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Neptune's Navy: The life and opinions of Paul Watson, anti-whaling vigilante
October 30, 2007 8:57 PM   Subscribe

A list of Watson’s campaigns in the eighties reads like a catalogue of Tintin adventures. In 1981, he secretly entered Siberia to document a Soviet food-processing facility that was converting illegally harvested whale meat into feed for animals at a fur farm. He succeeded in avoiding the K.G.B. and in outmaneuvering the Soviet Navy around a pod of gray whales. (Greenpeace, which visited the facility the following year, got caught; one of the Greenpeace activists told me, “I was taken into a room with a K.G.B. guy who asked, ‘Do you know Paul Watson?’ ”) In 1982, from a chartered airplane, Watson dropped paint-filled light bulbs on a Soviet trawler in the northern Pacific. He has used spoiled pie filling, fired from water cannons, as a weapon at sea. During the Falklands War, he contacted the British Navy and offered to assist its fleet by ferrying medical supplies to the front—“so I could head off any Argentine move to kill penguins,” he told me. The British declined the offer.
Neptune's Navy [print], the life and opinions of Paul Watson, anti-whaling vigilante and founder of Sea Shepherd. posted by Kattullus (9 comments total)

Wow, that's like something right out of Zodiac
posted by Richard Daly at 9:30 PM on October 30, 2007

There's some good footage of Paul Watson at work in the recent documentary film, Sharkwater. Short bio here.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:35 PM on October 30, 2007

I started reading about Paul Watson on Wikipedia, in relation to monkeywrenching and Edward Abbey. Watson is also featured in the upcoming film "SharkWater".

I'm working my way through the article, but the sentence at the bottom of the first page sums up what I know of the man so far very well :

“His sense of urgency, his impressive ego, his argumentativeness, his love of theatrics, his tendency to bend the truth, his willingness to risk lives or injury for his beliefs (or for publicity), and his courage (or recklessness) have earned him both loathing and veneration from those who are familiar with his activism.”

While I may not always agree with his tactics, it is indeniable that the man has balls the size of limpet mines. Puts my mild environmental activism - which stops short of putting "I'm Changing The Environment - Ask Me How!" bumperstickers on Hummers - look extremely paltry in comparison.

Thanks for this, Kattullus.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:38 PM on October 30, 2007

The US navy has won the latest round in a court battle over whether it can use sonar equipment which environmentalists say can kill whales and other mammals.
posted by homunculus at 9:44 PM on October 30, 2007

While I'm not a huge fan of Patrick Watson, I must say I respect him more than fellow Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore, who I had the unfortunate but fascinating opportunity to meet in Tumbler Ridge a few weeks ago. Patrick Moore is a true sellout and hack who spits venom and vitriol, and sets up and slaughters straw men in order to support a lucrative PR business. At least Watson has his convictions. Moore has none whatsoever, and gives spin doctors a bad name.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:28 PM on October 30, 2007 [2 favorites]

Pierce Brosnan, Martin Sheen, William Shatner and Richard Dean Anderson are among a few of the celebrities who support the Sea Shepherd Conversation Society. Captain Watson commented, "How can we fail when we have James Bond, Captain Kirk, the President of the United States and McGyver?"

posted by finite at 11:06 PM on October 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Hours Before Beginning 4-Year Jail Sentence, Animal Rights Activist Jonathan Paul in First Interview Since Arrest
posted by homunculus at 2:41 PM on October 31, 2007

Japanese Fleet to Hunt Humpback Whales
posted by homunculus at 10:06 AM on November 17, 2007

Discovery set to refute Japanese whaling claims
posted by homunculus at 10:13 AM on November 17, 2007

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