Di spite what Paul Watson say the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in not a charitable cause, the claim to be non profit is also something that cannot be proven.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is a non-profit, activist society located in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, USA.
The predecessor organization of Sea Shepherd, the “Earth Force Society”, was formed in 1977, after its founder, Paul Watson was ousted from the board of Greenpeace for disagreements over his direct action activism which clashed with their pacifist nature. Watson soon left Greenpeace. Initially without funding and with only a small group of supporters, Watson convinced Cleveland Amory, head of the Fund for Animals, to fund Watson’s first vessel, the Sea Shepherd in 1978.
The following from the Influence Watch
Eco-Terrorism and Piracy
The Japanese accuse Sea Shepherd of being “hostile eco-terrorists” 42 and officials in Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, and Costa Rica have all denounced Sea Shepherd, with some labeling its leader a terrorist. In the mid-1990s, Norway convicted Watson of attempting to scuttle a whaler, and he spent eighty days in detention.43
In 2002 Sea Shepherd was the first group mentioned by an FBI official’s congressional testimony on “The Threat of Eco-Terrorism,” for having attacked commercial fishing operations by cutting drift nets.44 Similarly, a Canadian intelligence report on “single issue terrorism” reported that Sea Shepherd supporters were involved in a number of animal rights related “militant actions” against businesses in Canada.
Paul Watson admitted they Sea Shepherd could be regarded as pirates, and the group’s black flagship displays a version of the skull and crossbones.45
Due to the group’s aggressive direct actions, Sea Shepherd’s ships have reportedly operated under and then been stripped of their flag in six countries including Australia, Belize, and South Africa.46 In 2015, Watson claimed that Sea Shepherd ships were officially registered under the flags of the Netherlands, Australia, the United States, and Great Britain, which in his view meant that they legally could not be described as pirates.47
In 2013, A U.S. court declared that Sea Shepherd were “pirates” and ordered it to stop its aggressive actions against Japanese whalers. Then-U.S. Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski wrote of the group, “You don’t need a peg leg or an eye patch. When you ram ships; hurl containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be.”48
Paul Watson Arrest and Fugitive Status
Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson has had frequent run-ins with police. In 1980, Watson was sentenced to 10 days in prison and fined $8,000 for his actions during a Canadian seal hunt protest.49 Watson was arrested in 1993 in Canada on charges stemming from actions against Cuban and Spanish fishing boats off the coast of Newfoundland.50 In 1997, Norway convicted Watson in absentia and sentenced him to serve 120 days in jail on charges of attempting to sink a Norwegian fishing and whaling vessel. Ultimately, he spent 80 days in detention in the Netherlands pending a ruling on his extradition before being released.51
In 2002, Watson was charged with attempted murder and nearly imprisoned in Costa Rica.52 He fled the country as the authorities were trying to apprehend him.53
In 2012 Watson was declared an internationally wanted fugitive on the international police cooperation organization Interpol’s Red List.54 In May 2012, he was arrested in Germany on an extradition warrant from Costa Rica related to the 2002 attempted murder charges.55 Watson then skipped bail claiming that had he been extradited to Costa Rica he would have then been sent to Japan on charges related to obstructing their whaling activities.56 Consequently, Interpol issued a second Red Notice request for his arrest.57
After fleeing Germany, France granted Watson political asylum, shielding him from extradition.58 In June 2016, Watson was given his Canadian passport back and subsequently entered the United States.59