As it turns out, green-oriented organization Sea Shepherd also has a sense of humor.Thus, they’ve just debuted their latest anti-whaling weapon: a $2 million (€1.54 million) ship which used to belong to the Japanese government, and which will from now on be used to fight Japanese whalers.
The SSS Sam Simon served Japan's Meteorological Agency until the year 2010, when it was purchased by New Atlantis, a US-based company.
Courtesy of The Simpsons' producer, who agreed to provide the necessary funding (hence the ship's name: the Sam Simon), the ship in now part and parcel of Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling fleet.
“The vessel, 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,” reads the official website for this organization.
It is Sea Shepherd's belief that using what used to be a Japanese research ship to fight Japanese whalers will toy with the latter's psyche.
According to Asia One, Captain Paul Watson made a case of how, “It's got a psychological impact for the whalers of seeing one of their own against them.”
Still, what the Sea Shepherd organization cared most about when making the decision to purchase this ship was the fact that, because it was especially designed and manufactured for sailing the frozen waters of the Antarctica, it would also be fit to give Japanese whalers a run for their money.
“The vessel will be able to keep up with the Japanese factory whaling ship. That was the main criteria that we needed,” Lockhart MacLean, the Sam Simon's captain, told members of the press.
As per usual, the Japanese whalers out to hunt whales in the Antarctica this year claim that their killing these marine mammals has nothing to do with profits and marketing whale meat, and everything to do with scientific research.
Still, Sea Shepherd and other conservationists know better than to trust these statements.
Check out the video below to see Captain MacLean speak about the SSS Sam Simon.