New Whaling Protest Vessel Ironically Japanese-Built
Los Angeles-based philanthropist & co-creator of TV’s 'The Simpsons', funds purchase of new Sea Sherpherd anti-whaling patrol ship 'Sam Simon'.
Sea Shepherd's new Antarctic patrol ship, the Sam Simon, has been unveiled in the port of Hobart, Tasmania, docked at Macquarie Wharf 1.
The vessel, retired from service by the Japanese Government in 2010, had since been laid up in Shimonoseki, Japan, alongside the very ships Sea Shepherd will confront this season.
Originally built as Seifu Maru in 1993 by IHI shipyard in Tokyo, to a high standard with no expense spared by the Japanese Government, the ice-strengthened steel vessel was operated by the Maizuru Meteorogical Observatory, a department of the Japan Meteorological Agency, out of Kyoto Prefecture.
Now, her 56-meter hull painted bright white with a classic Sea Shepherd Conservation Society logo on her sides, and displaying a large “S” on her tall black smokestack, the Sam Simon has received several months of careful preparation prior to Sea Shepherd's most ambitious Antarctic campaign yet.
Captain of the Sam Simon, Locky Maclean, stated: “After months of secrecy, it is such a great feeling to finally be able to fly the Sea Shepherd flag from the main mast, and yes, Sea Shepherd now owns a real Japanese research ship!”
With four vessels departing for the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, Sea Shepherd's Operation Zero Tolerance aims to find the Japanese whaling fleet and chase it out of the Antarctic Treaty Zone without a single whale killed. It is Sea Shepherd's most ambitious campaign, and the culmination of a decade's conservation work in the Antarctic, which has drastically reduced the amount of whales killed by Japan's (Institute of Cetacean Research) ICR .
Japan's ICR has set itself a quota of nearly one thousand minke and 50 fin whales to be culled during the 2012/2013 Australian summer in Antarctica.