January: The National Marine Fisheries Service announces its decision to exterminate the California sea lions that frequent the Ballard Locks of Seattle, Washington, to feed on steelhead trout. Sea Shepherd negotiates an agreement with the City of San Francisco that will allow the captured sea lions to be released into the San Francisco Bay. Sea Shepherd also presents a plan to construct a hydraulic barrier to prevent sea lions from preying upon fish entering the fish ladder at Ballard locks.

March: The German bedding company Kirchhoff Bettwarenfabrik expresses to Sea Shepherd their interest in the possibility of marketing cruelty-free baby harp seal products. Actor/activist Martin Sheen agrees to support Sea Shepherd efforts in seal conservation. Captain Watson, Martin Sheen, and a crew travel to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Before they could fly out to the seals on the ice floes, a mob of angry sealers invades the Magdalen Islands hotel where the Sea Shepherd contingent is staying. They break doors down to enter Captain Watson’s room and beat him. The Police intervene only to forcibly expel Captain Watson from the Magdalens. The campaign receives international media coverage.

Martin Sheen (left) with Sea Shepherd volunteer Chuck Swift.

July: The Sea Shepherd vessel Sirenian goes to British Columbia to document the opening of the salmon fishing season, the lack of fish, and ongoing dispute between commercial, sport, and native fishing interests over who was at fault. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police follow the Sirenian with two fast catamaran patrol boats for the entire campaign. Captain Watson warns that the Coho salmon are in imminent danger of extinction and calls for an immediate shutdown of the fishery. The Canadian government declares a salmon fishing moratorium in B.C. but reverses the moratorium after receiving pressure from the fishing industry.

 

August: The Makah Indian tribe of Neah Bay, Washington, claims the right to hunt California Gray whales under an 1855 treaty with the U.S., which they wanted revived in the name of “cultural and spiritual values.” The Makah also said they believed they had the right to resume a commercial whale hunt. Over a dozen tribes along the coast of British Columbia assert that they would press for an extension of their fishing rights to include whales should the Makah’s petition be approved. Thanks to two visits from the Sirenian in Neah Bay, Sea Shepherd’s ongoing presence, media campaign, and work with US Congressman Jack Metcalf (R-WA), the U.S. Administration withdraws support of the Makah’s formal petition before the International Whaling Commission meeting in Scotland.

August: Sea Shepherd field agents meet with Irish government representatives and present reasons to disallow driftnetting in Irish waters. The government of Ireland rules to ban driftnetting.

September – October: Captain Watson is put on trial before the Newfoundland Supreme Court on three counts of criminal mischief brought by the government in retaliation for the 1993 cod protection campaign off the Grand Banks. Before a judge and jury, Captain Watson cites the World Charter for Nature as his authority to intervene. The jury accepts the argument, and Captain Watson is acquitted on all the felony mischief charges by reason of color of right. He is convicted of the minor charge of aiding and abetting an act of mischief by crewmember Brad Ryan for throwing stink bombs, who had not been identified or charged. Captain Watson is sentenced to thirty days. He is released after one week pending the appeal.

October: Paul Watson is voted to receive the 1995 Eugene Rogers Award by the United Nations Association of Canada for his work in defense of the salmon in British Columbia. The Award was denied after the Western Canada Wilderness Society protested. Captain Watson replies that, “It appears we have not lost our capacity to generate controversy. It is difficult to receive awards when you are actually doing something to deserve one.”