whale wars - viking shoresLet me start off by saying that I’m a huge supporter of animal rights. At the same time, I don’t support fraud organizations like PETA that care more about promoting their brand than actually protecting animals.  The Daily Show had a brilliant piece on the hypocrisy of PETA by comparing SeaWorld to slavery, while at the same time “owning” a pet dog.  Side note: I love dogs, love owners who treat their dogs right, and don’t consider it slavery, but I also don’t consider SeaWorld slavery.

With that said, I’ve been having a hard time sympathizing with Sea Shepherd during Whale Wars: Viking Shores as I do during the normal episodes.  I’m sure this has a lot to do with showing both sides of the story, but also the fact that what they’re doing is sadly considered legal.  Is it right to herd a bunch of whales into a little bay and slaughter them?  No, not at all. However, like someone said, if Animal Planet took a film crew into a cow slaughterhouse, people may stop eating burgers… well, possibly.  I hate that fact that any animal is killed for food, but also understand it’s the cycle of life  (I know, I can be a vegetarian or vegan, but I’m not so shoot me).

What’s also not helping is half the crew are coming off as insufferable protestors that you’d see at a PETA rally.  Parking the van and interrupting their festivities was probably the most obnoxious form of protesting I’ve seen on Whale Wars yet, especially when they started playing whale sounds. Then you had the girl running around trying to preach about whales to anyone who’d listen. It was generally annoying and painful to watch.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not supporting their tradition and think it’s definitely brutal, but the people who have been interviewed have a point. This whole thing screams as a PETA publicity stunt more than anything else.  Paul Watson knows that he’s just being a pest, and is only just trying to put international pressure on the Faroe Islands.  Using his show, he’s putting the spotlight on what he thinks is wrong, and hoping the viewers create more of the uproar than he’s actually doing.

This makes me torn on the whole issue really.  The message is being sent as intended, and the Sea Shepherd have plenty of valid points of their own, but I’m having a hard time feeling angry against a country that participates in a legal method of gathering food as brutal as it is.

What are your thoughts on the season, and whaling in general in the Faroe Islands?

Our favorite activists are back in action this June 3rd, and they are hyping it up questioning whether or not this will be the campaign that stops Antarctic whaling forever.  I’m going to guess it won’t be, but that’s the pessimist side coming out.   Don’t get me wrong, I think they’ve done a terrific job at shedding light on this subject, but that’s all they’re doing right now.   few small boats won’t stop a fleet of whaling ships alone.  That’s where the show and fans come in.  If there is enough outrage by people Worldwide, especially in Japan, that could set things in motion for the real people (those with actual power) to get involved and squash this.

Regardless, this does sound like another entertaining show, with a bigger speedboat than last year, and some exciting moments.   Will this boat be torn in half as well?  Here is a clip from the press-release..

This new season is full of the drama that viewers have come to expect from the Sea Shepherds’ campaigns, including new equipment in their arsenal — a new vessel that’s almost as fast but far bigger than the boat destroyed last year, a helicopter with a greater range, secret GPS devices, and more.  Aside from the Sea Shepherds’ new tactics, there are harrowing experiences unlike any viewers will have seen before, including a crew stranded overnight in freezing conditions and a tragic mayday call. Captain Alex Corneliessen joins the campaign to helm the Bob Barker, and Captain Lockhart Maclean takes command of the Sea Shepherds’ newest small vessel, the Gojira.

As Watson has said, “In order to save the whales, people have to be willing to risk their lives.”  And, before this campaign, when a reporter asked pointedly if he really couldn’t stop whaling, he vehemently responded, “We can’t stop whaling? That’s what they once said about slavery, but it was stopped. So yes, we can stop whaling.”

I always enjoy this show, and it should be another good season!

 

whale wars newest boat godzillaLast season on Whale Wars, The Sea Shepard crew has introduced a replacement to the Ady Gil in their fight against the Japanese Whalers, this time it’s a beefed up looking version of the Ady called Gojira which translates to Godzilla.  Last year, the Ady Gil ended up ripped in half by one of the Japanese whaling vessels which was ruled to be the fault of both the stationary ship and the massive vessel that turned into it.   How they got to that decision is beyond me.

Like the Ady, this ship will likely be used to track the factory ship (the ship that kills and packages the whales) which will allow the Sea Shepard and the Bob Barker to tail it and prevent whales from being transferred to the vessel.  Unlike the Ady Gil, this likely won’t be captained by Pete Bethune who was arrested last season for boarding the ship that split his in two.  It’s pretty sad too because Pete Bethune was one of the few Sea Shepard’s who actually put his money where his mouth is.  Every season we get to hear everyone go on and on about how tough they are and how they’d die for the whales but nobody volunteered to board the other ship except Pete.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate what they give up to make these missions, and what they do when they’re down there, just spare me the martyr rhetoric and focus on doing what you can to stop the whalers.   I’m not looking to see these people act suicidal or do crazy things, but if you’re going to talk the talk, at least back it up a little.  Last season they had a plan to spray the water cannon down an exhaust pipe to fill the engine room, and as soon as they got one spray in, they backed off and changed plans.  Why?  Because people were getting wet on the deck.

Next season will likely be a much more toned down campaign as not only did they lose Pete, but the whaling ships will carry armed personnel of the Japanese Coast Guard which will likely keep all the small boats out of the water all season and just result in a few bottles of butyric acid being tossed from the Shepard or the Bob Barker.  As long as they can find the factory ship and just tail it for a few weeks, it should be a successful campaign.. maybe a boring season, but a success nonetheless.

Source:  Grindtv