Paul Watson ‘flees Germany’

A Canadian marine conservationist has jumped bail in Germany and disappeared.

The founder of US-based anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, Paul Watson, was detained in Germany in May after Costa Rica issued a warrant for his arrest.

He is accused of having endangered the crew of a Costa Rican ship that was fishing for sharks in 2002.

A Frankfurt court has ordered his re-arrest. But his lawyer was quoted as saying “he has left Germany for an unknown destination”.

The group’s confrontation with a Costa Rican ship happened in Guatemalan waters. Sea Shepherd alleges that the ship was engaged in illegal shark-finning – the practice of catching a shark, slicing off its valuable fin and returning the shark to the water, where it will usually die.

Mr Watson, 61, faced possible extradition to Costa Rica. He was on bail of 250,000 euros (