|Could this be the Sea Shepherd's new ship?|
Season 5 of Whale Wars, a key element of SSCS' clever media campaign, wrapped up earlier this summer. I only watched a couple of episodes, but it seemed that the level of aggression and potential for injury had increased on both the side of the Shepherds and the Japanese. This escalation is a natural progression in this sort of direct action campaign, and not only drives cable ratings (and donations to the cause), but results in each side innovating and improving their TTPs.
Paul Watson isn't only conservationist busy this summer acquiring new vessels. Former SSCS Ady Gil Skipper Pete Bethune is expanding his organization’s own portfolio and fleet. What is most interesting from an irregular warfare perspective is the way that Bethune, who is currently in a legal kerfuffle with Watson, portrays his organization. His website discusses their testing of a FLIR-equipped "amphibious assault craft," a new UAV (see previous posts here on Sea Shepherd's pioneering use of unmanned aircraft), and the use of combat-experienced advisors. Also note the crews sporting aquaflauge in the UAV test video below.