Monday, July 18, 2011

Whale Wars

It's taken a great while to get around to posting about my new favorite TV show. Whale Wars.

Whale Wars is a documented TV series that began in 2008. I apparently am just finding out about it now.

The program follows founder of the Sea Shepard Conservation Society, Captain Paul Weston. He and his crew sail on their three ships and harass Antarctic Japanese whalers.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was established in 1977 as a international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Sea Shepard wishes to end the destruction of habitat and wildlife slaughter.

The Japanese whalers claim that their whaling is legally accepted research. The Sea Shepherds believe that claim is a cover for commercial whaling. Sea Shepherd has criticized for some for some of their direct action tactics which include throwing butyric acid stink bombs onto whaling ships as well as ramming, boarding, and attempting to disable the Japanese ships.

The Sea Shepard crew sail aboard three vessels.

The Steve Irwin was named in honor of the late Australian conservationist.

The Bob Barker was named after American TV icon Bob Barker. Barker had donated $5,000,000 in contribution and therefore Sea Shepherd was able to purchase the ice-strengthened, fast, chaser boat.

The Gojira (Godzilla in Japanese) was replaced as it was destroyed at sea and has been replaced by the Brigitte Bardot.

The Brigitte Bardot was named after the international film actress who has offered much support to Greenpeace in the late 1970s.

The leader of the Sea Shepard is Captain Paul Watson. Watson was one of the founding members and directors of Greenpeace.

In June 1977, Watson left  the Greenpeace Foundation because of disagreements on tactics and with what he thought was a bureaucratic structure of the organization.

To get a more comprehensive bio of Captain Paul Watson click here.

So, the question is, why whales?  The crew members are all volunteers and are paid nothing. Captain Watson's stance is that he doesn't want a crew that is in it for the money. He wants a crew that is willing to risk their lives for whales.

Why not cheetahs or wolverines or African elephants? Watson has explained the importance of whale and our oceans. He believes that when saving whales and ocean we are really saving ourselves. "If the oceans die we die" said Captain Watson.

But what makes a person more passionate about one animal over another? Are other animals less deserving? I think it would be difficult to focus all one's energy on multiple animals. Even so, what makes one favor one animal over the other?

I have adored whales since I was little. As I got older I donated to Greenpeace here and there but was never really engaged in activism. I think whales are majestic and when an animal looks good I truly believe that it helps the process of wanting to defend them. But of course there are more important reasons than that.

If you are a fan of Whale Wars ask yourselves why? I am definitely a fan and I have been asking myself what it is about whale that makes them so special. I have some answers of course but I am still exploring.

This is the boring part of this post.
For whatever reasons Blogspot is being a pain and will not allow me to post the photo sources directly underneath the photo.
I am placing them here.

Whale Wars Photo - (source)
Steve Irwin Photo - (source)
Bob Barker Photo - (source)
Gojira Photo - Image: Sarah Bester/ABC
Brigitte Bardot Photo - (source)

You can catch Whale Wars on Animal Planet Fridays at 9pm E/P.

To visit the Animal Planet website click here.
To visit the Whale Wars page on the Animal Planet website click here.
To visit the Sea Shepard Conservation Society website click here.
To visit the Whale Wars facebook page click here.
To visit the Sea Shepard Conservation Society facebook page click here.
To visit Captain Paul Waston's facebook page click here.

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