Sea Shepherd Operation Zero Tolerance
by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: SeaShepherd.org

While we’ve known since late June that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was on the verge of adding another ship to its fleet, the actual identity of the vessel has remained a closely-guarded secret.

Turns out it’s all by design as the SSCS are not keen to unwrap the new M/V Sam Simon (named after “The Simpsons” co-creator that’s funding its purchase) until Operation Zero Tolerance is underway in the Southern Ocean. As Sea Shepherd’s Senior Media Relations Manager Lisa Agabian told me, the hope is that “we may retain the element of surprise against the Japanese whaling fleet.”

It’s a smart move – and one that has paid off before. Back on January 6, 2010, the Sea Shepherd surprised everyone by unveiling the M/V Bob Barker, a $5M vessel funded by the former “Price is Right” host. Strategically, it threw off the Japanese fleet who were keeping tabs on the other known vessels and thought the Barker might be a Norwegian vessel there to assist.

“The Japanese could be forgiven for thinking that the pro-whaling Norwegians had sent a ship to support their illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,” the org related. “But any excitement turned to disappointment quickly as the Norwegian flag was hauled down and the black and white skull with crossed Trident and Shepherd’s crook was raised to announce the arrival of the Bob Barker, the latest ship acquired for the Sea Shepherd ocean defense fleet.”

The timing of addition also proved to be fortuitous – only a day later, the Ady Gil was struck by a Japanese whaling vessel and later sank.

Having the M/V Sam Simon remain incognito until the last moment will allow the org an opportunity to sidestep Japanese attempts to track the movement of the entire fleet. In this high stakes game of cat-and-mouse, any advantage can make a big difference in saving the lives of whales.

Based on what Sam Simon himself said during a SSCS fundraiser, the new fourth ship will be fast with a reinforced hull. “The ‘Sam Simon’ will be bashing through ice, and hopefully we can end the atrocity of whaling in the southern ocean forever,” he added.

According to a recent post by Paul Watson, who remains safely hidden away at sea, Operation Zero Tolerance will include four ships, a helicopter, eight small RIB’s, three drones and more than one hundred international volunteers.

The campaign officially kicks off on November 5th.

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 the dedication of Sea Shepherd activists is helping to finally bring an end to the horrors of Japan’s whaling in the Southern Ocean. As it stands, Japan is losing millions of dollars every season as a result of Sea Shepherd intervention and for the last two years has been forced to return to Japan with a small fraction of the intended kill quotas.

    This interference is especially important considering that Japan’s government has been unable to sell most of the whale meat domestically. In fact, the funding for future whaling may be in jeopardy due to the rampant corruption that took millions of tax dollars intended to help victims of the tsunami disaster and instead used that money to fund more whaling in Antarctica — which has angered the public in Japan and prompted official investigation into government spending on such wasteful projects.

    Well done, Sea Shepherd!

  • sidewinder

    The Japanese are poaching endangered whales in a whale sanctuary in complete defiance of a global moratorium on whaling all in the name of “Science” and guess what? The meat ends up on dinner plates, school lunch boxes and in the pet food aisle of supermarkets.

    The well known fact that they have been using disaster relief donations to pay for their whaling actions. Absolutely disgraceful.

  • PokerRay

    “Operation Zero Tolerance will include four ships, a helicopter, eight small RIB’s, three drones and more than one hundred international volunteers.”
    Hardly a “one man show”. Unlike a certain ICR flunky who likes to make up his own “facts” as he goes.

  • guest

    The article above is one-sided!

  • PokerRay

    Dude, if you have no idea what you’re talking about, it’s best to remain silent. The whole point to the LRAD is to transmit debilitating sound waves over greater distances than conventional speakers. And 300 meters doesn’t classify as “close range”. Read up on something before you waste yours and our time.

    • guest

      Please take a physics course on the energy dissipation of sound. And yes the helicopter has to close on the ship itself for the weapon to be effective.

    • guest

      Actually it is a short range weapon as if you stay out of the 300M range it has NO effect on you — again please take a physics course on the dissipation of sound energy before commenting again!!

      • PokerRay

        Please take a reading course on words and definitions. I say again, 300 meters is not close range.

      • guest

        For ships at sea 983ft is short range!! Please start with physics then take reading course yourself!!

    • guest

      Why is it every other helicopter pilot in the world constantly scans for dangers to their craft (power lines, tree limbs, etc..) but the Sea Shepherd Pilots fly right into the range of the LRAD and then complain about it’s use — simple deterrent stay more than 300Ms from the device!

    • PokerRay

      Of course I’m dealing with a person that thinks that helicopter pilots should be on the look out for power lines and tree limbs in the middle of the Antarctic Ocean. So if you were to decide that 10,000 meters is close range, the rest of us would just have to accept it. You are in good company. Keep making up your own definitions. The ICR will be sending you a hiring packet any day now.
      BTW – Disqus sucks.

    • 123nic

      Well, let’s see…You’re the only person that disagreed with my comment…no one agreed with yours…and three people disagreed with yours. The masses seem to think you’re the one wasting time.

      • PokerRay

        And THAT’s all I need to know about you and your so-called expertise. If you’re more worried about popularity than scientific fact and real world logic…..you’re in the right place.
        And, in terms of the “masses” of this site, the vast, vast majority have no credibility with me. These are people that will reply in droves to anything to do with Justin Bieber and/or Jason Somerhalder (or however you spell it) but won’t reply to anything to do with human trafficking, coal, acid rain. They’ll throw a fit over pit bulls but don’t know squat about rhinoceros, Great Apes or deforestation. And from what I’ve read, the current fever pitch over dog breeds has more to do with Kelly Ripa than with the dogs themselves.
        Don’t ever talk to me about the collective AAA battery that is the brain trust of this site. You just made a fool out of yourself.
        (BTW, I’ve been on this site for over 3 years. Don’t bother thinking up a snappy comeback. You’ll just embarrass yourself.)

      • 123nic

        I don’t know about you. You seem to go off on these little tantrums when I’ve really only addressed the use of the LRAD in a single sentence…and already you’re behaving like a highly trained keyboard commando. All I said was that the ICR used the LRAD on an aircraft. This is true, so I’m not sure what you’re having having a little snobbish rant about. Not to mention the fact that you’ve brought up the use of facts and logic when you yourself are trying to argue that it’s safe to use an LRAD on an aircraft.

        Hmm…so based on your “facts and logic”, it would be completely appropriate to buy up an LRAD, find a low flying helicopter, and use the LRAD on the aircraft? No. Because such an action could cause a disruption in the pilot’s actions.

        With “facts and reasoning” like yours, maybe you’re here to waist our time.

      • PokerRay

        I thought it was the “guest” person I was replying too. This Disqus engine sux, it’s confusing and it’s as poor as whatever it was this site used to use. Going back up the chain, you and I seem to be in overall agreement, so apologies.
        I do stand by my comments regarding the rank-and-file of this site though.

  • Lara Leigh

    Wont have to worry about the LRADs 300 Meter range once the 800 METER restraining order is put in to effect,, SSCS wont be able to come that close!!! -HAPPY DANCE-

    • guest

      What restraining order and who is issuing it??

    • PokerRay

      Restraining order? In international waters? Time to put your money where your mouth is.

      • guest

        Actually since they are a 501 based in the US, yes the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals CAN issue a restraining order which is why the Sea Shepherds sent a lawyer to argue their case.

      • Teresa Wagner

        A US restraining order does not work outside of US waters.

  • PokerRay

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121004p2a00m0na014000c.html

    “During the explanatory meeting, the legislators called into question the diversion of funds earmarked for disaster recovery projects to eight other projects, including boosted measures to protect research whaling ships from attacks by the anti-whaling organization Sea Shepherd…” more at the link.
    One more swing and miss by romika.

    • Panzer Wolf

      They weren’t using donations though. They were using government funds for the relief because the whalers are partially based in a spot that was hit by the disaster.
      There’s word play involved that makes it worse than what it is, Watson knows he can do it because his supporters eat it up.

  • Lara Leigh

    The SAM SIMON just registerd in AU today imo#9053452 She was the NEW ALANTIS and she is SLOW max 12.5 crusing at 10.5 knots wont be able to catch a cold even in the SO…. HAPPY DANCE.. NOT a icebreaker.. so slow. nice looking though, Paul should be comfortable if he plans on living out his days on the run on the SAM SIMON…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=689720739 Ima Adey

      Just so that everyone knows, Lara Leigh is posting here is pretending to be somebody else, ( a very pro SSCS Laura Leigh) …so this person posting here now is yet another sad pro whaling troll, in connection with propoganda buster tony who appears to be on the same reach.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Pdxtrouble Jeff Boswell

        Whatever the troll is, it’s a stupid bitch. Full speed ahead Capts. Watson and Hammarstedt!