The Shining World Hero Award:Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society    
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Everywhere in the world, we can observe and be touched by acts of kindness. People from all walks of life, faiths, and cultures extend themselves beyond the call of duty to help others unconditionally. Through their noble deeds, humanity as a whole is elevated.

To commend virtuous actions and encourage more people to be inspired by their examples, Supreme Master Ching Hai has lovingly created a series of awards, including the Shining World Leadership Award, Shining World Compassion Award, Shining World Hero and Heroine Awards, Shining World Honesty Award, Shining World Protection Award, Shining World Intelligence Award, and Shining World Inventor Award, to recognize some of the most exemplary, generous, caring, and courageous people who walk amongst us.

We’ve been able to shut down illegal whaling operations all around the world, and intervene against the Canadian seal hunt. We confiscate hundreds and hundreds of miles of illegal long lines and drift nets. We’re investigating illegal smuggling of shark fins, and basically we’re acting like a policing force in a way, upholding international conservation law in accordance with the United Nations World Charter for Nature.

Welcome, ocean-loving viewers, to today’s edition of the Shining World Award series, where we’ll celebrate the remarkable work of Captain Paul Watson, the vegan founder and president of the non-profit, environmental group the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and a co-founder of the Greenpeace Foundation.

At the age of ten Captain Watson was saving the lives of trapped animals, and since that time he has continued his role as their protector. In 1977 he created the Society to defend whales, seals, sharks and other marine species around the globe. For more than 30 years the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has made significant contributions to conserving marine ecosystems.

This really is the “Planet Ocean,” not the Planet Earth. And the fact is that fish and other living things in the ocean are more important, being a part of that diversity, than they are being on our dinner plate, and that if we destroy the fishes, we destroy the sea. And if we destroy the sea, we destroy the life support system for ourselves. And if the oceans die, we die.

Eighty percent of the oxygen supply of the planet comes from the oceans. Plankton populations are being diminished. There’s a very delicate balance between fish/plankton/whales/ sea mammals/birds. And that’s been severely disrupted. And if it’s too severely disrupted, it could crash, and if it crashes then we have an ecological collapse, an oceanic ecological collapse, which will affect life on land. And so it could have devastating consequences.

According to a study by an international team of ecologists and economists published in the November 2009 issue of Science, if the current global trends in fishing continue, our Earth will experience a 90% collapse in those fish stocks currently being exploited within the next 40 years. As lead author Boris Worm of Dalhousie University, Canada states, “The data show us it's not too late. We can turn this around. But less than one percent of the global ocean is effectively protected right now.”

By preserving sea animals like whales and seals, the Society’s vessels are benefiting both humanity and the animal kingdom. The group also safeguards the world’s oceans by serving compassionate vegan meals on all its ships.

Yes, the ship is vegan, only vegan food is served on board, and campaigns the same at sea, so everything on the boat, all the food that is served is vegan, yes. And we have wonderful cooks.

So we have no dairy products, no animal products at all. And it works quite well; you don’t have to be a vegan to join the ship, but you are a vegan while you’re on the ship, and we try to set an example. People get to experience it and if you can run a ship on a vegan diet, then you can certainly do it at home.

I think that there’s a very direct relationship to what we eat and the health of the planet. Forty percent of the fish that is taken from the ocean is fed to pigs and chickens and that. This is just a world out of balance really, and it just can’t continue. A vegan and a vegetarian diet leave a much shallower ecological footprint than a meat-eating diet. And it takes like 8,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.

And so, if we’re concerned about water preservation, then we certainly should look at that. About animal husbandry, the production of meat actually creates more greenhouse gases than the entire automobile industry. Eating meat is sort of like being addicted to drugs. But if you give it up, you’ll find out you don’t miss it.

Captain Watson has the highest regard for all life and that is why he is respected as a true champion of the animals.

All animals are intelligent, but intelligence is relative. We equate intelligence with the ability to make tools and build things and ride around in automobiles and cars. That’s our understanding of intelligence. I measure intelligence by the ability to live in harmony with the natural world. All these creatures who live in harmony with the ecology of their planet are far more intelligent than we are. Intelligence doesn’t necessarily mean technological intelligence; there’s also an ecological intelligence.

When we return, we’ll feature the presentation of the Shining World Hero Award to Captain Paul Watson. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to this edition of the Shining World Award series, highlighting the courageous heart of Captain Paul Watson of Canada, the vegan founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The numerous initiatives of the Society to guard sea life have brought significant results. In its ongoing anti-whaling campaign, the valiant group has halted the activities of numerous illegal whaling vessels and saved the lives of thousands of whales in the process.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is an idea that started when we began to realize that what really changes the world is the passion from individuals, that we can’t depend upon governments and corporations to solve these problems. And only through direct intervention by people who really care can we solve these problems, and so my crew comes from all over the world, volunteers from all different ethnic backgrounds, with this idea that we can achieve the impossible.

Because sometimes the only answer is the impossible one, and we have to make that impossible answer work, and how we do that is really by unleashing our imagination, and daring to go forward and implement ideas in order to fulfill our objectives, and our objective is to try and save our oceans.

Right now what’s happening in our oceans is catastrophic, we’re losing species at an incredible rate. We’re in the midst of a major extinction event, and quite simply, if the oceans die, then we all die. So this is really a question of self preservation, and that’s a message we’re trying to get across to people.

The noble Bluefin Tuna, with the ability to swim at speeds of up to 90 kilometers per hour, is on the verge of disappearing due to overfishing. There has been an 80% drop in their population worldwide since the 1970’s. Yet, fishing continues.

So, we would like to know what your purpose is in coming here to the Mediterranean this year.

The Bluefin Tuna should be on the endangered species list. There’s a legal quota, which has been set by France, Italy and Spain. But three-fourths of the Tuna taken is taken illegally and so our vessel, the “Steve Irwin” is in the Mediterranean and we’re targeting those illegal operations. So we’re looking for poachers, and when we find them, we’ll disrupt their activities.

Especially on this last campaign for the Mediterranean anti-Bluefin Tuna fishing, and they worked very hard and freed 800 Bluefin Tuna, which were trapped in the big nets, and they released them.

For his wise leadership and brave actions, Supreme Master Ching Hai recently honored Captain Paul Watson with the Shining World Hero Award, along with a letter of appreciation, from which the following is an excerpt:

Captaining the Sea Shepherd and patrolling the oceans with your vegan crew, you protect and care for the magnificent mammals, our earthly co-inhabitants. Also through environmental efforts you raise ever-increasing awareness of the life-saving, sustainable vegan diet, helping to save our planet from the effects of climate change.

Captain, you are a modern day hero, saving hundreds of whales and seals each year by defending them and uniting the world behind you, through your dedication and commitment. For your fearless sacrifice, for your strength of mind and fortitude in the face of danger, for your spirit, concern and tenacity and your passionate commitment for all life, we hereby applaud and celebrate the extraordinary and courageous deeds of an ecologist and environmental champion, Captain Paul Watson. With Great Honor and Love and Blessings, The Supreme Master Ching Hai

Thank you.

Along with some of Master’s DVDs and CDs, Captain Watson received a beautiful crystal Award plaque which reads:

In Recognition Of Your Fearless Spirit Of Determination And Boundless Courage Bravely Patrolling The Oceans, Protecting And Defending Our Gracious And Gentle Marine Co-Inhabitants With Compliments And Gratitude For Your Passionate Environmental Guardianship And Advocacy

Thank you.

I’m finding that the individuals who I have as volunteers, I couldn’t pay people to do what they do, to display the courage that they do. So really I’d like to really accept this award on behalf of all the volunteers from all over the world who join Sea Shepherd voyages and intervene to protect whales and sharks and seals and fish and sea birds, and without them, we wouldn’t be able to do anything at all.

Captain Paul Watson, we laud you for standing up for our animal friends and also promoting the vegan diet. We also thank all Sea Shepherd Conservation Society volunteers for their love and dedication to making the world a more harmonious place through their animal protection work and informing the public of the critical state of our oceans. May Heaven bless all of the Society’s members as they continue to conserve global biodiversity.

Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet.

For more details on Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, please visit

Thank you for joining us today on our program. Up next is Enlightening Entertainment, after Noteworthy News. May our love for all beings forever be as vast as the oceans.
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