Paul Watson was awarded the Outstanding
Humanitarian of 2007 Award at the benefit. The videos are great and a lot of
Captain Paul Watson speaking in Melbourne 1 hour before leaving for
Antarctica to stop the Japanese whale slaughter (4 parts altogether):
Born: Toronto, Ontario – December 2, 1950
Marine Wildlife Conservationist, Environmentalist, Master Mariner, Author and
Writer, Professional Dive Master, University Instructor and Public Speaker
For 28 years, Captain Paul Watson has been at the helm of the world's most
active marine environmental organization – the Sea Shepherd Conservation
Paul Watson's career as a Master Mariner began
in 1968 as a seaman in the Norwegian merchant marine. His early voyages with the
Norwegian, Swedish, British and Canadian merchant marine provided him with
experience on all the world's oceans, including weathering typhoons in the South
China Sea, North Atlantic storms in the iceberg-strewn northern latitudes of the
Atlantic and navigating the war zones of the Persian Gulf. He served in the
Canadian Coast Guard for two years in the early seventies on weatherships, buoy
tenders and on a search and rescue hovercraft. Paul has served as Master on
seven different Sea Shepherd ships since 1978. He currently commands the 657-ton
Canadian-registered research ship Farley Mowat and the Canadian-registered
research and patrol ship Sirenian.
Education and Presentations
Paul majored in
communications and linguistics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
He has lectured extensively at universities around the world, and was a
professor of Ecology at Pasadena College of Design from 1990 through to 1994.
Paul also was an instructor in UCLA’s Honors Program for 1998 and 1999.
Currently, Paul is a registered speaker with the Jodi Solomon Speakers Bureau of
Boston, and regularly gives presentations at colleges and universities in the
United States, and at special events throughout world. As a unique figure in the
environmental movement, he is highly qualified to speak on its origins, history
History of Activism – Environmental Pioneer
In 1969, Paul
joined with other members of the Sierra Club in organizing a voyage to protest
nuclear weapons testing in the Aleutians. The group they formed was the Don't
Make a Wave Committee. In November 1971, Paul joined the crew of the Greenpeace
Too for a voyage into the nuclear test site at Amchitka Island. In 1972, Paul,
along with several of the other crewmembers from that landmark expedition,
established the Greenpeace Foundation in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Between 1971 and 1977, Paul served as First Officer on all the Greenpeace
voyages. Utilizing his Canadian Coast Guard experience, he organized the
operation of zodiacs to intervene between the harpoons and the whales. During a
confrontation with a Russian whaler in 1975, a harpooned and dying sperm whale
loomed over Paul's small boat. Paul recognized a flicker of understanding in the
dying whale's eye. He felt that the whale knew what they were trying to do. He
watched as the magnificent leviathan heaved its body away from his boat, slipped
beneath the waves and died. A few seconds of looking into this dying whale's eye
changed his life forever. He vowed to become a lifelong defender of the whales
and all creatures of the seas.
In 1976, he led the first Greenpeace expedition to protect Harp seals on the
ice floes off Newfoundland. Paul and fellow Greenpeace co-founder David Garrick
were instrumental in elevating the issue of protecting the helpless baby seals
to the level of international concern. In 1977, he led the second Greenpeace
campaign to Labrador to protect seals, this time bringing Brigitte Bardot to the
ice floes to focus international attention on the seal slaughter. During this
campaign, Robert Hunter and Paul Watson stopped a large sealing ship in the ice
by standing on the ice in its path. Watson’s account of the campaign was
published in the Georgia Straight newspaper and entitled “Shepherds of the
Labrador Front.” It is this article that inspired the name “Sea Shepherd.”
In 1977, Paul 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.
Founding of Sea Shepherd
To answer that need, that same
year, Paul founded the 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 the Fund for Animals, Paul purchased a North Atlantic trawler in
Britain and converted her into the conservation enforcement vessel Sea Shepherd.
Over the years, Paul has exhibited a remarkable
diversity in his activism. Aside from being a co-founder of Greenpeace in 1972
and Greenpeace International in 1979 and founder of Sea Shepherd he was active
in many issues. 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 1977, Paul 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 Friends of the Wolf in 1984 and the Earthforce Environmental Society
in 1977. Paul’s first affiliation with the Sierra Club was in 1968 and he has
remained a Sierra Club supporter ever since. In April 2003, Paul was elected to
the National Board of the Sierra Club USA. He will be a director until 2006.
Paul’s involvement with politics includes
running 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.
Awards and Commendations
In 1996, Paul was awarded an
honorary citizenship to the French town of St. Jean Cap Ferrat. Previous to that
he was made an honorary citizen of the Florida Keys in 1989. Other awards
include Toronto City TV’s Environmentalist of the Year Award for 1990, the
Genesis Award in 1998 and he was enrolled in the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame
in 2002. He was also awarded the George H. Bush Daily Points of Light Award in
1999 for his volunteer efforts with conservation activism. He was chosen by Time
Magazine as one of the environmental heroes of the 20th Century in the year
Paul Watson is a prolific author. His
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).
Paul’s childhood was spent in the towns of St.
Andrews and St. Stephen in the Canadian Province of New Brunswick. He is from an
Acadian Maritime family on his father’s side and from a Danish, German and
American background on his mother’s side.
Paul is married to Allison Lance Watson. He has one child, Lilliolani Paula
Lum Watson, (born in 1980), from a previous marriage.