When I first saw the name "Whale Wars," I thought to myself, "this had better be about whales fighting each other. Then I saw the trailer and I was pretty impressed despite the fact that no whales fought one another.
Much more sadly and less whimsically, it's about whales unable to fight back against modern-day whalers. See, it's illegal to kill and catch whales for commercial purposes, but you can kill them for scientific research. So Japanese boats that claim to be doing this sort of research paint the word "RESEARCH" broadly across their boat, in English, and go about their day's work.
Well, some folks don't believe that all of the whaling being done out there is being done for research, and others still don't care one way or the other, they're just opposed to the killing of whales. Enter Sea Shepherd. This is an organization started by one of the rogue founders of Greenpeace, Paul Watson, who was actually booted from Greenpeace for his radical views.
How radical are his views? He's a Vegan pirate, for one. [Read an interview with Capt. Watson over at SuperVegan] And he and the crew of the -- I am not making this up -- Steve Irwin sail about, seeking out the offending Japanese ships, which they follow and harass in hopes of saving whales from what they believe is needless, illegal killing for commercial purposes.
I probably ought to just let you get to the video:
Now, I've seen the entire first episode, and I'll say this -- it's a great watch. I'm not one for appointment television, but I'll be setting my DVR for the show. You can catch the first episode tomorrow night, that's Friday night, on Animal Planet at 9 p.m. Check your listings, though, just in case.
I don't know precisely where I stand on their tactics if only because I'm not all that well-read on international whaling law. The show is pretty impressive, though.
Follow Dave Burdick on Twitter: www.twitter.com/daveburdick