Celebrities rally around Watson, on bail for intervening in Guatemala shark finning operation
About Paul Watson
Paul Watson was born in Toronto, Canada, on December 2, 1950. At six years old, he and his family moved to the lobster fishing town of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea in New Brunswick. The eldest of seven children, Watson lived there until January 1964 when his mother died and his father returned the family to Toronto. His father was Anthony Joseph Watson, a French-Canadian born in New Brunswick, Canada. His mother was Annamarie Larsen, the daughter of a Danish artist Otto Larsen and Canadian Doris Phoebe Clark.
In 1960, Watson was a member of the Kindness Club, founded by Aida Flemming in New Brunswick. After trappers killed one of his beaver friends, Watson set out, (at the age of nine), to confiscate and destroy leg-hold traps. He was also known to disrupt deer and duck hunters, and to prevent other boys from shooting birds.
In 1967, Watson left home to work at Expo 67 in Montreal and then rode the rails to Vancouver where he worked on the Canadian Pacific Steamship Princess Marguerite as a fireman. In 1968, Watson joined the Canadian Coast Guard. His first ship was the weathership C.C.G.S. Vancouver. In 1969, Watson joined the crew of the Norwegian bulk carrier Bris on a voyage to Asia and Africa. Early voyages with the Canadian, Norwegian, Swedish, and British merchant marine provided him with experience on all the world's oceans, including weathering typhoons in the South China Sea, North Atlantic storms in the iceberg-strewn northern latitudes of the Atlantic and navigating the war zones of the Persian Gulf. He served in the Canadian Coast Guard for two years in the early seventies on weatherships, buoy tenders and on a search and rescue hovercraft.
Over the years, Watson has exhibited a remarkable diversity in his activism. Aside from being a co-founder of Greenpeace in 1972, Greenpeace International in 1979, and founder of Sea Shepherd in 1977, Watson was a Field Correspondent for Defenders of Wildlife between 1976 and 1980. He was a field representative for the Fund for Animals between 1978 and 1981, and a representative for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals in 1979. He co-founded Earthforce Environmental Society in 1977 and Friends of the Wolf in 1984. Watson's first affiliation with the Sierra Club was in 1968 and he has remained a Sierra Club supporter ever since. Watson was elected to the National Board of the Sierra Club USA serving as a director from 2003-2006.
Education and Public Presentations
Watson majored in communications and linguistics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He has lectured extensively at universities around the world, and was a professor of Ecology at Pasadena College of Design from 1990 through to 1994. Watson also was an instructor in UCLA's Honors Program for 1998 and 1999. Currently, Watson is a registered speaker with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME), and regularly gives presentations at colleges and universities in the United States and at special events throughout world.
On the political front, Watson has run for Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre in the Canadian Federal elections. He ran twice for the Green Party. He also ran on the Green Party ticket for Vancouver Parks Board in 1987 and for Mayor of Vancouver in 1995.
Awards and Commendations
Watson has received many awards and commendations over the years. In 1996, Watson was awarded an honorary citizenship to the French town of St. Jean Cap Ferrat. Previous to that he was made an honorary citizen of the Florida Keys in 1989. Other awards include Toronto City TV's Environmentalist of the Year Award for 1990, the Genesis Award in 1998, and he was enrolled in the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also awarded the George H.W. Bush Daily Points of Light Award in 1999 for his volunteer efforts with conservation activism. He was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the environmental heroes of the 20th Century in the year 2000.
Watson is a prolific writer and author. His published titles include: Shepherds of the Sea* (1979), Sea Shepherd: My Fight for Whales and Seals* (1982), Cry Wolf* (1985), <Earthforce: An Earth Warrior's Guide to Strategy(1993), Ocean Warrior: My Battle to End the Illegal Slaughter on the High Seas (1994), and Seal Wars: Twenty-five Years on the Front Lines with the Harp Seals (2002).
*These books are out of print, and can only be found via book-finding services.
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