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Byron Shire
May 24, 2024

Paul Watson has his say on Sea Shepherd ousting

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Founder of Sea Shepherd, Paul Watson, responds to an article in The Echo (April 3, page 4).

Neptunes Pirates on the John Paul Dejoria. Photo supplied

Regarding your article concerning the split in Sea Shepherd. I established Sea Shepherd as a global movement, not as an organisation, controlled by a few men. It was a democratic association of independent national entities.


In August 2022, four men including Peter Hammarstedt featured in your article unlawfully dismissed Sea Shepherd France President Lamya Essemlali and myself from the Sea Shepherd Global board without a meeting, a discussion, or a vote. This decision was ruled unlawful by a Dutch court.

The reason these four directors dismissed us was to seize control of the ships and assets and to change the direction of the organisation towards the mainstream and away from controversial confrontations.

Captain Paul Watson. Photo supplied.

Questioning partnerships

We were dismissed for questioning their partnerships with corrupt African nations, with the Austral Fisheries Company, with the Allianz Insurance company and most significantly with the Israeli security firm Yamasec.

The tactic of aggressive non-violence that I developed in 1977 was rejected as being too controversial although it was this approach that made Sea Shepherd the successful movement that it became.

With the hostile removal of Lamya Essemlali and myself, Sea Shepherd France, Brazil and the UK remained loyal to the original objectives of the Sea Shepherd movement.

For Adam Shostack to label me a traitor to the cause is absurd. He is supporting the traitors to the cause. We did not change or betray our values, our objectives or our strategies.

No legal right to use the name Sea Shepherd

Hammarstedt and the three directors who took over Sea Shepherd Global recently sued Sea Shepherd France and myself charging that we had no legal right to use the name Sea Shepherd, that I created, or the logos that I designed. All of their charges were dismissed by the court. (Court transcripts that are available)

Neptune’s Pirates. Photo supplied

Two years to rebuild

Since being ousted from Sea Shepherd, it has taken us two years to rebuild. We have now secured two ships, one that will challenge illegal Icelandic whaling this summer and a second will soon arrive in Australia to prepare for a return to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, to stop the return of the Japanese whaling fleet at the end of this year.

These four directors may control the name Sea Shepherd in Australia now but what they did not and could not take from us is the passion, courage and imagination that made us what we became and what some of us continue to be.

Neptune’s Pirates

We’re coming back as Neptune’s Pirates with new ships, a new television series and a stronger determination to address this betrayal through effective action.

I created Sea Shepherd, I never controlled it, but I never expected that others would do so, especially people that I mentored and trusted.

A lesson learned; it won’t happen again.

For the ocean, for life and diversity.


Captain Paul Watson
Founder – Sea Shepherd 1977 – 2022
Director – Sea Shepherd France and Sea Shepherd Brazil
Director – Sea Shepherd UK (Now the CPWF UK)
Founder – Captain Paul Watson Foundation and Neptune’s Pirates

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  1. ‘Onya’ Paul … it’s great to sea you still doing it your way !.

    The Greens have gone much the same way. Lost the original vision and turned into some politically correct imposter.

  2. Yeah sea shepherd Australia and other mutineers have become worse than green peace. Donate and support instead to the Paul Watson Foundation for real action on the seas.


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