A Hollywood actress and a video game are the latest weapons in the arsenal of anti-whaling group the Sea Shepherd.

Daryl Hannah, star of the 1980s films Blade Runner and Splash, will be aboard the Sea Shepherd’s flagship vessel, the Steve Irwin, when it departs for Antarctica next month.

“Daryl is joining our group,” Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson said on Thursday.

“She’ll be on board – she’s joining us at the end of the month.”

A video game based on the Sea Shepherd’s battle with Japanese whalers is also being developed.

This follows a successful new television series dubbed Whale Wars on Animal Planet which documents the lengths Sea Shepherd volunteers go to intercept Japanese whaling boats in the Southern Ocean.

Watson, who arrived in Brisbane Thursday to prepare for the voyage, said Hollywood and video games all helped keep the campaign in the spotlight.

But he said it was what volunteers did in icy waters that saved the lives of thousands of humpback, minke and fin whales.

“This is the fourth year (of the Southern Ocean campaign),” Watson said. “That is three years of lost profits (for Japanese whalers) … how much longer can they keep this up?

“This is really the key to stopping them–- to keep making them lose profits. I think the economics is the only way to approach it. They have got to lose money every year.”

The Steve Irwin will leave Brisbane on December 1 for the Japanese whaling season. Campaigners expect to come up against eight Japanese ships – six harpoon vessels, one supply ship and a factory ship.

Watson said intercepting the Japanese fleet and “keeping them on the run” helped reduce their kills.

In other news, Japan has set itself a target of killing 750 whales in the upcoming whaling season, federal environment minister Peter Garrett says.

Garrett hailed the news as potentially a good sign because Japan usually aimed to kill more whales.

He referred to a Japanese newspaper report, published overnight, which said the whaling target had been reduced by 20 per cent to 750 animals.

“If accurate, it would represent the first time since Japan’s scientific whaling commenced in 1987 that the actual target has been reduced,” Garrett told parliament.

“I also want to emphasise that while any reduction would be welcome, it would be an encouraging sign given it has not happened before, the government’s objective remains bringing an end to all commercial whaling.”