Captain Paul Watson

The Inspiration

Captain Paul Watson is a marine wildlife conservation and environmental activist. Watson was one of the founding members and directors of Greenpeace. In 1977, he left Greenpeace and founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society which he resigned in 2022 to cofound the Captain Paul Watson Foundation.  

A renowned speaker, accomplished author, master mariner, and lifelong environmentalist, Captain Watson has been awarded many honors for his dedication to the oceans and to the planet.

Among many commendations for his work, he received the Genesis Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1998, was named as one of the Top 20 Environmental Heroes of the 20th Century by Time Magazine in 2000 and was inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame in Washington D.C. in 2002.

He was also awarded the Amazon Peace Prize by the president of Ecuador in 2007. In 2012, Captain Watson became only the second person, after Captain Jacques Cousteau, to be awarded the Jules Verne Award, dedicated to environmentalists and adventurers. In 2022, Captain Paul Watson continues his fight for marine wildlife conservation with the new Captain Paul Watson Foundation.

Watson’s first child and only daughter is ‘Lilliolani’ born in 1980 to Mother Starlet Melody Lum. Paul married Yana Rusinovich on Valentine’s Day 2015 in Paris and is living in Paris (FRANCE) with their two young sons ‘Tiger’ and ‘Murtagh’.

Note: While in 2022  Paul Founded the “Captain Paul Watson Foundation” alongside tech entrepreneur Omar Todd, he is not in any leadership role or employed by the Foundation. He’s the inspirational advisor to the board of Directors and is purely a volunteer.

“We go where others fear to go, no matter how hostile or remote the seas, no matter how formidable the opposition because if we don’t, life in the seas dies and if the ocean dies, we die.”


Captain Watson has garnered widespread recognition for his unwavering dedication to environmental and conservation efforts. Over the years, his work has been acknowledged through numerous awards and commendations, reflecting his impact on the global environmental movement. His accolades span from local to international levels, celebrating his relentless activism and contributions to preserving marine life and ecosystems.

Throughout his career, Captain Watson has been honored for his leadership and pioneering efforts in conservation. His achievements have earned him titles and awards from various prestigious organizations, highlighting his role as a trailblazer in the field of environmentalism. These honors not only recognize his past accomplishments but also inspire future generations to continue the fight for a healthier planet.

Toronto City TV’s Environmentalist of the Year Award (1990)

Genesis Award (1998)

George H.W. Bush Daily Points of Light Award (1999)

U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame (2002)

Amazon Peace Prize (2007)

Jules Verne Award (2012)

Commendation from Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut (2019)

Films & Television

A true visionary: Captain Watson understands the camera’s power and knows it is a powerful tool to affect change, rally people into action, and instigate media coverage.

Since the early years of Sea Shepherd, he has utilised the power of the camera, passion, and pure determination, to create a lasting impact on the lives of marine wildlife.

As well as the international hit TV series ‘Whale Wars [2008 to 2014] with Discovery TV & Animal Planet which followed the campaign to end Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary; there are many films highlighting Captain Watson and Sea Shepherd’s work including:

Published Author

Paul has written about ocean conservation, the fight for the environment, about historical maritime events and even ocean related poetry and a children’s book including:

Captain Paul Watson Foundation UK aka Neptunes Pirates UK (formerly Sea Shepherd UK)

Paul, as a member of The Captain Paul Watson Foundation UK’s board of Trustees and its honorary President works actively alongside the UK team in an advisory capacity on their campaigns conducted in the UK and abroad in the Faroe Islands, Namibia and Iceland. You can find out more at


1st officer on the first Greenpeace voyage to defend whales against the Soviet whaling fleet.


Volunteer medic for the American Indian Movement during the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota.


Co-founder of the Greenpeace Foundation.


Crew member of the Greenpeace Two expedition to protest nuclear testing in the Aleutians.

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