Paul Watson

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Paul Watson

"In 1960, Watson was a member of the Kindness Club, founded by Aida Flemming in New Brunswick. After trappers killed one of his beaver friends, Watson set out, (at the age of nine), to confiscate and destroy leg-hold traps. He was also known to disrupt deer and duck hunters, and to prevent other boys from shooting birds...

"Watson was one of the co-founders of the Greenpeace Foundation. In October 1969, his involvement began when he helped organize a voyage on the U.S. and Canadian border to protest against the nuclear testing at Amchitka Island by the Atomic Energy Commission.

"A few of the participants from the protest organized a small group to work on more ideas to oppose the testing at Amchitka. The group was called the Don't Make a Wave Committee and was composed primarily of members from the Sierra Club and the Society of Friends (Quakers). Watson, a Sierra Club member, was primarily motivated to protest the Amchitka testing because of his concern for marine wildlife at the site.

"In October 1971, the Don't Make a Wave Committee sponsored the voyage of the Greenpeace I. The Greenpeace I was an 85' Canadian fishing boat formerly known as the Phyllis Cormack. The ship set forth from Vancouver, British Columbia, bound for Amchitka Island, (under the command of Captain John Cormack), with the intention of sailing into the test site. There were thirteen volunteers on board including Robert Hunter, Rod Marining, and Lyle Thurston. Three decades later, these three would still be sailing with Captain Watson on Sea Shepherd campaigns...

"Watson was one of the founding members and directors of Greenpeace. In fact, he was officially the eighth founding member. Robert Hunter was the first and his lifetime membership number was 000. His wife Roberta Hunter was second and her membership number was 001. Watson's official membership number was and continues to be 007...

"In 1973, Watson and David Garrick represented Greenpeace during the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota by the American Indian Movement. Both men served as volunteers for AIM, with Watson working with the medics and filing stories back to Robert Hunter at the Vancouver Sun...

"In June 1977, Watson left the Greenpeace Foundation because of disagreements on tactics and with the emerging bureaucratic structure of the organization. Patrick Moore had replaced Robert Hunter and was opposed to direct action campaigns. Moore had informed Watson that he would not be allowed to lead another seal campaign.

"Watson left Greenpeace because he felt the original goals of the organization were being compromised, and because he saw a global need to continue direct action conservation activities on the high seas by an organization that would enforce laws protecting marine wildlife.

"To answer that need, that same year, Watson founded Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - dedicated to research, investigation, and enforcement of laws, treaties, resolutions and regulations established to protect marine wildlife worldwide. In December 1978, with the assistance of Cleveland Amory and the Fund for Animals, Watson purchased a North Atlantic trawler in Britain and converted her into the conservation enforcement vessel Sea Shepherd...

"Aside from being a co-founder of Greenpeace in 1972, Greenpeace International in 1979, and founder of Sea Shepherd in 1977, Watson was a Field Correspondent for Defenders of Wildlife between 1976 and 1980. He was a field representative for the Fund for Animals between 1978 and 1981, and a representative for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals in 1979. He co-founded Earthforce Environmental Society in 1977 and Friends of the Wolf in 1984. Watson's first affiliation with the Sierra Club was in 1968 and he has remained a Sierra Club supporter ever since. Watson was elected to the National Board of the Sierra Club USA serving as a director from 2003-2006...

"On the political front, Watson has run for Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre in the Canadian Federal elections. He ran twice for the Green Party. He also ran on the Green Party ticket for Vancouver Parks Board in 1987 and for Mayor of Vancouver in 1995...

"He was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the environmental heroes of the 20th Century in the year 2000.

"Watson is a prolific writer and author. His published titles include: 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)." [1]


Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, accessed October 20, 2009.
  2. Directors, Fund for Wild Nature, accessed October 27, 2009.