Watson to join antiwhaling fight

AFP-JIJI

Militant conservationist and Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson will join this year’s campaign against Japanese whalers despite an Interpol notice for his arrest, the group said Friday.

The Canadian national has not been seen since he skipped bail in Germany in July on charges stemming from a confrontation over shark finning in 2002, but he has pledged to lead the fight against the whalers.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is due to kick off its annual campaign Monday, with four ships and more than 100 crew members readying for the Southern Ocean summer pursuit.

“It is expected Capt. Paul Watson would appear in command of one of the vessels when the action begins,” said Peter Hammarstedt, captain of Sea Shepherd’s vessel the Bob Barker.

The activists begin their campaign Monday with the Steve Irwin, previously captained by Watson, leaving the southern Australian port of Williamstown skippered by Indian Siddharth Chakravarty. The Bob Barker is due to leave Sydney later this month, while Sea Shepherd has not revealed the location of its two other ships, a new mystery vessel called the Sam Simon and the Brigitte Bardot.