Sea Shepherd declares Operation Divine Wind a success as the whalers go home
by Michael dEstries
Categories: Video.

With less than a few weeks to go until Season Five of Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” kicks off (June 1st), a first trailer for the series has finally been released.

What to expect? Searching, saving, chasing, rogue wave damage, covert boardings, angry whalers, and SPOILER ALERT – another SSCS victory.

Expect this season to span somewhere around 10 episodes. Get your first taste below.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Anonymous

    What most people don’t realize is that this conflict did not begin with sea-hippies throwing stink bombs at whalers on TV. In fact, the long and sordid history of commercial whaling is rife with regulatory violations that led to the near-extinction of most large whale species. As a result many whales remain endangered to this day.

    In 1986 the International Whaling Commission established a moratorium on all commercial whaling. Unfortunately, instead of respecting the whaling ban, Japan continued to kill whales claiming justification using a loophole intended for scientific research. In other words, Japan lost the vote on whaling and refused to abide by the democratic decisions of the IWC.

    This is nothing new for Japan’s whaling industry and its supporters in the government. Historically, Japanese whalers have violated regulations on size limits, species protections, seasonal limits, sanctuary boundaries, all manner of quotas, and even facilitated “pirate whaling” all over the world (that’s front companies in foreign waters killing whales in secret to smuggle the unreported meat to Japan).

    Today Japan’s whalers annually kill endangered Fin whales, endangered Sei whales, vulnerable Sperm whales, Bryde’s whales (population uncertain), common Minke whales (from the vulnerable J-stock), and Antarctic Minke whales (IUCN data suggests this species is also in decline). Many of these whales are hunted in an internationally established whale sanctuary.

    Japan also annually slaughters rare beaked whales and up to 20,000 other small cetaceans (like dolphins and pilot whales — a large number of Dall’s porpoise) in its coastal waters.

    However, there is no economic or nutritional reason to kill whales in Japan — the third largest economy in the world. In fact, only a tiny fraction of the Japanese population actually eats whale. If the government did not subsidize the industry and distribute the whale meat in compulsory school lunches then most Japanese children would never know the taste of whale.

    Professor Jun Morikawa, author of “Whaling in Japan: Power, Politics, and Diplomacy” explains that the tradition of whaling in Japan is “invented”. The whalers have used Norwegian modern whaling techniques and technology since 1900 for mass production — like any other market product. They hunt for whales thousands of miles away from Japan’s coastal “traditional” whaling grounds. And despite the erroneous claims of some, most Japanese people are not descended from whalers. In some parts of Japan whales were traditionally worshiped and never eaten — a detail often left out by those defending the whaling industry.

    According to Morikawa, Japan’s whaling industry survives due to the influence of entrenched bureaucrats (or Amakudari) who ensure the tax funded subsidies for the industry continue and often leave their government jobs to take high paid positions in the commercial whaling industry they once oversaw as public officials.

    The International Whaling Commission has repeatedly called on Japan to stop killing whales. The USA, under President Ronald Reagan, enacted economic sanctions against Japan over its “research whaling”. Australia has even filed against Japan with the International Court of Justice over whaling. Scientists all over the world have repeatedly agreed that whales can be studied with non-lethal methods.

    Sea Shepherd — continuing the work that Paul Watson and Robert Hunter started with the original Greenpeace in 1975 versus Soviet whalers — has returned to the Southern Ocean for many years in its attempts to stop Japan’s whale poaching operations. In the last two seasons the interference from these brave activists has reduced Japan’s catch to a mere fraction of the intended quota — saving hundreds of whales from death by explosive tipped harpoons.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps you should do some research instead of making factually incorrect allegations. Japan’s annual kill can be easily verified on the International Whaling Commission website where you will see endangered Fin whales, endangered Sei whales, vulnerable Sperm whales, Bryde’s whales, common Minke whales (North Pacific), and Antarctic Minke whales are actively hunted by Japan each year.

    As for the poorly informed comment about Antarctic Minke whales: The IUCN (internationally recognized authority on status of species) has data which indicates Antarctic Minke whale populations have declined as much as 60% over the last three generations which, if confirmed, would classify that species as “endangered”. Pending confirmation of this decline, or new data which alters the current assessment, the Antarctic Minke whale is classified as “Data Deficient”. This is also verifiable through the web published IUCN Red List.