Under international law a certain amount of Whales are allowed to be killed every year to be used in research purposes, but it is the belief that Japanese whaling ships are in the Antarctic hunting whales for commercial gain and hiding behind the veil of research. In Japan, whale meat is legally allowed to be sold in markets, and in restaurants, and does appear there. The fleet of Japanese ships in the Antarctic including a hunting ship, a processing ship, and more, are killing more than a thousand whales each year, an already endangered species.
The ship's captain, Cpt. Paul Watson, was an original founder of the organization Greenpeace. He was voted out of the organization because of his aggressive tactics towards saving the environment. He then founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, where he could make his own rules to try and save sea wildlife in danger from hunters, poachers, and extinction.
You don't beg criminals to stop doing what they are doing. You intervene, and you physically, and aggressively shut them down.
-Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Cpt. Watson and his crew consider themselves modern day pirates aboard their black ship called the Steve Irwin. The team's mission is to sabotage, postpone, and stop commercial whaling every year in the Antarctic. They do so by throwing "stink bombs" on board the Japanese ships that make it unlivable, and the whale meat unusable, and even attempt to board the other ships. Each crew member pledges to be willing to give up their own life to save a whale"s life.
The show provides some breathtaking scenery, and an insight to a small war that is going on that could have big consequences. They are volunteers fighting a battle that goes unnoticed, and they work to show people what is going on. I highly recommend taking a look at the pilot episode, as it is very exciting and even controversial. Get it free on iTunes, or watch it on Animal Planet. You can also visit the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society website for more information on the show, and on the organization.