Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson wanted by Interpol


Paul Watson, Canadian founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a direct action group for marine conservation. He has been arrested in Germany on a warrant issued by Costa Rica in 2002.


Gerard Julien

Paul Watson is now wanted by Interpol.

The global police force issued an arrest notice for the man who founded the Sea Shepherd Society after splitting from Greenpeace.

German police arrested Watson in May on a warrant from Costa Rica, which claims he endangered a fishing vessel’s crew 10 years ago in Guatemalan waters.

The Sea Shepherd Society said – under direction of the Guatemala government – it tried to force an illegal Costa Rican shark finning boat back to shore in 2002.

The Costa Ricans say the Sea Shepherd boat rammed them; the incident took place as Sea Shepherd participated in the filming of a documentary called “Sharkwater.”

Watson skipped out on a $320,000 bond last month. His current whereabouts are unknown.

More from GlobalPost: Sea Shepherd founder skips bail in Germany

Interpol’s 190 member countries are now looking out for Watson, a Canadian-born environmental crusader and early member of Greenpeace, CBC said.

Greenpeace forced Watson, 61, from its board in 1977 for his more aggressive views and confrontational strategy.

Sea Shepherd still stands behind Watson.

On its website, the marine conservation society accuses Germany and Costa Rica of bowing to Japanese pressure.

“Japan is driving this effort in retaliation for our successful campaigns to stop them from whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,” Sea Shepherd representative Susan Hartland said. “We’ve cost them millions of dollars and exposed their shame to the world because of their refusal to stop the slaughter of whales in an established sanctuary under the lie and loophole of ‘research.’”

More from GlobalPost: Japan cuts whaling season short