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Captain Paul Watson Arrested; Jumps Bail
Captain Paul Watson

Captain Paul Watson delivers the keynote speech at the Animal Rights National Conference in 2008.

Image ©Doris Lin 2012, licensed to About.com, Inc.

The founder and head of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Captain Paul Watson, was arrested in Germany on Saturday, May 12 for extradition to Costa Rica on a "violation of ship traffic" charge. In July, Sea Shepherd's attorney confirmed that Japan was seeking to have Watson extradicted to Japan. After being released on bail, Watson jumped bail to avoid extradiction to Japan.

Japan and Sea Shepherd have had a long-standing conflict over Japan's "scientific whaling," an exception to the International Whaling Commission's ban on commercial whaling. Watson's group has successfully impaired the Japanese whaling fleet's activities over the years with controversial tactics such as boarding the Japanese vessels and sabotaging them. A Discovery channel television series, "Whale Wars," documented Sea Shepherd's campaigns in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

By jumping bail in Germany, Watson forfeited the bail money and is now unable to set foot on shore or he will risk arrest. According to the Sea Shepherd website in December, 2012, Watson states "After four months and 9,000 miles, I am back aboard the Steve Irwin. With your help I am confident we will send the Japanese whalers home with zero kills."

Read my exclusive interview with Captain Watson here.

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