January: The Sea Shepherd III moves to Wilmington, North Carolina, to prepare the ship for a campaign to protect harp seals in the Canadian Gulf of St. Lawrence.
January: Sea Shepherd participates in a major fundraising event in Anchorage, Alaska hosted by Pierce Brosnan and attended by numerous celebrities including William Shatner, Alexandra Paul, Michelle Yeoh, and John Paul and Eloise DeJoria.
March: With actual mortalities from the seal hunt rising to a species-threatening 500,000 a year, the Canadian government continues to stonewall the permits necessary to initiate a non-lethal sealing industry based on brushing the molted fur of baby harp seals. Regardless, the Sea Shepherd III makes the voyage to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the first conservation vessel at Canada’s annual wildlife slaughter since 1983. The ship brings international journalists to the hunt, wards off sealers from the main seal nursery. Celebrity guests brought to the seal hunt include Farley Mowat, John Paul DeJoria and his daughter Alexis, and Bronwen Booth, the sister of British first lady Shirley Blair. Brigitte Bardot was scheduled to join the campaign, however, her plane broke down en route.
March: Captain Watson is awarded the Genesis Award for Lifetime Achievement in Los Angeles. The award is presented by Pierce Brosnan and Martin Sheen.
September – November: At the urging of the commercial whaling industries of Norway and Japan, with promises of lucrative future trade, the Makah Indian tribe claims a right to resume whale hunting pursuant to a guarantee in their 1855 treaty with the U.S., but in contravention of subsequent international conservation law. To avoid a lawsuit, the U.S. aided the Makah in perpetrating the falsehood that the Makah had been granted an exception to the worldwide moratorium on whaling and may commence killing Gray whales for purely “cultural” purposes. Because this would give every nation on earth a new category for whaling, Sea Shepherd sends two ships to Neah Bay, Washington, where they are joined on the water by local citizens and other anti-whaling activists. Despite mob violence, arrest, and official harassment, the coalition of activists shields the local whales and succeeds in focusing enough media attention to the hunt to make the Makah stand down without taking a single whale.
October: The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans introduce Regulatory Review Proposals governing the seal hunt. There is an addition of Sea Shepherd’s non-lethal seal hair harvesting concept to the proposed annex to the regulations of the Canadian seal hunt. The non-lethal harvest of seal hair gains official declarations of support from Canadian fishing industry groups, conservation, animal rights, and academic organizations, and the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.