Last season of Whale Wars looked like it would be the last of the Animal Planet show because Sea Shepherd’s campaign against Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean had apparently succeeded. Last spring, Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson told me “We’ve actually won the whale wars.” That’s because Japan suspended whaling due to Sea Shepherd’s actions.
But now Japan says it will resume its annual whale hunt and says it will work to protect its “research whaling ships” (they’re hilarious) with increased security. According to CNN, Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano said at a press conference, “The Fisheries Agency will send a patrol boat and take increased measures to strengthen the protection given to the research whaling ships.”
Sea Shepherd announced Friday that their campaign will be called Divine Wind, and in his typically inflammatory way, Paul Watson said, “It is an insult to all the anti-whaling nations that so generously contributed to the relief of the tsunami and earthquake victims. They have accepted foreign aid to help the victims of that tragedy, and are now shifting funds to perpetuate this illegal and obscene massacre of defenseless whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. It now seems they are simply obsessed with killing whales not for need, and not for profit, but because they believe they have the right to do what they wish and kill whatever they wish in an established international whale sanctuary, just for the sake of defending their misplaced ‘honor.’ It’s a disgrace and a smack in the face to everyone who stepped forward to help in their time of need.”
While Animal Planet ordered a spin-off of Whale Wars following Sea Shepherd’s actions in the Faroe Islands, there’s no official word yet that Whale Wars itself will return for a fifth season. But I’d be shocked if it did not.