AUCKLAND, New Zealand and FRIDAY HARBOR, WA, May 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Pete
Bethune, founder of Earthrace Conservation, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, have reached an agreement following arbitration in their long-running
legal dispute. The agreement, which involved a financial settlement to
Bethune, also provided that he will assist Sea Shepherd to help ensure
Paul Watson is not extradited to Japan.
The dispute between Sea Shepherd and Bethune arose after the Ady Gil
vessel was damaged in the 2010 Sea Shepherd campaign, while trying to
stop Japanese whaling in Antarctica. The Ady Gil was deliberately
rammed by the Shonan Maru #2, a Japanese security vessel, and after a
period of towing, the Ady Gil was abandoned.
Under agreements signed between Bethune and Sea Shepherd in 2009, if the
vessel was lost or destroyed, Sea Shepherd would be required to make
certain payments to Bethune. The arbitration was regarding the payment
and its amount.
Bethune said, "I am happy that the case has reached its conclusion and
am pleased with the result. Fighting between individuals and
organisations that are fundamentally working towards the same goals is
a waste of time, money and effort that could be better spent protecting
marine life and environments.
"This settlement means that I will be able to repay all those who have
been so generous in helping me keep my head above water, as well as all
those who have steadfastly supported me throughout this whole episode,
especially all the Earthrace volunteers. Without that support, I would
have been sunk, much like the Ady Gil."
Bethune and Sea Shepherd are both now focused on working together for
the good of the oceans and as part of that endeavour, Bethune has been
helping Watson in his efforts to avoid extradition to Japan pursuant to
an Interpol red notice that was issued against Watson at the request of
Sea Shepherd contends that the red notice is politically motivated and
that its allegations are false. Bethune, who was convicted of five
offenses by a court in Japan following Sea Shepherd's 2010 campaign,
says that Japan's allegations against Watson are essentially false or
misleading, and his goal is to see the red notice against Watson
"Sea Shepherd has honored the agreement we made with Pete Bethune," said
Susan Hartland, Sea Shepherd Administrative Director. "Now both of our
organizations can close this chapter in our history and move forward to
support marine wildlife worldwide," she added.
Sea Shepherd will continue its various campaigns to protect endangered
and threatened marine mammals and fish. The organization would like the
red notice against Paul Watson lifted before the sixth season of Sea
Shepherd's hit docu-reality TV show, "Whale Wars," airs later this
Bethune and Earthrace Conservation are about to deploy their tactical
unit to Africa where they are filming a reality TV series documenting
illegal fishing by foreign vessels. Two episodes of the show have
already been filmed, and another six will be filmed from July to
October this year.
SOURCE: Earthrace Conservation
For further information:
For interviews with Sea Shepherd USA: Phone: +1-360-370-5650, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ; For interviews with Pete Bethune: Landline: +64-9-810-9288, mobile +64-21-02-188-188, Email: email@example.com ; or contact Bev Bailey, Earthrace Communications Director on +44-7711-482-572 or firstname.lastname@example.org