|Wednesday, November 16, 2005|
Sea Shepherd Disputes Former Board Member's Views
Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, advocates non-violence as a surer path in marine conservation
Friday Harbor, WA (PRWEB) November 16, 2005 -- On Sunday evening, Dr. Jerry Vlasak, a former Board Member of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), appeared on CBS 60 Minutes to promote his ideas on acceptable violent threats and tactics in animal rights issues. Earlier this year SSCS had promptly removed Dr. Vlasak as a Board member after his interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, in which Dr. Vlasak made statements advocating threats of violence to protect animals.
"SSCS adamantly opposes any action that would cause injury to any human being" says Captain Paul Watson, Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a marine wildlife conservation organization founded in 1977.
A former friend and colleague of Dr. Vlasak, Captain Watson upholds the decision to remove Dr. Vlasak from the Board of Directors of SSCS as necessary and consistent with Sea Shepherd's long-standing opposition to physical violence.
"When my crew was attacked on the ice this spring, they did not retaliate in self-defense. They took the blows. The fact is that we have never struck or injured any of our opponents, even in self defense," he explained.
Despite criticism by opponents, authorities actually support the SSCS philosophy. Several nations have sought out Captain Watson and the help of SSCS to assist in the protection of their waterways, recognizing that SSCS limits its enforcement actions to resolving issues of illegal equipment usage and preservation of life as allowed under applicable law. Even the Dalai Lama has commended Captain Watson and the Sea Shepherd team for their endeavors in preserving life.
"Promoting a philosophy of violence makes it difficult on all of us," Captain Watson advises, "Not only will people be more likely to engage in unnecessary violence out of fear, but it also makes it more difficult to conduct legitimate conservation activities. We cannot support philosophies or tactics that threaten what I established SSCS to do -- preserve and conserve life."