- Terelle Jerricks
German authorities arrested the Founder and President of the U.S. based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Captain Paul Watson, May 12 for extradition to Costa Rica. The extradition request stems from a 2002 violation in Costa Rica when Sea Shepherd encountered an illegal shark finning operation, run by a Costa Rican ship called the Varadero. On order of the Guatemalan authorities, Sea Shepherd instructed the crew of the Varadero to cease their illegal shark finning activities and head back to port to be prosecuted.
When they reached the port, the crew of the Vadero accused Sea Shepherd of trying to kill them. A Guatemalan gunboat was subsequently dispatched to intercept the Sea Shepherd crew.
Sea Shepherd said in a released statement that Watson was filming a documentary, Sharkwater, at the time of the alleged incident. The environmental activist group said the video proves their version of events.
To avoid the Guatemalan gunboat, Sea Shepherd said in its state that it set sail for Costa Rica only to uncover more illegal shark finning activities in the form of dried shark fins by the thousands on the roofs of industrial buildings.
Captain Watson is being assisted by the European Parliament Vice President Daniel Cohn Bendit and the European deputy Jose Bove.