Whale Wars 2012

I’ve been watching for a thread on this season and haven’t been able to find one, so here it is. I won’t post anything about tonight’s episode until the bottom of this post.

It seems to me that the season thus far has been more snakebit than usual. The Japanese tactic of shadowing the SS ships seems pretty effective and the SS tactics are directed more to losing their tails than harassing the whalers so far. I suppose it could be argued that the ships serving as tails aren’t out whaling.

The SS also seem to have refined their entanglement tactic and we’re seeing more successes with getting the things into the Japanese props. On the other hand, they don’t seem all that effective even when they do go under the ships.

Possible spoilers:

A new tactic for disabling the Japanese engines was attempted tonight. I’m no expert on these things, but I don’t think those were cooling intakes that the raiders targeted. They looked more like bilge discharges to me. I’d like to know the story about some of the crew comings and goings. I understand a couple - people who had been in situations that were probably a lot scarier than they had expected. The captain’s meeting with the crew before leaving port was interesting too. An explanation was given later for not using any members of the existing crew for the exercise he proposed, but I wonder if the apparent lack of volunteers was the real reason for going to plan B. I was also disturbed anew by the decision to blow off so many safety considerations.

So is anybody else watching?

I’ve watched portions of these shows. I don’t like the whale hunting, but I think the captain, Paul Watson, is a show boating, publicity hound that would send his own grandmother to certain death with one of his stunts, if he thought he could get some free publicity. Why doesn’t he send his own fat, entitled ass on one of these exercises?

On those rare occasions where I stumble on the show I root for the whalers.

On the subject of publicity hounding, did anyone else notice that the captain got himself a shiny new set of teeth? I’m sure he’s more comfortable with those close-up shots now.

We all do, Aji. We all do.

I freakin’ love this show; it’s a guilty pleasure. Captain Durr is a moron. I had the same thought that you did, Curate - that there weren’t any volunteers from his own boat, so he had to drum up some from somewhere’s else. Of course, the only time that someone was as committed as good old Capt. Durr, he disavowed all knowledge and left Pete Bethune to rot in a Japanese prison. I’m sure all of the people on the Steve Irwin are very aware that they’re not going to get any sort of support or help from the Sea Shepherds should they board a Japanese boat.

I’ve no idea why they even wanted to pull anything with the Japanese boat while they were still headed into harbor. Yes, you’re being tailed, but so what? The Japanese aren’t hounding you or hurting you in any way, they’re just following you. Let them expend their time and fuel. And by going on the offensive, you’re the ones doing the escalation. I’d be inclined to be sympathetic, but it seems to me that the Sea Shepherds are the ones causing their own bad luck. Arguably, the loss of that other ship was as much due to their carelessness as the Japanese hitting it and “cutting it in two.” And it’s really hard to be sympathetic to a guy who wears a shirt proclaiming all the ships he’s rammed or sunk as the innocent party.

In the most recent episode we were able to see the follow-up to the boarding of the Japanese vessel by the three Australian volunteers. As tactics go, and forgetting for the moment the serious physical danger of the boarding operation and the risk of the volunteers’ ending up in prison in Japan, it seemed to me to be a fairly good strategy for shaking their tail. The problem was that it depended on the Japanese whalers and the Australian government behaving in exactly the way the Sea Shepherds expected them to.

The escalation of the behavior of both sides when the small boats went after the new tail was something I hadn’t expected. I suppose the Japanese could argue that they were using their grapples merely to pull their prop-fouler clearing lines out of the way and they really couldn’t be blamed if the small boats got in the way of their pointy hooks. They’d probably also argue that they were just trying to fend off with the poles and not really aiming at the heads of the rubber boat crews. I don’t think those actions are any more objectionable than the SS’s trying to foul or destroy their props. I really don’t see where the SS’s believe that they are somehow being wronged by the more refined resistance the whalers are showing.

Scraping off the Barker’s tail in the island’s territorial waters seems like a reasonable idea as well, but again it seems to me that it depends on the Japanese doing just what the SS’s want them to do. If the Barker has to go round about one island or the other, it seems to me that the whalers have a 50/50 chance of guessing right and catching them again on their way out. I guess this week we’ll see if they are being chased by a Japanese Jack Aubrey.

Until they sack up and use torpedoes, nobody’s going to take them seriously.

I don’t think the Sea Shepherds will ever directly stop a whale hunt again. The best they can hope for is to get the Japanese to tie up resources keeping them out of the way. And as long as they are willing to tie up those resources, there’s nothing Capt. Bumbling & the rest can do. They’ll just keep putting the guys in the small boats at greater & greater risk until they have a real tragedy on their hands. Seriously - what kind of tactic is “Send the inflatables to disable the trailing ship, then motor out of range as fast as possible and expect the inflatables to catch up” ?

Ha! “It has to be a hundred sea miles, and he brings us up right under his tail. That’s seamanship, Mr. Nakamura. By God that’s seamanship.”

I suppose they could try the fake-ship’s-lights-on-a-raft ploy. Worked against the Spanish once or twice.

Heh, They basically got laughed out of the Faroes. Sea Shepard is nothing but a bunch of inept, ill-trained, over-funded pirate terrorists. I for one would love to see the Japanese hire a private security firm to contract, and see them sunk in harbour.

The Faroe Islands? The ones near the Norwegian Sea?

I didn’t realise these knuckleheads ventured into the Atlantic.

Do they have a seasonal rotation kind of thing going on?

Apparently they didn’t think the Japanese were going to be whaling this season, (due to the earthquake recovery I think), so they headed to the Faroe Islands. There were 4 or 5 episodes about it.

It was especially pitiful. First one of the ships couldn’t leave the UK because it had to post a bond of some sort. The catamaran would dock, and get harassed by drunks at the dock. They kept trying to stop whale hunts, only to find they had actually interrupted a rowing race or something. And they decided to shit all over a local festival (that has nothing to do with whaling) by parking their van in the middle of the street and plastering pictures of butchered whales all over it.

They kept trying to harp on how much danger they were in from the locals, but the absolute worst thing that happened was that a drunk guy tried to board their boat, but changed his mind. The funniest thing was when they were in a large group of boats that they thought were herding whales towards a beach, talking about how the Faroese might threaten them with shotguns, only to have a bunch of kids on one of the boats start waving at them, since they were just following a rowing race.

They sound pretty incompetant.

So is the real idea to put on a show about how they are trying to stop whalers, but actually fall short of doing so, so that they can’t get sued for damages? (Also to avoid accidentily hurting someone and getting arrested for manslaughter.)

Do the fans think the Sea Shepards are actually all heart and no brains? I can’t believe that after this many seasons, they are still this ineffective.

They seem to be ineffective in stopping much whaling this season, but if you think of their “job” as keeping interest up so that givers keep giving, then I guess they’re doing all right. When i started watching the show (second season?) they only had the Steve Irwin, and now they’ve got two good sized vessels and the current trimaran, as well as having had the other small fast boat that got sunk. I’m not sure, but I think they have a new helicopter, too. They must be satisfying their donors, so in that sense they are successful.

I’m also a fan of the Deadliest Catch and I find the interactions between the various crew members to be one of the most interesting aspects of that show. I think it would be equally interesting to see something similar done with the SS crews, but we seem to get what must be a very sanitized version of their lives together. It’s hard to believe that everybody on the ship is an unquestioning fan of the Captain, but if there’s any dissension we don’t get to see it.

It’s not that griping about Paul is all I would want to see. I’d like to hear some of the crew talk about why they volunteered to be there, and why they themselves think what they are doing is worthwhile. For that matter, I wish they’d spend one season filming on a Japanese ship. I’d really like to hear what they think of the whole thing.

I suspect it’d be the equivalent of following around a poultry or cattle rancher, without the eco-terrorists trying to burn down their farms but failing because of ineptness of truely epic proportions.

They do talking head interviews with some of the crew members every episode. There’s an awful lot of turnover though - either due to disillusionment or trust funds drying up. In the first season, there was a whole plot line where nearly the entire crew was going to walk off because they hated the first mate (Peter Brown) so much. Paul said he didn’t care - that there’s a long wait list of people who want to get on his crew. Which probably explains why they’re so fucking incompetent.

Animal Planet will never, ever get to film on a whaling ship. That would be like a gift from heaven to Sea Shepherd - they TRY to get graphic shots of whales being butchered for propaganda purposes.

So it’s not about stopping whaling, but getting donations and sponsors for the show.

's what I figured. :slight_smile:

You know what I’d love to see? A mashup between Deadliest Catch and Whale [del]Whores[/del] Wars. Can you imagine the mincemeat a competent captain like Sig or the Hillstrands would make of those poor earnest conservationists? I would pay money to see this.

Whoa, really? I didn’t see these - have they aired on AP already and I missed them? I may have some catching up to do, but I thought I’d DVR’ed them all. I need to see these.

Really. They aired in April/May.

BTW, I forgot their one “success” - a group of whales was headed towards the Faroes, and supposedly they headed them off by buzzing them with the helicopter.