Impossible to control or police, the world’s oceans are home to outlaw fisherman who threaten not just marine life but the future of our blue ocean planet. Where laws that govern the oceans are not followed, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, founded by Paul Watson in 1977, provides Interpol with the crucial evidence needed to prosecute illegal fishing vessels. Captain Peter Hammarstedt, who makes ocean protection his personal life mission, travels with his international crew to fight for the compliance of international laws against environmental fishing crimes.
CHASING THE THUNDER, a real-life eco-thriller, propels audiences to the edge of a vast frontier to witness an epic 110-day high seas adrenaline chase across three oceans and two seas. Sea Shepherd crews and two fearless captains track down ocean criminals on the notorious poaching vessel the “Thunder” and prove conviction and resilience can do what many unenforced laws cannot – protect the world for marine life and ocean conservation. CHASING THE THUNDER streams on discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real life subscription streaming service, Tuesday, June 8 to mark World Ocean Day.
In CHASING THE THUNDER, the Sea Shepherd vessels the M/V Bob Barker with Captain Hammarstedt and the M/V Sam Simon helmed by Captain Siddharth Chakravarty, spend months chasing the Thunder which has been making millions of dollars from illegal poaching for a decade. As the Thunder makes its haul to catch the protected Antarctic Patagonian toothfish (Chilean Sea Bass), a highly sought-after prize in the worlds fish market, Captain Hammarstedt, and Captain Sid and their crews zero in on the fugitive vessel with a shocking and dramatic end after a 10,000-mile sea chase, the longest pursuit of an illegal fishing vessel in history.
CHASING THE THUNDER, with its origin in Animal Planet’s Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Best Limited Series awarded Ocean Warriors, has received honors that include the “Impact Award” at EarthXFilm Texas; the “Environmental Advocacy Award” at Ekotopfilm; the “Best Documentary” award at the Rivera Film Festival; and the Jury Prize at the Orlando Film Festival. The film was honored as a finalist in the UN World Wildlife Day. CHASING THE THUNDER screened in 200 cities around the world on the International Ocean Film Tour; screened at 35 International and U.S. Film Festivals winning audience awards and standing ovations; and 20 Special Influencer global screenings at venues including Interpol, WTO, United Nations, Cities, WWF, and the IUU Global Illegal Fishing meeting in Bangkok. The film screened at the Vienna Fish Crime Symposium and had a theatrical premiere in Beijing, China.
Captain Watson and Captain Hammarstedt both appeared in Animal Planet’s award-wining Whale Wars which documented Sea Shepherd’s fight to protect whales across the icy Antarctic Southern Ocean and took audiences on a powerful adventure that shined a light on how the marine conservation NGO took action against alleged illegal whaling. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognized Whale Wars in 2009 for exploring issues of concern to our society in a compelling, emotional and insightful way by bestowing the series with a Television Academy Honor and identifying it as “television with a conscience.” Additionally, the academy nominated Whale Wars for six Primetime Emmy(R) Awards during the run of the series.
CHASING THE THUNDER is produced by Brick City TV LLC for discovery+ and Vulcan Productions where Mark Benjamin, Paul G. Allen, Carol Tomko, Rocky Collins and Marc Levin serve as executive producers. The film is produced by Katie Carpenter and Sam Sielen; film editor is Daniel Coda; and Kara Rozansky serves as executive in charge. The film was directed by Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin.