Sea Shepherd Global has launched a new ocean patrol vessel, Ocean Warrior, the latest weapon in their fight to protect the wildlife and habitats of the world's oceans.
Following 18 months of construction by Dutch shipbuilding company, Damen (who also own Amels), Ocean Warrior was lowered into the water at Antalya Harbour in Turkey on Friday 1 July.
“This is a momentous day for Sea Shepherd and, for all of our supporters, and a bad day for poachers,” said CEO of Sea Shepherd Global, Captain Alex Cornelissen. “The launch of the Ocean Warrior marks a new era for our organisation, as we now have a ship with the speed and capabilities to match the fastest poaching vessels in the world.”
The purchase of Ocean Warrior was funded by support fom the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the People’s Postcode Lottery in the United Kingdom and the Svenska Postkod Stiftelsen in Sweden. She is the fifth vessel in Sea Shepherd Global’s fleet of conservation ships, and the fifteenth in the organisation’s history.
Geert Vons, Director of Sea Shepherd Netherlands, said, “We are extremely grateful to the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the People’s Postcode Lottery and the Svenska Postkod Stiftelsen for their generosity, which has enabled us to build the Ocean Warrior. This new vessel will provide our crews with a huge advantage on the high seas, increasing our capacity to defend precious wildlife in our oceans.”
Ocean Warrior will make her maiden voyage in September, when the ship sails to Amsterdam under the command of Captain Cornelissen, although details of the first official anti-poaching campaign are still under wraps.
“We cannot reveal details about the Ocean Warrior’s activities beyond Amsterdam as yet. However, we are confident that our supporters will be very pleased with a campaign announcement that we have coming up in the next few months,” said Cornelissen.
Left: Frank Leeman, one of the founders of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, with Sea Shepherd Global CEO Alex Cornelissen, and Geert Vons, Director of Sea Shepherd Netherlands.
Right: Damen crew posing proudly in front of the finished Ocean Warrior after an 18-month build.
About Sea Shepherd:
Sea Shepherd Global is the world's leading direct-action ocean conservation organisation with dedicated teams across the world. Their collective mission is to put an end to the destruction of marine habitats and to stop the slaughter of marine wildlife in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species around the globe.
Sea Shepherd uses innovative, direct-action tactics to investigate, document and, where necessary, take action to expose illegal activities commited against marine wildlife and habitats to safeguard the biodiversity of our oceanic ecosystems. Sea Shepherd may also engage in freshwater conservation activities and provides support and funding to international marine conservation campaigns.
Sea Shepherd sets out to accomplish its goals through public education, investigation, documentation and, where legal authority exists, to enforce conservation laws and prevent the violation of the international treaties, laws and conventions intended to protect the oceans.
Whenever possible, Sea Shepherd cooperates with national and international law enforcement agencies and adheres to the use of non-violent principles in the course of all action around the protection of the oceans worldwide.
Sea Shepherd has 39 years of defending ocean wildlife and,in recent years, national entities have conducted campaigns addressing the following marine conservation issues:
Seal Defence Campaign which started around mainland Scotland in April 2014, extended to Northern England, the Hebrides and Orkney Islands.
Great Australian Bight Alliance which is opposing the drilling by BP and other companies of the pristine waters of the Australian Bight – home to over 85 unique marine species and an important whale migratory route and nursery.
Large Whales – Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary Antarctic campaigns and Operation Kimberley Minimbi in Australia
Sharks, Turtles & Seabirds – Shark Finning / Long Lining / Illegal Drift Net fishing (Galapagos Marine Reserve, Pacific, Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean) and Opposing government sponsored Shark cullsin Western Australia & La Reunion islands
Small Cetaceans in the Faroe Islands, New Zealand, Gulf of Mexico & exposing the dolphin capture trade and killings in Taiji (Japan).
Endangered Bluefin Tuna - two ‘Blue Rage’ campaigns in the Mediterranean
Sea Lions – Dam Guardian Campaign (USA)
Seals in the United Kingdom
Coral Reefs in Hawaii with Operation Reef Defence and in the Galapagos Islands
Illegal Fishing in the Galapagos, Belgium, Italy, Cabo Verde, Gabon, Antarctica, Indian Ocean, Senegal and Guatemala
Seabirds in Scotland and Germany
Chemical/oil pollution incidents – Operation Toxic Gulf and as Part of the Great Australian Bight Alliance
Plastic pollution in the oceans with Operation Vortex and beach cleans as part of our global Marine Debris Campaign
*All photos: Gerard Wagemakers / Sea Shepherd Global