‘Whale Wars’ Renewed for 5th Season

Captain Paul Watson and his crew are already filming the new episodes, which will premiere on Animal Planet in June

"Whale Wars" star Capt. Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherds are returning to Animal Planet for another whale defense campaign in June.

A fifth season of "Whale Wars" will revolve around Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's "Operation Divine Wind" campaign.

The engagement, which is already underway, includes Watson, his crew, nearly 100 volunteers and three ships — the Steve Irwin, Bob Barker and Brigitte Bardot — taking on the Institute of Cetacean Research, the Japanese whaling group.

Also read: Animal Planet Plans 'Whale Wars' Spinoff

The ICR and the Sea Shepherd gang butted heads throughout the fourth season of the show. The Japanese government backs the ICR's whale harpooning and processing, and the Sea Shepherds say their activities violate agreements that ban whaling in international waters.

Commercial whaling has been banned since 1986, but The Associated Press reports that the IRC hunts in the Antarctic and Northwest Pacific under an exception allowing some kills for research.

"Whale Wars," one of Animal Planet's highest-rated series, has received five Emmy nominations.