I have been following the escapades of Paul Watson for the past few years and find him an interesting character, but not one without fault. I applaud Costa Rica for demanding he return to Costa Rica in person for a trial to clear his name. They would make the same demand for me and you if we had skipped bail, as they have for former presidents of the country! I am all for protecting whales, dolphins, lions, tigers and bears, oh my. But more importantly I am for protecting the order of law. Costa Rica is a country of peace, and Mr. Watson and his followers regularly state on their TV program ” the only way to stop us is to sink us!” Hardly a peaceful bunch. In the 18th and 19th centuries the West Indian Trading Company would have hung them!
Mr. Watson feels he can sail his ships around the world with impunity and harass fishermen despite the fact that what they are doing, while perhaps morally against what you or I believe in, is legal in the waters where the whales are hunted and often part of the culture of the people hunting the animals. Regardless of my personal disdain for whaling, I am offended at his self righteousness and the absurd claim that Costa Rica would allow the shark finning mafia to kill him if he was put in prison there. Come on, be realistic, I doubt a man of his celebrity would suffer such a fate, and, indeed, if he would be imprisoned at all, except, of course, he did skip bail the last time.
As far as the tape he has showing the conflict with Costa Rican fishermen, I ask who gave him the right to stop a vessel of a sovereign nation from doing anything legal or illegal. Shark finning is a horrible act, but he is not an arm of any law enforcement entity as I know. In fact, his actions and those of his crew are close to piracy and certainly amount to nothing more than vandalism. The right of law is more important. The end does not justify the means. I believe Mr. Paul Watson may have began his crusade with great intention many years ago. Today he is motivated by self importance, and financial gain. He has a TV show after all that must have new adventures to maintain ratings and support his fantasy as a savior of the environment.
Don’t worry about Mr. Watson. Be concerned about the rights of others and yours as well. Where does it stop if he is not held accountable for his acts.
St. Augustine, Florida, and La Uruca