Animal Planet announces ‘Whale Wars’ spin-off


A scene from "Whale Wars." (Gary Stokes/Animal Planet)

The Silver Spring-based company’s Animal Planet network announced Monday it has ordered a spin-off to its “Whale Wars” reality docu-series, in which some of the same folks will fight in the Faroe Islands against the traditional, annual pilot-whale round-up.

“The Faroe Islands Project” -- as the spin-off is currently being called until someone comes up with something zippier -- will follow the same Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in their campaign to stop the annual pilot whale kill, known, in translation, as “The Grind” in the Danish Protectorate of the Faroe Islands.

According to Animal Planet, whaling in the Faroe Islands has been practiced since about the time of the first Norse settlements on the islands, and is regulated by Faroese authorities on a community level. Each year, hundreds of long-finned pilot whales are corralled by men living in the Faroes into shallow coves, and killed.

“Operation Ferocious Isles” is the first time in 10 years the Sea Shepherds – who like to think of themselves as a “direct-action environmental brigade” -- actively has intervened in the Danish territory.

The spin-off will feature some “Whale Wars” regulars: Captain Paul Watson, Peter Hammarstedt, Chris Aultman and Chad Halstead. Also featured: fan fave vessels, the Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot -- formerly known as the Gojira until it was renamed after the French fashion model turned actress turned animal rights activist.

Already, the Sea Shepherds have run into trouble on their new campaign, Animal Planet reported Monday. The Steve Irwin has been seized by a British court en route in the nearby Shetland Islands, over a conflict with a Maltese Bluefin tuna fisherman.

Here’s video fo the stranding of pilot whales:

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