"Whale Wars," the Animal Planet series that tracks the efforts of the marine conservation group The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, has cast off series regular Capt. Pete Bethune as he stands trial in Japan for allegedly storming a Japanese whaler, the New York Post reports.
The announcement came from the Sea Shepherd group, which added that it continues to spend money to support his legal defense.
"We think the decision [to dump Bethune] will work in Pete’s favor," said the group’s founder, Capt. Paul Watson. "We’re concerned that judges in the case are worried about losing face if they release Pete, only to have him go on our boats again."
Bethune’s ship collided with and was destroyed by the Shonan Maru 2, a Japanese whaler, in January, and several weeks later he boarded the ship in Antarctic waters and attempted to arrest its captain, claiming the ship almost killed him and his crew. Bethune was arrested and sent to Tokyo to face charges including illegal trespass.