Paul Watson, president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, answers questions while sailing aboard a trimaran off the harbour of La Ciotat, southern France. In the background is the Sea Shepherd vessel, Steve Irwin. Watson has spent roughly 40 years developing a reputation as one of the most combative defenders of the ocean. — Photo by The Canadian Press/The Associated Press
TORONTO — The head of a controversial anti-whaling organization has resigned in order to comply with a U.S. court order.
Paul Watson issued a statement saying he has stepped down as leader of Sea Shepherd.
Watson says his decision was based on an injunction issued in the U.S. last month that barred the organization from being within 450 metres of Japanese whaling vessels.
Watson, who holds dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship, says he was personally named in the injunction and must step down in order to avoid criminal charges.
The Toronto-born anti-whaling crusader says he has resigned all positions with the organization, which has chapters in the U.S. and Australia.
He says campaigns against Japanese fleets will continue under the leadership of former Australian senator Bob Brown.