'Whale Wars' crew makes a stop in Honolulu

'Whale Wars' crew makes a stop in Honolulu
The "Brigitte Bardot" of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
The "Brigitte Bardot" of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Simon Ager
Simon Ager
Courtesy Animal Planet
Courtesy Animal Planet

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - You may not notice her right away at Kewalo Basin. But when you see the logo that's painted on the trimaran, you realize that she's part of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which gained fame on the Animal Planet show "Whale Wars."

The "Brigitte Bardot" is one of the vessels in the fleet of the society, which uses aggressive tactics in trying to protect marine life. The vessel is in Honolulu following a campaign in the South Pacific.

"The vessel Brigitte Bardot hasn't been to the states before, so being that Sea Shepherd is quite popular here with the TV show 'Whale Wars,' it was an obvious choice for us to come here," said Simon Ager, the manager of the trimaran.

Ager used part of the Honolulu stopover to talk to a group at the Hawaii Yacht Club about its mission, including some of its "direct action," as the society calls it, especially when it comes to blocking illegal whaling efforts.

"We fire red enamel onto the bow of the ships," Ager told the yacht club gathering. "It pretty much just signifies the blood of the whales, and we just like to trash their boats with a bit of red paint. It gives them something to do when they go back home."

Ager has appeared on the past two seasons of "Whale Wars," and feels that he's been called to do something. "For me to just be involved with what we do, it's a phenomenal experience to think that you've actually done something worthwhile."

Ager credits the show with increasing awareness of endangered marine life around the world. He's also frequently asked what kinds of things people at home can do to protect those animals. He said to start by being a smart shopper, and gave the example of canned tuna.

"Bluefin tuna is about three years from extinction. Yellowfin is going the same way," said Ager. "If you're looking at these cans and you don't know what kind of species it is, put it back on the shelf."

The "Brigitte Bardot" is also here for some minor repairs. "We push our vessel pretty hard and she's 15 years old now, so we always end up breaking something. It's just a matter of course with what we do," said Ager.

Those repairs are expected to be completed sometime next week.

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