Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson returns to land
by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Causes, Environment
Tags: .
Photo: Synthian Sharp / Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson has spent months in exile at sea since a Red Notice was issued by Interpol on behalf of Costa Rica and Japan. Watson fled Germany in order to avoid extradition. He recently told ’60 Minutes of his temporary ocean home, “Well it’s a pretty nice prison. It’s you know– I don’t mind being on the ocean. It’s a beautiful place and certainly the citizens out here tend to be more peaceful.”

But now, Watson is finally back on land and in the United States. Sea Shepherd Australia posted a photo to their Facebook page just hours ago showing Watson with a group of excited-looking Sea Shepherds, as well as supporter Robert Kennedy, Jr. who wanted to be there to welcome the captain back.

Director of Sea Shepherd Australia, Jeff Hansen writes, “Dear Sea Shepherd family, I can confirm that after many months at sea and a life in exile, Captain Paul Watson is now safely back on land in the states…I am sure we can all raise a glass to Paul in saying, welcome back mate. We hope we can see you in Australia one day soon, as the greater whale loving people of Australia, New Zealand and the world have missed you.”

While Costa Rica’s Interpol Red Notice has been lifted, Watson and Sea Shepherd are set to defend themselves in court against charges brought by Japan. “Captain Paul was not arrested upon entry in the the United States and is there to testify in defence of his name in the contempt of court proceedings against himself from the illegal whale poachers from Japan. (Former Australian Greens leader) Bob Brown and myself will also be testifying as well in Seattle, early on next week,” says Hansen.

Watson added on his Facebook page, “I have returned to the United States. The Interpol Red Notice from Costa Rica has been dropped. I will challenge the Japan notice in the U.S. if required. Heading to Seattle to defend Sea Shepherd and myself from the SLAPP civil suit launched by the Japanese whalers. We carry on with our efforts to save the oceans, undeterred and undaunted.”

Sea Shepherd has called last year’s Antarctic anti-whaling campaign, Operation Zero Tolerance, their most dangerous but most successful campaign to date, saying their crew were able to save 932 whales. The organization plans to return to the Southern Ocean in December in this year’s Operation Relentless.

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

View all posts by Jennifer Mishler →
  • PokerRay

    Hmmm, this story has been up for a couple of hours and the usual crybabies haven’t come out of the woodwork yet. They must be getting the final details of their harpooned whale and seal-with-a-caved-in-skull costumes just right. That’s OK. It must take forever to dress up as a baby dolphin, swimming around in blood, looking for its now deceased mother.

    • Sea Shepherd John

      That’s because we have more important things to do, than to listen to the venom spewed out by ignorant fools. Are you really that cruel and insensitive? How about if you were crawling through YOUR mother’s blood, who was just killed by a psychopath right in front of you? You’re apparently very detached and cold-hearted. People like you think that you’re all tough and manly-like, but all you’re doing is showing everyone how pathetic and cowardly you really are. Please, either wake up and do what’s right, or STFU and stop wasting our precious oxygen….

      • PokerRay

        John? How about you calm down for a second and take another look at what I wrote. Maybe if you sound out the words, you’ll realize that I’M ON YOUR SIDE….DOOFUS. And if you were to separate yourself from the usual Ecorazzi commenter, you’d know that I have supported SSCS, on this site and plenty others, for quite a few years. I know, I know, research and knowing what you’re talking about can be soooo taxing. Under this and another name (before they went to Disqus), I have gone head to head with romika, ddpalmer, Kimitake, Mick and a host of others. Heck, I was hitting them so hard, Mike D’estries felt the need to START A THREAD indirectly asking me to tone it down a bit.
        Pull this crap with me again, and I too will find more important things to do. And when you’re done with your important things, you may want to give some thought to how knee-jerk hysteria and misdirected rage are bigger enemies to your/our cause than the Japanese whalers are. I’ll always be on the side of the whales/dolphins/porpoises/sea turtles/etc. But I will not align myself with the hopelessly obtuse.

      • KnoxB

        Ray, your post was a bit confusing. I had to read it a few times to get what you were trying to say.

      • Karl Malloy

        Knox, the only way the whole thing makes sense is if PokerRay is good ol’ Michael Raymer under a new guise. Read it back… Ramtane (knowingly, most likely) draws the comparison, says that Raymer was always discredited, PokerRay insists that nothing was ever discredited and that Ramtane writing about Raymer in that way proves that Ramtane needs PokerRay. Since Ramtane’s entire previous “piece of fluff” was only about Michael Raymer, and PokerRay responds as if it proves something about Ramtane’s relationship to himself, I can only draw one conclusion…

      • PokerRay

        Can we also draw the conclusion that like your new girlfriend, you’re just another internet groupie looking for a leg to hump? Can we also draw the conclusion that it’s funny as hell when stupid people try to demonstrate their brilliance when they manage to grasp the obvious? “Ah thinks ahm seein’ sum clews in heah.” Leave it to the pro-whalers to combine whales with dogs chasing their own tails.
        You do realize, don’t you, that this is why your side loses, has lost, and will continue to lose? Years and years of the same thing, yet Operation Relentless will kick off just like the others. Years and years of the same tired pseudo-arguments and we’ll have one more season of the whalers getting issued an ass-kicking of biblical proportions. Years and years of mommas-boys (you) and daddys-girls (Rammy) pathetically flailing about with ridiculous personal attacks, while your heroes run away from hippies, vegans and pacifists…..because they’re mommas-boys too.
        I came for the whales. I stayed for the monkeys throwing feces. You guys are the gift that keeps giving.

      • Karl Malloy

        Dude, if you’re Michael Raymer, I’m not bothering to address you further. There is no point. I’ve watched people eviscerate you for years, and all you do is come up with new ways to name call (“momma’s boy”?, stay classy there Ray) while making outlandish claims – like that others are making the personal attacks.
        Did you switch your name to PokerRay after that classic showdown a few years back? The one where someone challenged you to play poker with them – because it was so obvious that you’d lose that they couldn’t wait to take your money. Everyone can spot the sucker at this table, Ray.

      • PokerRay

        No one has ever “eviscerated” me. You can make all the bogus caims, rewrite history and lie in your teeth all you want. But again, Karl, I have to ask, what does any of this have to do with the whales? Nothing. And that’s the part that you refuse to comprehend. You actually think any of this has anything to do with people who post on this forum. And that’s why I get to address you any way I want. I’m am under no obligation whatsoever to respect puerile stupidity. That’s why I address your girlfriend the way I do, and that’s why I treat you like a punk. Because you ask for it. You actually think that you’re accomplishing something here. Other than providing amusement, you fail in all regards.
        And I have no idea what “classic showdown” you are referring to nor was there any challenge to play poker that I’m aware of. I am laughing even harder that you lend so much importance to me that you have dug through the archives to search for anything you can on me. Truly pathetic and a clear indicator of your involvement and intentions on this site.
        And if you’d like to challenge me to a game of poker, I gleefully accept. We’ll be playing Pot Limit Omaha and 7 Stud Hi/Lo split. Limits are negotiable but I’m thinking $15-$30 or in that neighborhood. Bring your wallet and your crying towel.
        Or we could get back to talking about the whales……

      • Karl Malloy

        Eviscerated. The record is there for anyone who cares to Google “MIchael Raymer ecorazzi”, which is easiest if you limit the dates of the search. Like the time you claimed Paul Watson didn’t advocate lying and then it was pointed out to you that he wrote it in his book. Like the time you said that a pig wasn’t at all comparable to a dolphin, because dolphins had saved human lives – and then were pointed to the life-saving pig stories. Like the time you defended that Brigitte Bardot wasn’t a racist and then admitted you googled her and changed your mind. Like the time Ramtane outed you as PokerRay, Michael Raymer.
        Keep being so certain of yourself on everything is my advice – it’s fun to watch you get schooled all the time.

      • PokerRay

        You Googled me? Are you comfortable being this pathetic right out where everyone can see you? Were you hoping for naked pics? Would you like to know my Zodiac sign?
        Again you show what a little punk you are. I repeatedly point out that this is a topic about whales, SSCS and Paul Watson. But you are so busy starting my fan club that you don’t even see those words on the screen. You are a troubling little troll-boy and your mommy wishes you would get out of her house. But you are providing me with ongoing amusement, as I’m sure others are laughing at you too. Sheesh, you actually Googled me. You have me laughing so hard I may need to be sedated.

      • Karl Malloy

        I pointed out that your patheticness is available for all to see on Google. Sorry to note that your patheticness isn’t erased when your screensaver comes on, Raymer.
        There are three other posts I have made on this topic about whales, and one other thread where I commented and Ramtane added a comment. You want to keep it about whales, yet you never reply when I comment about whales…
        Eviscerated.

      • PokerRay

        Thanx for making it convenient to see what a child-punk you are right here, no search necessary. This is why you pro-whaling, pro-destruction, pro-death keyboard commandos always lose. You make it obvious to all how weak you are. We’ve had romika for the last few years, change more minds against him than for him. And now there’s you. Begging daddy to pay attention to you. “Daddy, I keep posting but you won’t pay attention to meeee. Why daddy, why? Look at meeee daddy, look at meeee!”
        Child, even my friends are coming over to laugh at you. Please keep replying. You’re saving me the price of a movie.

      • Karl Malloy

        You seem to be under the impression that I Googled you to learn about you… I do recall that you have trouble following conversations now, too.
        I said that I remembered you from the past conversations and posts… how people “eviscerated” you, you’ll recall I said. This statement indicates active memory of the past the statements that follow build off of that, in what is known as a conversation.
        I then indicated that people could google the record to see it, and I cited some incidents that were funny at the time. Once again Mikey can’t even follow a basic conversation. English, what is it?

      • PokerRay

        In what universe do you live that you think I have to justify my actions, participation or lack thereof to a sad little Bieber-monkey like you?
        So what are you for, monkey-boy? What are you against? Why are you here? This is an ever growing line of nothing but your infatuation with me. Google searches and self-validation. What are you other than a groupie? “Daddy, pay attention to me!” Of course, it’s understandable. No one else is paying any attention to you, so you now have my leg to dry hump.
        And don’t ever call me “bro” you pathetic shitstain.

      • Karl Malloy

        Bro, we’ll only hold you accountable to internal logic and lack of hypocrisy, but you’ll regularly fail. I have three other threads on this page, bro, and this is the only one that you’re replying to… active hypocrisy for claiming no one is talking to the issues and logic fail that everything is about you (ego much, bro)?
        Bro, I find it ironic that this whole thread started with someone accusing you of being an ignorant fool spewing out venom, and wasting our precious oxygen. You ended up proving them right… no one is wondering why I reacted by saying “if you’re Michael Raymer, I’m done”, they only are wondering why I didn’t hold to it.
        Your precious Paul will soon be found in contempt of the 9th circuit court of appeals. Please go on record denying that it will happen so that we can eviscerate you again, bro-bro.

      • Karl Malloy

        Yah, I thought so, bro.

      • Ramtane Lamamra

        lol my dear Ray, it seems you have come face to face with the emotional, hysterical, and knee-jerk stupidity of the anti-whaling movement!

        How did it feel to be on the receiving end of said stupidity for once? You don’t sound too impressed with the experience! lol

        If it’s any consolation, you get used to it. You just need to laugh it off as the inane musings of imbeciles that it is. It’s just noise, nothing more.

      • PokerRay

        Babydoll, I’ve seen all kinds of stupidity, you are correct. Including the brand you bring. I told you this before, you are nothing new to these parts. In fact, you are the stupidity you mentioned. Your self-enabling, self-superiority is in daily supply around here. You and your ilk keep going on and on. Yet SSCS is still in operation, Watson is still free, the whalers keep getting issued an asskicking of biblical proportions, no SSCS member has been killed, no ships have been sunk. As Louis L’Amour so aptly put it, “The dogs bark…and the wagons roll on.” He was referring to you.
        And how was the person you refer to “torn to shreds”? Everything he said came true, nothing they said ever has. They are gone, he is still around. He will still be around when you have packed up your football and gone crying back to mommy.

      • Ramtane Lamamra

        It’s a shame he’s still not around, this Michael Raymer fellow. I think you two would get along famously.

        But my goodness did he take some batterings over the years. Quite literally everything he ever said was picked apart, discredited and then used against him. He clearly wasn’t the brightest of sparks, but what he lacked in intellectual wherewithal he made up for with spectacular tantrums and outbursts. It really was a sight to behold.

        Sigh, those were the days.

        I expect he’s moved on in life now. He’s probably working for some petroleum company somewhere drilling holes in Alaska or some such. Bless him.

        See there’s hope for you yet, young Ray.

      • PokerRay

        Not a single thing was discredited, as current events show. And current events show one more pro-whaling tool prancing in here thinking that the sheer volume of nothing that she spews means anything to anyone. And you can start calling me Daddy. This last little piece of fluff makes it clear that you need my attention. For you, it’s no longer about the whales, about the other wildlife, it’s not about SSCS or Watson. You need ME. You need me to pay attention to you. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll beeline straight in here to see if I’ve validated your existence. Rather than sticking to the topic, rather than backing yourself up with facts, rather than quotes or sources, you’ll center your day around the guy who has become this important to you. And you’ll burn up more hours, scouring the archives, researching your new hero. You were pathetic from your first post. And you’ve lost ground from there. Daddy’s laughing at you. Everyone is laughing at you.

      • Ramtane Lamamra

        Wow. This just got very, very weird.

      • PokerRay

        No babygirl, it got pathetic. From the moment you snuck in here. Now stick with the topics and leave the MTV crap for when your teenybopper friends are highlighting your hair. No one cares how impressed you are with yourself.

      • Karl Malloy

        Referring to yourself in the third person… very good sign. Reason in full force. Everything “he” said came true, when he can’t even follow the conversation thread and make a factual statement about current matters (reference other parts of this thread).
        Hi, Michael Raymer’s friends! How’s it going there in his imagination?

    • romika3

      We suspect, judging by the level of these responses, that PokerRay is Paul Watson.

      • Karl Malloy

        I suggest that we all simply ignore PokerRay until he tells us who he really is… ignoring him will certainly keep the conversation on topic and much more rational.

  • Ramtane Lamamra

    Good to see Paul back where he belongs: in court.

  • urbanphilosopher

    Welcome back Paul!!! We have missed you…. Now for Relentless… Let’s give em hell!!!! For the oceans.

  • Teresa Wagner

    WOO HOOOOOOOOOOO! Welcome back Paul Watson!!! GO SEA SHEPHERD!!!!! And yes, now for Relentless! No more slaughtered whales in the southern ocean.

    • Ramtane Lamamra

      No more slaughtered whales in the Southern Ocean? Not sure about that. I think the more likely scenario is “No more Sea Shepherd, anywhere” judging on what’s going on in the US courts right now. lol!

      • Teresa Wagner

        Sea Shepherd will never end, will never stop working for the ocean and its animals. And neither will the millions of people who care about cetaceans.

      • Ramtane Lamamra

        Never say never, Teresa. There was a point about 10 years ago when Al Qaeda was very strong, growing, and was a very relevant force in the world. But look at it now. It’s leadership has been eliminated, its funding cut off and now they are reduced to nothing.

        Depending on how it all plays out in the US courts, a similar fate could await Sea Shepherd. Its leadership could be jailed, its bank accounts frozen, its ships sold off and its liquidated assets sent to the ICR to compensate them for their losses.

        There’s a legal noose around the neck of Sea Shepherd right now, make no mistake. That’s what happens when you spend years breaking the law and committing acts of violence all around the world.

      • Hufingraz

        I don’t know which news station you watch, but Al Qaeda is just as powerful now, as they were 10 years ago. Actually, according to the US military, they say that recruitment in Al Qaeda is higher now, than it ever has been. The death of Osama Bin Laden did nothing to slow the organization down and many experts claim that Bin Laden’s death re-invigorated Al Qaeda and it’s splinter cells. The war in Afghanistan and Iraq were total failures and nothing has changed for the better, in either of those countries.

      • Mark

        But if you are a rich powerful nation like Japan you can openly flout the international ban on whaling with absolutely no repercussions.

      • Karl Malloy

        There is not a global ban on whaling. There is a treaty that Japan signed, but other whaling nations didn’t – and thus they actively commercially take whales. The head of the International Commission on Whaling said that Japan does not violate the treaty’s rules because they fall under the research provision. Japan obviously agrees. Australia and NZ have disagreed in court, we’ll see the outcome. But it’s far from a global ban.

      • Karl Malloy

        you mean “never stop violating laws and making its own rules”

  • romika3

    For years Watson claimed that he would give his life for whales. However, a simple red notice resulted him running off with his tail between his legs. I wonder who paid for those days at sea?

    • Ramtane Lamamra

      What do you suppose compelled Watson back to the US? He’s not usually one to voluntarily face justice. Given that the other directors of Sea Shepherd are personally liable under the present legal action, I wonder if think they demanded he return to the US to testify? Sort of like a “come back here and get us off the hook or we’ll cut the funding to keep you at sea” type situation?

      If so, there could well be a spectacular falling out at the highest levels of Sea Shepherd very soon. It could be like the Watson/Greenpeace or Watson/Bethune or Watson/Gil situation, only far worse.

      How exciting!

      • Karl Malloy

        Ramtane, I think you’re on the right track. Or how about this: from the previous stories, SSCS folks have admitted that it will be tough to fund the fight without US dollars. Maybe Paul and his advisors finally realized that not being able to use US contributions towards their efforts basically dooms them, and decided that their best play is to face the music and try to right the ship with the US courts.
        My prediction is that with things like Paul Watson talking about “we” all the time in the 60 minutes interview recently (when he’s not supposed to be involved in Sea Shepherd’s antics per the US courts), and the other ways SSCS has given the Ninth Circuit the finger in the past year, they are in for lots of fun surprises.

      • Ramtane Lamamra

        Yes, that’s not a bad point. The Southern Ocean campaigns are Sea Shepherds big cash cow. Without Japanese whaling, there is no Sea Shepherd. At least not in its current form. And they know that. No anti-Japan campaign, no money, no ships, no helicopters, no TV show, no nothing. But worst of all, no attention and publicity for Paul. That’s obviously a deal breaker.

        It seems to me that Sea Shepherd think this is some kind of minor annoyance in the courts and that they’ll pay a small administrative fee to right the breach and then will be free to resume their violence. As you say there may well be some surprises in store for them. And here’s hoping.

      • Jon G

        We need to speak up for the whales, like we did against slavery.

  • Karl Malloy

    Tico Times says Costa Rica claims to still have red notice, but they don’t find it in the system either. However, whether or not it’s there, Paul is at risk of one being filed at any time so long as he’s in the US.

    • Karl Malloy

      I guess that reading the Tico Times article, there’s a way to bridge the two comments. Costa Rica states only that “nothing has changed”, not specifically that they still have a red notice. Maybe they dropped it a while back but still intend to pursue Paul when the opportunity arises.

  • Honey’d Boo Boo

    If ANYONE wants to see the real Paul Watson, known to the faithful as “The Captain” to the rest, “The Fat Man,” all you need to do is watch his faked assassination video from the first season of Whale Wars. He’s a pathological narcissistic liar with a penchant for atrocious peotry and patchouli smelling eco groupies (girls) under the age of 25. Well known fact this guy is a loon, who will say anything to anyone at any time if it moves his agenda forward. Will it play in court? Time will tell.

  • Maleficent

    Welcome home!

  • Karl Malloy

    OK, now the truth is out… Paul came back because he had to face the music in a contempt of court case regarding the 9th Circuit’s barring of him and SSCS from approaching the Japanese whalers. The noose tightens, Paul!!!

  • Karl Malloy

    OMG Paul is seriously in trouble. First of all, let’s see through his spindoctoring – he’s back in the US because he had to appear in the contempt of court proceedings that are ongoing, full stop. He is being charged with contempt of court in the 9th circuit court of appeals.
    Now, in those proceedings Paul has just admitted that he was on board the ships when they approached the Japanese AFTER the injunction against him doing so. The legal noose is tied tight and Paul is going down soon. He had just enough rope to hang himself with here…