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A HISTORY OF VICTORIES



11/13/2022

A History of Successful Victories Against Criminal Whaling Operations

The “Embarrassing” History that SSCS and Sea Shepherd Global Want to Remove.

By Captain Paul Watson

Since 1974, I have dedicated my life to eradicating the evil of whaling. It’s been a long 49 years of dangerous and difficult campaigns and we had had many victories and saved tens of thousands of whales from the horrifically cruel harpoons of a ruthless and senseless industry intent upon exterminating the most intelligent and social complex sentient beings in the sea.

When I began the following countries were killing whales: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Faroes, Iceland, Japan, Norway, Peru, Spain, South Korea, Tonga, United States.

Today commercial whaling tales place only in Norway, Japan, Iceland and Denmark and is now restricted to their territorial waters. Pilot whales continue to be killed in the Faroes, Bowheads continue to be killed in the USA and Narwhals and Belugas continue to be killed in Canada.

The greatest achievement is the end of whaling in pelagic waters and zero whaling in the Southern Ocean.

This is my history in opposing the killing of whales.

1975: As first officer on the first Greenpeace campaign to confront whalers I was one of 13 crew members who hunted down and confronted the Soviet whaling fleet in the Pacific Ocean. It was a campaign that radically changed my life when a mortally wounded Sperm whale spared my life. A Soviet harpoon was fired over our heads striking a female in a pod of eight whales when the large male slapped the water with his tail fluke, dove and swam beneath us to attack the harpoon ship. He was struck with a harpoon in the head and while he was thrashing about in a widening pool of blood in unbearable agony, he saw Fred Easton and I and swiftly moved towards us, rising out of the water preparing to crash down upon us in our small boat and as his head rose and I found myself looking into his eye, I saw something that changed my life – understanding, the whale understood what we were trying to do. Instead of crashing down on us, he fell back, his eye began to disappear beneath the surface of the sea, and he was gone. He could have killed us, yet he did not even as he was dying. I said to myself at that moment that I would do everything in my power to eradicate whaling.

1976: Again, as First officer this time on the Greenpeace VI we hunted down and confronted the Japanese whaling fleet in the North Pacific.

1977: Confrontations with the Australian whalers in Cheynes, South Australia led to the end of whaling in Australia.

1979: With my ship the Sea Shepherd, I hunted down the pirate whaler Sierra in the North Atlantic. I rammed it twice and disabled it forcing it into port for repairs.

1980: After being repaired we sank the Sierra at dockside in Lisbon. Its’ illegal whaling career was permanently ended.

- We sank half the Spanish fleet in Vigo harbor, Spain, the Isba I and Isba II ending their illegal activities.

- We shut down the operations of the pirate whaler Astrid in the Canary Islands

- We worked with the South African government to expose the pirate whalers Susan and Theresa resulting in the seizure and destruction of the two whalers.

1981: I took my ship Sea Shepherd II to Soviet Siberia to invade the Soviet Union to successfully document evidence of illegal whaling operations. We escaped Soviet waters after an intense confrontation with the Soviet Navy.

1982: I went to Iki Island, Japan and negotiated the end of the Iki Island Dolphin slaughter.

1982: I attended the 34th annual meeting of the IWC in Brighten, U.K. to deliver evidence of illegal Soviet whaling operations

1983: We began the campaigns against the killing of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands.

1985: I took my ship Sea Shepherd III to IWC Conference in Malmo, Sweden to confront the Icelandic, Japanese and Norwegian whaling delegations.

1985: I took my ship to Iceland to deliver a warning that if Iceland continued to kill whales after the moratorium on commercial whaling begins in 1986, we would sink their whaling ships.

1985: We took the Sea Shepherd II to the Faroe Islands to confront the pilot whale killers.

1986 We returned to the Faroe Islands to confront the whalers this time with a BBC film crew which produced the documentary Black Harvest

1986: We made good on our promise and sank half the Icelandic whaling fleet in Iceland and destroyed the whale processing plant, shutting down illegal Icelandic whaling for 17 years.

1988: I flew to Iceland to demand charges against me for the sinking of the ship in 1986. Iceland refused to charge me because they knew that to put me on trial would be to put Iceland on trial for illegal whaling.

1996: Sea Shepherd was ordered banned from attending IWC Conferences after a complaint by Iceland.

1992: We sank the outlaw Norwegian whaler Nybraena in the Lofoten Islands of Norway

1994: We sank the outlaw Norwegian whaler Senet in Norway. The sinking of these small whalers catapulted insurance premiums on whaling vessel dramatically.

- Confrontation with the Norwegian Navy with my ship Whales Forever. We were fired upon, rammed and depth charged but we eluded capture after disrupting the operation of Norwegian Whaling vessels

1996: The Norwegian ship Elin Toril is scuttled dockside in Norway

1997: The Norwegian whaling boat Morild was sunk in Bronnoysund, Norway.

1997: Michael Kundu led a campaign to Siberia to document illegal whaling operation to provide evidence to the International Whaling Commission.

1997: I took our ship Sea Shepherd III to the IWC meeting in Monaco to confront the Japanese whaling delegates.

1998 – 1999: Confrontations with Makah whalers and the U.S. government helped to stop plans to resurrect whaling in the waters off the State of Washington.

2000: We returned to the Faroe Islands to once again focus media attention on the slaughter of pilot whales and dolphins.

2002: The first campaign to the Southern Ocean to search for the Japanese whaling fleet

2003: We went to Taiji, Japan where we cut nets freeing pilot whales and dolphins and setting up the Cove Guardian operations

2005: We took the Sea Shepherd II to disrupt the illegal activities of the Japanese whaling fleet

2006: Our 3rd campaign (Operation Leviathan) to the Southern Ocean to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling operations, We produced the documentary At the Edge of the World which served as a pilot for Animal Planet for Whale Wars

2007: The Norwegian whaling vessel Willassen Senior was sunk in harbor in Svolvaer, Norway.

2007: I attended the 59th Annual Meeting of the IWC in Anchorage, Alaska.

2007: Our 4th campaign (Operation Migaloo) to the Southern Ocean to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling operation and to film the 1st Season of Whale Wars

2008: I attended the 60th Annual meeting of the IWC in Santiago, Chile to confront Japanese whalers.

2008: Our 5th campaign (Operation Musashi) to the Southern Ocean to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling operation and to film the 2nd Season of Whale Wars

2009: The Norwegian whaling vessel Skarbakk was sabotaged in Henningsvaer, Norway

2009: I attended the 61st Annual meeting of the IWC in Madeira, Portugal to confront Japanese whalers

2009: Our 6th campaign (Operation Waltzing Matilda) to the Southern Ocean to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling operation and to film the 3rd t Season of Whale Wars.

2010: The Norwegian whaler Sofie was scuttled in Svolvaer, Norway

2010: Lamya Essemlali led a campaign to the Faroe Islands and discovered the underwater graveyard where the Faroese dumped whole carcasses.

2010: Our 7th campaign (Operation Divine Wind) to the Southern Ocean to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling operation and to film the 4th Season of Whale Wars.

2011: I attended the 63rd annual meeting of the IWC in St. Helier, Jersey in the British Isles to confront the Japanese whalers.

2011: Our 8th campaign (Operation No Compromise) to the Southern Ocean to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling operation and to film the 5th Season of Whale Wars.

2011: We take two ships the Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot plus a helicopter to the Faroe Islands to prevent the killing of pilot whales and dolphins. No whales or dolphins are killed while we are there. We produced the Animal Planet episode Whale Wars – Viking Shores.

2012: Our 9th campaign (Operation Zero Tolerance) to the Southern Ocean to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling operation and to film the 6th Season of Whale Wars.

2011 – 2022: Continuous annual disruptions of the Grind in the Faroe Islands.

2012: Japan files for an injunction to stop Sea Shepherd interference with illegal Japanese whaling. Sea Shepherd defies the injunction.

2012: Based on a plea deal where Peter Bethune traded a suspended sentence in return for stating I ordered him to board a Japanese whaling ship, Japan issues an Interpol Red notice for my extradition. I am arrested in Germany but escape and manage to cross the Atlantic, Canada, the USA and the Pacific without papers to rejoin the Steve Irwin off American Samoa in time to join Operation Zero Tolerance and the return to confront the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

2013 - 2014: The ruling of the international Court of Justice shuts down Japanese whaling.

2013: Peter Bethune signs an affidavit admitting to lying to the Japanese court about my ordering him to board the Japanese whaling boat. The USA allows me to return but Japan refuses to drop the Red Notice extradition demand.

2013: Sea Shepherd goes to trial in Seattle for violating the Federal Injunction. Judge Peter Shaw acquits us but a year later the 9th circuit court overturns and convicts us.

2015: Japan ignores the ruling of the ICJ and returns to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Sea Shepherd returns (Operation Relentless) to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling operation and to film the 7th Season of Whale Wars.

2015: I sent Captain Locky MacLean and the ship Sam Simon to pursue the ship carrying a cargo of whale meat from Iceland to Japan. He chases the ship into Norwegian waters where the Norwegian authorities intervene allow the cargo to escape. The campaign drew international attention to the shipping of whale meat from Iceland to Japan.

2016: The last campaign (Operation Nemesis) with the Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling operation and to film the 8th Season of Whale Wars

2018: Japan decides to end whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

2020 -2021: Sea Shepherd U.K. confronts Icelandic whaling operations in Iceland.

Myself and thousands of our supporters are proud of this history of what we accomplished and unlike some others we are not ashamed of our actions, actions that saved countless lives and made the world a much better place because there are now fewer whalers in the world than when we began.

We flew our Jolly Roger with pride, without apologies for our actions.

We generated controversy and we made enemies but we never failed to represent our clients in the sea with passion, courage and steadfastness.

This is what I intend to continue doing, transparent, uncensored and unrestricted in adherence to the principles of aggressive non-violence that has defined my actions throughout my entire life.

Photo: 1979 People Magazine

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