Everyone Has a Story: Egg Harbor Township man returns from filming in Antarctic for 'Whale Wars'

Ryan Garner, 33, of Egg Harbor Township, is on the bridge of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ship Bob Barker during a night watch. He filmed activists as they intervened to prevent whales from being killed in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.

Fans of "Whale Wars" on Animal Planet will see the camera work of Ryan Garner, 33, of Egg Harbor Township next season.

Garner just returned from three months in the Antarctic, where he filmed as a fleet of three ships with the nonprofit Sea Shepherd Conservation Society did everything possible to prevent Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research ships from killing minke, humpback and fin whales.

"We intervene in a nonviolent way and thwart their efforts to harpoon a whale," said Garner, a 1998 graduate of Pilgrim Academy in Galloway Township who got his start at NBC40 in Linwood, then worked in news, TV and film production in Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles.

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Garner was on the Bob Barker, an 800-ton ship that was rammed several times in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary by an 8,000-ton Japanese ship as it interrupted its operation, Garner said.

He's single and has no children, but he said his parents, Priscilla and David, both of Egg Harbor Township, were pretty worried about him.

The International Whaling Commission passed a global moratorium against killing whales in 1986, but it allows a certain number to be killed for research, Garner said. Whale activists allege that the ICR pretends to be a research organization, but really exists to poach about 1,000 whales a season, from January to the end of March.

"We left the southern ocean having saved 932 whales this season," Garner said. "It's the biggest hit we've ever put on Japanese whale poachers."

Garner is starting a South Jersey Chapter of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Contact him at ryandgarner@comcast.net.

Meet an author

Romance and mystery novelist Michael Young, of Atlantic City, and nine other authors will be at a Meet the Author day at the Atlantic County Historical Society, 907 Shore Road, Somers Point, 7 p.m. Monday. The authors will give presentations and sign books.

Winning artist

Danielle Banas, of Buena Regional High School, won the 2013 Congressional Art Competition for New Jersey's second district.

Her piece, "Contemplative Blue" will be displayed in Washington, D.C., for one year in the tunnel connecting the Cannon House Office Building and the U.S. Capitol.

Adrian Pulido, of Egg Harbor Township High School, won second place; and Georgie Dickerson, of Atlantic City High School, third. Pulido's work will hang in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo, R-2nd. Dickerson's work will hang in LoBiondo's Mays Landing office.

Michelle Brunetti Post writes about the lives, careers and good deeds of South Jersey residents Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays in 'Everyone Has a Story.' To share your story, call 609-272-7219 or email MPost@pressofac.com

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