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Season 4

When the Japanese whale meat processing ship — the Nisshin Maru — turned around and set its course back to its home port in mid-February, Captain Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherds declared a cautious victory. Watson and his international conservationist group have been hell bent on stopping the whaling industry for nearly a decade, harassing them and making international headlines in the process. Perhaps the Sea Shepherds' tactics finally had taken their toll… The whalers' actions not only signaled a possible victory for the Sea Shepherds, it also meant hundreds of whales' lives in the Antarctic would be spared this year through an unprecedented cancellation of an entire nation's whale hunt. But was it a final victory or just a temporary conquest?

Season 4 returns with 10 exhilarating episodes documenting the Sea Shepherds' dramatic campaign on the Antarctic high seas. The series has enthralled audiences who have witnessed the dangerous cat-and-mouse game at the far end of the globe between the Sea Shepherds and the whalers. For years, Captain Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society crew have taken to the high seas in an attempt to stop Japanese ships from hunting whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. "Whale Wars" documents the ongoing battles in the icy Antarctic waters as the conflict between Sea Shepherds and the whalers grows more intense with each engagement — each pushing the other to the limit to fight for their beliefs.

Season 4 is full of the drama that viewers have come to expect from the Sea Shepherds' campaigns, including new equipment in their arsenal—a new vessel that's almost as fast but far bigger than the boat destroyed last year, a helicopter with a greater range, secret GPS devices, and more. Aside from the Sea Shepherds' new tactics, there are harrowing experiences unlike any viewers will have seen before, including a crew stranded overnight in freezing conditions and a tragic mayday call. Captain Alex Corneliessen joins the campaign to helm the Bob Barker, and Captain Lockhart Maclean takes command of the Sea Shepherds' newest small vessel, the Gojira. As Watson has said, "In order to save the whales, people have to be willing to risk their lives." And, before this campaign, when a reporter asked pointedly if he really couldn't stop whaling, he vehemently responded, "We can't stop whaling? That's what they once said about slavery, but it was stopped. So yes, we can stop whaling."

Season 3 averaged nearly 1.4 million viewers, 29% above the season two average. In 2009, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognized "Whale Wars" with a Television Academy Honor identifying it as "Television with a Conscience" for exploring issues of concern to society in a compelling, emotional, and insightful way. The series has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography in a Non-Fiction Series (twice) and Outstanding Picture Editing for a Non-Fiction Series.

Season 3

Captain Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society return for a new adrenaline-fueled season of "Whale Wars," waging a life-and-death battle to find and stop Japanese ships from hunting whales in the name of research. Watson and his eclectic group of international staff and volunteers—labeled activists and heroes by some or eco-pirates by others—take a hard-line approach to eradicate whaling and alleged ocean-law violations. Highlighting the controversial whaling trade and the tactics that the Sea Shepherds deploys to attempt to cripple it, the series documents the group's three-month expedition across icy Antarctic waters. "Whale Wars" follows a masterful match at the far end of the globe as both Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whalers engage in an environmental showdown with millions of dollars at stake—all while drawing global attention to the practice of whaling. The team of oceanic crusaders sets out to risk it all to save the whales, even if that means not all crew members make it back to port together.

Season 2

This season on "Whale Wars," in addition to returning crew members Peter Brown (First Officer), Peter Hammarstedt (Second Officer), Chris Aultman (Helicopter Pilot/Aviation Director), Laurens de Groot (Deckhand), Ben Potts (Helicopter Crew) and Shannon Mann (Quartermaster), The Steve Irwin is joined by Jane Taylor (Quartermaster), Luke Van Horn (Communications Officer), Andy Perry (Leading Deckhand), Molly Kendall (Deckhand) and Laura Dakin (Chief Cook). These featured crew members help comprise the 40 international crew who spent the winter putting their lives on the line for whales.

Season 1

Spotlighting the controversial whaling trade and the tactics that Sea Shepherd and its staff and volunteers use to cripple it, "Whale Wars" documents the group's 2007-2008 three-month sojourn across the icy Antarctic waters at the far end of the globe. "Whale Wars" draws attention to this global conservation issue that has caused friction between several nations over the practice of whaling in oceanic territories.

About the Production

"Whale Wars" is a production of RIVR Media for Animal Planet. Rob Lundgren, Lori Stryer and Liz Bronstein are the executive producers for RIVR Media, and Jason Carey is the executive producer for "Whale Wars" at Animal Planet. Charlie Foley is the development executive on "Whale Wars" for Animal Planet.