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'Whale Wars' season finale sets viewership record; third season announced

The Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin collides with the stern of a Japanese harpoon whaling ship in the Antarctic during last season's campaign.

A record 3.2 million viewers tuned into the season finale of Animal Planet's "Whale Wars" series last Friday night and, to no one's surprise, the network announced there will be a third season.

The second season of "Whale Wars," which profiles the exploits of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as it campaigns against Japanese whalers in the Antarctic, was Animal Planet's second-best performing series in network history. The shows were viewed in an average of 779,000 homes.

The series pits an unwilling subject -- Japanese whalers -- versus Capt. Paul Watson and a ragtag vegan crew that engages in disruptive techniques such as tossing bottles of rancid butter (butyric acid) aboard the whaling vessels. Last season there were collisions and numerous other dicey situations.

Japan's annual whaling effort is legal, thanks to a loophole in the wording of an international moratorium. The primary targets are minke whales, which are not endangered. Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research has labeled Watson and his crew terrorists.

This winter's campaign (summer in the Antarctic) is called "Operation Waltzing Matilda" and will be an escalated effort sure to further rile the Japanese but please the show's producers.

Said Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet: “It’s been terrific to see the success of this groundbreaking series, and its growth creatively and with audiences from the first to the second season. I'm proud to be able to announce the third."

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: The Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin collides with the stern of a Japanese harpoon whaling ship in the Antarctic during last season's campaign. Credit: Sea Shepherd

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Comments (23)

To Live in LA, Save the Japs and Trask: you are bunch of major fools. We are stopping the Japanese illegal hunting, whether you like it or not. We should dump you morans to the ocean! Stupid idiots! Just reading comments like these made me immediately go and donate more money. We will stop the brutal killings of endangered whales. The Japanese that are involved in this have no shame!

I want to know when will the next episode for whale wars season 3 be on. If you send my a mail of the date month year for whale wars season three then god and me will thank you.

I want to know when will season 3 for whale wars be on. Who ever sees this message send me the daye month and year when will season 3 e on. Thank You.

Capt. Watson and crew, keep up the good work, and may you succeed in your efforts! I look forward to the next season.

I'd like to suggest to everyone who supports the Sea Shepherds that arguing with the pro-whaling folks on this board is a waste of your time. Considering that the vast majority of anti-Sea Shepherds comments here contain misspellings and errors in grammar (I think my favorites are "my 11 year old sister could *exicute* tactics better..." and of course "Amatures!"), this is hardly a place to find thoughtful or even moderately useful criticism. Don't feed the trolls!

I love our planet and all it has to offer me, I hunt, I fish, and even harvest a small crop and I am going to drink a great beer in the honor of the first jackass to die in these waters because their captain and most of their crew is incompetent. Between almost crushing the boat in the ice pack and trying to piggyback the Japanese vessel I am surprised that bucket is still floating.

to kim, kelly, walt, and william, oh and ofcourse "captain" paul watson. do you really think your efforts help at all? i mean seriously my 11 year old sister could exicute tatics better than you, and did you know that that butaric acid is actually ANIMAL FAT. thats right you hippies are throwing animal fat at thease boats, oh and paul try to get some guys that dont through like a 6th grader at his first day of football. and if any of you read the article the japs are hunting UNENDANGERED whales. wow you guys are idiots. paul clearly your efforts are useless because if you didnt notice the japs brought up atleast 4 whales right infront of you!!! ha i laughed for hours after seeing the look on your dumbfounded face! get you and your dumb vegan crew off the ocean you worthless pirate. and yes paul thats what you are, a pirate, your crew boarded a ship without permission, and rammed a vessel... that is piracy withought the damn dutch flag behind you. i hope they pull their flag because you know what happends then? you are officially considered a pirate. witch means the piracy laws apply to you. i hope the japanese rock you this next season. go sink your ship paul, whalers stand strong!!!

So now that 3.2 million viewers have tuned in, I'm sure awareness is raised.
What is being done on the government level to stop the Japanese from whale poaching?

The crew of the Steve Irwin reminds me of F Troop! It's so funny to see the Japanese kill whales right in front of them. Amatures!

The Sea Sheperds should outfit the helicopter with a machine that can drop butteric acid on the whaleing ships ^_^!

Great Job Mr.Paul and crew! Look forward to watching you this season. Love the show. Long Live The Whales!! Down with the whale pochers!! I will watch this show as long as it is on telivision. Would love to be a part of the crew. Bless you all.

GO WHALERS! Paul Watson and his gang of misfits are nothing short of pirates. Boarding a ship with out permission is by definition piracy. I'm addicted to this show, although i was disappointed that the Sea Shepard didn't sink. I love how the crew is surprised that the whalers would defend their ship. The best was when the whales were killed right in front of them, morons couldn't do anything to stop it.

Nice job cheering on the killing of whales Live in LA. I bet you cheered Michael Vick on when he electrocuted those dogs too! Our future is bleak with ignorance like that out there.

Hey Othmar,
What criminals are you speaking of because it's the whalers who are the criminals here! They are exploiting an IWC loophole and criminally misleading the public when they claim they are killing whales for scientific study. When in fact, they are actually slaughtering hundreds of whales so they can sell the meat to the elite few. Or do you actually believe they are killing whales for scientific study? If so, I bet you believe in the Easter bunny too. And oh yeah, the whalers are also BREAKING THE LAW by continuing to whale hunt in an established whale sanctuary! They are harpoon weilding thugs who are no better than machine-gun totting gorilla poachers!

I love watching those morons on TV. I thought that Gillian's Island was funny, whale war is funnier. The capt. had that stupid look on his face when he saw a dead whale. He doesn't have any plans that works. It is hilarious. They are really funny and they throw like girls. Keep it up animal planet, I love a good comedy. Captain crunch and his vegan crew... hahaha Go eat some organic mushroom and go hug a tree you hippies. Goooooooo whalers.

It's sad that TV has to stoop so low that they now make reality TV shows featuring criminals such as Watson and his gang of terrorists. Watson and his crew should be prison not in front of a TV camera. But that seems to be the trend these days. Criminals and losers become TV stars.

Honestly, it makes me sick to read these horrible comments on here about cheering on the slaughter of an innocent animal living in what is supposed to be a wildlife sanctuary. Do you people have dogs or cats? Would you cheer on someone harpooning them in your backyard for "scientific" experiments and then eating them afterwards? I think not! It seems that some people's need to rage against the "crazy left" or "environmental terrorists" is making them lose focus on the fact that whales are suffering excruciating deaths for rich Japanese who can afford whale meat. When are you people going to wake-up and realize this isn't a fight about the left vs. right. It's just more exploitation of the world's (as in yours and mine) resources to satisy the desires of the wealthy few.

To "Captian" Paul Watson,

I truly hope that you will re think what you are doing. It was clearly shown in the last season that you have become nothing more than angry two year olds to the Japanese. Your "tactics" are ineffective and useless. Im happy to see that they were able to defeat you and your crew by a simple use of a common naval distraction technique! You are endangering the lives of your crew, and while I feel sorry for them so blindly following you, they do not deserve the fate of freezing to death because you sunk your ship. You on the other hand deserve far worse for violating the trust that your crew has put in you.

As for your claim that they are targeting "endangered" whales, you are clearly wrong. If they were, you would have definately used that as a defence for raming the Japanese ships. http://www.earthsendangered.com/search.asp Show me where the Minke is at here?? You are an eco terrorist, which is why you were kicked out of Green Peace! I mean realy, how do you get kicked out of Green Peace??!! Give it up man, the fight is over and your cause is founded on your lies.


You are the typical idiot that doen't care about our planet. Hopefully you don't have any kids, so you won't spread your iresponsible behaviour. You are probably the type that throws trash out your car window.
While I might not agree 100% with every tactic that is used on the show, I do think that the only way to put stop to the greed of whailing is through the publicity and future existance of this show. I will be a faithfull watcher so the network can sponser the cause. Let em' have it Paul !!!!!

Honestly, the only reason ive ever watched is to cheer on the whalers.

Michael Belloli did not read the article apparently. The article states very plainly that the Sea Shepherd ship is a vegan vessel and no meat or dairy products are served on the vessel.

As for legality, the fact remains that the Japanese whalers are targeting endangered whales in an established whale sanctuary in violation of a global moratorium on commercial whaling and in violation of the Antarctic Treaty and in contempt of the Australian Federal Court.

If we were breaking the law in opposing their illegal operations, we would be charged with a crime and arrested. The reason we have not been charged is that the Japanese whalers are poachers.

Why doesn't the crew show what they eat for their meals. If they indeed eat any MEAT at all, they are contradicting their efforts. In the bible, Jesus told the fishermen to retry their fishing efforts, with incredible sucess. Didn't those fish suffer a cruel death by suffocation? I don't think that captain got that fat eating broccoli! Can you stop the tigers, lions, eagles from being predators! Please show me that fat captain eating a pork chop!

It's all about giving corporations total power and calling anyone who'd get in their way a terrorist... The US is just a corporation/monarchy, and we're the serfs who'll pay the Federal Reserves Bloated Credit Card bill (The "Stimulus")...

Wake up and fight before we're all implanted with "Citizen Identification Chips"...

"Japan's annual whaling effort is legal, thanks to a loophole in the wording of an international moratorium."

The first part of this statement is accurate, but the second part is incorrect. Continuous repetition by western anti-whaling organizations seem to have given creed to this dogma.

The legality of Japan's activities comes from the 8th article of the IWC's convention itself, where it is explicitly stated contracting governments may permit catches for research purposes of a size they fit. In effect the IWC convention is stating that it's purpose is not to regulate catches aimed at gathering scientific information.

The international "moratorium" is a mere appendage to the IWC's convention that was agreed only by 3/4s majority vote in 1982, and as such could never legally be used to deny rights of contracting governments under the convention, which is agreed by all contracting governments who sign it.

If there is a "loophole" in this "moratorium", it is that it contains no specifications of the precise exit conditions under which it would be lifted. In effect the "moratorium" has become a permanent blanket ban, a situation which directly undermines the IWC itself, which was established with the aim of regulating whale stock exploitation for the mutual benefit of the whaling industry and whale consumers.

It was a sad state of affairs that the IWC failed initially in it's mission to regulate whale stock exploitation, but it is a sadder state of affairs that today many nations sign this convention with no intention of seeking to fulfill it's clearly stated mandate. Does the IWC have a purpose to exist anymore?


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