End of the Line? Paul Watson and the Future of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


  • Gerry Joseph Nagtzaam Faculty of Law, Monash University




Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Paul Watson, whaling, eco-violence


This paper critically examines the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (‘SSCS’) and the legal challenges they are currently facing to continue its self-appointed role to protect oceanic life through direct action.  In Part One, the article examines the history of this radical environmental group and; the role performed by its charismatic leader Paul Watson; it’s organisational structure and its strategies and tactics; its governing philosophy and its attitudes to violence.  Part Two provides a history of the various direct actions carried out by the group; it further examines the organisation’s ongoing confrontations with the Japanese whaling fleet; documents the current legal travails the group and its leader are experiencing; and lastly asks what impact these issues will have on the group’s viability as a direct action group going forward. 

Author Biography

Gerry Joseph Nagtzaam, Faculty of Law, Monash University

Senior LecturerFaculty of Law


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