Paul Watson resigns as head of Sea Shepherd over U.S. court order

The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The head of a controversial anti-whaling organization has resigned in order to comply with a U.S. court order.

Paul Watson issued a statement saying he has stepped down as leader of Sea Shepherd.

Watson says his decision was based on an injunction issued in the U.S. last month that barred the organization from being within 450 metres of Japanese whaling vessels.

Watson, who holds dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship, says he was personally named in the injunction and must step down in order to avoid criminal charges.

The Toronto-born anti-whaling crusader says he has resigned all positions with the organization, which has chapters in the U.S. and Australia.

He says campaigns against Japanese fleets will continue under the leadership of former Australian senator Bob Brown.