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Kapitän Paul Watson ist Aktivist für den Schutz von Meerestieren und der Umwelt. Watson war eines der Gründungsmitglieder und einer der Direktoren von Greenpeace. Im Jahr 1977 verließ er Greenpeace und gründete die Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.   


Kapitän Watson ist ein renommierter Redner, erfolgreicher Autor, Kapitän zur See und lebenslanger Umweltschützer. Für sein Engagement für die Ozeane und den Planeten wurde er mit zahlreichen Auszeichnungen bedacht. 


Neben vielen anderen Auszeichnungen für seine Arbeit erhielt er 1998 den Genesis Award für sein Lebenswerk, wurde im Jahr 2000 vom Time Magazine zu einem der 20 größten Umwelthelden des 20. Jahrhunderts ernannt und 2002 in die U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame in Washington D.C. aufgenommen. Außerdem wurde er 2007 vom Präsidenten Ecuadors mit dem Amazonas-Friedenspreis ausgezeichnet. Im Jahr 2012 wurde Kapitän Watson als zweite Person nach Kapitän Jacques Cousteau mit dem Jules-Verne-Preis ausgezeichnet, der Umweltschützern und Abenteurern gewidmet ist. Im Jahr 2022 setzt Kapitän Paul Watson seinen Kampf für den Schutz der marinen Tierwelt mit der neuen Captain Paul Watson Foundation fort.   

"Wir gehen dorthin, wo andere sich nicht hintrauen, egal wie feindselig oder abgelegen die Meere sind, egal wie groß der Widerstand ist, denn wenn wir es nicht tun, stirbt das Leben in den Meeren, und wenn der Ozean stirbt, sterben wir."


„Wir gehen dorthin, wo andere Angst haben, egal wie feindselig oder abgelegen die Meere sind, egal wie gewaltig der Widerstand ist, denn wenn wir es nicht tun, stirbt das Leben in den Meeren, und wenn der Ozean stirbt, sterben wir.“


Captain Watson has received many awards and commendations over the years. 

Paul was Toronto City TV’s Environmentalist of the Year Award in 1990, received a Genesis Award in 1998, and he was inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2002. He was awarded the George H.W. Bush Daily Points of Light Award in 1999 for his volunteer efforts with conservation activism. Paul was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the Environmental Heroes of the 20th Century in the year 2000. Paul was inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame in Washington D.C. in 2002 and was 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 2019 he was awarded a commendation from Governor Ned Lamont from the State of Connecticut for “50 years as an environmental conservation activist".

Films & TV

A true visionary: Captain Watson understands the power of the camera and knows that 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 utilized 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:

  • Seaspiracy [2021]

  • A Perfect Planet (series): Humans [2021]

  • Stacey Dooley Investigates: The Whale Hunters [2020]

  • Sea of Shadows [2019]

  • Watson [2019]

  • Al Jazeera - People and Power series: 'Killing Whales' [2019]

  • Danish Broadcasting Corporation - Horizont series: 'Iceland's

  • Controversial Whaler' [2018]

  • ABC NEWS Investigation: The War on Whaling [2018]

  • Sharkwater Extinction [2018]

  • Operation Jeedara [2018]

  • Chasing the Thunder [2018]

  • Defend, Conserve, Protect [2018]

  • Sea Life Savers: Illegal Fishing off Gabon challenged by Sea Shepherd

  • Why Just One [2016]

  • Ocean Warriors (series) [2016 to 2018]

  • How to change the world [2015]

  • A Fierce Green Fire [2012]

  • Galapagos [2012]

  • Whale Wars: Viking Shores [2012]

  • Whale Wars: Operation Blufin [2012]

  • Whale Wars: Seal Wars [2012]

  • Eco Pirate - The Story of Paul Watson [2011]

  • Confessions of an Eco Terrorist [2010]

  • Eternal Vigilance: Paul Watson on the Front Lines [2010]

  • The Cove [2009]

  • Pirate for the Sea [2008]

  • 30 Years on the Frontline [2008]

  • At the Edge of the World [2008]

  • Seal or No Seal [2007]

  • Sharkwater [2006]

  • Defenders of the Wild: Ocean Warrior [1993]

  • Black Harvest: The fight for the pilot whale [1987]

  • 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 Vermont (USA) with their two young sons 'Tiger' and 'Murtagh'.


Paul continues to advise on the planning and direction of Shepherd UK campaigns both in the UK and out in the Faroe Islands and Iceland as a member of Sea Shepherd UK’s board of Trustees and holds the position of Honorary President in recognition of being Sea Shepherd’s founder and his legacy of 45 years of direct-action campaigns for ocean wildlife.


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:

  • Shepherds of the Sea (1979)

  • Sea Shepherd: My Fight for Whales and Seals (1982)

  • Cry Wolf (1985)

  • Ocean Warrior: My Battle to end the Illegal Slaughter on the High Seas (1994)

  • Seal Wars (2002)

  • Earthforce! - An Earth Warrior's Guide to Strategy (1993 & revised 2012)

  • Captain Paul Watson: Interview with a Pirate (2013)

  • The Haunted Mariner (2019)

  • The War that Saved the Whales: The Confederate War Against the Yankee Whalers (2019)

  • Orcapedia: A Guide to the Victims of the International Orca Slave Trade (2020)

  • Dealing with Climate Change and Stress (2020)

  • Quotations from Captain Paul Watson: Inspiring Words from A Modern-Day Captain Nemo (2020)

  • Songs from the Southern Ocean (2020)

  • Desperate Mythologies: Theology, Ecology, and the General Insanity of Humanity (2020)

  • Urgent! Save Our Ocean to Survive Climate Change (2021)

  • Cetacean Nation: A Poetic Review About Whales, Whaling, and Saving Whales (2021)

  • Death of a Whale: The Challenge of Anti-Whaling Activists and Indigenous Rights (2021)

  • Defending Orcas - No More Captivity (2022)

  • We are the Ocean (2022)

Paul Watson Timeline:

  • 1971 – Crew member of the Greenpeace Two expedition to protest nuclear testing in the Aleutians.

  • 1972 – Co-founder of the Greenpeace Foundation.

  • 1973 – Volunteer medic for the American Indian Movement during the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

  • 1975 – 1st officer on the first Greenpeace voyage to defend whales against the Soviet whaling fleet.

  • 1976 – Campaign organizer and leader of Greenpeace's first campaign against the hunt for harp seal pups in Canada.

  • 1977 – Leader of the 2nd Greenpeace campaign to protect harp seal pups. Accompany Brigitte Bardot on a seal hunt. Tore a club off a seal hunter and threw him into the water, beaten by seal hunters.

  • 1977 – Greenpeace board votes to oust him for stealing and destroying a sealers' club.

  • 1978 – Established the 'Earthforce Environmental Society' and led a campaign in East Africa to investigate elephant poaching.

  • 1978 – Purchases trawler Westella and renames it Sea Shepherd .

  • 1979 – First maritime campaign with Sea Shepherd to disrupt the seal pup hunt in Canada in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Arrested under the Sea Protection Act for preventing the slaughter of 1,000 seals. Arrested under the Seal Protection Act for disrupting seal killing.

  • 1979 – The pursuit and ramming of the pirate whaler Sierra in Leixoes, Portugal with the Sea Shepherd . No legal action.

  • 1979 – Scuttling of the Sea Shepherd in the port of Leixoes to prevent it from being confiscated after the ramming. No legal action.

  • 1980 – The Earthforce Environmental Society was officially renamed after Paul's first ship, and became the 'Sea Shepherd Conservation Society' in Vancouver, Canada

  • 1980 – Sinking of the pirate whaler Sierra in Lisbon, Portugal. No legal action.

  • 1980 – Sinking of the Spanish whaling ships Isba I and Isba II in Vigo, Spain. No legal action.

  • 1980 – Publication of “Shepherds of the Sea”.

  • 1980 – The pirate whaling ship Cape Fisher is decommissioned in the Canary Islands, Spain.

  • 1980 – Publication of Sea Shepherd, My Fight for Whales and Seals

  • 1980 - Foundation of 'Sea Shepherd Conservation Limited' in Glasgow, Scotland

  • 1981 – Purchase of the Sea Shepherd II and intrusion into Soviet Siberia to obtain evidence of illegal Russian whaling and a successful escape after being chased by a Soviet Navy frigate and two helicopter gunships. No legal action.

  • 1981 - Foundation of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in USA

  • 1982 – Intervenes and stops the slaughter of dolphins on Iki Island, Japan.

  • 1983 – Blockade of the port of St. John's, Newfoundland with the Sea Shepherd II to prevent the sealing fleet from leaving and pursuit of the Magdalen Island sealing boats out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence resulting in a confrontation with the Canadian government and charges under the Seal Protection Act for disrupting the seal slaughter. The confiscation of the Sea Shepherd II was ordered and Captain Watson was sentenced to 21 months in prison but released on appeal after 9 days. The sentence was subsequently overturned by the Quebec Court of Appeal.

  • 1983 – Organization of the first intervention against the culling of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands

  • 1984 – Friends of the Wolf organized and led a campaign to disrupt aerial shooting of wolves in British Columbia. Appealed the 1983 conviction.

  • 1984 – Paul commissions the artist and former wrestler Steve Capello to create the classic whale and dolphin logo for Sea Shepherd.

  • 1985 – Recovery of the Sea Shepherd II after successfully suing the Canadian government and obtaining a cash settlement for damage caused to the ship while in custody.

  • 1985 – Publication of Cry Wolf!

  • 1985 – Sailed to Reykjavik, Iceland with the Sea Shepherd II to warn the Icelanders that if they violated the IWC moratorium on commercial whaling, it would return and sink their whaling ships.

  • 1985 – Arrival in the Faroe Islands with the Sea Shepherd II to prevent the Grindadrap

  • 1986 – Return to the Faroe Islands with Sea Shepherd II to prevent Grindadrap with a BBC film crew who produced the documentary 'Black Harvest'

  • 1987 – Purchases the ship Divine Wind and leads a campaign in the Bering Sea to oppose high seas driftnets.

  • 1987 - Creates the concept of 'Neptunes Navy' with it's own logo used on patches and in publications

  • 1989 – With the Sea Shepherd II, hunts poachers from the waters around Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica with paintballs and black powder cannons.

  • 1989 – Release of dolphins from a Mexican purse seine net off the coast of Mexico.

  • 1990 – Creation of the original Sea Shepherd Jolly Roger logo with a skull above a Trident and Shepherd's Crook

  • 1991 – Confrontation with a Taiwanese driftnet fisherman in the Caribbean.

  • 1992 – Scuttling of the Norwegian whaler Nybraena in the Lofoten Islands in Norway

  • 1992 – Publication of 'Earthforce' – a strategy guide for environmentalists. Publication of 'Ocean Warrior'

  • 1992 – Confrontation with Japanese driftnet fishermen with the Sea Shepherd II in the North Pacific; seizes and destroys a 100 mile long drift net. Ramming two fishing vessels with drift nets to destroy power supplies.

  • 1992 – Intercepts the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria off Puerto Rico, seizes the Santa Maria , standoff with Puerto Rican police until the Spanish government agrees to apologize for 500 years of injustice to towards the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

  • 1993 – Purchases the ship Cleveland Amory and drives Cuban and Spanish trawlers from the nose and tail of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Charged with three counts of mischief.

  • 1993 – Takes the ship Edward Abbey to Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island to oppose strip logging.

  • 1994 – Scuttling of the Norwegian whaler Senet in Norway

  • 1994 – Publication of 'Seal Wars!'

  • 1994 – Developed a non-lethal, humane form of seal hunting by discovering that harp seal pups could be brushed for their transparent, hollow-fiber moulting hairs. It was an alternative commercial product and he hired sealers to do it.

  • 1994 – Takes the ship 'Whales Forever' to northern Norway to prevent whaling. Confrontation with the Norwegian navy ship Andennes, resulting in a collision which damaged both ships. Despite depth and gunfire, the Whales Forever eluded her pursuers for a distance of 500 miles, returning safely to the Shetland Islands.

  • 1995 – The launch of the seal brushing campaign is sabotaged by a riot of seal hunters who severely beat Paul Watson and force him to leave the Magdalen Islands

  • 1995 – The highly publicized and controversial trial of Captain Watson for chasing foreign trawlers off the Grand Banks ended in a not guilty verdict.

  • 1995 – Green Party candidate for mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia.

  • 1996 – Named honorary citizen of the French town of Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat.

  • 1997 – Arrested in the Netherlands on an extradition request from Norway for the sinking of the Norwegian whaler Nybraena . Detained for 120 days, then released after Dutch court ruled against extradition.

  • 1997 – Purchase of the Sea Shepherd III and participation in the CBI meeting in Monaco at the invitation of Prince Rainer.

  • 1998 – Successfully leads the campaign to oppose the killing of gray whales by Makah tribe whalers with the Sea Shepherd III and the Sirenian.

  • 1999 – Delivery of the Sirenian patrol boat to the Galapagos National Park as a gift. Initiates a partnership with the Galapagos National Park to protect the Galapagos Marine Reserve. A program that is still current.

  • 2000 – Takes the ship Ocean Warrior to the Faroe Islands to prevent Grindadrap

  • 2000 – Named by Time Magazine as one of the 50 best environmentalists of the 20th century

  • 2000 – Takes Sea Shepherd III to the Faroe Islands to oppose Grindadrap.

  • 2001 – Arrest and detention of a shark-killing Ecuadorian ocean liner, the San Jose, off Cocos Island, and handed over to Costa Rican rangers. Established a partnership with the Galapagos National Park to protect the Galapagos Marine Reserve. A program that is still current.

  • 2002 – First campaign to hunt the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean

  • 2002 – Illegal shark finning operation stopped in Guatemalan waters, arrested twice in Costa Rica and released.

  • 2002 – Worked with Rob Stewart to produce the documentary film Sharkwater.

  • 2003 – Launch of the first campaign to denounce the dolphin massacre in Taiji, Japan. Two crew members freed 16 pilot whales from the nets and were arrested and released.

  • 2003 – Elected to the Sierra Club National Board of Directors.

  • 2005 – First campaign to oppose the Japanese whaling fleet. Using the ship Farley Mowat , Captain Watson engages in two confrontations with the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru. Production of the documentary film At the Edge of the World.

  • 2005 - 'Sea Shepherd UK' is founded in London.

  • 2006 – Purchase of the ship Robert Hunter to join the Farley Mowat in interventions against Japanese whaling operations in the Ross Sea. Operation Minke .

  • 2006 – Resigned from the national board of directors of the Sierra Club to oppose their support of hunting

  • 2006 - Sea Shepherd France is founded in Paris.

  • 2007 – Amazon Peace Prize by the Vice President of Ecuador.

  • 2007 – Uses the ship Steve Irwin to track down and disrupt the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean. Initiates production on the Animal Planet Whale War series. Operation Migaloo.

  • 2008 – Operation Tar Baby Farley – Sending the Sea Shepherd II to the Gulf of St. Lawrence to prevent seal hunting in Canada. The ship was seized. Captain Watson refused to pay the fine and the ship was confiscated. Captain Watson said the Canadian government took care of the Farley Mowat's retirement.

  • 2008   – 2009 – Release of the documentary film Pirate for the Sea by Ron Colby

  • 2008 – 2009 – Operation Musashi. Confrontations with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whaling Sanctuary.

  • 2009 – 2010 – Operation Waltzing Matilda. Confrontations with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whaling Sanctuary.

  • 2010 – 2011 – Operation Divine Wind. Confrontations with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whaling Sanctuary.

  • 2010 – Receives the Philippe Cousteau Prize for the Defense of Marine Life from the Amigos del Museo de Anclas association Philippe Cousteau: Defense of Marine Life

  • 2011   – 2012 – Operation No Compromise. Confrontations with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whaling Sanctuary.

  • 2011  – Release of the documentary film Eco-Pirate – The Story of Paul Watson by Trish Dolman

  • 2011 – 2012  – Operation Blue Rage – release of 800 illegally caught bluefin tuna

  • 2011 – 2012   – Operation Viking Shores – Two ships and a helicopter in the Faroe Islands

  • 2012 – 2013 Operation Zero Tolerance . Confrontations with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whaling Sanctuary.

  • 2012 – Arrested and detained in Germany on extradition requests from Costa Rica and Japan. Flee from Germany without papers, crossed the Atlantic, North America, the Pacific to American Samoa and then into the Southern Ocean as part of Operation Zero Tolerance .

  • 2012 – Receives the Jules Verne Prize for Conservation

  • 2012 – Costa Rica and Japan placed Paul Watson on Interpol's red notice list. Costa Rica for “endangering wrecks” and Japan for “conspiracy to trespass on a whaler”

  • 2013 – 8-month stay in exile in the South Pacific.

  • 2012 – Offers a $35,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the men who murdered Jairo Mora Sandoval.

  • 2012 – 2013 – Operation Zero Tolerance.

  • 2014 – Organization of the Sea Shepherd Summit in Vermont, USA.

  • 2014 – United States Federal Court Judge Alex Kozinki labels Captain Watson a pirate, although he was never charged with piracy.

  • 2015 – Operation Milagro launched to protect the endangered Vaquita in Mexico's Sea of Cortez.

  • 2015 – Starred in the documentary film How to Change the World about the origins of Greenpeace.

  • 2015 – Launch of Operation Virus Hunter to oppose salmon farming in British Columbia.

  • 2017 – Operation Good Pirates of the Caribbean launched to bring relief supplies to hurricane victims in Dominica, the Bahamas and Antigua.

  • 2017 – With the change of government in Costa Rica, Paul Watson is removed from the Interpol Red Notice list by Costa Rica but remains on the Japanese list.

  • 2017 – Release of the documentary film WATSON .

  • 2019 – Removed from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Board of Directors

  • 2019 – Receives a commendation from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont.

  • 2020 – Creation of the Church of Biocentrism and Interdependence.

  • 2022 – Resigns from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

  • 2022 – Ousted from Sea Shepherd Global Board of Directors without meeting, discussion or vote.

  • 2022 - Launches the 'Captain Paul Watson Foundation' in the USA and internationally

  • 2022 – Purchase of the Scottish fisheries protection vessel 'Vigilant' which is renamed the 'John Paul DeJoria II'

  • 2022 – Resigns from the Sea Shepherd Australia Board of Directors in protest against the partnership between Sea Shepherd Australia and Austral Fishing Corporation.

  • 2023 - Sea Shepherd UK rebrands as 'Captain Paul Watson Foundation UK' in order to stay true to Paul Watson's founding principles of uncompromising, fully independent, direct action marine conservation.

  • 2023 – Takes the new flagship John Paul DeJoria II to Iceland to oppose the cruel harpooning of endangered fin whales

  • 2023 – Takes the John Paul DeJoria II to the Faroe Islands to disrupt the culling of pilot whales and dolphins.

  • 2023 – Publication of Hit Man for the Kindness Club

  • 2023 – Sending the John Paul DeJoria to challenge destructive super trawlers in European and UK waters.

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