Interpol issues wanted notice for ‘Whale Wars’ star
Paul Watson, seen here speaking to reporters in Berlin in May, skipped bail last month.
August 9th, 2012
12:51 PM ET

Interpol issues wanted notice for ‘Whale Wars’ star

Interpol has issued an international wanted notice for conservationist and “Whale Wars” TV star Paul Watson, days after he skipped bail in Germany as Costa Rica tried to have him extradited.

Watson was arrested at Germany’s Frankfurt airport on May 13 on an arrest warrant issued by Costa Rica, which accuses him of endangering a fishing vessel off the coast of Guatemala in 2002.

He posted roughly $302,000 bail and was ordered to remain in Germany as it considered Costa Rica’s extradition request, but he stopped reporting to authorities on July 22, a German court said. Watson left Germany and forfeited his bail, according to his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which isn’t revealing his location.

“Following confirmation from German authorities that Paul Watson had failed to satisfy the bail conditions established by the German courts and had fled the country, Costa Rican authorities renewed their request” for Interpol to issue an international wanted notice for Watson, which Interpol did Tuesday, Interpol said.

Costa Rican authorities allege that Watson - whose attempts to disrupt Japanese whalers at sea gained him fame on Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” TV show - and his crew aboard Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Warrior ship endangered a Costa Rican fishing vessel during a confrontation off Guatemala’s coast.

The U.S.-based Sea Shepherd denies the allegations, arguing that the charges have less to do with law than with Watson’s anti-conservationist enemies.

In the 2002 incident, according to Sea Shepherd ship operations officer Peter Hammarstedt, the Ocean Warrior found a Costa Rican crew killing sharks for their fins in Guatemalan waters. The Ocean Warrior initially had permission from Guatemalan authorities to stop it and tow the vessel into port, he said.

The Ocean Warrior used water cannons on the fishing vessel, but “there were no injuries and no physical damage to any ship,” Hammarstedt said in May.

The Ocean Warrior did stop the ship, but Guatemalan authorities eventually asked Watson to release it, Hammarstedt said.

The confrontation is detailed in part of a 2007 documentary, “Sharkwater,” Hammarstedt said.

Shark finning is the practice of cutting the fins off sharks and throwing the sharks back into the sea, where they die. The fins are used for expensive soup, mostly in China.

The current charge, according to Interpol, is “causing a danger of drowning or of an air disaster.”

Sea Shepherd says that “anyone who’s viewed the documentary can clearly see the charges are bogus.”

“The water cannon Captain Watson allegedly used to stop the illegal shark finners never reached the wheelhouse, thereby having no possibility of interfering with their safe navigation, nor were there any aircraft overhead at the time so as to potentially cause an ‘air disaster,’” Sea Shepherd said in a statement issued Wednesday.

Interpol’s wanted notices, called red notices, are sent to police agencies across the world, but they are not arrest warrants.

“Each of Interpol’s 190 member countries must apply their national laws and standards in determining whether it may detain or arrest the wanted person,” Interpol says.

May 2012: Bail set for ‘Whale Wars’ star in extradition fight

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Filed under: Costa Rica • Courts • Crime • Environment • Germany • Justice • Nature
soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. silencedogood

    This is just a cross network promotion for sweeps week when they have Dog the Bounty Hunter bring in the Whale Wars Captain. 😉

    August 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Capt. Ahab

      I'd Watch!!!!! The Best T.V. Ever!!!!!

      August 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Derek

    maybe if he would think outside the box and realize people in other countries have different ways of life he would quit being a d bag. I don't see muslims coming over and harassing us for eating pork.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • little mister

      Think outside the box is a hackneyed boring phrase. How about independent thinking?

      August 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jt_flyer

      From my experience people who say "think outside the box" are in fact the box.

      August 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • geberto

      Pigs aren't endangered and we utilize the whole animal smart guy

      August 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • earlbowden

      Are pigs on any kind of endangered list?

      August 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jt_flyer

    I hope they never catch him.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dorian canalizo

    Figures you are a Romney supporter. You don't give a crap about nature, animals, humans in needs. I bet you hunt, own a pick up truck, and drink lots of beer.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Saying

      Sounds like stereotyping…I thought bleeding hearts don’t believe in that?

      If you’re not a vegetarian, do not bring up hunting. Hunting and eating the meat is no different than going to a restaurant and getting steak. Both animals are killed by humans and served to humans. The manner in which they are killed does not matter to the animal….either way its dead. Also, watch some videos on slandering houses, I would venture to say that their treatment of animals is worse than shooting a deer in an over populated area.

      August 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Is MSNBC considered a slandering house? I'd say so.

      August 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      And fox news?

      August 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smg

      What's a slandering house? Genius.

      August 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truthdetector

      'slandering houses' lol

      August 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sharpy

      I agree with much of your statement but think killing a slaughter house animal is more of a mercy killing while the death of a wild/free animal is a more tragic loss by comparision is my only questionable point!

      August 11, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Dhiraj

      What you said is very true (about vegeterians), but we also cannot hand issues liek this to a limited group of people. We all need to be together. Yes, it's true that killing is kiliing, the method doesn't matter. But killing who, what, and when should matter, right? For this particluar issue, is it really worth killing a Whale for just for its fin??? If you could feed 100 hungry people with it, may be yes, but not for few stupid group of rich people.

      August 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      I've been a vegetarian for over 25 years and I agree with you 100%.

      There are only two groups of people who truly understand the connection between killing animals and eating meat. Hunters and vegetarians.

      I think a deer that lives in nature for 5 years, then gets shot by a hunter has a far better life than an animal in a factory farm packed in to maximize profit with no consideration of the animal's life.

      August 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • RetiredVet

      So just because you disagree with someone you instantly stereotype them, typical liberal. I bet you smoke weed, drive a Prius, and drink carrrot juice.
      I have served 20 years in the US Navy, legally own firearms, own 2 Dodge trucks and a muscle car, occasionaly have a beer. Why? Because I can. And I also don't support whalers.

      August 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • TommyBlackflag

      What kind of muscle car?

      August 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      The wingnut in Minnesota that killed the Sikhs also served, and also had legal firearms. Painting yourself with the same brush? The only half-relevant comment in your post is that you don't support whalers, it does nothing to address the actual issue, which is that an Interpol warrant has been issued against a alleged terrorist; further you seem to have singled out an unidentified party. I smoke piles of weed, drive a Focus because it's a good little car and serves my needs (I can also drive only one car at a time so how many I have means naught), drink top-end tequila, real non-American beer and fine red wine, and routinely point out ridiculous posts such as yours, but I'm actually a small c conservative. Care to try again?

      August 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      LOL!!! DRINK CARROT JUICE!!!!! Comedy!

      August 15, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • WRG001

      Whales are a renewable source of oil. Whale farms...get people back to work, establish "sea grazing" zones for resonsible culling of the herd...treat'm like cattle for the meat and the oil and whatever else we can from them. Oh, wait...I hunt, sold my truck, would never support Romney and vote blue most, but not all, of the time. What, exactly, is wrong with hunting or trucks?

      August 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • chad

      you idiot

      August 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • philabias

      just like every other true blooded american
      unlike your kinda trash

      August 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • 666metal

      I bet you hunt?...lol those dang hunters such meanies....lol

      August 9, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • richard407

      I'm not a Romney supported but what is wrong with hunting, owning a truck, and drinking beer.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • danielwalldammit

      Well if you do all 3 at the same time, that's at least 1 traffic violation and 1 hunting violation in most states.

      August 12, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • tryclyde

      Hey, leave beer out of this.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • mindurbiz

      No, he actually drives a volkswagen beattle, walks around Market st in heels and a bakini and drinks Cosmopolitans. Yeah, more than one can make rediculous generalizations, although they just make us all look like complete idiots.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name s kel

      I have hunted, like some pick up trucks, am a gun owner, and I like beer. Im a military war vet and retired fireman, Im also a democratic Pres Obama supporter!

      August 11, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Radical Centrist

      I have or do all of those things but I'm voting for Roseanne.

      August 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • ladylike56

      You are so right on!

      August 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • BG

      These green peace guys are nut cases. Okay, whales are endangered, they need protection, but not from these nutcases, they all need to be locked up

      August 13, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      HEY Romeny cared enough about his pet dog to take him on a six hour car ride - in a box strapped to the top of the car

      August 13, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Griffin Kearns

      "Figures you are a Romney supporter. You don't give a crap about nature, animals, humans in needs. I bet you hunt, own a pick up truck, and drink lots of beer."

      Your point?

      August 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. cyg

    He should have used live grenandes on them. Maybe a flamethrower or two, would serve them right. Who cares about Costa Rica and Guatemala anyway, have your illegals are streaming in from there, GOP.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    So its not ok for whaling ships to break the law and endager the whales BUT its ok for you to endager the lives of other ships and its crew....Hmm now I know why I hate this damn show...

    August 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sharpy

      Bill the whales cannot defend themselves? Pauls methods do not take human lives while the whalers kill whales not endanger the whales they kill them! Hope this clears things up for you!

      August 11, 2012 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. Don Canard

    looks like the hall monitors are using Interpol to go after him because he's insufficiently respectful of sociopolitical power. Well F8ck those waste products

    August 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hmmm

    If I was a billionaire I'd donate a submarine to this guy capable of tearing out the bottom of any boat.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      and start with his . . .

      August 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. loverpoint

    I'm sure an elitist like Romney would have to serve shark fin soup to all his Chinese clients he bows to.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • A.P. Waichulaitis

      Isnt Barack the one that bows to the Chinese????

      August 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Obama, as president, has borrowed more money and done more "business" with China than Romney could have dreamed of...guess your not so concerned with the facts though...Also, shark fin soup offends me a lot less than eating dogs.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Also, interesting side note. In February of this year, Obama got in trouble for patronizing a restaurant in San Francisco, famous for serving shark fin soup. Its called the Great Eastern Restaurant. It was a big story. If you read, you might know about it...but, sadly for you, Rachael Maddow never mentione it.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • nadinesh

      True. Romney is an elitist who didn't fight for his country and whose many children haven't either, and who strapped his dog to the roof of his car and traveled many hundreds of miles that way. The dog ran away. So will America.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. huxley

    A suspected terrorist we haven't assassinated with drones yet? They'll be coming soon, Watson.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. oreo

    The man is a liar. Remember when he was shot? lol

    August 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. This is Weak

    South Park episode, Whale Wars. Watch it.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Richard

    That picture of Watson smiling should have a disclaimer for graphic content... it's creepy.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. karbvi

    Derek......you must be a born again redneck with thinking like that. Muslims only blew up the Twin Towers because they hate our way of life which for some of the lesser intelligent people include eating pork.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. disagreement

    Looks like those whales have him by the balls this time. Yarghhhhhhh

    August 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
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