In a selfless move, Paul Watson former leader of the environmental activist group Sea Shepherd has stood aside in order for this years anti-whaling campaign to be successful.
A recent move by U.S. courts ordered that Sea Shepherd stay at least 450 meters away from any Japanese whaling vessels. The order was made legal due to the fact that Paul Watson is a U.S. citizen.
Former Australian Green Party Leader and Senator Bob Brown, will take the helm as the groups new leader.
The head of a controversial anti-whaling organization has resigned in order to comply with a U.S. court order.
Paul Watson issued a statement saying he has stepped down as leader of Sea Shepherd.
Watson said his decision was based on an injunction issued in the U.S. last month that barred the organization from being within 450 metres of Japanese whaling vessels.
Watson, who holds dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship, said he was personally named in the injunction and must step down in order to avoid criminal charges.
The Toronto-born anti-whaling crusader said he has resigned all positions with the organization, which has chapters in the U.S. and Australia.
He said campaigns against Japanese fleets will continue under the leadership of former Australian senator Bob Brown.
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It is estimated that Sea Shepard is responsible for saving the lives of thousands of Whales each year from the hands of the Japanese Whaling fleet that exploit a loop hole in the International Whaling Commission, which permits the slaughtering of a set amount of Whales for “Research” purposes.
Here is a Statement By Paul Watson.
In 1998 Sea Shepherd USA complied with the order by the United States Coast Guard to not approach within a thousand yards of the Makah whaling operation in Washington State.
I myself have never been convicted of a felony crime.
And for this reason, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the United States and myself as a U.S. citizen must comply with the order by the 9th Circuit court of the United States.
Because I have been personally named in the injunction I have resigned as the President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the United States and as President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Australia. I have also resigned my position of Executive Director of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA and I will hold no paid position with Sea Shepherd anywhere Sea Shepherd is registered and operates as a non-profit organization in any nation.
I have also stepped down as campaign leader for Operation Zero Tolerance. Former Greens Party leader and former Australian Senator, Bob Brown of Tasmania will now hold this position.
I have also stepped down as Captain of the Steve Irwin. Captain Siddharth Chakravarty of India is now in command of the Steve Irwin. The other three Captains are citizens of Sweden, France and Australia.
As a United States citizen, I will respect and comply with the ruling of the United States 9th District Court and will not violate the temporary injunction granted to the Institute for Cetacean Research. I will participate as an observer within the boundaries established by the 9th Circuit Court of the United States.
Here is what Paul had to say about the current campaign Operation Zero Tolerance.
As we continue to plunder the ocean with no regard for any of the wildlife that inhabit it, humans like Paul Watson are these creatures last line of defence in an otherwise unfettered slaughter.
If we are to ever survive in this world… it will take more than just the efforts of a few brave individuals whom on a daily basis risk their lives and in some cases their freedom for the sake of us all.
I am awe of these warriors for our planet and we all need to show our support!