This show is meant to provoke passions, and it does that in every episode. The crew of the Steve Irwin want very much to put an end to Japanese whaling off the coast of Antarctica. Whaling is banned by many countries, but the southernmost continent is home only to a handful of scientists in their work areas, so the Japanese sailors probably figure there will be no one to stop them. Not so fast!
The Steve Irwin, flagship of the organization Sea Shepherd, set out to run interference missions which would keep the whalers from completing any harvesting projects. The Japanese continue to claim they are fishing for reasons of research and not to obtain food and oil materials from the whales; Sea Shepherd continues to not believe them, and the battle goes on. Using nonlethal but insistent tactics such as getting in between the Nisshin Maru and their quarry, throwing bottles of acid toward the ships and broadcasting radio messages, the activists strive to keep the whalers from killing any more of the targets. Sometimes the missions are a brisk success. Sometimes, they are a heartbreaking failure. Are the activists on the side of the angels, or are they causing trouble for a legitimate industry? Viewers have ample opportunities to decide for themselves. Love the Sea Shepherd crew or hate them, it's pretty hard not to come away from this show without a strong opinion. I think that's the way they want it.