Sea Shepherd founder and eco-activist Paul Watson is finally back on land after 15 months at sea, trying to evade an Interpol arrest warrant issued for skipping bail in Germany last July. According to his statement on Facebook, the “Red Notice” from his Costa Rican charges, stemming from a high seas confrontation over shark finning back in 2002, have already been dropped and so he will be heading to the United States to fight the civil suits brought against his organization.
Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research, the organization that conducts the whaling operations in the Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, has been pursuing legal action against Sea Shepherd in the US, seeking an injunction against their anti-whaling activities that have affected their catch last season. Japanese authorities refer to their operations as “terrorist” activities and a US court agreed with this, ordering the eco-warriors to maintain a 500 meter distance from any of the Japanese whaling ships and labeling them as “pirates”.
Watson said he will be challenging the “Red Notice” against him, requested by Japan and that he will be defending himself and his organization from all these charges and lawsuits. He will head to Seattle first to testify in a court hearing next week over one of the suits by the Japanese whalers. His Facebook page was immediately flooded with likes and messages from his supporters, with some calling him a “modern-day hero” for his continued fight against countries like Japan that continue to hunt down whales under the guise of “scientific research”, which Sea Shepherd says is a clear violation of the international whaling ban agreed at the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
[ via Global Post ]