sscs sam simon
by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: , .
Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

After months of secrecy and build up, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society today unveiled their new fourth vessel – the SSS Sam Simon.

The ship, named in honor of its benefactor – “The Simpsons” co-creator and animal activist Sam Simon – was revealed at the Macquarie Wharf 1, Hobart, Tasmania.

“Thanks to the generosity of Sam Simon, co-creator of TV’s “The Simpsons,” our fleet is stronger than ever with the addition of this new vessel,” said Captain Paul Watson in a statement. “We have four ships, one helicopter, drones and more than 120 volunteer crew from around the world ready to defend majestic whales from the illegal operations of the Japanese Whaling Fleet.”

Speaking with the Australian paper The Age, Sea Shepherd skipper Locky MacLean revealed how the purchase of their new $2M ice strengthened boat came with a healthy dose of subterfuge.  Emphasis in bold mine.

“The 56-metre ship was purchased through a third-party US company from its berth next to the whaling fleet in Japan, the activists said.

“Renamed New Atlantis and registered in Tuvalu, it was delivered by a Japanese crew to north Queensland, where they thought it was to be converted into a pleasure craft.

“Throughout the sale, the Japanese government was unaware that it was doing business with Sea Shepherd.”

Built as the “Seifu Maru” in 1993 by IHI shipyard in Tokyo, the ship was formerly operated by by Japan Meteorological Agency’s Maizuru observatory. And yes, the Japanese are going to be fuming that the Sam Simon was one of their own.

”They’ll probably be a bit peeved,”  Captain McLean said.

Sea Shepherd Chief Engineer Steve O’Leary officially receiving the delivery to Australia of the New Atlantis now the Sam Simon. Only five people in Sea Shepherd knew of the purchase and the Japanese had absolutely no idea they were selling the vessel to Sea Shepherd. Photo credit: Paul Watson

An estimated $500,000 was spent to increase the ship’s speed and range. “The Sam Simon is quite fast,” Paul Watson said on Facebook. “We would not have purchased a ship that could not outrun the Nisshin Maru. We are very satisfied with the speed.”

Check out a video of Captain McLean speaking out the new vessel below.

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 →
  • Ryohei Uchida

    Wow, Sea Shepherd just poured $2m of its donor’s money into the coffers of the Japanese Government. Those coffers, of course, are the very same that feed into the coffers of – you guessed it – the Institute of Cetacean Research. $2m sure will buy a lot of penthrite grenade harpoons.
    I wonder how Paul is getting along though. The fat fugitive is on the run from multiple international arrest warrants and can’t make land fall for fear of being arrested and made to face justice. Poor chap, I bet he was really looking forward to shovelling some meat pies into his bloated face in Australia.
    It’s funny though that for all Sea Shepherd’s talk (read: lies) about fighting “illegal” Japanese whaling, it is only Sea Shepherd that falls foul of the law. Paul’s on the run from the law, the Farley Mowat has been confiscated, the Steve Irwin was impounded in Europe earlier this year (and only released after SSCS coughed up huge amounts of donated money), Pete Bethune was charged and convicted of a number of offences including assault, and of course they’ve been taken to court in the US.
    “Illegal”. lol

    • Claire

      Last I checked the Red List notices ARE NOT international arrest warrants. And also I’m thinking the $2 million probably went to the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Maizuru observatory as they were the ones that previously owned the ship. I’d bet that none of that $2 million went to the whaling fleet.

      • Ryohei Uchida

        An Interpol Red Notice is a request to arrest. Incidentally, Germany issued an arrest warrant for Watson too. It seems the fat one is quite in demand these days.
        As for the $2m going to the observatory, you just made that up then, didn’t you. Tsk tsk. But as the Dear Leader of the Sea Shepherd Corporation says, “if you don’t know a fact, just make it up”, right?

        By the way, Michael dEstries, I was wondering, if someone decided that apples were cute and thought they shouldn’t be eaten by anyone and then started pelting you and your family with acid projectiles and ramming your car on the way to market, would that still be cool entertaining violence or would it be unacceptable and illegal violence? Please advise.

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

        Thats depends if your car just ran over your family and the family dog at the crossing where they had right of way.

      • Claire

        A request for arrest is different than an international arrest warrant. With an international arrest warrant, you would be arrested as soon as you entered a country no questions asked, where as with a request for arrest it would be up to that country as to whether or not to arrest you. And Germany’s arrest warrant for Paul Watson is only valid in Germany.

        And I made an educated guess, considering the observatory owned the ship, and most likely were the ones selling the ship, usually the money from the person/group buying the ship goes to the person/group selling the ship. If I sold a boat that I owned, I would get the money.

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

        They know all of this of course but it is the trolls call of duty to put as much spin on things as possible and be deceptive to the 9th degree at all times. Funny as hell watching them squirm!

      • Ryohei Uchida

        Michael dEstries, have you had a chance to consider the hypothetical scenario I mentioned above?
        I would be very interested to hear just a few words from you on how you would feel if the kind of violence perpetrated by Sea Shepherd against the Japanese were inflicted upon you and your family. If you could reflect on any ethical or legal issues that might be raised by such violence, and perhaps even on how you might respond to said violence, I would be very interested to hear!
        Thanks Michael, looking forward to hear your thoughts on the matter :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/gerald.rust.79 Gerald Rust

        Harpooning a defenseless creature is the definition of “unacceptable, illegal violence”, Mr. Uchida. Why be so worried about apples? they don’t bleed, or feel pain !

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

      The trolls are really desperate now , knowing that the Government of Japan has just sold a ship to help tackle their commercial whaling empire!
      Anyone disingenuous enough to suggest that SSCS has just poured 2 million dollars into the government coffers need a reality check.

      The ship, having been purchased for the bargain price of 2 million dollars is now after refurbishment, worth a cool 6 million dollars. SSCS wins! Again!

      The Government of Japan will now be able to help out all those poor people that they stole money from via the tsunami relief fund with the extra money , therefore SSCS are helping the people of Japan.

      • Ryohei Uchida

        Sea Shepherd have a long history of being pretty loose with their donors’ money. For instance, Paul skipped out on the bail money which someone kindly posted for him – that was to the tune of €250,000.00. Then there was the high speed trimaran which Sea Shepherd rammed into the Shonan Maru 2 and then later scuttled it and its diesel fuel into the Southern Ocean (Pete Bethune is still trying to recover $500,000.00 from SSCS over the matter). Then when the Steve Irwin was impounded in Europe last year, SSCS forked out £520,000.00 to get it back. Then there are the astronomical legal bills for the Bethune trial, Paul’s legal woes, and so on and so forth.
        Still want to send these moronic thugs your money?

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

        Just look what two million dollars buys ya

      • Ryohei Uchida

        Do you suppose this one will get dumped into the Southern Ocean like the Ady Gil or will it be confisacted like the Farley Mowat?

      • PokerRay

        Kimitake, is that you? Is this your latest alias/incarnation? I see you’re being as interpretive as ever with how you color events.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1372707446 Scott Smith

      Numerous countries around the world gave Japan $Millions for the sunami relief fund. Of course Japan stole that money from it’s benefit-needing people and put it into whaling (fact). Have you ever heard the expression “short term loss for a long term gain”? $2m loss now to gain 10 times that amount in the loss of whale meat sales is WONDERFUL! I challenge you to show some facts about the “research” that is actually done by the Japanese whalers. I’d bed you can’t find anything. Their operation is completely illegal and they simply hide behind the word “research”. It is poetic justice that they are going to be shut down by the ship they built for the intentional destruction of marine life. 88% of Japanese people (current poll) don’t eat whale meat anymore. The Japanese are only killing whales to save face. There is no other reason. But when all is said and done this season, we will see who are the winners are, and who the losers are…headed home with their tail between their legs.

      • Ryohei Uchida

        Scott, I’m going to have to clarify a couple of things here for you. Please read the following carefully.

        Firstly, not a cent of money that was donated to any “relief fund” for the tsunami was directed towards whaling. Not one cent. Please be very clear on that. They money that was provided to the whaling program came from a Japanese Government budget funded by the taxpayers of Japan. The idea that Japan somehow “misappropriated” donations was only ever a insidious and despicable lie put out by Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd thugs to generate hatred for the Japanese people at a time of very great and genuine humanitarian need. It was a grotesque new low for an organisation that is renown for its willingness to stoop ever lower in its quest to gain support and donations for its sinister cause.

        As for the results of the research carried out by the ICR, there are many. These have been published in numerous peer reviewed scientific journals and are readily available should you search for them yourself. I encourage you to do so.

        The Japanese whaling operation is entirely legal. You might not like it, but that does not make it illegal. Australia is currently challenging the legality of the operation, but they themselves have acknowledged that the case is likely to fail. Why? Because the operation is conducted in compliance all relevant international laws.

        Contrast this with Sea Shepherd’s ongoing legal woes the world over and you will soon appreciate who is acting illegally in this equation.

        As for the Japanese only killing whales to “save face”, well, I’d say that even if it were true, it is totally irrelevant. Japan doesn’t need a reason to kill whales. Just as the chicken or cattle farmer in the USA does not need to justify his butchery, so too does the Japanese whaler need not justify his.

        So Scott, I ask that you have a think about this issue more deeply and look into the facts for yourself. Paul Watson makes no secret of his own willingness to lie, so I’d encourage you not to believe what he says. Think about things and research them for yourself. And whatever you do, don’t send your money to support violence and terrorism.

      • PokerRay

        It never ceases to amaze me how whalers can spew absolute falsehoods with complete conviction. The misappropriation of tsunami relief funds is well documented and being investigated by the Japanese government itself.

        There are not many peer reviewed research papers at all. An independent panel studied the “research” presented by the ICR and could only find FOUR that had some dubious scientific findings. FOUR. Thousands of whales need to die for FOUR research papers? I don’t think so.
        Regardless of the alias, what-his-name just keeps lying and lying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OldMacLaura Laura Leigh

    Sea Shepherds are HEROS.
    Always have been.
    Always will be.

    • Ryohei Uchida

      Interesting… would I too be a hero in your eyes if I came to your work and started throwing acid at you because I think the food you eat is cute?

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

        This isn’t about food, its about “research”…remember?

      • Ryohei Uchida

        It’s actually about both, given that the by-product of the research is sold as food as per the Article VIII of the ICRW.
        More important, however, is the issue of politically motivated violence carried out by Sea Shepherd and other groups such as Al Qaeda. Do you have any snide, cynical and sarcastic remarks on that topic for us too?

      • AnimuX

        It’s not about food. Hardly anyone in Japan actually eats whale. Not one person will starve if whale meat disappears from Japanese menus. The whalers recently failed to sell 3/4ths of the whale meat from the ‘research’ hunt at auction so the government of Japan is effectively buying the meat back from itself and using the whale meat for more school lunches — a self sustaining corruption loop of tax dollars spent on whaling then buying back the same whale meat.

        Author and Professor Jun Morikawa has explained in his book, “Whaling in Japan: Power, Politics, and Diplomacy”, that Japan’s whaling only continues for the benefit of ‘Amakudari’ — corrupt bureaucrats who ensure the fisheries budget gets money for whaling only to leave public office and take high paid positions in the whaling industry they once oversaw.

      • William Hylton

        It’s butyric acid that does not harm humans. It stinks like hell and destroys the taste of the ILLEGALLY obtained meat. Do your research.

  • AnimuX

    It never fails that some pro-whaling antagonist makes an idiotic comparison between internationally protected whales and a random unrelated product or industry all in the process of demonizing nonviolent activists.

    Let me spell this out for you.

    The world’s whaling industries drove nearly every species of large whale to the brink of extinction — many are still endangered today as a result of countries like Japan repeatedly ignoring and blatantly defying the regulations established by the International Whaling Commission.

    Today, Japan’s current ‘research whaling’ is nothing more than a continuation of a century of previous bad behavior that includes exceeding quotas, ignoring size limits, killing protected species, hunting out of season, and even setting up ‘pirate whaling’ operations (poaching operations) all over the world.

    The ‘Save the Whales’ movement began when people were informed that whalers were systematically wiping out the whales — NOT — because of ‘cuteness’ or food culture imperialism or racism or any other nonsensical straw man invented by pro-whaling fools.

    Furthermore, Sea Shepherd activists throw stink bombs, not grenades, and shoot cameras, not machine guns, because they’re not out to hurt people — and have not killed or attempted or threatened to kill anybody. In contrast, nonviolent activists get murdered on a regular basis by industry thugs, criminals, and government agents. Yet you’ll never read or hear these pro-whaling jerks condemning the murderers of nonviolent environmental and human rights activists.

    Want to compare whales to apples? First show us where apples have nearly been wiped off the face of the earth by industrial over-exploitation in defiance of decades of international conventions.

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

      Well said as always Animux. If the trolls ever get their comprehension skills in order and stop worshipping at the alter of the ICR then they would realise just what silly dilly wangs they all are and perhaps, just perhaps, see the truth for once.

    • Ryohei Uchida

      It is true that there once was a time that some species of whale were over harvested by countries including the USA, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. But those days are well and truly over. The 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling was a tremendous success and many species of whale have bounced back spectacularly. In particular, the minke and humpback whale populations have exploded, and are appropriately classified by the ICUN as being of “Least Concern” – the lowest possible rating of endangerment. So the “endangered” argument against whaling is entirely redundant. Indeed, no one but the most deluded of anti-whaling extremists contend that the whaling programs of Japan, Norway and Iceland are anything but sustainable.
      While the anti-whaling movement was once a respectable and bona fide conservation movement, today it is but an obscure fetish that has become a profitable industry for animal-rights extremists who disregard sustainability and use the issue to generate vast sums of money under the guise of ‘conservation’. Indeed, this faux conservation draws badly needed funds and publicity away from true conservation causes, of which there are a great many.
      Regrettably, as people have woken up to the changed and improved status of whale stocks around the world, the anti-whaling extremists have resorted to increasingly violent and deceptive means to generate attention and therefore profits. Sea Shepherd in particular has excelled in this regard, boasting of ramming ships, throwing highly concentrated acid, arming themselves with poison tipped arrows, and trying to disable vessels in the deadly waters of Antarctica. Indeed, a member of Sea Shepherd was tried and convicted in 2010 of burning a Japanese mariner with acid. Paul Watson himself is on the run from international arrest warrants. The list goes on.
      Meanwhile, not single charge has been brought against a single Japanese whaler anywhere in the world. Japan continues to tolerate the violence and responds only with non-lethal deterrant methods. How long this patience will last is unclear.
      What is needed here is for reason and science to prevail. Cetacean resources, as with pomaceous resources, must be harvested sustainably. There is no reason for arbitrary and emotional factors to confuse and corrupt the issue. And there is absolutely no excuse for the use of violence by those who develop a sentimental attachment to whales and apples alike.

      • AnimuX

        Japan took part in the over exploitation as well. In fact, Japan’s modern commercial whaling industry was built with Norwegian whaling ships, technology, and even actual Norwegians starting in 1900 and growing to become one of the largest killers of whales in the world.

        Your assertions that whale species have ‘recovered’ or populations have ‘exploded’ are unfortunately unfounded. According to Dr. Sidney Holt, an actual IWC scientist, all of the Antarctic minke whales today make up less than 1% of the biomass that was once found in Antarctic waters before commercial whaling industries decimated the animals (some like the blue whale reduced by an estimated 90%).

        Today there is NO accepted biological optimum for any species of whale and while humpbacks are recovering they have not ‘exploded’ in population beyond their original numbers. Even the Antarctic minke whale is listed as data deficient by the IUCN and there is data that indicates that species may have declined as much as 60% in the last 3 generations.

        And if that wasn’t enough, DNA studies have indicated previous estimates of the damage done by commercial whaling are severely underestimated — meaning many more whales existed prior to commercial industrial whaling than scientists first realized and the numbers estimated from sighting studies and (worse) old whaling records may be inaccurate.

        The world’s whaling industries already proved that commercial whaling is unsustainable by decimating the world’s whale species leaving many endangered — all while ignoring and undermining every restriction established by the International Whaling Commission.

        It is not just ‘animal rights’ activists objecting to whaling, it is scientists, governments, business leaders (particularly tourism), and many others with valid objections to ongoing whaling.

        What is needed here is for governments like Japan, Iceland, and Norway to honor their international obligations and adhere to the moratorium on commercial whaling and other conservation mandates established by the international community.

        Until these governments shut down their tax subsidized poaching operations they will be opposed by non-violent activists like the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society volunteers and many millions more all over the world.

      • Vicky F.

        Say what now? The Court of Hague has proven and obliged the japanese to stop its illegal and lying whaling for good. Who’s wrong or right now? Go Paul Watson, go Sea Shepherd(s). Iceland and Norway, beware: you’re next!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.p.booth.5 James P Booth

    Well done to all those involved in the purchase.The Japs will be beside themselves with rage.I wish you every success.

    • Frank

      Whenever I see anyone use the word “Japs”, the only thing that comes to mind is that they are racist.

      • Ryohei Uchida

        Racism is not at all uncommon among the Sea Sehpherd types. Their campaigns are highly racially charged and they skillfully play upon underlying racial stereotyping and prejudices within society to generate support and donations.
        You will note that when Sea Shepherd carries out campaigns against white people, such as the Faroese, that there is absolutely no violence involved. Where is the acid and the rammings? Violence is only for the Japanese, it seems.
        This very article above. Note the picutre posted of the Japanese crew handing over the vsessel. This picture is intended to humiliate, despite having been taken in good faith by the Japanese crew. Are these whalers being humiliated thus? No, they are just ordinary Japanese people doing their jobs. So the message is clear – the enemy are not whalers, but Japanese people as a whole. The Japanese race, if you will.

      • AnimuX

        Claims of racism against Sea Shepherd are nothing more than a Red Herring — yet another attempt at distraction.

        Prior to interfering with Japan’s Antarctic whaling, Paul Watson took on very very “white” Soviet whalers in the North Pacific, and Sea Shepherd followed up with action against whalers from Iceland, Norway, pirate whalers (poachers shipping their illegally gotten meat to Japan), the Soviets again in Siberia, and the Faroese — and Canadian seal hunts.

      • ehomer

        You make me laugh.

  • Frank

    I have not seen a ruling yet from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the injunction against the Sea Shepherds to set up a 800m zone around the whaling fleet. Has one been released?

    Reference: Case Name – Inst. of Cetacean Res. v. Sea Shepherd Con. Society, Case Number: 12-35266

    • AnimuX

      There is nothing quite like poachers who operate in defiance of international conventions and over 20 years of US foreign policy — including economic sanctions set by Ronald Reagan in 1988 — then coming to US courts in an attempt to silence protest.

      • RX

        Silence protest or keep their distance while they protest?

      • Frank

        If I read the language of the injunction correctly it would establish an 800M buffer zone where the Sea Shepherds would not be able to enter. They can protest and photograph the whaling operations but entering that zone would violate the restraining order.

      • Frank

        The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the restraining order with a buffer zone of 500M and a prohibition on hazardous navigation.

  • susy

    I am so happy for all of those who have donated their time & energy for such a great cause to our extended mammel family. Proud of Paul , fwllow Washingtonian, who wasn’t doomed with tunnel vision & made the move for a great cause. Keep up the good work! God Bless all of you guys.

  • Nancy Swallow

    I LOVE IT! GO PAUL WATSON AND THE SEA SHEPHERDS!