Captain Paul Watson has sent a letter to HRH Prince Albert of Monaco to express our deepest regrets at the passing of his father Prince Rainier.
The late Prince Rainier was a supporter of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
In October 1997, Prince Rainier and Prince Albert donated a berth in Monaco during the meeting of the International Whaling Commission. The Sea Shepherd ship Sea Shepherd III was given a high profile location directly beside the hotel where the meeting was held. Monaco also provided security guards, free pilotage, electricity, and water to the Sea Shepherd ship.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been banned from attending IWC meetings since 1987 after we sank half the Icelandic whaling fleet in November 1986. In 1997, however, Captain Paul Watson was given a royal invitation to attend the reception for the delegates. When Captain Watson entered the room, the entire Norwegian, Icelandic, Japanese, and Caribbean delegations walked out of the reception in protest. Captain Watson was quite flattered and thanked the whalers for the recognition.
Sea Shepherd was also the only organization allowed to publicly protest and the Sea Shepherd protest was organized in cooperation with the Monaco police force.
Also that year Prince Rainer opened the IWC meeting with a call to protect the whales and angered the Japanese and Norwegian delegates in doing so. Prince Rainer was not a man to shy away from saying what needed to be said and was willing to take a stand for conservation at every opportunity. The Prince was a generous supporter of marine conservation projects and his death was met with great sadness by the crew of the Farley Mowat stationed off the coast of Newfoundland where they are engaged in protecting harp seals from slaughter.
Captain Watson is confident that Prince Albert will continue to be a strong Sea Shepherd supporter and that Monaco will continue to be a nation that supports marine conservation causes.
Prince Rainier will long be remembered as someone who passionately believed in defending the oceans and life in our seas.
He will be missed.