Pete Bethune vs. Paul Watson

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2010:
(Actual press date November 3.)
FRIDAY HARBOR, Wa.–A split between Sea
Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson
and Pete Bethune, captain of the sunken racing
trimaran turned anti-whaling vessel Ady Gil,
flared into view on October 5, 2010, attracting
global notice as result of statements Bethune
made to New Zealand National Radio, but vanished
from his web site and that of the Sea Shepherds
just a few days later.
Joining the Sea Shepherd fleet for the
winter 2009-2010 campaign against Japanese
whaling, the Ady Gil caught up to the whalers in
early January 2010, joined on January 6 by Sea
Shepherd vessel Bob Barker. Later that day the
Ady Gil was cut in two when rammed by the
whale-catcher Shonan Maru #2. The Bob Barker
took the aft part of the Ady Gil under tow, but
the tow proved difficult as the Ady Gil took on
water. The Ady Gil was stripped and scuttled on
January 8.


Bethune on February 14 boarded the Shonan
Maru #2 from a Jet Ski and handed the captain a
bill for the loss of the Ady Gil. Taken to
Japan, Bethune was on July 9 convicted in Tokyo
District Court of illegally interfering with the
whale hunt. Given a two-year suspended sentence,
Bethune was deported to New Zealand.
The Sea Shepherds paid much of the cost
of Bethune’s legal defense, but expelled him in
June 2010 after learning that he had taken a bow
and arrows aboard the Ady Gil, violating
Watson’s 33-year-old policy that Sea Shepherd
ships and volunteers must not carry deadly
weapons. Other prominent former Sea Shepherds
have been expelled in the past for violating the
no-weapons policy.
According to an e-mail transcript
released by Watson on October 5, Bethune on
October 3 accused Watson of having needlessly
ordered that the Ady Gil be scuttled. Bethune
added that “When I met with Paul Watson in July
2009, he gave me permission to take a bow and
arrow to Antarctica, with the idea of pasting a
poison on the arrow tips (or fake poison), and
firing them into dead whales while they were
being transferred from harpoon vessel to
processing ship.” This is a tactic that Watson
rejected, years earlier, as a proposed method
of protecting whales and African elephants and
rhinos.
Bethune claimed he was unjustly expelled
from the Sea Shepherds. Bethune said he was
told by Watson that the expulsion was because “a
deal had been done with the Japanese judiciary,”
which “entailed my not participating in another
Antarctica campaign, in exchange for a suspended
sentence.” Bethune said that the Sea Shepherds
had reneged on an pledge to buy 800 copies of a
book he is writing about the 2009-2010
anti-whaling campaign. Bethune presented a
five-point list of obligations that he claimed
the Sea Shepherds had promised and owed him. If
the Sea Shepherds did not respond satisfactorily,
Bethune suggested, he might denounce Watson and
the Sea Shepherds to media and in his book.
Watson responded on October 3 by telling
Bethune that because Bethune “blamed all of your
actions on me҆I am on the Interpol Blue List,”
inhibiting his freedom of movement. “We cannot
promote your book or allow you to be involved in
Sea Shepherd activities or to go on Sea Shepherd
campaigns,” Watson wrote. “What I would like to
suggest,” Watson said, “is that you continue to
do your thing independent of Sea Shepherd. We
will say nothing publicly about you, if you say
nothing publicly about us.”

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