Paul Watson, head of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, stands on a dock near his vessel the Farley Mowat in Sydney, Nova Scotia, in this April 14, 2008, file photo. Watson, the founder of conservation group Sea Shepherd, which annually disrupts Japan's whale hunt, has been arrested in Frankfurt for extradition to Costa Rica, the organization said May 14, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/PAUL DARROW
Watson is wanted in Cost Rica for alleged violation of ship traffic in 2002, while the marine conservation group was involved in intercepting what it calls an "illegal shark finning operation" run by the Costa Rican ship Varadero. The group said in a statement is was acting under orders from Guatemalan authorities.
German police are holding Watson in custody pending possible extradition to Costa Rica.
"I am currently being held in Frankfurt on charges from Costa Rica ... court appearance in the morning," Watson tweeted Sunday.
The SSCS said, while in jail, Watson is receiving help from the group's European chapter as well as from two government officials, European Parliament vice-president Daniel Cohn Bendit and the European deputy Jose Bove.
"Our hope is that these two honourable gentlemen can set Capt. Watson free before this nonsense goes any further," said the statement.
Toronto-born Watson was one of the original founders and directors of Greenpeace, and founded the SSCS in 1977. The group is known for confrontations with whalers and seal hunters.