More than 37 years ago, Captain Paul Watson founded what has become the world's most active marine protection non-profit organization – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Paul Watson's career as a Master Mariner began in 1968 as a seaman with the merchant marines and with the Canadian Coast Guard. Watson majored in communications and linguistics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
In 1972, Watson co-founded the Greenpeace Foundation (GP) in Vancouver, BC. From 1971-77, Watson served as First Officer on all GP voyages, and on a campaign against Russian whalers he implemented his idea of putting activists in a zodiac between the harpoon and the whale. From 1976-77, he led all of the GP expeditions to protect harp seals on the ice floes of eastern Canada. In 1977, Watson left GP because he felt the original goals of the organization were being compromised, and because he saw a specific, global need to continue direct-action, conservation activities on the high seas.
In 1977, Watson founded Sea Shepherd Conservation Society – dedicated to research, investigation, and the enforcement of laws, treaties, resolutions, and regulations established to protect marine wildlife and their habitats worldwide. Watson travels and lectures extensively at universities and events around the world, including Pasadena College of Design and UCLA. He has authored six books: Shepherds of the Sea (1979); Sea Shepherd: My Fight for Whales and Seals (1982); Cry Wolf (1985); Earthforce! (1993); Ocean Warrior (1994); and Seal Wars (2002). In addition, he has been the subject of numerous magazine articles and profiles including being chosen by Time Magazine as one of the environmental heroes of the 20th Century in the year 2000.
Headshot photo: Eric Cheng/Sea Shepherd