The Best Episodes of Whale Wars

From Pirate to Prisoner

#1 - From Pirate to Prisoner 8.93

Season 3 - Episode 14

Pete Bethune recounts his experience aboard the Japanese security vessel.

Target Acquired

#2 - Target Acquired 8.92

Season 5 - Episode 8

After months of frustration, Sea Shepherd finally find their target - the Nisshin Maru. Now, they must run an eight-mile gauntlet blocked by two harpoon ships aggressively defending their mother ship. The success of the campaign rides on this moment.

Crazy Ivan

#3 - Crazy Ivan 8.58

Season 2 - Episode 9

Low on fuel, the small boats head toward the Steve Irwin, but in order to get them on board safely, Paul must employ a dangerous military strategy, "The Crazy Ivan," circling at a high speed to try and create calm water for the little boats to return.

The Flexibility of Steel

#4 - The Flexibility of Steel 8.57

Season 2 - Episode 2

A huge weather system moves in and the Steve Irwin is forced to take shelter behind a large iceberg. By morning, they are surrounded by ice so thick they can no longer move. The ice begins to push against the aging ship's fragile hull, denting it inwards.

Delivering the Final Blow

#5 - Delivering the Final Blow 8.55

Season 4 - Episode 10

In the fourth-season finale, Watson claims a major victory after 30 years of fighting, while he and the crew reaffirm their commitment to stopping the whaling fleet.


#6 - Counterstrike 8.47

Season 5 - Episode 7

When a massive target is detected on their radar, Sea Shepherd sends out their new helicopter pilot to ID the mystery vessel. But as the helicopter reaches the limits of its fuel range, it abruptly disappears, crashing into radio silence.

To the Ends of the Earth

#7 - To the Ends of the Earth 8.44

Season 3 - Episode 13

The whalers attempt to lose their attackers in an ice field.

We Are Hooligans

#8 - We Are Hooligans 8.42

Season 1 - Episode 4

Giles Lane and Ben Potts safely return to the MV Steve Irwin. The crew then discovers that an unknown ship, allegedly spying for the Japanese whaling fleet, has been following them, decides to recon it from behind a tabletop iceberg for any military personnel aboard, and temporarily drives it away after seeing no sign of illegal military activity. The crew later plans to ambush the mystery ship, soon identified as the Fukuyoshi № 68, to prevent information about the Steve Irwin's whereabouts from being given to the rest of the whaling fleet. They plan to do this by boarding the vessel and sabotaging its communication equipment, shutting off any communication with anyone. Before the mission, a hydraulic crane used to launch the motor rafts somehow got damaged, jeopardizing the Sea Shepherd's mission.

From Hell's Heart

#9 - From Hell's Heart 8.38

Season 3 - Episode 3

The Sea Shepherds have been relentlessly followed by the whaling reconnaissance vessel for two weeks. They find themselves in a full-on engagement on the high seas as Captain Paul Watson orders a massive butyric acid bottle attack on his nemesis.

Revenge Is Mine

#10 - Revenge Is Mine 8.33

Season 3 - Episode 7

In the aftermath of the devastating loss of their stealth vessel, the Sea Shepherds have returned to the campaign with renewed passion and intensity. Now the two remaining ships are back on the hunt for the Japanese fleet.

Needle in a Haystack

#11 - Needle in a Haystack 8.31

Season 1 - Episode 1

Paul Watson is allegedly shot by the Japanese whaling crew during a confrontation between the whaling factory ship Nisshin Maru and the Sea Shepherd vessel MV Steve Irwin. The episode then flashes back to the maiden launching and departure of the vessel from homeport three months earlier.

Ladies First

#12 - Ladies First 8.31

Season 1 - Episode 6

After noticing that the suspicious ship Fukuyoshi Maru № 68 has found and followed the MV Steve Irwin again, Watson unsuccessfully attempts to send four female crewmembers to board the vessel to deliver a warrant. This leads to a man's injured thumb and a woman's injured pelvis (Incidents not related). The Steve Irwin detects the Nisshin Maru on radar. At dusk, the entire ship experiences a power outage, leaving it drifting through an iceberg field without operating engines.

As Bad As Our Bark

#13 - As Bad As Our Bark 8.29

Season 2 - Episode 3

The Sea Shepherd gather intel on the fleet's location, they realize that they are low on fuel. As they weigh whether or not to head back to port, they come across the entire Japanese fleet searching for one of their crewmembers that has fallen overboard.

Doors Slamming and Things Breaking

#14 - Doors Slamming and Things Breaking 8.29

Season 1 - Episode 5

The MV Steve Irwin experiences several technical difficulties, including a damaged engine, hydraulic crane, and helicopter. Running on only one engine, the ship must return to port at Melbourne, Australia to make repairs while the whaling continues. Some crewmembers decide to party and leave the operation. Upon arrival, they were welcomely greeted and cheered by the citizens, and by the police. Pottsy and Giles become instant celebrities on homecoming. After recruiting new members, the crew travels without its recon chopper and returns to the Southern Ocean only to find that the suspicious ship is still following them.

The Stuff of Nightmares

#15 - The Stuff of Nightmares 8.27

Season 2 - Episode 10

The Sea Shepherds shock turns to fury when the Japanese fleet pulls a dead whale onto Nisshin Maru for slaughter. Paul Watson instructs the crew to prepare for battle.

Zero Hour

#16 - Zero Hour 8.26

Season 3 - Episode 10

The Sea Shepherds refuse to be bullied by the Japanese fleet even though they're out numbered. The deckhands repel over the side of the ship to assess the damage from the collision and realize that there is a gash in the steel hull and water is pouring in.

Boiling Point

#17 - Boiling Point 8.26

Season 1 - Episode 7

After power was restored to part of the ship, the MV Steve Irwin finally finds, follows, and comes face to face two times with the Japanese whaling factory ship Nisshin Maru, which Watson considers the "most evil" vessel in international waters. A pod of whales swims between the two "warring" ships, which eventually engage in a ship-to-ship "battle." The captain of the Nisshin Maru warned on a recorded message sent multiple times through a horn that "If you dare board this vessel, you will be taken into custody." Recruited Sea Shepherds are the first to strike, throwing stink bombs with Butyric acid onto the decks of the Nisshin Maru, which dwarfed the Steve Irwin in size, while its crew watches and films the Steve Irwin. The Japanese whalers claim that three of their crewmembers were injured by the stink bombs. When the two ships meet the second time, the Steve Irwin crew strikes first again while the Nisshin Maru crew, in return, threatens to use tear gas grenades and throws flash bombs. Watson fishes a metallic fragment from his vest and claims to have been shot. As Watson concluded that the second leg of the mission was successful, the Sea Shepherds claimed that they have saved about 500 whales. The Steve Irwin returns to Melbourne again before running out of fuel.

Dead in the Water

#18 - Dead in the Water 8.25

Season 5 - Episode 3

The Sea Shepherds' scout vessel, the Brigitte Bardot is damaged by a 30-foot wave, and help is more than 20 hours away.

The Thrill of the Chase

#19 - The Thrill of the Chase 8.25

Season 3 - Episode 5

After nearly a month of searching, the Sea Shepherds have finally found their ultimate target: the world's only whale factory ship, the Nisshin Maru.

The Sound of Ice

#20 - The Sound of Ice 8.24

Season 2 - Episode 1

The series starts with a dramatic encounter with the Japanese Whaling fleet. The episode then flashes back to the maiden launching and departure of the vessel from homeport three months earlier. Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherds head back down to Antarctica for what promises to be their most intense anti-whaling campaign yet. However, no sooner does the ship leave port than the ship's Gyro breaks and they hit a massive storm the size of Australia

Setting the Trap

#21 - Setting the Trap 8.19

Season 5 - Episode 1

In the Season 5 premiere, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society responds to Japan's 2011 announcement to resume its whaling operations in the Antarctic and the government's promise to beef up the fleet's security.

Enemy In Their Grasps

#22 - Enemy In Their Grasps 8.19

Season 4 - Episode 7

As the first leg of their campaign comes to a close, the Sea Shepherds battle physical and mental exhaustion, especially pilot Chris Aultman. Thanks to an anonymous tip, the Steve Irwin finally locates the whalers' factory ship, the Nisshin Maru.

Stealth Attack

#23 - Stealth Attack 8.19

Season 3 - Episode 4

The Sea Shepherd's stealth boat, the Ady Gil, launches a sneak attack on the Japanese whaling reconnaissance vessel in an effort to break free of the tail and find the rest of the whaling fleet.

Fire in the Sky

#24 - Fire in the Sky 8.19

Season 3 - Episode 11

The whalers face new attacks from the Sea Shepherds as they mount an attack with both the Bob Barker and Steve Irwin.

International Incidents R Us

#25 - International Incidents R Us 8.16

Season 1 - Episode 3

Without negotiation and confrontation with the MV Steve Irwin, the Yushin Maru № 2 agreed to transfer Pottsy and Giles to a government ship that would then meet with the Steve Irwin at a rendezvous point to return the two members. 1st Mate Peter Brown decides to launch an attack on the Yushin Maru № 2 at dusk. Four crewmembers are sent on the Zodiac inflatable boat Delta to carry out the risky mission. After losing radio contact with them, recon pilot Chris Aultman, who was sent too late to survey the situation, reports that they are heading in the wrong direction and must return as night falls. The lone Delta was feared to be forever lost out in the middle of the dark, frigid, vast Antarctic Ocean. Fortunately, contact was finally made with the Delta, which eventually returns to the MV Steve Irwin over two hours later and behind schedule to retrieve Pottsy and Giles.