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Sea Shepherd Ships Arrive at Southern Operations Base, Ready to Take on the Japanese Whaling Fleet

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016

Sea Shepherd’s new patrol vessel, the Ocean Warrior, arrived yesterday at the Southern Operations base in Williamstown, just outside Melbourne, joining the veteran anti-whaling ship MV Steve Irwin. They are undergoing final preparations before departing for the ocean conservation group’s 11th direct-action whale defense campaign in the Southern Ocean this December.

The Ocean Warrior. Photo by Bridgette Gower/Sea Shepherd

Press Tours
The Ocean Warrior will be open to the public for free tours November 26-27 from 10am-7pm each day, docked at 2 Ann Street, Williamstown, Victoria. Private press tours are available for both ships on request from November 16th until the two ships depart in early December for the Southern Ocean (date to be confirmed, depending on the departure of the Japanese fleet).

Interviews
On-site interviews in Melbourne can be arranged with Sea Shepherd captains Adam Meyerson and Wyanda Lublink, as well as Sea Shepherd Australia Director Jeff Hansen. Phone and Skype interviews can also be arranged with Sea Shepherd Captain Peter Hammarstedt and Sea Shepherd Global CEO Alex Cornelissen.

Media
Attached photos of the  Ocean Warrior by Nelli Huié; attached photo of the  Steve Irwin  by Eliza Muirhead. Additional h igh-res photos and video footage of the Ocean Warrior, MV Steve Irwin , and previous Sea Shepherd anti-whaling and Southern Ocean campaigns are available on request.

Background
Japan’s so-called “scientific research” program to hunt Minke whales has been rejected by the International Court of Justice, the International Whaling Commission and the Australian Federal Court. After a one-year hiatus from whaling, the Japanese whaling fleet returned to the Antarctic last season and slaughtered 333 Minke whales, more than half of them pregnant females. Disappointed by the lack of action from the international community, Sea Shepherd Global announced its return to the Southern Ocean to protect the whales with a new patrol vessel, the Ocean Warrior , the fastest in the fleet.

A New Challenge
“Operation Nemesis”, named after the Greek goddess of inescapable justice, will be one of the most difficult campaigns Sea Shepherd has undertaken. The Japanese have doubled their whaling area in the Southern Ocean, meaning Sea Shepherd will have to search in an expanse twice as large to find them. The reduced quota of 333 whales targeted in the hunt also means the Japanese can complete their hunt and return to Japan in less time. She Shepherd will rely on the strength of the Steve Irwin, the speed of the Ocean Warrior , and the assistance of their helicopter and small speedboats to overcome these challenges in the harsh Antarctic waters.

First Mate, James Brook looking out with binoculars from the bridge of the Steve Irwin during Operation Nemesis. Photo by Chelsea Miller/Sea Shepherd
Japanese whaling vessel. Photo by Sea Shepherd
Crew of the MV Steve Irwin. Photo by Bridgette Gower/Sea Shepherd
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