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Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Captain Paul Watson


Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Captain Paul Watson is a world renowned, respected leader in environmental issues best known to television viewers as a defender of sea mammals on the long-running television series Whale Wars.


Watson, also a co-founder of Greenpeace, first founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in 1977. The non-profit marine conservation organization’s mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans. If the oceans die, we die is Watson’s oft-quoted motto that guides Sea Shepherd in its goal to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.


Under Watson’s leadership, Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. It focuses on upholding international conservation law in accordance with the United Nations World Charter for Nature and has forged working alliances with governments, law enforcement, non-governmental organizations and companies.


By creating the largest conservation navy on the planet – there are currently nine ships dedicated to intervention and enforcement --Watson and Sea Shepherd have been instrumental in shutting down various whaling seasons around the world, scuttling Norwegian and Japanese whaling vessels, removing miles of illegal driftnets, intercepting and thwarting various illegal poachers and convincing governments to change laws and institute bans that favor marine life among other accomplishments.


Watson has over four decades of experience at sea, and more than two decades as Master and Commander of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society voyages to protect, defend, and conserve the Earth's wild oceans. Since 1979, he has commanded over 200 primarily offshore voyages in storms, ice packs, through canals and treacherous currents, and dangerous confrontations without a single accident or a single injury to his crew or to anyone else.


Over the years Watson and Sea Shepherd’s actions were chronicled on the big-screen in such documentaries as 2007’s Sharkwater, 2008’s At the Edge of the World and the 2009 Academy Award winning documentary The Cove. 


Watson has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including the Jules Verne Award for excellence exploration, environmental and cinematic achievements, an induction in to the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame, being named Time Magazine’s Top 20 Environmental Heroes of the 20th Century and receiving the Daily Points of Light Award from President George H.W. Bush.


By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced oceanic ecosystems, Watson and Sea Shepherd work to ensure their survival for future generations.




Hillary Watson

Co- Speaker

Animal activism runs in Hillary Watson’s family. She was introduced to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society through her uncle, Captain Paul Watson at a very young age. Hillary was born and raised in London, Ontario, and attended Sir Sandford Fleming College to pursue a Diploma in Environmental Technology.

She sailed aboard The Steve Irwin as Quartermaster on the 2012/2013 Antarctic Whale Defence Campaign, Operation Zero Tolerance, on The Odyssey as cook during the Sea Shepherd and Ocean Alliance joint campaign, Operation Toxic Gulf in July and August 2013, on the Sam Simon as cook for the 2013/2014 Antarctic Whale Defence Campaign, Operation Relentless, and on The Martin Sheen as cook for the Hawaii to Los Angeles transit and public unveiling in 2014.

Hillary has returned to London following her schooling and 2 year stint as a Sea Shepherd crewmember and now works as a cook in a vegan restaurant.

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