The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said Monday that it finally received a message from its fugitive founder and president, Paul Watson.
“I am presently in a place on this planet where I feel comfortable, a safe place far away from the scheming nations who have turned a blind eye to the exploitation of our oceans,” said Watson in the message addressed to friends and supporters.
The marine conservationist suggested that there was a conspiracy involving Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla to turn him over to Japan for trial. He based that statement on the fact that Ms. Chinchilla met with the Japanese prime minister in December.
“I had attended the Hamburg Film Festival in November 2011 without being arrested in Germany,” said Watson. “In March I traveled to Spain and France without incident. Yet in May of 2012, I was arrested in Germany on an extradition warrant from Costa Rica. And what I found was that Costa Rica, like Japan, had issued an Interpol notice and Interpol at the end had dismissed the request.
“This was never really about Costa Rica. It has been about Japan all along,” he said.
According to Watson, the Japanese are fabricating a case based on the 2010 collision between the “Shonan Maru #2” and Sea Shepherd’s “Ady Gil.”
“We have cost the Japanese whaling industry tens of millions of dollars and in October 2011, they were allocated a war chest of some thirty million dollars in misappropriated Tsunami Relief Funds to combat Sea Shepherd,” Watson said. “With that money they have increased security at sea, filed civil suits in the U.S. courts against us, and they have researched just where we might be vulnerable.”
Costa Rica sought Watson to answer for an encounter with a Costa Rican shark-fishing boat in Guatemalan waters. His crew sprayed water on the other boat, and his”Ocean Warrior” and the Costa Rican boat bumped. The whole episode was filed and ended up in a feature movie “Sharkwater.”