The Influence of Sea Shepherd on the Great American Novel

Just before he died in March 1989, Edward Abbey completed his book Hayduke Lives! In this sequel to his famous 70's eco-thriller The Monkey Wrench Gang, Abbey includes the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the last few pages of the book.

George Washington Hayduke is rescued by Captain Paul Watson and the crew of the Sea Shepherd in the Sea of Cortez. We were very flattered by this inclusion. Edward Abbey was a long time friend of Paul Watson's and a member of the Sea Shepherd Advisory Board.

In 1990, in memory of this great American author, Captain Watson named a fast patrol boat after Ed. The American registered Edward Abbey intercepted Japanese drift netters in the mid-Pacific in 1992.

This year, two works of fiction were published that referred to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society albeit in a more indirect way.

The first was A Line in the Sand, an epic eco-thriller by Jeffrey Green. Captain Paul Watson wrote the forward to the Novel.

A Line in the Sand is a book that combines romance, suspense, controversy and intrigue. This is a book that captures the danger and passion at the heart of what is considered environmental extremism. Medical salesman Jake Stein crosses paths with members of a group called Red Tide, a radical environmental organization, during a scuba vacation in Central America. Red Tide activists have waged war - using any means necessary - to stop those who would destroy the planet in the name of industrial profit.

Their violent encounters and narrow escapes, led by the main character Lionfish, a former Navy SEAL, are set against the backdrop of beautiful and endangered locales including Alaska, Antarctica, and the Florida Everglades. Now a member of Red Tide and in love with one of its members, Jake Stein must face capture or death at the hands of MacGregor, an evil mercenary in the employ of a Japanese industrialist who has vowed to destroy Lionfish and all his allies.

In the book, Captain Samuel Stewart of the Sea Leopard was inspired by Captain Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd. Captain Stewart appears in Chapter Nine defending seals on the ice and where he meets the main character Lionfish and finds that Lionfish's mother was once romantically involved with Captain Stewart.

Like Captain Watson, Captain Stewart is portrayed as a founding member of Greenpeace, a campaign leader for the Fund for Animals and the founder of the Sea Leopard (Shepherd) Conservation Society. Captain Stewart and the Sea Leopard Conservation Society are portrayed as moderates in comparison to the extremely radical Red Tide.

The second book published this year was White Death by best selling author Dr. Clive Cussler.

There is no doubt that Captain Paul Watson was the inspiration for the character Marcus Ryan and that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was the inspiration for the group Sentinels of the Sea. In the book, Marcus Ryan as leader of the Sentinels of the Sea is protecting pilot whales off of the Faeroe Islands when he becomes involved with a confrontation with a Danish warship that is rammed and sunk by Ryan's ship the Sea Sentinel.

Sea Shepherd was of course involved with confrontations with Danish warships off the Faeroe Islands in 2002 and involved in a collision with a Norwegian warship in 1994. The Novel sees action in Canada and involves the issue of fish farms where Ryan almost becomes fish food. This is a first rate eco-thriller and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is proud to have been an inspiration for it.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is looking forward to inspiring further novels.

Until then, the real life action stories are still available in Captain Paul Watson's books, Ocean Warrior and Seal Wars!