(WHALE WARS) Are you ready to climb aboard the Steve Irwin and Bob Barker ships for Operation No Compromise? Or perhaps get behind the wheel of the new Ocean Adventurer vessel named after Godzilla? The fourth season of Whale Wars premieres next Friday night on Animal Planet.

This TV season promises to be the most riveting yet, with the introduction of a seriously slick new member of the Sea Shepherd fleet and innovative new tactics and equipment. And best of all, the Emmy-nominated series captures all the high stakes drama of what may be the last whaling battle in Antarctica. Read on for a preview of the harrowing adventures facing Paul Watson’s crew this season and a few updates from the Sea Shepherd decks. — Global Animal

Photo credit: EPA/TONY MCDONOUGH

Samantha Ellis, Global Animal

The fourth season of Emmy-nominated Whale Wars premieres next Friday, June 3rd, on Animal Planet. Once again, we join Captain Paul Watson and his motley crew of Sea Shepherds in ten thrilling episodes as they battle Japanese whalers in the Antarctic seas.

This TV season is promising to be the most thrilling yet, including a new high-speed Ocean Adventurer trimararan, a better helicopter, and new tactics that go beyond anything we’ve seen before, including what Animal Planet is calling, “secret GPS.”

Beyond the macho new equipment,  there’s also plenty of heart-pounding drama, like the crew being stranded in freezing overnight conditions and a frantic mayday call. Also this season, two more  new captains join the anti-whaling ranks – Captain Alex Corneliessen leads the Bob Barker and Captain Lockhart Maclean heads the new trimaran, tentatively called Gojira(Japanese for Godzilla).

The Brigitte Bardot as Gojira. Photo Credit: Gary Stokes

While the news of the Japanese whaling fleet running from Godzilla may be humorous to some, the Godzilla franchise lawyers didn’t agree . The Gojira was recently repainted and christened with the sexy new name, Brigitte Bardot, in honor of the French actress, animal rights activist, and longtime Sea Shepherd supporter.

That leaves the big question: Could this be the final Whale Wars battle?

The conflict between Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whalers during “Operation No Compromise,” the 2010-2011 campaign featured on this fourth TV season, ended abruptly, and perhaps, historically.

The cameras rolled to catch the Bob Barker ship chasing the Japanese whale meat processing ship, Nisshin Maru, out of the arctic, which lead to the early end to the whaling season.

Victory was cautiously declared, leading all of us to wonder if whaling is over for good. While we may not know what to do on Friday nights if this is the last season of Whale Wars, we can rejoice in the lives of the whales that Sea Shepherd’s efforts saved. And Whale Wars diehards can look forward to Hollywood’s Captain Paul Watson bio-pic movie that got a green light.

Whether or not Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean, Sea Shepherd has big plans for protecting other ocean residents from illegal exploitation by high seas poachers. Currently, the Brigitte Bardot, along with the Steve Irwin, are preparing to track down bluefin tuna poachers in Libyan waters.

 

More on the new vessel: Sea Shepherd Gets 105-Foot, Multi-Hull Monster

More on the movie: Paul Watson Film “Whale Warrior” Gets Green Light

Did You Know: Test Your Sea Shepherd Knowledge

GA

See Global Animal’s video interviews with Captain Paul Watson:

Capt. Paul Watson: On Prop Foulers And Other Tactics

Capt. Paul Watson: “We’re All Just Spaceship Passengers”

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