BERLIN – A German court Friday granted bail to Paul Watson, the founder of marine conservation group Sea Shepherd, while authorities decide whether he can be extradited to Costa Rica.
The higher regional court in Frankfurt said in a statement a Costa Rican extradition request would be considered on charges stemming from a high-seas confrontation with alleged shark finners in 2002.
Watson, a Canadian national whom Sea Shepherd members affectionately call “the captain” – and who looks the part with a thick shock of white hair and beard – is accused of “putting a ship’s crew in danger”.
According to Sea Shepherd, the incident took place in Guatemalan waters when the organization encountered an illegal shark finning operation run by a Costa Rican ship called the Varadero.
Sea Shepherd says that while escorting the Varadero back to port, a Guatemalan gunboat was dispatched to intercept the Sea Shepherd members after the crew of the Varadero falsely accused the Sea Shepherds of trying to kill them.