(WHALE WARS) For diehard fans of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Captain Paul Watson, or Animal Planet’s Whale Wars series, today is a great day because season 4 of Whale Wars premiers in just hours. Sea Shepherd isn’t all about television though, and there are countless behind the scenes stories about the organization and its members. Here are some interesting and lesser-known facts to impress your friends with during tonight’s Whale Wars premiere party tonight. If you have something interesting to add, share your knowledge with a cunning comment! – Global Animal
Did you know that documents exchanged between the Japanese and United States governments discussed shutting Sea Shepherd down? Apparently, Japan found the organization threatening enough to propose removing its non-profit, 501(c) and therefore, tax-exempt status. The director general of the Fisheries Agency of Japan even stated that U.S. action towards penalizing Sea Shepherd might “positively influence” Japan’s position in future Internal Whaling Commission (IWC) talks. It’s unclear whether Sea Shepherd was ever penalized in any way, and Paul Watson has stated that no action was ever taken against his organization by the U.S. government.
A Ship Pays It Forward
The Bob Barker ship, captained by Alex Cornelissen during Season 4 “Operation No Compromise,” has a bloody past. The ship was actually a Norwegian whaling boat from 1951 to 1962. The good thing about this is that the Bob Barker’s bow was already strong enough to break ice in the Antarctic when Sea Shepherd got a hold of it since the ship used to travel to the same rough waters. On past seasons, we’ve watched the Bob Barker clear the way for the Steve Irwin, which doesn’t have the same ice-breaking capabilities, in order to follow the whaling ships through dangerously icy waters. While whalers might try to loose the Sea Shepherd fleet by cutting their ships through icy patches of water, there’s little chance of escaping the burly Bob Barker.
Sea Shepherd’s new vessel this year, will be called Gojira (Japanese for Godzilla) during the TV season though it’s recently been renamed. The vessel has the distinction of holding the world record for circumnavigating the globe. That is, until another sleek looking black boat came along. Can you guess which ship?
Yep, it’s the Ady Gil! Captained by Pete Bethune in Season 3, the Ady Gil actually beat Gojira’s record of circumnavigating the globe by almost 15 days. But as Whale Wars fans know (and lament), the Ady Gil was struck and damaged irreparably by the Japanese whaling vessel the Shonan Maru II during last year’s season. The Gojira is still a force to be reckoned with, however. It’s about 40 feet longer than the Ady Gil and weighs much more, too. The new black beast displaces 41 tons of water compared to the Ady’s 13 tons.
Armed and Dangerous
Many know that Paul Watson is on the Interpol Blue List. Watson says he was added the international terrorism watch list after Pete Bethune’s arrest, which was documented in Season 3. Did you know that Watson’s also considered an “armed and dangerous eco-terrorist”? If you’re friends with him on Facebook, you’ve seen his entertaining posts about the problems with being on Interpol’s list. A recent drive into Canada from the U.S. had Watson surrounded by Homeland Security officers, guns blazing and sirens blaring.
More troublesome, says Watson, are the constant seat upgrades he’s given, and the way he gets to cut every line in security. It seems that being an eco-terrorist has its perks, who knew?
— Molly-Marie Canales, exclusive to Global Animal