Saturday, May 23, 2009

Whale Wars

Whale Wars has become my newest obsession. The Animal Planet show follows Captain Peter Watson and his crew, all members of the Sea Shepherds Conservation Society, as they track Japanese whaling vessels that are illegally killing innocent whales in the Antarctic. Watson was one of the founders of Greenpeace but left the organization to form the Sea Shepherds when he felt Greenpeace became too politically motivated. It is incredibly addicting (and the attractive Australian crew members aren't too hard on the eyes). The next season premieres June 5 at 9pm.

A more detailed synopsis and clip below...
"In March 2009, when the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel The Steve Irwin docked in Hobart, Tasmania, it was met by two dozen members of the Australian Federal Police. They were there to confiscate hundreds of hours of videotape, launching an investigation into what was one of the most intense and dramatic campaigns ever conducted by the Sea Shepherds in their 30-year history.

Those seized tapes and hundreds of hours of other footage comprise the second season of Animal Planet's WHALE WARS.

More dangerous, drama-filled and controversial than ever, WHALE WARS returns with a vengeance on Friday, June 5, at 9 PM e/p. Collisions at sea, harrowing nautical maneuvers, a near-death experience in an ice field and more aggressive Japanese defenses against the Sea Shepherds — including the use of Long Range Acoustical Devices (LRADs), sonic devices that cause intense pain and could cause permanent hearing damage — are just some of the highlights in store this season.

And this year, the Japanese whaling fleet suffered a deadly loss as one of its workers slipped and fell overboard (not during an engagement with the Sea Shepherds) and whose body was never recovered. Captain Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd offered to help in a rescue mission for the missing worker, but the whaling vessels claimed they did more to interfere than assist.

"I have always said that we would do everything we can short of hurting people to end illegal whaling in the Antarctic," says Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd. "We have done everything we could with the resources available to us this year. We shut down their illegal operations for over a month in total. We cost them money, and we have saved the lives of a good many whales."

This season on WHALE WARS, in addition to returning crew members Peter Brown (First Officer), Peter Hammarstedt (Second Officer), Chris Aultman (Helicopter Pilot/Aviation Director), Laurens de Groot (Deckhand), Ben Potts (Helicopter Crew) and Shannon Mann (Quartermaster), The Steve Irwin is joined by Jane Taylor (Quartermaster), Luke Van Horn (Communications Officer), Andy Perry (Leading Deckhand), Molly Kendall (Deckhand) and Laura Dakin (Chief Cook). These featured crew members help comprise the 40 international crew who spent the winter putting their lives on the line for whales."