Letter to Paul Watson

Background - 22 December, 2006

Gerd Leipold, International Executive Director of Greenpeace.

Paul Watson

Sea-Shepherd Conservation Society

21 December 2006

Dear Paul,

In recent public statements, you indicate you have requested to cooperate with Greenpeace in the campaign to protect whales in the Southern Ocean.  We do not consider this a serious request as your many previous statements about Greenpeace have shown that you have no respect for this organization, and do not shy away from making false statements about it and the people who work for it. This gives us no reason to trust you, and therefore no basis for us to cooperate with you.

Our view has been reinforced by your most recent allegation that Greenpeace has sought to hinder the registration of your vessels.  I find this a shocking allegation.  No Greenpeace employee has intervened, at any level, with any authorities in relation to the registration of the Sea Shepherd vessels.  Unless you can substantiate your allegation with the name of the person you claim did this, you should withdraw it immediately.

Greenpeace wants the moratorium on commercial whaling to be upheld and to see the end to the whaling. We are going to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to do what we can to ensure that happens and will use a range of peaceful means to defend the whales, including putting ourselves between the whale and the harpoon. We are also working at the highest political level to bring about change, we are working in Japan to shift public opinion, as well as with our millions of supporters worldwide to generate public pressure for change.  We believe our strategy can bring about the change that is so badly needed.

It is clear from your postings that you think a different strategy is needed.  Whatever your opinion, our focus is on stopping the whaling. We believe that making the relationship between Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd part of the media debate simply detracts from the real issue - whales are being killed in the Sanctuary. We have no desire or intention to detract from that central issue.

While we do not wish to proactively cooperate with you, I can assure you that should your crew or ship get into any difficulties while you are in the Southern Ocean, we will assist you if we are able, in the same way that we would assist any vessel in such circumstances.

I consider this communication to be a private one between us, but should you chose to publicly criticize us for not working with you or selectively publish any part of this letter, then we will publish it in full on our website in order to ensure the complete picture is presented.


Gerd Leipold