January 31: The Ecuadorian longliner San Jose I which was arrested by the Ocean Warrior in August of 2001 and is found guilty of illegally fishing inside the boundaries of the Cocos Island National Park Marine Reserve. The ship is ordered confiscated by the courts.

Watson’s book published Seal Wars, Twenty-five Years on the Front Lines with the Harp Seals 

February: The Sea Shepherd patrol boat, Sirenian intercepts poachers in the Galapagos National Park Marine Reserve. Sea Shepherd crew on the Sirenian along with the Park Rangers raid an illegal sea cucumber poaching camp and seized 8,850 sea cucumbers.

March: The Ocean Warrior departs Seattle, Washington for Costa Rica to sign an agreement with the government of Costa Rica and the Cocos Island Foundation, giving Sea Shepherd the authority to intervene in all illegal fishing operations around the Cocos Island.

Vats of sea cucumbers confiscated from poachers.
The Varadero I fleeing from the Ocean Warrior.

April – May: The Ocean Warrior catches the Costa Rican longliner Varadero I poaching off the coast of Guatemala. Captain Watson contacts the Guatemalan authorities and asks for advice. He is given permission to escort the poacher into San Jose, Guatemala. The longliner is ordered to pull in over twenty miles of long line and to release any sharks and fish on the hooks. The Varadero I agrees to comply but attempts to flee. The Ocean Warriordeploys fire hoses to force the poacher to comply. The Varadero I accidentally strikes the hull of the Ocean Warrior causing some damage to the poacher and none to the Ocean Warrior. The next morning, the Ocean Warrior is escorting the Varadero I when the Port Captain of San Jose informed Captain Watson that he would be arresting the Ocean Warrior for using force against the Varadero I. The owner of the Costa Rican vessel had bribed the San Jose Port Captain. Captain Watson releases the Varadero I and proceeds on to Costa Rica. When the Ocean Warrior arrives in Costa Rica, Captain Watson is charged with attempted murder and destruction of property based on accusations from the crew of the Varadero I. Captain Watson presents video evidence of the confrontation with the Varadero I to prove that there had been no violence directed at the crew of the poacher and that the Ocean Warrior had been acting on instructions from the Guatemalan government. The charges are dropped and Captain Watson is released. The Ocean Warrior then proceeds to Cocos Island National Park to deliver a donation of a generator, a radar surveillance system, and other equipment to the park rangers. Ten days later the Ocean Warrior returns to the mainland to discover that another prosecutor and another judge have reopened the case after pressure comes from the Costa Rican fishing industry. There are no charges because of insufficient evidence but the court orders that Captain Watson be arrested and held indefinitely without bail until a determination on charges could be made. Captain Watson replies that he will not comply with any arrest order unless there were official charges. Captain Watson then eludes the police and returns to his ship and departs Costa Rican waters bound for Panama City.

 April 19: Sea Shepherd changes the name of the Ocean Warrior to Farley Mowat in honor of Canadian writer and Sea Shepherd international chairman Farley Mowat. The Cayman Island Registry is struck and replaced with the Canadian flag. The Farley Mowat refuels in Panama and departs on May 31 to cooperate with a request by the Galapagos National Park to hunt for the escaped Costa Rican poacher Maria Canella II.

June: The Farley Mowat searches for two weeks for the Maria Canella II but fails to locate the poacher. The ship anchors at Santa Cruz island in the Galapagos to deliver supplies to the Sea Shepherd patrol vessel Sirenian.


July: The Farley Mowat seizes twelve miles of illegally set long line in the Galapagos National Park and turns it over to the rangers and crew on the Sirenian to bring back to the Galapagos National Park headquarters.

July – August: The Farley Mowat crosses the South Pacific from the Galapagos to refuel in Tahiti en route to Auckland, New Zealand to prepare for a campaign to oppose the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctica.

December: The Farley Mowat departs from Auckland, stops in Hobart and proceeds on to Antarctica to search for the Japanese whaling fleet.