Captain Paul Watson
Founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Co-Founding Director Greenpeace Foundation
One of our greatest warriors for Planet Ocean, Captain Paul has over four decades of experience at sea, and more than two decades as Master and Commander of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society voyages to protect, defend, and conserve the Earth's wild oceans.
He earned his experience in the Norwegian and Swedish Merchant Marine in the sixties and early seventies, and served as First Officer on Greenpeace voyages between 1971 and 1976.
Since 1979, he has commanded over 200 primarily offshore voyages in storms, ice packs, through canals and treacherous currents, and dangerous confrontations without a single accident or a single injury to his crew or to anyone else. In fact, on many occasions he has commanded two ships simultaneously, relaying orders to a subordinate captain when it has been necessary to deploy two ships at once.
Captain Watson is a sea captain in the truly traditional sense - where he is the master and commander of his own ships and is not dictated to by a corporate Board. He makes the decisions and he bears the full responsibility for his actions.
In 1994, Sea Shepherd acquired a miniature submarine Mirage. A spokesperson for the Canadian Navy publicly stated that no one at Sea Shepherd knew anything about operating a submarine and it was ridiculous for Sea Shepherd to acquire one. He guaranteed that someone would be hurt.
Captain Paul Watson responded to the Canadian Naval spokesperson at the time by saying:
"Since World War II, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has boarded more ships, rammed more ships, engaged in more high seas confrontations and sunk more ships than the Canadian Navy. They are hardly in a position to presume to judge what we are competent or capable of doing."
Their record speaks for itself: All these years later - still no injuries.
I have been honored to serve the whales, dolphins, seals - and all the other creatures on this Earth. Their beauty, intelligence, strength, and spirit have inspired me. These beings have spoken to me, touched me, and I have been rewarded by friendship with many members of different species. If the whales survive and flourish, if the seals continue to live and give birth, and if I can contribute to ensuring their future prosperity, I will be forever happy."
Without a doubt, the Sea Shepherd is the most experienced marine wildlife conservation interventionist organization in the world, and Captain Watson is the single most experienced marine conservation sea captain on the high seas today.