‘Ocean Warriors’ Preview: The Battle in Palau

Mandi Bierly
·Deputy Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

From executive producers Robert Redford and Paul Allen, Animal Planet’s new six-part series, Ocean Warriors, airs its third installment Sunday, Dec. 11. As you can see from the exclusive clip above, it shows exactly how difficult it is to police water even if, like 80 percent of the ocean surrounding the island nation of Palau in the North Pacific, it is protected as a marine reserve.

There’s only one vessel to patrol the vast area for illegal boats, which will ideally be burned to send a message to fishermen that Palau is not a place for shark finning.

“I investigate environmental crime, but you need to find the crimes, and that’s a near impossible task when you’re faced with an area of ocean the size of Texas to patrol,” says environmental journalist Jim Wickens of Ecostorm in the sneak peek. “It’s only by going out and spending a week at sea with these guys, the Palauan police, that you really get a sense of the challenges that they face in combating illegal fishing.”

That is the true purpose of the series, Redford explains in a statement to Yahoo TV: “The importance of preserving our oceans and the life they sustain has never been more critical. Ocean Warriors is about the brave and dedicated people who fight each day to protect the oceans. The series shines a light on the forces of good working for generations to come.”

An episode airing Dec. 18 uncovers a vast human trafficking network of fishing slaves that extends from Africa to Indonesia.

Ocean Warriors airs back-to-back episodes Sundays, starting at 9 p.m., on Animal Planet.