Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture Design Course
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Paul Watson and the early days of sea shepperd incidents in Portugal 1979

It is one of the most memorable episodes in the history of environmental activism in defense of the oceans. 

At the turn of the decade from 70 to 80, the Canadian Paul Watson declared war on whaling and sank two ships in Portugal.

The operation marks the beginning of the mission Sea Shepherd. Here it is reported what happened. And the author of prowess account all the JN.
It was said that the harpoon ship that had already wiped out more than 25,000 whales but no one knew exactly who would be its owner. They came complaints, here and there, giving an account of his ruthless actions and their chilling methods of extermination. The crew of the ship Sierra chacinava whole families of whales, including the young, and their procedure was to annihilate all or any cetacean that deparasse him. Half of the 70 becomes the priority target of environmentalists.
In 1977, Paul Watson, then 27, leaving Greenpeace, which helped found, to be "tired of sterile conversations" and little concrete action. Without a penny in his pocket, unties to seek funding for the purchase of a vessel to enable it to fulfill its purpose in life: to fight the enemies of marine animals. It does this by Cleveland Amory, a writer who devoted his life to defending the rights of animals and chairs the Fund For Animals. Watson buys Westella, a former British trawler of 60 meters, and rename it the Sea Shepherd. "It was the first ship in history to be devoted exclusively to the defense of marine life", say years later.
Paul Watson reinforces the hull with 100 tons of reinforced concrete for the ship to function as icebreaker in a campaign against the seal hunt in Canada on March 79. After that, put an ad in the Boston Globe to recruit crew willing to lançar- to sea in search of the Sierra. Appear 19 men of various nationalities, mostly students and lovers of nature. Run by the Atlantic towards the Azores. They are a few days in Horta to receive the information that the Sierra sailed from Senegal north. Raise anchor without delay. The July 16, 1979, the most coveted target is finally spotted 200 miles west of Leixões. Paul Watson rubs his hands and then makes sure to show that you are not there with rodriguinhos.
"No more nor for what began with attempts to collision, it was very bad weather, we traveled for 22 days had left Senegal with just over 20 whales and were in full sea. Seriously We found ourselves in danger and try to run away," reports to JN, days later the scared head of Sierra machines, a Portuguese named Luis Mendes. Feeling persecuted and harassed, the Sierra seeks shelter the port of Leixões, destination already planned to offload whale meat and overflows it to a refrigerator ship to Japan. It will be the seventh time that the Sierra slope in Leixões to download dead whales.
Always close to prevent leakage, the Sea Shepherd enters in Leixões at 10 am on 17 July. Docks in the Dock 1 to refuel and his crew is controlling the Sierra through binoculars. Paul Watson envisions the enemy, stopped half a mile west of the jetty, is preparing to escape and tells his team that will go on the attack. Afraid of what, 17 crew abandon ship. At 13:30 hours, Watson connects the engine and starts without warning the captaincy.
"They were real pirates with fake wings of angels. There have been us in headscarves and with ribbons in their hair, as the ancient pirates," then told the Portuguese crew of the whaler. Unceremoniously, the Sea Shepherd clash bow against the port side of the Sierra tack, causing you a vertical tear of two meters near the bow and denting to a distance of ten meters. This first shock aims to destroy the harpoon cannon. Immediately thereafter, the Sea Shepherd makes a wide turn 360 degrees to port and back with the bow pointed to the middle of the hull of the Sierra, to starboard, crashing 30 knots a second time amidships and causing damage to the cargo bay and system of refrigeration.

Without delay, and the stunned and severely damaged Sierra, Watson shakes north, trying to escape to England. The corvette Limpopo Portuguese Navy launches in pursuit. For 18 hours, the Portuguese military catch the ship of environmentalists five miles of Spanish territorial waters and force him to return to Leixoes. Paul Watson is taken to the captaincy and takes the feat. Hours later, the Albuquerque commander of the Captaincy of the Port of Leixões tells the press that Watson and company do not hide that the action was willful and deliberate "and not only readily confess to make it a point of honor."
Fixed dockside, Sierra takes to unload 280 tons in bales of 10 kilograms of whale meat that was product of the harvest. Paul Watson is released and says the Portuguese journalists that the act served to "draw the attention of world public opinion for the extermination of whales." The case gained international attention. For now, the talks Daily News in an "unusual and confusing event."
Here are months of legal confusion and requests for damages. In November, the Matosinhos Court decrees that the Sea Shepherd will be retained as compensation payment guarantee to the owners of the Sierra. According to Watson, the authorities would release only the Sea Shepherd by paying 750,000 US dollars - and this for a ship that had cost 120,000.

Unhappy at the possibility of seeing your boat in the hands of whalers - "the idea was to me unbearable," confess later - Watson calls Peter Woof, located in Scotland, and challenges him to meet in Leixões to try to retrieve it. The plan is this: get on the ship at dawn on December 29, start the engines and run stealthily. The plan fails: When climb aboard the Sea Shepherd notice that everything had been stolen during those five months anchored in Leixões. The nautical equipment, radars, 80 tons of fuel, blankets, kitchen accessories and even the electrical installations - all off pilfered by other hands.
Furious, the two environmentalists go to plan B. On the night of December 31 in full New Year, around midnight, return with a wrench and lanterns and open the two bottom valves in the engine room, one the port side and one on the starboard side. "A five meters of water column gushed violently and when we left we had water above the ankles. He felt a heavy heart, his fate was sealed," confess Watson decades later. The Sea Shepherd sinks in a few hours while Portugal toasting with sparkling wine and eat raisins.
The next day, the commander of the Maritime Police of Leixões, Bessa Gil, said to the press that "the case is wrapped in a certain mystery." And no one knows the author of prowess. Peter Woof crosses the Minho river swimming and escapes to Spain. Paul Watson manages to outwit border guards, escapes to England, and called a press conference to take over the operation.

"Terror of the whalers buried in Leixões - whaling ships from around the world can now breath of relief," publishes "O Primeiro de Janeiro" on its front page on January 3, 1980. 
However, the Sierra had been moved to the shipyards Lisnave in Almada for "repairs on the order of 25 million escudos" as the newspapers reported the Portuguese era. On January 11, 1980, crosses the Tagus and cast anchor in Tobacco Garden dock in Lisbon. You are ready to return to the chores and preparing to weigh anchor and set sail on the last day of February.
At dawn on February 6, one delves into the Tagus and puts a magnetic mine in the basement of the Sierra, amidships. It follows an explosion and a hole six meters in the hull. The Sierra sinks in ten minutes, long enough to be evacuated the 4 or 11 people (versions vary) that are on board. No wound is.
On that day, Paul Watson is a courtroom in Quebec, Canada, to make statements on a campaign against the seal hunt. "Of course I was soon the suspect number one, but there will be better alibi than being that day in a courtroom?", Will comment years later.
Two days later, the newspapers report that "an ecological activist who asked not to be identified told UPI be absolutely certain that the explosion that sank the Sierra was not an accident." "I can give 100% guarantees that the explosion was caused," he said.
Although he returned to Portugal a few times in the following years, almost three decades after the incident, in June 2009, Paul Watson is detained at the airport of Madeira when going to a meeting of the International Whaling Commission. "But two hours later they told me I could leave because the arrest warrant in my name after all had already expired," he says now to JN.
In 2012, the book "Entretien avec un pirate" by Lamya Essemlali, Paul Watson said:. "I was born to sink the Sierra If I had not done anything, put an end to the career of this ship would have been enough to give meaning to my life".

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