Friday, 21 December 2012

Sea Shepherd unveil ex Japanese research ship to join the fight against Japanese whaling


The SSS Sam Simon is the newest vessel to join Sea Shepherd's fleet

December 2012. With delicious irony, Sea Shepherd has revealed that their newest ship, SSS Sam Simon, was built in Japan for marine research. The vessel was retired from service by the Japanese Government in 2010, has since been laid up in Shimonoseki, Japan, alongside the very ships Sea Shepherd will confront this season.

Los Angeles-based philanthropist and co-creator of TV's "The Simpsons," Sam Simon, sad donated funds for the purchase of Sea Shepherd's new Antarctic patrol ship. Her 56-meter hull is 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 clearly received several months of careful preparation prior to Sea Shepherd's most ambitious Antarctic campaign yet.

Registered in Melbourne, Australia, the Sam Simon carries a crew of 24 international volunteers, ready to brave the Southern Ocean to seek out and shut down the illegal Japanese whaling fleet.

Built in 1993
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.

While Sea Shepherd and most of the world agrees that the word "research" has no place in the Institute of Cetacean Research's (ICR's) whaling program, Seifu Maru was indeed responsible for a considerable amount of real ocean current data contributing to Japan's western North Pacific Whaling Program (JARPN).

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