Friday, June 1, Whale Wars returns for a 5th season from the Southern Ocean documenting their Operation Divine Wind mission.
After Japanese whalers appeared to be defeated the previous year, this year’s campaign will present two major challenges for Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd. The first is understanding that the Japanese will be better prepared and more aggressive than ever in their quest to kill whales and protect their fleet. The second is that the crew of the Sea Shepherd organization is comprised of more rookies than ever before.
This season brings a new helicopter pilot to replace Chris Altman, and a new captain to the Brigitte Bardot. It also marks the return of Peter Brown who has seen many campaigns, but his personality has caused it's share of tension with fellow crew members.
Currently as the 5th season is about to air, Paul Watson sits in a German jail, awaiting word if he will be extradited to Costa Rica for an incident in 2002. During conservation efforts in the Cocos Islands, Captain Watson came across a Guatemalan vessel slicing the fins off sharks.
The Sea Shepherds contend they took control of vessel with urging from Guatemalan authorities. But officials later changed their stance and sent a gunboat to detain Paul Watson. The Sea Shepherds fled before any confrontation was able to occur.
More info on Paul Watson and his current status can be found here.
The first episode of Operation Divine Wind airs 9 pm June 1 on Animal Planet.
Photo credit: Animal Planet/Sea Shepherd