Animal Planet's "Whale Wars" has championed the cause of Paul Watson's Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and collected a loyal following of viewers since its debut in 2008.
The network announced Monday that it is currently filming a spin-off series about the anti-whaling organization's fight to disrupt or halt the quite gruesome pilot whale kill known as "The Grind," which takes place annually in the Faroe Islands. No air date has been set.
"Whale Wars," which airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET, is currently in the middle of season four on Animal Planet.
Here is the announcement about the new series:
Animal Planet today announced a new television project that will be a companion and “spin-off” series to the much talked about WHALE WARS, this time following the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s campaign to stop the annual pilot whale kill known as “The Grind” in the Danish Protectorate of the Faroe Islands. The project tentatively titled THE FAROE ISLANDS PROJECT began filming July 15 and will continue through the end of the Sea Shepherd’s “Operation Ferocious Isles” campaign. No airdate or episode number has been determined yet.
THE FAROE ISLANDS PROJECT will follow the Sea Shepherds and their larger operatives team and new technology as the conservationists try to stop the hunting of an estimated 1,000 long-finned pilot whales that are corralled by many men and boys living in the Faroes into shallow coves and killed. Whaling in the Faroe Islands has been practiced since about the time of the first Norse settlements on the islands. It is regulated by Faroese authorities on a community level.
“Operation Ferocious Isles” is the first time in 10 years the direct-action environmental brigade actively has intervened in the Danish territory. Many members of the crew will be familiar to WHALE WARS fans, including Captain Paul Watson, Peter Hammarstedt, Chris Aultman and Chad Halstead, and the land-sea-air campaign also will feature the vessels Steve Irwin and Brigitte Bardot (the trimaran formerly called the Gojira). Already, the Sea Shepherds have run into an unforeseen hurdle: the Steve Irwin has been detained as the vessel has been seized by a British court en route in the nearby Shetland Islands over a conflict with Maltese Bluefin tuna fisherman while the crew from the Brigitte Bardot continues their operations in the Faroe Islands.
“For the last four years, WHALE WARS has been riveting television because of the passion of the Sea Shepherds, the risks they take to save the lives of whales, and the magnificent and dangerous beauty of the Southern Ocean,” notes Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet Media. “Now they are once again preparing to put their lives on the line, this time in a lush and unfamiliar corner of northern Europe, where the customs are different and the killing of whales continues. And we plan be there to document every moment.”