Today December 21st is the Winter Solstice (up in the North Hemisphere), which I consider to be the last day of the year.
2022 has been a year of disappointment, betrayal, treachery, and surprises but it has also presented us with new opportunities, freedoms and promises.
Yes, the organization that I created 45 years ago has been taken over by unscrupulous people from within, who have changed the course to something we have never been and should never ever be. Yes, many of the people who did this, I considered to be trusted and loyal friends. Yes, they scrapped or sold most of our ships and backed away from the tactics and strategies that have proven effective for so many years. Yes, they have decided to compromise with governments, to be less controversial, less confrontational, and less interesting. Yes, they took our property, our money, and our archives and yes, they have threatened us with lawsuits over trademarks they secretly registered over logos I designed and the name I established which they now claim they own.
That’s the negative experience of the past year.
Now the positive: We are liberated. We are free. We are motivated and our most important properties remain in our possession, our passion, our courage, our imagination, our resolve, and our determination. In this sense we are stronger than ever.
We have a new ship and two more ships to be acquired in 2023. We have loyal and generous supporters. We have crew, not just any crew but the best and most loyal crew. We are now unencumbered by bureaucrats, by control freaks and by compromises. Governments don’t dictate our behavior.
My new organization the Captain Paul Watson Foundation has been registered in the USA and soon will be registered in Australia, Canada and other countries.
The countries we will not be registered in are France, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Hungary because these countries have chosen to remain true and loyal to traditional Sea Shepherd values and strategies. These countries along with the Captain Paul Watson Foundation have formed Sea Shepherd Origins.
Sea Shepherd Origins will go to where Sea Shepherd USA and Sea Shepherd Global no longer wish or fear to go. Like opposing the killing of whales, dolphins, seals, and sea turtles and going head-to-head with super-trawlers on the high seas. Sea Shepherd Origins is not competing with other Sea Shepherd groups, we are simply doing the work they no longer wish to do using traditional methods they now reject. Sea Shepherd Origins will not partner with nations that support Japanese whaling, nations like Liberia, Tanzania or Benin or nations like Namibia that mass murder seals.
I see 2023 as a year of activism opportunities. After a decade of forced exile, it is time for me to risk all and to go to sea once again and to once again command a campaign on the high seas. It is time for us to start making waves again.
We can’t let one man in Iceland continue his serial killing spree on endangered Fin whales. We can’t allow the mass slaughter of dolphins and pilot whales in the Faroe Islands to continue. We can’t allow Norway and Japan to continue illegally kill whales with impunity. We must stop these ecological machines of ecological destruction – the super trawlers that continue their rapacious massacre of the fishes of the world.
Those that stole our logo, now pretend to own a flag they no longer dare fly at sea so as not to offend their government partners, although they use it to aggressively market merchandise.
To them our flag is a marketing device. To us it is emblematic of what we are.
So yes, they think they possess our flag, but we possess what that flag stands for, and what we have they can never trademark or copyright.
The spirit of that Jolly Roger flag is ours and will always be ours, no matter what flag we fly
2023 is the year we recover our courage, our integrity and renew our passion.
Happy New Year