Paul Watson Net Worth

Read more about Paul Watson Biography

At a young age, Paul was taught to respect and defend animals; he worked as a tour guide at Expo 67 before moving to Vancouver, where he joined the Canadian Coast Guard and worked on various hovercraft, weatherships, and buoy tenders. He also worked as a merchant seaman during this period.

One of his first noted works of activism was joining the Sierra Club to protest the Amchitka Island nuclear testing. The group evolved into the Don’t Make a Wave Committee, which eventually became Greenpeace. Watson would serve on the Greenpeace Too! ship in 1971, and then in various positions in Greenpeace voyages in the mid-1970s. Many publications state that he is a Greenpeace founder, but Greenpeace cites him only as an influential member, not a founder.

In 1978, he purchased the first Sea Shepherd vessel called the “Sea Shepherd”, with the help of Fund for Animals. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was formed and would soon gain notoriety for their direct action tactics. They threw objects into whaling ships, boarded whaling ships, and even scuttled ships. He started earning money as part of the society which increased his net worth. He was also a field correspondent for Defenders of Wildlife until 1980. Afterwards, he declared his support for Earth First!, and would later join the board of directors of the Sierra Club. He became very vocal on claims such as how human communities should be no larger than 20,000 people. He also released numerous activism articles on Earthforce!

Watson has been the subject of numerous controversies over the course of his life. One of the better known issues was his separation from Greenpeace when he was expelled from the board in 1977. Greenpeace has since called him a violent extremist – he was convicted of assaulting a peace officer during a seal hunt protest. He became a persona non grata in Iceland after scuttling two whaling ships and damaging a whale meat processing factory. He was also pursued by the Japanese Coast Guard on suspicion of sabotaging Japan’s whaling fleet. He was detained in 2012 in Germany at the request of the government of Costa Rica due to altercations at sea.

Despite these issues, he’s won several awards, including the Jules Verne Award, and received the Asociacion de Amigos del Museo de Anclas Philippe Cousteau: Defense of Marine Life Award. In 2002, he was inducted into the US Animal Rights Hall of Fame, and received the George H.W. Bush Daily Points of Light Award.

For his personal life, it is known that Paul has been married four times, firstly to founding director of Greenpeace Quebec Starlet Lum, with whom he has a son. He then married former Playboy model Lisa Distefano. His third wife was animal rights activist Allison Lance, and his fourth marriage is to Yana Rusinovich in 2015, and they have a son.

Structural info

  • Net Worth: $500,000
  • Date Of Birth: December 2, 1950
  • Place Of Birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Profession: Activist
  • Education: Simon Fraser University
  • Nationality: American
  • Spouse: Yana Rusinovich
  • Children: Lilliolani Paula Lum Watson, Tiger Watson
  • Parents: Annamarie Larsen, Anthony Joseph Watson
  • Facebook:
  • Twitter:
  • Instagram:
  • IMDB:
  • Awards: Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography, World Press Photo Award for Spot News
  • Movies: Sharkwater, Behind the Mask
  • TV Shows: Whale Wars


  • (on the role of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) We do not protest. Protesting is fundamentally submissive. We are enforcers. We sail to enforce the law.
  • I would just say is that nobody could do what I do unless you had a big ego. It’s the only way you can really put it. You have to be arrogant enough to challenge the arrogance of the human race.
  • You know, I wouldn’t think I was successful if I didn’t have just as many people hate me as support me. You can’t change things by not pissing people off.
  • No species is more important than the others. All species are interdependent, but people got upset when I said worms were more important than people. {That’s] because worms can live on the earth without us but we can’t live without them. We need them and they don’t need us. And bees and insects and fish: we need them and they don’t need us. It makes them, ecologically, more important than we are. A lot of people don’t like to hear that.
  • I’m not pessimistic about anything. You just have to have enough passion and perseverance. I alway point to 1972. The very idea that Nelson Mandela would be president of South Africa was unthinkable, unimaginable and impossible, yet it happened. So I’m eternally optimistic.
  • We’re not even the captains of the spaceship. We’re just the passengers, watching and consuming. The crew is the insects and the microbes and the other creatures, doing what they do to keep the ship functioning. And right now we’re killing off the essential crew, one by one.


  • The movie Ocean Warrior (1981) is partly based on his experiences.
  • He is one of the founding members of the Greenpeace Foundation.


Title Year Status Character
Defend, Conserve, Protect producer post-production
Why Just One? 2016 Documentary executive producer
Title Year Status Character
Fireside Chat with Esther 2015 TV Series Captain Watson
Title Year Status Character
Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson 2011 Documentary the producers wish to thank
Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist 2010 Documentary special thanks
Sharkwater 2006 Documentary special thanks – as Captain Paul Watson
Ocean Warrior 1981 Documentary special thanks
Title Year Status Character
Sharkwater: Extinction 2017 Documentary announced Himself
One Planet 2017 Documentary filming Himself
The Refineries: Inside the Making Of Documentary post-production Himself
Good Fortune 2016 Documentary Himself
Food Choices 2016 Documentary Himself (founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) (as Captain Paul Watson)
Why Just One? 2016 Documentary Himself
On n’est pas couché 2016 TV Series Himself
C à vous 2016 TV Series Himself
13 heures le journal 2016 TV Series Himself
Le grand journal de Canal+ 2012-2015 TV Series documentary Himself
Unity 2015 Documentary Narrator (voice)
How to Change the World 2015 Documentary Himself
Whale Wars 2008-2015 TV Series documentary Himself / Himself – Founder Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Steve Irwin Captain / Himself – Captain / …
Whale Wars: The Devil’s Den 2015 TV Series Himself
Wrenched 2014 Documentary Himself
Real Time with Bill Maher 2014 TV Series Himself – Guest
60 Minutes 2013 TV Series documentary Himself – Environmental Activist (segment “Return of the Humpbacks”)
The Project 2013 TV Series Himself
The Alyona Show 2012 TV Series Himself
Seal Wars 2012 TV Movie documentary Himself
Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell 2012 TV Series Himself
Horizont CT24 2012 TV Series Himself (Sea Shepherd)
Democracy Now! 2012 TV Series Himself
Whale Wars: Viking Shores 2012 TV Series Himself
Whale Wars: Operation Bluefin 2012 TV Movie Himself
A Fierce Green Fire 2012 Documentary Himself
Minds in the Water 2011 Documentary
La case du siècle 2011 TV Series documentary Himself, Sea Shepherd Foundation, Greenpeace member 1972-1979
Animal World 2010-2011 TV Series documentary Himself – Host
Canada A.M. 2011 TV Series Himself
Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson 2011 Documentary Himself
Adam Hills in Gordon St Tonight 2011 TV Series Himself
The 7PM Project 2009-2011 TV Series Himself – Captain of Steve Irwin / Himself – Captain of the Steve Irwin
Les insurgés de la terre 2011 TV Movie documentary Himself
END:CIV 2011 Documentary Himself
Eternal Vigilance: Paul Watson on the Front Lines 2010 Documentary short Himself
Making Burros Fly 2010 Documentary Himself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 2010 TV Series Himself
Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist 2010 Documentary Himself
Bag It 2010 Documentary Himself
Skin Trade 2010 Documentary Himself
Focus Earth with Bob Woodruff 2009 TV Series Himself
The Cove 2009 Documentary Himself (as Captain Paul Watson)
30 Years on the Frontline 2008 Documentary short
At the Edge of the World 2008 Documentary Himself
Pirate for the Sea 2008 Documentary Himself
Your Mommy Kills Animals! 2007 Documentary Himself – Sea Shepherd Conservancy
Seal or No Seal 2007 Short Himself
Sharkwater 2006 Documentary Himself (as Captain Paul Watson)
Behind the Mask 2006 Documentary Himself (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)
Testify! Eco-Defense and the Politics of Violence 2005 Video documentary Himself (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) (as Captain Paul Watson)
Penn & Teller: Bullshit! 2005 TV Series documentary Himself
Ocean Raider: Defenders of the Wild 1993 TV Movie documentary Himself
Eco Spies 1992 TV Movie Himself
Redwood Summer Roadshow 1990 Himself
Black Harvest – The Fight for the Pilot Whale 1988 TV Short documentary Himself
Ocean Warrior 1981 Documentary Himself
Archive Footage
Title Year Status Character
War Story 1995 Documentary short Himself
60 Minutes 2014 TV Series documentary Himself – Environmental Activist (segment “Return of the Humpbacks”)
Raid on Reykjavik Reloaded 2012 Documentary short Himself
Príbeh duhových bojovníku – Greenpeace 2000 TV Movie documentary Himself


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