by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .
Photo: Lionel Durand

For their upcoming campaign to protect endangered bluefin tuna, titled Operation Blue Rage II, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has adopted some new colors – a marked departure from their usual all-black palette.

Watson commented in early April that the new paint jobs not only reflect the organization’s widening scope of conservation, but also serve a functional purpose in response to the new environments the fleet now encounters.

“The black ships, coupled with our own Jolly Roger, lent an air of intimidation,” he writes, discussing the choice of the color during the org’s anti-whaling campaigns in the frigid Southern Ocean. “Secondly, the color black absorbs heat and this helped conserve energy in an environment with 24-hour sunlight, but a close to zero degrees climate.”

“With campaigns before us in the Mediterranean, Palau, Galapagos, and across the Indian Ocean, Equatorial Africa, and the South Pacific, the color black is not the most comfortable,” he later added. “We now need to reflect heat instead of absorbing it.”

The color scheme is actually a redux of what the group used during anti-poaching campaigns off Cocos, Malpelo, and the Galapagos Islands in 2002. “The Steve Irwin has now been repainted, with the Bob Barker in process, in marine tropical and semi-tropical camo giving our ships a somewhat military appearance, so that we can continue to be intimidating but the lighter colors will make the interior of the ships much cooler,” Watson wrote.

Also of interest is the fact that the SSCS’s $4M fast interceptor vessel, the M/V Gojira will be receiving a new name in addition to a sleek new “metallic silver” paint job. Apparently, lawyers representing the trademark for the name Godzilla (Gojira in Japanese) were less than pleased. SSCS says the new name, logo, and paint job for the vessel will be unveiled just before the launch of Operation Blue Rage II sometime next week.

Check out some additional pics of the Steve Irwin’s new paint job below. Thanks to Planet Ocean Alliance for the tip!

Portholes light up at night for a "Castle Grayskull" effect.

The Steve Irwin flies the tri-color flag of the Netherlands.


About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • AnimuX

    It’s good to know that Sea Shepherd is putting all of those donations to work with campaigns against illicit and environmentally destructive industries all over the world!

  • Kyle Russell

    love it keep up the good work sea shepherd

  • Cam Currie

    It’s always great to have POA mentioned on Ecorazzi (more especially here because I posted the thread with the pictures in it :) )

    • Michael dEstries

      Always happy to mention POA! Thanks Cam!

  • Patrick Deckers

    On the last picture the supposed Dutch flag is more like the French one. To make it again Dutch they have to turn it 90 degrees; so horizontal red, white and blue ;-)

    • Anok4uk

      The Steve Irwin IS flying the French flag, as it is docked in France.

      Its common practice, mark of respect, for a visiting ship to fly the flag of a host country while visiting in port.

      Both the MY Steve Irwin and MY Bob Barker are currently registerd in Netherlands.

      Hope that is of help

  • Edwiersma

    I’m Dutch, and I know Sea Shepherd uses the Dutch flag usually but that flag looks like a 90 degrees rotated Dutch flag or a mirrored French flag to me, meaning that if you would look from the other side of the ship it would be the correct French flag…

    • AnimuX

      Interesting observation. I’ve seen photos with SSCS flying the correct Dutch flag on their ships in the past. I wonder if they’ve changed it to a French flag due to the planned action in Libyan waters where France has taken an active military role.

  • Edwiersma

    I’m Dutch, and I know Sea Shepherd uses the Dutch flag usually but that flag looks like a 90 degrees rotated Dutch flag or a mirrored French flag to me, meaning that if you would look from the other side of the ship it would be the correct French flag…

  • Gyonks

    Looks like the french flag to me! The Netherland flag are horizontal stripes! Keep up the good work, save the oceans

  • Hart Noecker

    The new skull looks dope!

  • Michael Raymer

    Yup, black ships in the tropics isn’t the best idea.

    This hasn’t really been talked about but, looking back, Sea Shepherd ships always look well maintained. You really don’t see rust or stuff just hanging. Breakdowns, etc happen on every ocean, not just the Antarctic. But the ships always seem to be in good order. On a blue water ship, this doesn’t just happen. For all the whining from pro-whalers, this is where the donations are obviously going. A well-kept ocean going vessel doesn’t happen by coincidence.

    • Mkay

      I like the new look of the Sea Shepherd ships . This organization is expert at adapting to changes in the ongoing fight to protect our marine animals and environment.

  • Susie Straussner

    good watchful.

  • romika3

    Well, well now Mr. Watson is fantasying that he is some kind of military person, leader or whatever. He’s not a captain or an admiral perhaps now he will pretend he is a general. And what about the “widening scope of conservation”, the SSCS is not a conservation organization has they claim to be but rather an eco-terrorist organization that selects issues based on their media and money making potential. Lots of money spend on paint and photos, what have they really done from the prespective of policy etc, nothing.

    • Cbrooks

      Clearly you are not very well versed in Sea Shepherd’s history or maritime knowledge. I was under the impression that Sea Shepherd has combated the soviet, norwegian, and japanese whaling fleets as well as illegal fishing ventures all over the world including the current campaign against the overfishing of Bluefin Tuna in the Mediterranean. Additionally they have a permanent base of operations and a ship in the Galapagos islands where they are supported by the government. I would say that falls under the idea of the “widening scope of conservation.” Their results this year alone speak for themselves. The Japanese whaling fleet turned back early after having caught almost none of their quota. Go ahead and criticize their spending habits if you want, but their results speak for themselves. Additionally, I will again caution people from labeling a this group as a terrorist organization. All of you people who are opposed to the group use it far to often with no grounds to do so. If you don’t like how they operate why don’t you go out and try to make a difference yourself.

      P.S. A General is a military rank…..well done.

      • guylene

        Well said …. thank you!

      • romika3

        Unfortunately I know alot about the SSCS, well veresed in it history, Watson background, it links with other organizations, it attacks on fishermen, it promotion of hate, and the list goes on and on. And there is not need for caution regarding the use of the term terrorist or terrorism. Others reconize this ie “Confessions of an eco-terrorist” says it all. Watson and the SSCS is not a conservation organization. They select issues based on media and money making potential, ignore real issues, distort data, see lying as acceptable………

      • Michael Raymer

        “Unfortunately I know alot about the SSCS, well veresed in it history, Watson background, it links with other organizations,…”

        Yeah dude, you visited their website. Way to go Super Sleuth.

        “Watson and the SSCS is not a conservation organization. They select issues based on media and money making potential, ignore real issues, distort data, see lying as acceptable.”

        For all the times you repeat this (and for anyone new, he’s posted it a couple dozen times…no exaggeration), do you have anything to back this up with? “media and money making potential”??? Really? The sharks of Palau are that big of a money maker? Tuna conservation? Isn’t the point that it would make them MORE money if they got in on the poaching rather than the anti-poaching? “ignore real issues”??? OK, again how is shark finning, tuna poaching and enforcement efforts in the Galapagos NOT “real” conservation issues? Seriously. How are they not? “distort data”??? Again, for a guy who gets most of his information from the SSCS website, maybe you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you. “see lying as acceptable”??? This, as always is my favorite. You have blatantly lied on this site more times than I can count, now. And some of those lies have been about me. And you have compounded your own deceit by claiming you have proof which you have never provided.

        It truly is amazing how so many of your accusations can be pointed right back at you.

      • Cbrooks

        Well done, couldn’t have said it better myself! :)

      • romika3

        Micheal: You have been around this site long enough and still refuse to see Watson for what he is. For the newbies, start by reading Paul Watson’s Book “EarthForce” where he instructs his members including himself to lie and distort data. Then begin to check out is affiliations on boards etc of other groups, look into those links with other organizations, then review the tax files of the SSCS. This should get you started and a picture will soon begin to emerge.

  • Cheyl

    Paul & his crew from all the ships do the best work and are so passionate about their beliefs!!! I look forward every year to watch how they keep the whaling fleet on the run :) I hope this is the season that stops the whaling!

  • Seal Scotland

    As the MV Steve Irwin is photographed at Cannes she is almost certainly flying the French flag as a Courtesy Flag. We wouldn’t expect her to fly a National Ensign (as an Ensign) at the place shown in the picture. Hope that clears up a bit of confusion.

    Great to see her in the new colours and we remain incredibly proud to support one of the very few Charities left who actually spend our donations on what they told us they were for – Defending Ocean Wildlife and Habitats Worldwide.

  • GitEmSteveDave

    Someone should teach Commodore Watson about black body radiation and also basic laws of thermodynamics. It appears that much like how his years of “ice experience” are confined to the ice in his drink, his knowledge of how energy is radiated is based on something someone told him once.

    • Michael Raymer

      WTF are you talking about? You take the time to post here and that’s what you give us?? Again I say to you sir….wtf? If you have something to say, say it. If you are refuting the logic of changing the paint scheme, spit it out professor. I, for one, would like to hear it. And since we have no idea who you are, you can post a link or two to corroborate your claim.