Animal Planet orders 'Whale Wars' spin-off as activists set new target -- EXCLUSIVE


Image Credit: Sea Shepherd

What happens when a TV show’s mission is achieved?

Last February, Japan suspended its controversial whaling operations after years of international criticism — and, more specifically, the aggressive efforts of marine conservation group Sea Shepherd to halt the practice, as chronicled on Animal Planet’s hit Whale Wars.

The activists, in other words, won. So now network has ordered a spin-off that not only continues the show’s legacy of whaling prevention tactics, but is launching a bigger operation than ever before.

Tentatively titled The Faroe Islands Project, the show has the Sea Shepherds (including Capt. Paul Watson and Peter Hammarstedt) charting a course to the Danish Protectorate of the Faroe Islands, where there’s an annual hunt for pilot whales titled “The Grind.” In a practice going back to the first Norse settlements on the islands, an estimated 1,000 whales are corralled by local residents into the shallow coves to be killed.

The group is launching a land, sea and air campaign that will include a large ground team. Already the group has run into a challenge, since the ship the Steve Irwin has been seized by a British court over a conflict with tuna fishermen.

“For the last four years, Whale Wars has been riveting television because of the passion of the Sea Shepherds, the risks they take to save the lives of whales, and the magnificent and dangerous beauty of the Southern Ocean,” says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. “Now they are once again preparing to put their lives on the line, this time in a lush and unfamiliar corner of northern Europe where the customs are different and the killing of whales continues. And we plan be there to document every moment.”

Shooting begins in July for an unspecified number of episodes and no air date is set. And with some reports that the Japanese might re-start their whaling efforts, Animal Planet is also prepared to order a fifth season of Whale Wars.

Comments (28 total) Add your comment
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  • Lunna

    That picture is really shocking. Humans can be really evil sometimes.

    • Rebekah

      Agreed. It’s hard to fathom even when you can see it right in front of your eyes.

    • Marion

      Flood a slaughter house and you’ll see the exact same phenomenom.

  • Izzy

    Glad to know the Sea Shepherds will try to put an end this horrible practice.

  • eds

    If they are going to the Faroe Islands, thinking that there is some sort of annual event where whales pop up, then they are going to be very disappointed.

  • Samuel Winther

    Evil? It’s just people catching food for winter storage. No, I’m not Faroese. But at least I know about these islands, which most people discussing this subject don’t. And I’ve read Sea Shepherds website, where the only truth they tell about the Faroese, is that they catch pilot whale. Which, by the way, is not an endangered specie, not even close to becoming one. Evil: that is spreading lies about other people and nations. Sea Shepheard’s manipulations and lies makes me sick. Two young Faroese showed the crew members where they can wash their clothes, buy food ect. – and they invited them on board as thanks. And whoooo – they got the first shootings of two Faroese who “joined Sea Shepherd because they were against the “grind” – which they weren’t. They just wanted to lend a helping hand. By the way, there was a pod of rare dolphins that nearly stranded on the islands, and the Faroese used their sea faring skills to herd them to safety at open sea. That was before Sea Shepherds arrival, but I doubt examples like that would catch their interest at all anyway. Because we know the Faroese. They eat newborn babies for breakfast, and sacrifice virgins to the volcano God. No, tomorrow I will head back home from Faroes, after a wonderful vacation. BUT I will for sure come back to these islands, where I’ve met the kindest and most helpful people I’ve met on my many journeys in life. Oh, and on the subject “evil” – I participated in another discussion, and I was told that they (some of those activists) would be happy to cut my throat. So, I know more evil peeps than the Faroese.

    • Marion

      It’s no use reasoning with Americans. They make a regular habit of demonising other races without bothering to see the culture for themselves or even talking to them (because they’re barbaric savages). Hence the astonishing number of passport-less US citizens.

      • Belinda

        The majority of the Sea Shepherds are not American. Why don’t you do your research before you make ignorant and ridiculous claims.

      • Marion

        I’m referring to the people making idiot comments here.

      • griffen

        you are really sterotyping a whole nation because of some moneygrabbing d bags that half the crew isnt even american so efore you are antmore racist just stop and think

  • Ballena Volando

    how smart Samuel, keep supporting the senseless slaughtering of beautiful and peaceful species. Because of people of you I´ve almost lost all faith in mankind. Thank you.

    • Jóhann Østerø

      You say that, yet you can eat chicken and beef without problems…. Do you know how chickens, cows, pigs, e.t.c are killed in factories? it’s BRUTAL and EVIL!

      But in the Faroe Islands, they kill the whales, because you can eat them… it’s rather tasty, and whales come to shore around 3 times a year, where there are around 10-30 whales, but chickens get slaughtered mercilessly uncountable times a year, with an amount of 100000 chickens! So before you start judging people that support the Faroese, look at yourself, you sad piece of garbage! >:O

      P.S: There is a law in the Faroe Islands, where the whales MUST have a quick and painless death, if this isn’t followed, you could look at some serious prison time!

  • Ballena Volando

    *because of people LIKE you I´ve lost almost all faith and hope in mankind.

  • seam McArley

    Pilot Whale meat supplies around 30 per cent of the Faroese annula meat supply, so when this is taken where do they get theeir meat from? Beef from Barzil after they have cleared the Amazon, or perhaps shipped all the way from NZ. Pilot whales number so 800,000 and with the Faroese taking less than an average of 1000 per year there is on sustainability issue.
    Sure the blood in the bays can look shocking to people who have no idea where their meat and the leather for their shoes, bags, couches, I-pad wallets comes from becuase it’s done behind closed doors.
    The greatest threat to pilot whales in the Atlantic is pollution coming from the industralised north (Europe and N America) so why not do something about that? Is it too hard for Watson to look at his own society and consumer habits?

    • Marion

      Mon 07/25/11 12:54 PM
      “That picture is really shocking. Humans can be really evil sometimes.”

      Mon 07/25/11 1:55 PM
      “Agreed. It’s hard to fathom even when you can see it right in front of your eyes.”

      Out of sight, out of mind.

  • Jenny

    You have my support on this not impossible mission. You’ll say Mission Accomplished, and you’ll be Heroes around the World! I’m sure you also have the support from the good people in my beautiful island, Puerto Rico. So go ahead show them who’s wrong!

  • Annika

    id just like to say that before yoiu go around claiming that the faroese whale uncontrolably and are terrible people, you should probably examine the facts! the faroese have been whaling for thousands of years and the self righteous people of the world have no reason to take that away from them. sure there are a bunch of pictures of bays where the whater is red, but whales are freaking huge! yiou have to kill it somehow, and a lot of blood is boud to come out. Please just stop, all you people and your comments. You dont understand.

  • Patrick

    Japan has no regard for other races to begin with,and then all you have to do is talk to servicemen who witness how lovable the little jeks were.

  • dahippy

    I find the Sheperd’s disregard for rules and laws used to promote and enable slaughter of innocents inspiring. We should apply the same single minded determination to ending the slaughter and infanticide at abortion clinics.

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