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It was in 2005 that I first came to Australia to make ready for a campaign to oppose illegal Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean.

Australia was our base for every Antarctic campaign between 2005 and 2017. Australia was my base from 2005 until 2012 after which the placement by Japan of my name on the Interpol Red Notice prevented me from returning to Australia where the authorities would detain and extradite me to Japan for the charge of conspiracy to trespass on a whaling ship.

The Interpol Red Notice is for serial killers, war criminals and major drug traffickers. I don’t think anyone has ever been given a Red Notice for conspiracy to trespass but Japan is a powerful nation and we had humiliated them in the Southern Ocean.

That was the price I had to pay however for leading the long and ultimately successful campaign to force the Japanese whaling fleet out of the Southern Ocean.

In 2006, I established Sea Shepherd Australia. We had a huge support base in Australia and Australian supporters helped us to raise the funds we needed to send our ships down year after year to the Southern Ocean.

Although I could no longer return to Australia after 2012, I thought I had a trusted group of people to run and maintain Sea Shepherd in Australia. In particular, I thought I had the trust and loyalty of Peter Hammarsted and Jeff Hansen.

When I was dismissed from the Global Board because of pressure from Sea Shepherd USA I was disappointed that the Australian Board did not back me. Both Peter and Jeff were directors of the Global Board that dismissed me without a meeting, a discussion, or a vote. I was informed of my dismissal by email. The rest of the Board were people I did not know, appointed by Jeff Hansen.

Why did this happen?

Because I refused to change the direction of Sea Shepherd from what we had always been to what it was becoming.

Collaborations with governments, no longer being involved with whaling campaigns and withdrawing from the dolphin campaign in Taiji. Despite opposition, Sea Shepherd U.K. Director Rob Read refused to abandon the whales in Iceland or the pilot whales in the Faroes.

The ”new” Sea Shepherd wanted to move away from confrontation and controversy to be something other than what we have always been. I could not support or participate in this transition from bad ass to mediocre, from in their face to being an über service for government bureaucrats.

Although as of yesterday I was a director of Sea Shepherd Australia, it was a position in name only. My concerns were ignored, my questions unanswered.

For that reason, I have officially resigned from the Sea Shepherd Australia Board of Directors.

This is my resignation letter and my October 18th, 2022 letter asking questions that were never answered.

I never imagined that the organization that I founded in 1977 would ever collaborate with a fishing corporation let alone a company 50% owned by the Japanese Maruha Nichiro company whose history included the operation of the pirate whaler Sierra that I rammed in 1979 and sank in 1980. It is a betrayal.

The Captain Paul Watson Foundation is being established in Australia and will work with Sea Shepherd Origins to carry on the work and the focus of what Sea Shepherd has always been.

Sea Shepherd Origins are the Sea Shepherd entities that remain true to the original objectives and strategies of what Sea Shepherd has always been and should continue to be. These national entities are France, U.K., Brazil, Canada and Hungary.

Sea Shepherd Australia has been compromised.

Resignation From the Sea Shepherd Australia Board of Directors

I, Captain Paul Watson, hereby resign from the Sea Shepherd Australian Board of Directors.

On October 18th, 2022, I sent a letter (attached below) to the Sea Shepherd Australian Board of Directors raising a number of important questions concerning the link between Austral Fisheries and the Japanese fishing company, Maruha Nichiro, and the potential damaging impact such link can have on Sea Shepherd Australia. As of December 21st, 2022, my questions and concerns remain unaddressed.

I have serious ethical concerns about the secrecy concerning the relationship between Austral Fisheries and Maruha Nichiro and I do not wish my name to be associated with a collaboration between Sea Shepherd, the organization I founded in 1977, and these two companies, one of which is a former whaling company.

This collaboration is contrary to Sea Shepherd’s core values and is unacceptable.

The evidence suggests that Sea Shepherd Australia has been compromised.

By refusing to answer my questions I have no choice but to resign from the Sea Shepherd Australia Board.

Dated: December 22nd, 2023

[See signed version attached as PDF]


Paul Watson


October 18th, 2022 Letter from Sea Shepherd Australia Board member Paul Watson to the Board of Directors of Sea Shepherd Australia.

To the Board of Sea Shepherd Australia,

I received this message (below) yesterday (Oct 17th) and it is concerning.

The attachment shows the link between Austral Fisheries and the Japanese fishing company Maruha Nichiro a company that I linked to the ownership of the pirate whaler Sierra that I rammed and disabled in 1979.

A link between Sea Shepherd Australia and Austral Fisheries has the potential to be damaging to Sea Shepherd Australia.

I need the answers to the following questions

1. Was Austral Fisheries and it’s CEO Dave Carter involved with securing tax status for Sea Shepherd Australia?

2. I it true as alleged that complaint by Sea Shepherd supporters have been ignored?

3. Was the Alan Kay purchased from Austral Fisheries?

4. Did Austral Fisheries give Sea Shepherd Australia a discount on the purchase?

5. Did Austral Fisheries donate the fuel that was on the Alan Kay at the time of purchase?

6. Has Jeff Hansen cooperated with Austral Fisheries in doing interviews and podcasts on “sustainable Fisheries”?

7. Has Austral Fisheries given donations to Sea Shepherd Australia independent of the purchase of the Alan Kay?

8. Does Sea Shepherd Australia condone the exploitation of marine life by Austral Fisheries?

9. Does Sea Shepherd specifically condone the Austral Fisheries exploitation of Antarctic toothfish?

10. Are the members of the Board for Sea Shepherd Australia aware of these concerns?

11. What exactly is the relationship between Austral Fisheries and Sea Shepherd Australia?

12. Would Sea Shepherd Australia oppose over-fishing by Austral Fisheries?

13. Is Sea Shepherd Australia comfortable with working with a company (Austral Fisheries) that is linked to the Japanese fishing and whaling industry?

14. What is the personal relationship between Jeff Hansen and Dave Carter?

15. Is the Board aware of concerns and complaints by Shepherd Australia supporters?

As a Board member I did hear about a podcast with Jeff Hansen and Dave Carter and I did hear about a donation to Sea Shepherd from a court settlement involving the death of an Austral Fisheries employee but I don’t recall any discussion about purchasing a ship from Austral Fisheries.

My concern is that this information unless properly explained with full transparency could become an embarrassing scandal for Sea Shepherd Australia.

I would suggest that the Board issue a statement to clarify the situation and to specifically state that Sea Shepherd does not support any form of industrialized exploitation of marine life and specifically does not recognize that there is a sustainable toothfish fishery anywhere on the planet. We’re talking about a recognized endangered species

In light of complaints and inquiries by supporters being ignored by Sea Shepherd Australia, I trust that as a director that my concerns will not be ignored and that as a Director, I am entitled to ask these questions and hopefully will be provided with answers.

Sea Shepherd Australia Director Paul Watson

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