January: A Sea Shepherd team scuttles the illegally operated Norwegian whaling vessel Senet in southern Norway. The investigation of the sinking revealed to Norwegian authorities that the vessel had just returned from smuggling a new engine in from Denmark.. There were no charges brought against Sea Shepherd by Norway for the sinking. The owner of the Senet is fined for smuggling.
Paul Watson’s book Ocean Warrior, My Battle to End the Illegal Slaughter on the High Seas ispublished.
January: Sea Shepherd office in Santa Monica receives extensive damage from the Northridge earthquake.
March: Sea Shepherd purchases the British ship Switzer Mercator and renames the vessel the Whales Forever. The ship is moved to the Netherlands for repairs and refitting.
March: Sea Shepherd proposes the creation of an industry that can replace the cruel, lethal, and wasteful seal hunt. Captain Watson leads an expedition onto the ice floes off the Magdalen Islands and successfully proves the practicality of creating an alternative industry for non-lethal utilization of harp seals by collecting their hair fibers while they are molting. He proposes that the hairs can be spun into yarn to be used for making sweaters or fill for sleeping bags or bed comforters – an alternative to eiderdown. Captain Watson recruits two Magdalen Island sealers to participate in the seal brushing.
June: Two sabotage attacks are directed against the Sea Shepherd ship Whales Forever. Both are arsonist attacks. The first attack causes minor damage. The second attack deliberately causes an explosion and fire in the ship’s engine room that causes substantial damage. Repairs take a month.
July: The Whales Forever departs the Netherlands to confront illegal whaling operations off the Northern Coast of Norway. The voyage provokes extensive media coverage in Europe. The Norwegian Naval vessel Andenes intercepts the Whales Forever. The Andenes attempts to foul the propellers of the Whales Forever but Captain Watson outmaneuvers the Norwegians each time. Frustrated, the Captain of the Andenes misjudges his next attempt and rams the Whales Forever. The impact shatters the bow of the Whales Forever and rips open the gasoline holding tank, spilling a hundred gallons of gasoline onto the deck of the Whales Forever and soaking three of her crew. The collision also causes the prop to be fouled with the rope towed by the Andenes. The Sea Shepherd crew acts fast to remove the gasoline and the threat of explosion. At the same time, Sea Shepherd divers go over the side to cut the line from the propeller. Despite the Andenes firing twice at the Whales Forever with her deck-gun and detonating four depth charges beneath her hull, the Whales Forever successfully prevents boarding by the Norwegian Navy and returns to the Scottish Shetland Islands.
September: The Whales Forever completes a successful fundraising tour of Germany and receives extensive media coverage for the whales. Captain Watson debates the Norwegian Ambassador on German television. The Whales Forever is drydocked in Bremerhaven and is discovered to have received extensive damage by the Norwegian depth charges.
October: The Whales Forever crosses the Atlantic to Bermuda and onto Florida where Captain Watson sells the ship a few months later for more than Sea Shepherd had paid for her. The funds are set aside for the purchase of a new ship