Eleven-time World Surfing Champion and Sea Shepherd Advisory Board member, Kelly Slater, recently stepped up to the plate to rally international support for Captain Paul Watson in the surfing world. On Sunday he wrote:

“This situation cannot thrive if there is transparency. For example, connections and investments by the Chinese and Taiwanese with Costa Rican for infrastructure investments in Costa Rica, result in Costa Rica turning a blind eye to the shark finning industry and illegal fishing off the coast, all the while Costa Rica promotes ecotourism based upon the country’s biodiversity and natural beauty. If a light is shined on these connections, their ability to pull secret levers of power will evaporate.”

The incident in question was thoroughly documented in the award winning film Sharkwater, released in 2007, which brought world wide media attention to the hideous reality of the corrupt and brutal shark finning industry. A recent clip of the incident was issued by Film Maker Rob Stewart in order to prove Captain Watson’s innocence and be viewed below.

Added Slater: “The situation that we find Captain Watson in, now shines a light on these dark corners. It is literally now a simple choice by government, to overturn and release Captain Watson given that the entire incident where he confronted the illegal poachers was caught on tape. The video establishes the facts, and this calls into question the motives of those continuing to pursue Captain Watson despite those facts. No person or vessel was injured during the melee and Watson was following instructions from Guatemalan government officials while protecting natural resources under the UN protocol. He’s already paid a fine and been released, but someone still has a bone to pick with him somewhere else in the world, and they are wrongly being helped behind closed doors by some murky government power.

In the event that Captain Watson is extradited to Costa Rica, it is inevitable that he would not receive a fair trial, nor would his safety be guaranteed. Between the illegal activities of the Japanese whaling industry and the notorious shark finning mafia in Costa Rica, Captain Watson has made several formidable enemies throughout his 40 years on the front lines who seek to stop his highly successful efforts to uphold global conservation laws and defend marine life. The shark finning mafia, which operates illegally in Costa Rica, could easily try to harm Captain Watson and extradition to Costa Rica could result in what Captain Watson described in his own words as “a certain death sentence.”

On May 23rd day of action to Free Paul Waston is set to take place at German embassies and consulates around the world to encourage Germany to stop extradition to Costa Rica and release Captain Watson. On this day the President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, will be visiting German Chancellor Merkel in Berlin. Please see the Sea Shepherd Website for further details on events in your area. – Deborah Bassett

Captain Watson has given the majority of his life for the protections of those who do not have a voice and now it is our turn to be a voice for him. Please contact the two people who have the power to release Captain Paul Watson by respectfully contacting the following individuals:

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger
Federal Minister of Justice
Deutscher Bundestag
Platz der Republik
11011 Berlin
Telephone 030 – 227 751 62
Fax 030 – 227 764 02
E-Mail: sabine.leutheusser-schnarrenberger@bundestag.de

Federal Ministry of Justice
Mohrenstrasse 37
10117 Berlin, Germany
Telephone: +49 (030) 18 580-0
Telefax: +49 (030) 18 580-9525
Dr. Guido Westerwelle

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Platz der Republik 1
11011 Berlin
Tel.: 030 / 22771636
Fax: 030 / 22776562
E-Mail: guido.westerwelle@bundestag.de