Updated at 11:58 PM AK Time Zone — May 19, 2012; and at 12:59 PM on May 21, 2012
The Sea-lebrities (a term coined by the Barbi Twins) are saying, “Free the Captain!”
I support this campaign even though the Captain works with a rival network — Animal Planet — and is opposed to the work of marine parks. (This is my sentiment and not necessarily that of Nat Geo’s. I clearly failed to bring a bit of levity to a serious subject by mentioning the name of another network)
I do condone the work of SeaWorld and similar oceanariums in North America because of the exposure and education they offer to patrons regarding life under the sea. I have worked with these zoological facilities and entirely support their efforts to share a glimpse of the marine world with visitors, particularly those living in inland regions, who don’t have the resources to travel to wild places that support estuarine and marine life. Just because SeaWorld may be an entertainment venue, does not mean that it can’t meet educational objectives. I mention this as a former trainer of marine mammals, as someone who has conducted field studies on cetaceans and pinnipeds and because a recent, and related post on the topic generated much controversy. But I digress….
I do like Paul Watson and wish him well. We agree to disagree, but I fully support him in this fight — a fight for his life.
Here’s the update:
Paul Watson, the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), was released from jail in Germany and may now be extradited to Costa Rica to face charges relating to a confrontation he had with shark fin poachers back in 2002.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is concerned that he won’t even make it to a courthouse in Costa Rica before someone takes his life. The organization has implored celebrities and other followers to observe Save Our Skipper Day—A Global Day of Action—on May 23rd and have asked supporters to write the German Ministers on behalf of Paul Watson.
The iconic pin-ups, the Barbi Twins, are avid supporters of SSCS and Watson, and have been recruiting celebrities like Joanna Krupa, Ken Wahl, Simone Reyes, Russell Simmons and Willie Nelson’s daughters, Raelyn and Amy to support the Captain and bring him home safely. You can learn more about the Barbi Twins three steps to help save Captain Paul Watson on Russell Simmon’s Global Grind blog: http://globalgrind.com/news/help-save-captain-paul-watson-barbi-twins.
Here is evidence of other “Sea-lebrities” supporting Captain Paul Watson:
Elissa Sursara (in the running for PETA’s Celebrity of the Year) http://www.takepart.com/article/2012/05/17/free-sea-shepherd-captain-paul-watson; http://www.petaasiapacific.com/featureSexiestVegCeleb2012-Eng.asp
The views expressed in this article are those of Jordan Schaul or the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Society and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Read more blog posts by Jordan Schaul.
Contributing Editor Jordan Schaul is the Director of Conservation and Science and former animal curator with the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center near Anchorage, Alaska. He is also a former zoo keeper and animal trainer.
Jordan received his PhD in conservation medicine from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in zoology. He is a council member (ex officio) of the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA), a member of the coordinator committee for the Bear Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and an advisor to the Bear Taxon Advisory Group of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Jordan also serves as the Captive News correspondent for International Bear News and was formerly the Correspondent Editor for the IBA/IUCN-BSG publication. He is a member of the advisory council of the National Wildlife Humane Society, which promotes high standards for wild carnivore care and welfare among private sanctuaries in North America. Jordan is the creator of the Zoo Peeps brand which hosts a blog for the global zoo and aquarium community and a wildlife conservation focused radio program sponsored by the Zoological Association of America.
Jordan is an Affiliate Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska, Anchorage (Health Sciences) and a Research Scientist at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (Institute of Arctic Biology). He is also a Professional Member of the Zoological Association of America. He can be reached at email@example.com or at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4721849/.