As observers of INTERPOL and environmental issues know, a Red Notice has been pending against environmentalist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (“SSCS”) since last year. INTERPOL’s press statement about the notice is here.   The grounds for the Red Notice, according to INTERPOL, are the charges of ‘Breaking into the Vessel, Damage to Property, Forcible Obstruction of Business, and Injury’ in relation to two incidents that took place on the Antarctic Ocean in February 2010 against a Japanese whaling ship.

Mr. Watson and the SSCS have argued that the Red Notice is politically motivated, and they now have the support of former SSCS member and fellow conservationist Pete Bethune.

Mr. Bethune and the SSCS were, until recently, engaged in a legal battle over a vessel that was used during a confrontation with a Japanese ship.  Mr. Bethune was the captain of the vessel that sunk after it was rammed by the Japanese ship.  His dispute with the SSCS stemmed from a disagreement over the amount of money that the SSCS should pay for the destroyed vessel, and was accompanied by a long period of bad relations between the parties.

The SSCS and Mr. Bethune recently settled their dispute, agreeing that the SSCS would pay a specified amount for the vessel, and that Mr. Bethune would aid in Paul Watson’s avoidance of extradition to Japan.  As of this writing, the SSCS had not responded to a request for information regarding exactly how Mr. Bethune would provide such aid, but if a response is given, it will be posted here.

As always, comments and questions are welcomed.