of the United States 9th District Court and will not violate the temporary injunction granted to the Institute for Cetacean Research,” he says in a statement. “I will participate as an observer within the boundaries established by the 9th Circuit Court of the United States.”

It’s a shrewd move – and one that was likely calculated by the group and its clever lawyers  in the event of the injunction happening. With Watson removing himself and the US chapter (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) named specifically in the ruling, the organization’s other international chapters are free to continue business as usual. The US does not have jurisdiction over charities based elsewhere.

As for Watson’s reduced role, Bob Brown insists it will stay that way.

“He’s behind the scenes, but he’s not in charge of the operation,” Brown told Stuff.co.nz. “I’ll be every day working, as will Jeff, working with the Sea Shepherd fleet under the authority of Sea Shepherd Australia, to make sure this mission is successful.”

The Japanese whaling fleet has a quota to kill up to 935 minke whales, 50 fin whales and 50 humpbacks. They will go up against a newly-strengthened Sea Shepherd fleet of four ships and more than 100 international crew representing 23 nations.

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  • Environmental Chess… protect the King and all the pawns Japan hunts. Long Live Sea Shepherd!

  • Ryohei Uchida

    It is long overdue that Watson stepped down and ceased to receive his exorbitant Sea Shepherd salary. He has presided over a period in which the Farley Mowat was confiscated, the Ady Gil scuttled and dumped (along with its diesel fuel) into the Southern Ocean, the Steve Irwin impounded in Europe and only released after half a million British Pounds were paid, a member convicted of assault for burning a Japanese mariner with acid, and of course himself being issued with two Interpol Red Notices and skipping bail in Germany. The list goes on.

    One would also think that an apology would be due to all the people who donated money to the organisation under his ineffective leadership. After all, whatever happened to “shutting down” the whaling? The Japanese fleet has just been refurbished and is stronger than ever.

    And now Sea Shepherd are legally prevented from violently attacking the research fleet, thereby becoming totally impotent. How are they going to “shut down” the whaling now? By holding up some signs, perhaps? I’m sure Greenpeace have a few lying around from their days of milking the anti-whaling cash cow.

    • marcus

      Exorbitant?? LOL My wife earns more than Paul Watson and its not Exorbitant. There was virtually no diesel aboard the Ady when the Japanese ran their ship into her, A supporter was happy to front the money to get the Steve Irwin free. No Sea Shepherd Member was convicted of any assault on a Japanese and no evidence ever produced of anyone being burnt with “acid”. This so called acid that is less acidic than Orange juice. Id skip bale also if it meant i wasn’t sitting in a Japanese Jail on Bogus Charges.
      Your list is lame at best. Sea Shepherd has cost the Japanese Whaling
      fleet Millions $$$ over the past few years and saved thousands of lives.
      Sea Shepherd are stronger than ever. The court order only applies to
      Sea Shepherd USA. And has nothing to do with Sea Shepherd Australia. Sea Shepherd Australia has taken over this years Campaign..

      • romika3

        “There was virtually no diesel aboard the Ady when the Japanese ran their ship into her” check the video the Ady Gill was under power and making headway…”Paul Watson and its not Exorbitant” Paul Watson states publicly that he makes no salary yet according to a charity report organization he makes $120K plus all his real estate investments in Alaska and Florida….. “No Sea Shepherd Member was convicted of any assault” the SSCS has a record of assault and demonization of fishermen…

    • The bail money for the Steve Irwin was won back when they beat the court case against Fish and Fish.

  • Kirsty

    Love Sea Shepherd!!!

  • Melanie Stewart

    Have you noticed Ryohei Uchida lurks on all positive posts about Sea Shepherd to pollute the comments section with his Japanese Govt-subsidized views? How much are they paying you to spout your lies, Ryohei? You’re so dim you can’t even figure out you’ve just been played.

  • $2633449

    Except the US based part of the organization claims the vessels as assets on their IRS Form 990 along with the cost of operating and maintaining them. So the US courts maintain jurisdiction because the vessels are assets of a US organization.

    • AnimuX

      Nice try Perry Mason. Now every ship with a flag of convenience from Panama can be sued in the USA because a U.S. bank owns part of it as an asset of a multinational corporation that took out a loan too, huh?

      Sea Shepherd USA is a separate legal entity from Sea Shepherd Australia and the Australian chapter is leading the anti-whaling campaign. The ships are not registered as American vessels. Paul Watson is legally no longer a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in any capacity.

      Watson is merely a guest observer on board the ships of an Australian organization operating in international waters. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has no jurisdiction over the Australian group or the foreign flagged vessels thanks to constitutional limitations on the powers of U.S. Federal courts.

      Thanks for playing.

      • $2633449

        Nice try skippy but why didn’t you respond to what I wrote rather than what you claimed I wrote?
        The Sea Shepherds aren’t a bank and don’t have a loan. the Sea Shepherds are an organization with claimed assets. And yes if a US company flags their vessel in Panama and claims it as asset on teh US tax filings then it falls under US jurisdiction.
        The US 9th district has jurisdiction over all claimed assets of a US organization. The vessels are claimed as assets of a US organization and thus fall under the courts jurisdiction.
        Thansk for the strawman and epic fail.

        • AnimuX

          Uh huh. Go ahead and make up a few more amateur legal-internet-eagle opinions while you’re at it.

          The latest Antarctic campaign continues. The U.S. 9th Circuit ruling doesn’t apply to SSCS Australia or its foreign flagged ships.

          I happily await the end of the whaling season with Japan’s whale poaching fleet leaving the Southern Ocean with a mere fraction of its quota — again.

          • $2633449

            Uh huh. Go ahead and make false accusations based on your beliefs while the adults have a real conversation.
            The US 9th Circuit ruling applies to the US owned ships of Sea Shepherd.
            And you realize that a fraction can actually be 100% or even more? Maybe you need to reread your 2nd grade math book.

          • AnimuX

            Maybe you need to look up the JARPA II catch totals from the last two seasons. Do you need your 2nd grade math book to count?
            Japan’s announced max quota:

            850 Antarctic minke whale ± 10% and 50 finback
            Actual catch thanks to SSCS interference:
            2011/2012 — 266 minke and 1 fin whale
            2010/2011 — 172 total…

            And by the way a fraction can also ‘actually’ be 75%: as in the ICR could not sell 75% of its ill gotten whale meat at auction last year.

          • $2633449

            Why do you keep making comments about things that I never said?
            Did I claim that Japan had reached there quota in any previous year? No.
            Did I claim that a fraction can’t be less tha 100%? No.
            So what is your point? Unless it is that you can’t read, I just see what your commenting on.

    • Guest

      Paul turning SSUS over to a third party till the campain is over then stepping back in to claim total victory (whatever the outcome) is BS.The 9th circut court is not stupid and he will pay dearly for this stunt. someone is getting tossed under the bus and it wont be Paul. The fact is SSCS is a USA based org. Tax exempt (501)c and with that comes rules. If he does not like or abide by them he is more than welcome to move out of the USA. Simple as that

  • AnimuX

    It seems many people fail to realize the U.S. 9th Circuit Court has merely issued a TEMPORARY injunction relating to an appeal made by Japan that is being considered by the court.

    They seem to forget that the first judge told Japan’s lawyers to kick rocks and denied an injunction.

    • $2633449

      And then other judges told the first judge to kick rocks and issued the injuction. All injunctions are TEMPORARY, but while they are in effect they have the full force of the court behind them.

      • AnimuX

        The 9th circuit court has not made a ruling on Japan’s appeal yet. Sea Shepherd US and Paul Watson have accepted and are abiding by the court’s temporary injunction. 🙂

        • $2633449

          I didn’t claimed they had made one, did I? 😉
          Maybe you need to reread your 2nd grade English book also?

          • AnimuX

            Merely pointing out the 9th Circuit has not overturned the decision made by a previous court — which you weren’t clear about in your first post. Since you’re suggesting 2nd grade reading material you could stand to work on your reading comprehension. 🙂

          • $2633449

            And again you bring up things that have nothing to do with my comment and read things into my comment that aren’t there. Is it just that your mind is so full of hate and bile that you can’t keep things straight from all the websites you visit?

  • romika3

    “Watson never had an interest in protecting the environment. It was all about attacking the common fisherperson, the media and the money. He backed away from the Canadian seal hunt when he couldn’t do his ‘dance’ on the ice. He is now doing the same with the whale harvest because he can’t throw this water balloons. A pathetic man….”

  • I was like…OH NO!!! And then I was like OH SWEET!!

  • TheExecutiveProducer

    They will go up against a newly-strengthened Sea Shepherd fleet of four ships and more than 100 international crew representing 23 nations, who will throw stinky butter at the whalers and generally make no difference at all.

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