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Willing to Die to Save Whales

Aired July 1, 2010 - 21:00   ET




LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, they're willing to die to save whales.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't get to this quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on, hold on, hold on! Wait, wait. Slow down!


KING: Life and death drama on the high seas.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're going down.


KING: But are they going too far?

Plus, Bob Barker on the ship named in his honor.


BOB BARKER, TV HOST: He said if I have $5 million, I could do it. And I said, all right, you have $5 million. Let's do it.


KING: And why he defends radical tactics.

The cast of "Whale Wars" -- next on LARRY KING LIVE.



KING: Good evening.

We're talking tonight with people who say they're ready to sacrifice their own lives to save whales. The controversial anti- whaling activities of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society are chronicled on the documentary-style reality show "Whale Wars" -- now in its third season on Animal Planet.

We welcome Captain Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd, a co- founding director of the Greenpeace Foundation. Captain Chuck Swift, captain of the Bob Barker, one of the vessels operated by Sea Shepherd. And, Fiona McCuaig. She is a member of the Sea Shepherd crew of the Bob Barker.

The most amped up in your face yet, season of "Whale Wars" occurs now. It premiered by the way last month. It's going to be a heck of a year for Animal Planet, and them, and for us to have them with us.

How did you get into this? Why -- why do you -- why do you whale save?

PAUL WATSON, FOUNDER, SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY: I have been doing this really pretty much all my life. But it really goes back to 1977 when I was on a Greenpeace mission and the Soviets had just harpooned a whale. And it turned to defend its pod. And it was harpooned in turn.

And as it was struggling in the water in agony dying, I caught its eye, and he dove, and I saw a trail of bloody bubbles coming at us real fast, it came up and out of the water over a small inflatable boat. The next move was going to crush us.

As soon as I came out of the water and I looked into it, I saw something there that changed my life forever. I saw --

KING: Which was?

WATSON: Understanding. He understood what we were trying to do. And I could see the effort he made to pull himself back. And I saw his eye disappear beneath the surface. And he died. He could have killed us and chose not to do so.

KING: Why do they harpooning whales? Why did they harpoon whales, Chuck? For what?

CHUCK SWIFT, BOB BARKER CAPTAIN: Well, they say they're trying to maintain traditional cultures, their way of life and so on.

KING: This is -- who is they?

SWIFT: Well, whoever is killing whales, whether it's the Japanese, the Icelandic people or Norway. They say they're trying -- you know, trying to maintain their traditional ways of life. But in fact, it's just illegal and it's a commercial operation.

KING: And they're the three countries that are involved?

SWIFT: Primarily, right now, yes.

KING: Are there no laws against it there, Fiona? FIONA MCCUAIG, ANTI-WHALING ACTIVIST: Since 1986, it was actually illegal to kill -- commercially kill whales around the world. And, you know, some countries do justify that they can through a loophole, in the regulation, for scientific purposes.

But these days, we know that we can take all scientific information by just taking a small slab from the whale and from that blubber in the skin you can work out how much mercury is in the system, how much toxins and pretty much most of the information that you need for science.

KING: What -- what do you do to save them, Paul? What are examples what you do?

All right. A ship is coming along. It's going to harpoon a whale. What do you do?

WATSON: We found the best way is to hit them where it hurts most, economically. So, we interfere with their operations and cut their quotas. This year was our most successful year yet. We saved 528 whales. They killed 507. So, we saved more than they killed.

By just being there, by being on their stern, chasing them, harassing them, making it impossible for them to do their thing.

KING: You don't physically harm them?

WATSON: We've never physically injured anybody. But we do get in their way. We obstruct them and we harass them with our stink bombs, which will make work difficult for them when we hit them.

KING: Let's take a look at highlights of this season's "Whale Wars."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe they're shining the spotlight at us so that they can arrange things on deck without us noticing and seeing what they're doing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was us alone against this fleet of ships. You know, it's dark out and not knowing where they were or what they were doing or what they planned on doing. It's really scary, a really scary thought.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is quite intimidating. They're running circles around us, it's like sharks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, this is what we came done here to do to engage the fleet, to piss them off. But there is a certain fear. You keep on (ph) their ship, that's where ships sink in seconds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One right there. Where is the other one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're coming at us. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's angling in at us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's coming right at us.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just get him in a bit closer. Got that wake right behind us!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's that thing? What's that thing he's got?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has some sort of gun on him under the tower, can you see him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got a gun!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm worried that if you hit it on the ground, it's gone.



KING: How did you get into this, Chuck?

SWIFT: Well, I worked with a number of organizations before I heard about Sea Shepherd. And one of the people that knew me the best walked up to me one day with a Sea Shepherd brochure and he said, I think you really need how to know about these guys. The more I researched because I like to know what I'm getting involved in.

I mean, they're passionate, aggressive, but absolutely nonviolent. And, take all kind of sometimes, you know called radical actions for means of enforcing international conservation laws. And it's kind of an intoxicating mix. I mean, how can you not want to be involved with that?

So, I just signed up and have been doing it for 20 years.

KING: How many, Fiona, how many Sea Shepherders are there?

MCCUAIG: Well, we went down to Antarctica with 77 individuals from 17 different nations. But, look, there's people that have gone on the boats. And there's people who work for us onshore. It's a volunteer organization. I've been working for a year as a volunteer.

KING: You make no living from this?

MCCUAIG: No, I don't. I am living in a hostel at the moment in Los Angeles. That's -- I mean, that's the beautiful thing about this organization. It's got a completely different structure than the other big environmental organizations. When people give their money, it does go towards the campaigns and boats, not huge office rents and salaries.

KING: Captain, how did the TV show start, Paul?

WATSON: Well, we thought that -- you know, when you look at the larger show on Discovery which is -- which is, you know, "The Deadliest Catch," I figured, well, you know, these are people going out in the water, in rough weather to catch crabs. I mean, going down in rougher weather, in a remote area to save whales had to be more compelling. So, we sold them on that idea.

KING: Good idea. Good sale.

Back with more right after this.



MALCOLM HOLLAND, BOB BARKER, SAILING MASTER: There are four ships that are designed to cut (INAUDIBLE) at us, maneuvering aggressively around us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're coming up on both sides.

LAURENS DE GROOT, ADY GIL CREW: We are heading for the Nisshin Maru. One more attempt. But we've got to hurry up because the harpoon ships are on our tail. We are a very fragile ship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop it now. Tell them to drop it now!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Release the prop fouler now.



KING: Joining us from Morocco is Laurens De Groot. After two campaigns aboard the Sea Shepherd flagship Steve Irwin, he joined the crew of the Ady Gil, the ship has been described by some as a "bat mobile" on water. It was destroyed in a collision with a Japanese whaling ship in January.

Here's a look at some of that drama on "Whale Wars."


WATSON: Ady Gil will be our harpoon interceptor vessel, because it's twice as fast as the harpoon vessels. (INAUDIBLE) goes right through the water. It's got a Kevlar carbon fiber hull. So, the vessel is pretty much bulletproof.

ANNOUNCER: The Ady Gil's mandate is to be the nimble rocket ship to Steve Irwin. It's not. Its mission ties cut the whalers harpoon lines.








UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they hit him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get some binoculars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get some binoculars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you see people?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't see any people.


KING: Lauren, thanks for joining us. You were on the Ady Gil when it went down, what happened?

DE GROOT: Well, we were drifting at the point that, when we got around, we actually had been going after the Nisshin Maru to try to slow it down so the Bob Barker could catch it up and block the slip ways that it couldn't kill anymore whales. And we were running very low on fuel. We were actually about to head back to refuel. And we were drifting, letting the ships pass by.

And one of the last ships that was passing by, it was Shonan Maru 2, and as it was passing by, at the end, it made a very sharp turn to the right. It was too late for us to get out of the way. And it rammed us.

KING: Did that change your feelings about Sea Shepherd, did it increase them? What did you think?

DE GROOT: No, it made me more determined to go back every year and stop the illegal whaling operations. And you know there are always risks when you choose to join the Sea Shepherd campaign. And you're dealing with criminals, illegal poaching.

And these are -- these are ruthless people. So, they don't back down even if they need to ram your ship. They'll -- well, this year, it showed they're willing to do it.

KING: Captain Watson, what was the impact of the loss of Ady Gil on the Sea Shepherd's efforts? WATSON: Well, it was loss of a $2 million vessel. And what's really surprising to me is that the captain of the Shonan Maru 2 has not been questioned by any authority after ramming and destroying our ship. He got away with it completely. And I don't know of any --

KING: You know who he is? I mean --

WATSON: We know who he is and it's all on videotape. And Australia and New Zealand did an inquiry. They did an investigation. But they said Japan refused to cooperate with the investigation. So, that was the end of it.

So, I don't know of any case in maritime history where a person destroyed another ship and has walked away from it without any repercussions.

KING: You know what the name Bob Barker means, he's going to be here. What is the Ady Gil?

WATSON: Ady Gil was an individual who put up some funds to purchase 2/3 of this vessel. And so we named it after him for that reason.

KING: Do you think, Captain Swift, about taking risks?

SWIFT: Absolutely. Any time that we get involved with these kind of actions, there are inherent risks. But we're all briefed. We all know what's possible down there.

But our resolve and our passion, our determination to shut down these illegal activities overrides all of that.

KING: Well, Fiona, do you have a specific duty on the ship?

MCCUAIG: Yes, I was rescue swimmer. Put up my hand, not thinking it would be quite a significant accident. And I was also deck hand. So, you know, painting and sanding and launching the small boats and learned a lot. Very different from my normal commercial property job, that's for sure.

KING: Laurens, how did you get involved in all enough this?

DE GROOT: I was a former crime investigator for the Dutch police. And after doing that for three years, and before that, working five years on the streets, my specialty became environmental crimes. And I got so involved in the atrocities that are happening to the animals around the world. And one of these animals are the whales.

And I thought, well, if we can't protect these species, then what can we protect. So, I decided to give up my job and yes, join an organization that is actually doing something out there to protect the whales.

KING: Well, you do this voluntarily, right?

WATSON: Yes, an international volunteer organization.

KING: What do you do for a living?

WATSON: Well, I'm actually paid because I've been with the organization for 30 years. But I captain the ship as a volunteer.

KING: What do you do, Chuck?

SWIFT: I'm also a paid employee. I'm the deputy chief executive officer of the organization as well as captaining the Bob Barker.

KING: Fiona, are you not paid?

MCCUAIG: I'm not paid. And I think that's the survival of such a good environmental organization because, you know, we really want the money to go towards international conservation law and enforcing it.

KING: Laurens, are you paid?

DE GROOT: Yes, I am. I'm currently working as a European coordinator trying to set up more chapters of Sea Shepherd in Europe.

KING: "Whale Wars" airs Fridays on Animal Planet. You should see it.

How aggressive are the anti-whaling forces willing to get? We'll ask them -- next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand by for a moment.

SWIFT: As the captain, I certainly need to be able to provide leadership and make the tough decisions. And, you know, that's what I do.

Matt. Launch.



KING: We're back.

Pete Bethune was the captain of the Ady Gil. And he's now on trial in Japan. He's accused of trespassing, vandalism, possession of a knife, obstruction business and assault.

What did he do, Captain Watson?

WATSON: Pete Bethune boarded the Shonan Maru 2 to confront the captain that had destroyed his ship. And he was then taken prisoner back to Japan and given all these charges. KING: Bu you have expelled him?

WATSON: Yes, we did, because Pete is a character. He certainly is a bit of a cowboy. But there's no arguing with his passion. But he did break some rules and regulations.

But it's actually -- it's a good thing that we did because it helps his case in Japan.

KING: Will he get a lot of years?

WATSON: Well, they are concerned he's going to go back to Antarctica, and that's one of the reasons they don't want to let him go. So, I'm making it very clear to the Japanese that he won't be back in Antarctica. We do want him to be free.

As far as we're concern, though, Pete is really a hero for what he did.

KING: All of you think that?

WATSON: Yes, we support him 100 percent.

KING: Laurens, the International Whaling Commission, the IWC, has been meeting there in Morocco. What has -- what has come of that?

DE GROOT: Well, in my points, it's the biggest waist of tax money I've ever seen. So far, earlier this week, a British newspaper revealed that there's all kind of corruption. Japan is buying votes by bribing and offering prostitutes to delegates of several countries. And I thought that was going to be the main topic on this IWC that's here in Agadir, Morocco, but it's not.

And yesterday, there was a small victory for the whales when there were plans to uplift the ban on whaling and fortunately that is in place. So, still, commercial whaling is not allowed. But, yes, Japan, Iceland, and Norway will continue illegal whaling.

KING: Not allowed, but done.

Japan publicly slammed the Sea Shepherd during the IWC gathering and said the attacks are becoming more aggressive.

Are they?

WATSON: Well, what they actually mean is they're becoming more effective. We save 528 whales this last season, which is more than they killed. We've cost some tens of millions of dollars in losses. We understand that the best way to stop them is to hit them where it hurts, economically.

So, our objective is to sink the Japanese whaling fleet economically. But we haven't injured any of them. I mean, we're really at a disadvantage. They're trying to kill us out there, and we're trying to do what we're doing and making sure we don't injure any of them. KING: Is their defense, Chuck, their defense -- these are whales. We are making a living. How are we different than fishermen?

SWIFT: Well, we're not --

KING: Fishermen kill fish.

SWIFT: Fishermen killed fish, but the fact is, fishing is not illegal. Sea Shepherd enforces international conservation laws and the actions that Japan are taking down there are illegal. That's why we're going after them.

KING: Is it because we emotionally feel different about the whale than the fish?

SWIFT: Well, I think we feel -- some people have an attachment to whales and seals and dolphins, and that's why Sea Shepherd focuses primarily on these issues. Because if we can't save these animals that we have some kind of intrinsic connection with, and we have no chance of saving all the rest of them.

KING: What do you think about the people who do go and harpoon them?

MCCUAIG: They're breaking international conservation law. I mean, look, of course, they're people who are wanting to also feed their own families, and I have empathy there, that everyone needs to make a living. But these people are illegally poaching wild animals.

And in the last five years, humans have actually realized how important biodiversity is. If we don't have all the wild animals in the word, humans will die as well. So, the whales, it is, you know, we're helping the whales. But the whale is very symbolic because if we can't save the most popular wild animal in the world, what's the hope of actually saving these smaller animals like the frog.

KING: We'll be back in a minute.

Are there rules of the road when it comes to engagement between these combatants? That's next.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not good. I can't get to this quickly.

UNIDENTIFEID MALE: Hold on! Hold on! Wait. Slow down!

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Before we show you some apparatus here on the desk, I want to ask Laurens de Groot in Morocco -- are there rules of the road here?

DE GROOT: Both side not. But we have the rule that we're not down there to hurt anyone. So, that is very important rule that we always stick to.

KING: And they're not out to hurt you, are they? They just don't want you there, right?

DE GROOT: Correct. And, you know, we don't even want to be there as well. But, yes, it's up to Japan. They should just get out of there and we won't be there either.

KING: OK. Thanks for that, Laurens.

All right. What have you got in front of you there, Fiona?

MCCUAIG: I've got one of the pieces of the Ady Gil, which is obviously --

KING: Show it to camera.

MCCUAIG: Yes. It's one of the last remaining pieces. Obviously, this boat was sunk, it sunk shortly after it was rammed into by one of the harpoon boats, very nearly killed six men. So any way, we lost the boat. But, yes, we didn't have any injuries.

KING: Do you have the suit you wear?

SWIFT: I do. This is one of our mustang suits. The crew wears this whenever they're out in the small boats or whenever they're on deck. Normally in the waters down there, it's so frigid that after two or three minutes, you'd be hypothermic and have no chance of survival. With these suits, you get between 20 and 30 minutes, which is plenty of time for a recovery.

KING: What is that in front?

SWIFT: This is a net. Sea Shepherd has been active not only about whales, seals and dolphins, but also fishing. I mean, we just had a campaign in the Mediterranean, released 800 tuna from an illegal fishing operation.

This just shows, I mean, you can see how tangled this is. I mean, you know, seals, whales, dolphins, sharks, swordfish, you know, all kinds of what they call bi-catch, or, you know, extra products were caught on this.

KING: Bonus.

SWIFT: Yes. That's horrendous. It's like clear cutting the ocean.

KING: Do they have feelings for the fish that they're doing this to, do you think?

SWIFT: I don't think so. It's just seen as a resource, just something to consume and sell for profit.

KING: What's the book, Captain?

WATSON: Well, we maintain a logbook of everything. And we submitted this, of course, to the Australia and New Zealand investigators. They looked at our log book. But Japan wouldn't give them theirs. So, they'll only have one side.

KING: So, you describe what is happening?

WATSON: Every day, we put down our position.

KING: So, turn to a page and --

WATSON: Every day, we put down our position, you know, and the -- you know, the hours, and you know, keep track of every incident that happens.

KING: Like a log.

WATSON: It's actually a legal document so that if there's any court case or everything, this is our proof. And it all has to be in pen by the way. You can't do it in pencil because that can be erased.

KING: Laurens, do you ever think you're going to meet your goal? Do you ever think you're going to stop this?

DE GROOT: Absolutely. I think, you know, more and more people are getting aware that whaling is truly barbaric and doesn't -- shouldn't have a place here in the 21st century. So, yes, I'm pretty confident we'll shut down whaling once and for all.

KING: Do you think so, Fiona?

MCCUAIG: Absolutely. This --

KING: You do?


KING: It's been going on for how long?

MCCUAIG: It's been going on for hundreds of years. But it's not tradition for commercial whaling, you know? I mean, in the olden days that's fine, there was a few whales that were taken for small villages in Japan. But going down after World War II, down to Antarctica and taking 1,000 whales, Southern Ocean Whales Sanctuary is not a cultural thing at all.

And, I think the whole world is realizing that, you know, we want an end to whaling. And I think it will definitely end. And the Sea Shepherd will go back time and time again until we make sure that we put them out economically. KING: What waters are you in mostly, Captain?

WATSON: Arctic Ocean, all the southern oceans, just the entire Antarctica Peninsula basically.

KING: What kind of whale is it they're getting?

SWIFT: They had a self-provised quota of 995 Minke Whales?

KING: What is a Minke Whale?

SWIFT: It's a smaller whale. Theyr're distributed widely throughout world. They go down there, like the other whales, to feed. When the ice melts, there is an algae bloom. And the krill feed on the algae. the whales go down there to feed on the krill, basically. In short, that's the biological perspective. So during our winter, it is summer in Antarctica. The ice melts and the whales migrate down there.

KING: You saw the eye, Captain Watson. Are whales smart?

WATSON: Scientists are now discovering that whales are self- aware, sentient beings. I think that they're highly intelligent. When people say, well, that is ridiculous, that only humans are intelligent -- I happen to equate intelligence with the ability to live in harmony with our environment. By that criteria, we are not that intelligent at all.

But It think when you are looking at whales, you are looking at a real mind that's in the ocean. I believe that one day, through the use of computers, that we'll be able to communicate with the species. I think that is an exciting possibility.

KING: The way they die is how?

WATSON: They're harpooned. It is a very agonizing death. None of this would ever be tolerated at any slaughterhouse in the world. Last year, we filmed one whale that was struck. It took 25 minutes to die after being hit with an explosive harpoon, and being shot at continuously with high powered rifles.

So a whale can take anywhere from ten minutes to some times up to two hours to die. There is nothing really quite as cruel like this in any other part of the animal world.

KING: Laurens, have you witnessed these killings?

DEGROOT: Yeah, I was there on the last campaign. And, yeah, indeed, we saw the whale being harpooned. It is incredibly horrific. Even today, I heard here in -- Greenland is also killing whales. They shot a whale, and it took over 120 minutes to die. Yeah, it's just insane.

KING: That is insane. Laurens, thank you for the work you do, thank you for being with us.

DEGROOT: Thank you.

KING: Laurens De Groot from Morocco. Where does Bob Barker fit in all of this? He'll join our panel next.



JAHNEL: Our goal was just to take the hunger, as safely as possible, close to the -- attach a line so we could tow it out.

OK, I'm getting out too.

Push it out, straight out. You all right? Going to start it. Give it a little push.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At which point I made the decision I am going to start the engine and just drive it on to these rocks.

JAHNEL: Careful, bro. Hang on. Don't go to quick, bro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god. Oh. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Whoa!


KING: Captain Watson, Captain Swift, and Ms. McCuaig remain with us. And Bob Barker joins us, of course, the iconic TV personality, long time animal rights activist. He has donated five million dollars to Sea Shepherd for the retrofitting of the vessel now christened in his honor. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four thousand miles away, a covert mission is underway, a mission that has been kept secret from the Japanese whaling fleet. The Sea Shepherds have been quietly rebuilding the broken down vessel for three months. Now they want to sneak the ship to Antarctica to surprise the whaling fleet.

WATSON: All aboard!

MCCUAIG: We're moving. We're moving. We're moving.

The sea shepherd!


MCCAUAIG: We are finally on our way to Antarctica. So, yeah, we are all stoked, yes. Let's hope the engine keeps bearing away.

WATSON: Quite frankly, I don't really care what people think about what we do. They can criticize us all they want. But their opinions mean nothing to me.


KING: Bob, how did you connect with the whale group? I see you with animals -- I don't see you with whales?

BOB BARKER, TV PERSONALITY: Well, I have a dear friend, named Nancy Burnett, who is a leading animal rights activist in the country. She is a long time admirer of Sea Shepherd. She has mentioned them several times. But this year she heard that they needed a new ship, and she called me, and she said, you ought to talk with Paul Watson and help them out.

So Paul and I met. And I was very impressed with him, as I am sure you are. And I listened to what he had to say about what he needed, and he explained, as he has to you today -- he explained to me that he was trying to sink the Japanese whaling fleet economically. And he said, if I had five million dollars, I could do it. And I said, all right, you have five million dollars. Let's do it. And he has had a great year. They made no money.

KING: Boy, "The Price is Right." Have you seen -- had you watched the show?

BARKER: No, I had never seen it.

KING: Do you see it now?

BARKER: I see it now.

KING: You better see it now.

BARKER: Of course.

KING: what do you think of this, Captain Watson. You ask the guy for five million, he gives it to you.

WATSON: Well, it is exceedingly generous. But, you know, Bob has a long history of helping animals. In fact, Bob did a PSA for us back about 20 years ago.

BARKER: Yes, I did. That's right.

KING: You need people in the world -- it is OK to go out. You need the Bob Barkers, don't you?

SWIFT: Absolutely. Any battle needs different positions filled. And without the support of people like Bob Barker or just the average populous, we could never do what we are doing.

KING: Bob, I guess, all your life, it has really bothered you that people would harm an animal of any kind, right?

BARKER: It has. I have loved animals my entire life.

KING: Do you remember when it started, that you got so upset to become active? Were you a kid?

BARKER: Well I was -- as a kid, I picked up strays. I brought home strays. I lived in a little town in South Dakota. And my mother and I lived in a hotel. It was the only two-story building in town. And -- out of the Rosebud Indian Reservation. There was a stairway up to the roof. When she wanted to find me, when I was a little boy, she would go up on the roof and look for the dogs, because I had a pack of dogs with me always. And I -- I have always.

KING: All of your lifetime?

BARKER: All my life. But I was the honorary chairman of Be Kind to Animals Week here in Los Angeles one year, years ago, maybe 35, 40 years ago. And as such, I did radio interviews and television interviews, and talked with people. And I was invited by various organizations to participate in their activities. And I did. And as I did, I began to be aware of the horrendous exploitation and mistreatment of animals in our country, in the world, as a matter of fact. As I did, I just felt compelled to try to do what I could to rectify the situation.

KING: What -- what, Captain Swift, is an engagement like?

SWIFT: Thrilling.

KING: Do you yell at each other? Can you verbally communicate with these people who do these things?

SWIFT: I have specifically told my crew not to yell, engage, or make rude hand gestures or anything else. We are there to shut them down financially. And the best thing we can do to accomplish that goal is just blockade.

KING: When you blockade, what do they do?

SWIFT: In this case, they ran over one of our ships, which was attempted murder on our six crew members. They rammed into the vessel Bob Barker, the ship that I was captaining, ripped a six-foot gash in the side that was about four inches deep. And they proved quite aggressive.

These are people that, for years, have proven that they have no disregard for the life of animals.

KING: No regard, you mean.

SWIFT: To regard for the life of whales or the laws protecting the whales. This year, they proved that they have the same disregard for human life.

KING: Does it shock you, Fiona, to see this? It would shock me.

MCCUAIG: Absolutely. I think when I grew up, I did think it was a perfect world. Just realizing that humans, there's six billion of us, about to become 12 billion. and there is a lot of bad things going on. There's a lot of mistreatment in animals. Unfortunately, we are heading towards a pretty scary situation, with the population exploding. And we need to conserve every wild animal we have. And that's why it is so important that the Sea Shepherd is out there actually enforcing international conversation law. The U.N. should be doing it. Navy should be doing. Federal governments should be doing it. But they're not doing it. And so we are doing it. We're doing an extremely effective job for such a small organization.

KING: What does Bob think about Sea Shepherd's tactics, especially with his name on the side of their ship? Find out after the break.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hate to interrupt your breakfast. We are pissed off. That was a great moral victory for us today, because they hang up all these nets to avoid getting too aggressive it on their deck. We just loop it around and get it on the deck. We messed that up really bad. You can smell the gas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sweet smell of napalm in the morning.



KING: We are back. Bob, critics slam the aggressiveness of Sea Shepherd's tactics, warning that one day somebody is going to be injured or killed. Your name is on that ship. Do their tactics bother you?

BARKER: No, their tactics don't bother me a bit. Absolutely not. Now this year, I think that -- that these three folks will agree, the Japanese whalers were much more aggressive than they have ever been. Were they not?

MCCUAIG: Absolutely, yeah.

BARKER: And the aggression and the problems were the Japanese, not Sea Shepherd.

KING: What do you think of the people who do what do they do, not the Sea Shepherd, but the who whale? They're earning a living?

BARKER: They -- the -- there are so many ways to earn a living. That is no excuse. I have nothing but -- I can't use the language that I would use to describe whalers. There was a time when people were going out and getting whales and using them in a useful way. Today, the Japanese say they're doing research. They're not doing research at all. They're filling the shelves of grocery stores in Japan with whale meat.

KING: What is a useful way?

BARKER: Well, they would use it for lights. They were using it as fuel. They were -- they were -- for.

KING: To live.

BARKER: And they were eating the blubber and so on. They aren't doing that today.

KING: Captain Watson, what is Operation Waltzing Matilda.

WATSON: We named it that to honor the Australian people, who -- without their support, we really wouldn't have a base of operations. That's where we launch our campaigns from. One of the things that we are really concerned about this next year is that, because no action was taken against the captain of the Shona Marus (ph), pretty much given a green light to the Japanese to be even more aggressive next year. So we are really worried that they're going to intensify their violence. They've sunk one of our ships and got away with it. They will possibly try and do it again.

KING: If this were a show in Japan, and they were on it, what would they say about you?

SWIFT: I think they would question our tactics. They would question our integrity. They would say that we were impinging upon their cultural rights and all of that. I think that they would ignore the fact that they're in flagrant violation of many. many international conversation laws.

KING: They would deny it? If the hosts brought up the law to them, what would they say?

SWIFT: I think that they would say that it is their national right to do what they want to do.

BARKER: Also they have research right on the side of their ships.

MCCUAIG: On them.

KING: Oh, to get away with it.


KING: Do you have any idea how many whales you save?

MCCUAIG: Well, we know we saved 528 whales in our last campaign in Antarctica, I mean, we have saved thousands and thousands of whales. The Sea Shepherd has done a brilliant job of doing that. Also raising awareness as well. I came over to find the Sea Shepherd because I wanted to find an organization that was tackling an Australian issue, because it's so close to our land. And Sea Shepherd was the ones that brought it to the world's attention, going on down there with a lot of people not knowing about it. Thanks to "Whale Wars" as well, it's becoming a worldwide issues, and it's starting a lot of conversation, not just about whales, but about bio-diversity.

KING: The Bob Barker was kept secret until its first anti- whaling engagement.

WATSON: Yes, and actually it was very difficult to keep it secret: The fact is that it worked brilliantly. It showed up. The harpoon vessel saw it. And I asked Chuck to put up the Norwegian flag, so they thought it was a Norwegian whaler. They did, and it sailed right to Nishan Maru and surprised them. They were not aware of the existence of the Bob Barker until the moment it showed up.

KING: You ought to be very proud, Bob.

"Whale Wars" airs Fridays on Animal Planet. By the way, Jerry Weintraub, producer of the "Karate Kid" and all those Oceans movies, is our special guest tomorrow night. More with our guests now.


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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SWIFT: We're wondering if maybe they're shining their spotlights at us so they can arrange things on deck, without us noticing or seeing what they're doing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just us alone against this fleet of ships. Seeing how it's dark out and not knowing where they were, what they were doing or what they planned on doing, it's really scary. It's a really scary thought.


KING: We're back with our remaining moments. Captain Watson, what do you make of this situation in the Gulf?

WATSON: Well, we're preparing a vessel to go over to the Gulf. It's been very difficult, because BP says we can't go in there to rescue animals. My concern is that they're taking the bodies of turtles and dolphins and other animals, and they're burning them at night so people won't see what's being done.

KING: You know that?

WATSON: Yes, that's been documented. People are there and they're putting the information out. But they don't want people to see the extent of the damage and the number of lives that are being killed amongst the wildlife. So it's a very, very disturbing thing. I want to know, why is British Petroleum calling the shots here? Why isn't the federal government and the U.S. Coast Guard doing it? That's what's disturbing us.

KING: What do you make of that whole thing?

BARKER: That's a very good question.

KING: What do you make of it?

SWIFT: Obviously, it's a disaster.

KING: You see those animals.

SWIFT: It's just hear-wrenching. Think about the long-term implications. This oil works its way into the estuaries, the mangroves and the wetlands and these places. This is -- where having not only effects right now on the fishing industry, but this is where these animals breed. The shrimp, the fish, all of these things breed in these shallow areas. This is going to be a decades-long issue.

KING: Fiona?

MCCUAIG: Blue fin tuna spawns in two places, and that's the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean. So they're getting a double whammy at the moment. It's very scary. The scary thing is, you know, we can't do anything about it. We just have to put all our hope into BP, that they can stop it. So it's still going right now. That's the scary thing.

KING: The animal lover you are, what must it do to you?

BARKER: I can't stand to look at the pictures. It's all over television now and, of course, newspapers. I can't bear to look at those pictures. It's terrible. PETA wants to have the government file animal cruelty law -- suits against the British Petroleum. It's a good idea.

MCCUAIG: That's a great idea, yeah.

KING: The whale show, how long are you committed to this? This could go on for a long time, this Animal Planet? Unless you succeed and there's no more harpooning.

WATSON: I think we're the only television show that really wants to put itself off the air. We can do that by succeeding. Every year, we're hoping that we can shut this down and that will be the last "Whale Wars" show. That's our ultimate goal, is to put ourselves off the air.

KING: What satisfaction do you get over what you do, Captain Swift?

SWIFT: Extremely satisfying. We saw whales eight or ten times while we were down there, and to watch them swim -- both times, we came up on the factory ship, and started our blockade. Within 30 minutes, we saw a pod of whales. It's just so -- it kind of recharges your batteries, because there's a lot of work, a lot of stress involved in what we do. And it's so nice to see the wilderness down there.

KING: What satisfaction do you get, Bob? You're not out on the ship.

BARKER: Oh, I have such a great feeling of pride to be associated with people like this in any way. I truly do. To think what they're doing, they're risking their lives in an effort to save one of nature's most beautiful creations. And I am a part of it. I'm grateful for the opportunity.

KING: Fiona, what satisfaction do you get?

MCCUAIG: So much satisfaction. I'm going to devote the rest of my life to representing animals and trying to make it a different world for them. I really do hope we have a turnaround and we do conserve what little we have left. We really do have only a little left of the wildlife.

KING: Captain Watson, you started all of this. You must get the greatest satisfaction.

WATSON: Yes, I don't think people realize just how intimately connected we are with life in the ocean, and the diminishment of life in the ocean is the diminishment of the oceans to support us. Because I can tell you right now, if the oceans die, we die. And people really have to understand that.

KING: We're an ocean planet.

WATSON: We are. It should be called the planet ocean.


KING: Thank you all very, very much for an illuminating hour. Bob, we salute you.

BARKER: Thank you.

MCCUAIG: Thank you, Larry. Thank you, Bob.

KING: "Whale Wars," it airs Friday nights on Animal Planet. It is a great show. Jerry Weintraub tomorrow night. Now "AC 360."