Costa Rican newspapers are reporting that Canadian environmentalist and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Captain Paul Watson has escaped from Germany. Watson is being held in Germany on extradition charges stemming from a 2002 incident off the Guatemalan coast. A German court placed Watson under house arrest while awaiting a decision regarding whether he would be extradited to Costa Rica to face charges of attempted shipwrecking.
If extradited, Watson faces a penalty of up to 15 years in prison for a crime that many witnessed as an act originally authorized by Costa Rican officials but later condemned. Documentary filmmaker Rob Stewart captured the entire event in the 2002 award-winning film Sharkwater Click here to see footage chronicling the event in question. The film shows Watson acting with the permission of the same authorities that now seek to jail him.
If the reports are true — they’re currently only being reported by Costa Rican paper — and Watson has really fled Germany, there may be new charges stemming from face violating the judge’s court order. The future of his popular show Whale Wars is unknown at this time. One thing is certain though; the statute of limitation on the charges from this incident will end in June 2013. If Costa Rica is to hold a trial for Watson it must happen within the next year.
For now, the question remains: where in the world is Paul Watson?
Latest evidence has shown that humans have more in common with sharks than we previously thought. Researchers have discovered that a now-extinct fish ancestor — Acanthodes bronni — was one of the first to split from sharks to evolve into a line of tough-boned species, ranging from bony fish to human beings. In-depth analysis has proven that this distant relative of humans is more shark-like than previously known.
A. bronni lived about 290 million years ago, during the Paleozoic period. The shark family and the bony fish families split about 460 million years ago. The researchers took 138 characteristics of the skulls and compared them with both the skulls of the chondrichyes, the group which includes sharks and rays, and the bony fish such as the sardines and mackerels of present day. After detailed analysis, it was found that the head of the A. bronni had much more in common with those of the sharks.
“For the first time, we could look inside the head of Acanthodes, and describe it within this whole new context,” study researcher Michael Coates, a University of Chicago biologist, said in a statement. “The more we looked at it, the more similarities we found with sharks.” The study also revised the relationship between the early gnathostomes, or vertebrates with jaws (whose members range from fish and sharks to birds, reptiles and humans), and the most primitive members of that group, armoured fish called placoderms. According to Coates, these recent findings will allow researchers to look more closely at how fish made the transition from jawless to jawed.
“It helps to answer the basic question of what’s primitive about a shark,” he said. “And, at last, we’re getting a better handle on primitive conditions for jawed vertebrates as a whole.”
April 25, 2012
One man’s crusade to save the world’s sharks from their greatest enemy… ourselves!
- You need to get a ticket from room 4-127, Moskel’s room.
- We will be selling concession during the movie (pizza, candy, popcorn and drinks)
- Sharkwater T-shirts will be for sale $10.00 each.
- If you attend you have a chance to win one of four the following prizes as a result of a shark scavenger hunt:
- 50.00 gift card to the movies
- 45.00 gift card to Friendly Fisherman
- 40.00 gift card to Johns Pass Shops
- 4 tickets to a Rays game
I just wanted to write and thank you for taking a stand to make a difference in the world and the way it has impacted my 8 year old son Jeffrey.
My son decided to do a report on Sharks this year for his second grade class. Upon discovering your documentary, my son was outraged. He yelled at the TV the entire time he saw people finning sharks. At the end of the movie he, being a typical 8 year old boy, was yelling about what he wished he could do to the people that were finning sharks. I thought it was a good opportunity to teach him about positive change and the power even an 8 year old has. We noticed other kids on your blog in other parts of the world that had done things to raise awareness and we talked about the information he learned and how he could spread that information and what he could do to create a positive change. He decided his report would be solely on the information he learned from this movie. He created a powerful presentation with short movie clips and then created posters to put around the school to raise money. He was so passionate about raising money he asked the principal to present to every single class, including the middle schoolers. It was the first presentation he’s ever given, and he did it fearlessly and passionately. He raised some money from the school, but didn’t feel it was enough, so he asked for his family members to donate money instead of birthday presents for his birthday. Lastly, he did extra jobs so he could donate what his original goal was of $100. We donated the money on PayPal today.
Since watching your show and his involvement in earning money to save the sharks, he has decided that he wants to be an oceanographer when he grows up.