March: The Sea Shepherd III makes a test run from Scotland to Bremerhaven, Germany. In Bremerhaven, the ship is berthed for further repairs.
March: Captain Watson is arrested in Bremerhaven by German police on a Norwegian Interpol warrant. He is held for one day and released by the Bremen prosecutor who rules that the warrant contains contradictory information. Captain Watson is free to travel in Germany.
April – June: Concerned that the Norwegian warrant would hinder his travel in Europe, Captain Watson turns himself in for arrest in the Netherlands on April 2nd. The warrant issued by Norway demands that Captain Watson serve jail time for a conviction in absentia for the sinking of the outlaw whaler Nybraena in 1992. An international storm of protest follows, including protests at Norwegian and Dutch embassies worldwide. Following a hearing, Norway’s extradition request is denied, and Watson is freed after spending 90 days in jail.
September: Sea Shepherd Pacific Northwest Director Michael Kundu covertly enters Siberia with a media crew to document the killing of whales by Siberian natives. Although his life is threatened, he returns to report to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Monaco. The film crew brings back evidence of the illegal commercial whale hunt, including footage of butchered whales being processed into feed for fox fur farms. Russia continues to claim the slaughter as a “subsistence” hunt, exempt from the moratorium whaling.
October: The Sea Shepherd III makes her maiden voyage to the Mediterranean, announcing the Society’s intention to intervene against ongoing illegal driftnetting there. Italy’s driftnetters, the primary offenders, immediately announce they will halt the practice. The Sea Shepherd III brings U.S. Congressman Jack Metcalf (R-WA) and a delegation of Makah tribal elders to the meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Monaco to give voice to the strong opposition to the Makah’s request for permission to start hunting Gray whales. The Sea Shepherd III is given a free berth in Monte Carlo harbor and Prince Albert presents Captain Watson with an invitation to the official reception for the delegates of the International Whaling Commission. When Captain Watson walks into the reception, the Icelandic, Norwegian, Japanese, and Caribbean delegations walk out of the reception in protest.
November – December: The Sea Shepherd III departs from France stopping at Gibraltar and Madeira en route to Key West, Florida. Between Gibraltar and Madeira, the ship weathers a hurricane without any ill effect.