Although Sea Shepherd stopped Japanese whaling last year, the country decided to resume whaling this year, using tsunami relief funds to fund additional security, so Sea Shepherd’s boats are back–and that means Animal Planet’s Whale Wars will be back, too.
The network unsurprisingly renewed the series, noting that it is one of its three highest-rated series. This will be its fifth season, and next year, the network will also air a series following Sea Shepherd’s campaign in the Faroe Islands, which I reported on for a future story.
Sea Shepherd’s current Operation Divine Wind has a new weapon: long-range drones, one of which was donated by New Jersey’s Bayshore Recycling Corp. A drone found the whaling fleet on Christmas Eve, according to a Sea Shepherd press release, which said the Steve Irwin “deployed a drone to successfully locate and photograph the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru on December 24th. Once the pursuit began, three Japanese harpoon/security ships moved in on the Steve Irwin to shield the Nisshin Maru to allow it to escape.”