The MY Sam Simon is a vessel in the Sea Shepherd fleet, acquired in 2012. Originally a Japanese survey ship, the Sam Simon was purchased by a donation from Sam Simon. Its purpose was to inflict psychology distress to the whalers, having a Japanese ship turned against them.
In 2012, Sea Shepherd stated that Sam Simon made a donation that was able to purchase a ship named after him. The identity of the ship was kept secret until Operation Zero Tolerance was underway.
The Sam Simon was originally known as the Seifu Maru and worked as a weather survey ship from 1992 to 2010, when it was renamed Kaiko Maru No. 8. In 2012, the ship was purchased by New Atlantis Ventures, a dummy company made by Sea Shepherd in order to purchase the ship from Japan. Under the name New Atlantis, it was sailed to Australia by a Japanese crew, before being turned over to Sea Shepherd, who then renamed the vessel Sam Simon. It was publicly unveiled in December, 2012.
Operation Zero ToleranceEdit
During Operation Zero Tolerance, the Sam Simon discovered the whalers' bunker ship, the Sun Laurel and followed it. It attempted to block refueling attempts by the whaling vessels, but was forced to back down when the Yushin Maru and Shonan Maru No. 2 closed in aggressively. The crew of the Sam Simon noticed diesel fuel leaking from the Sun Laurel and collected water samples to turn over to authorities. In February of 2013, the Sam Simon joined the Steve Irwin and Bob Barker in pursuing the Nisshin Maru. During an attempt to refuel, the Nisshin Maru rammed all three Sea Shepherd vessels, as well as the Sun Laurel. The Sam Simon sustained damage to the stern crane. Several days later, the Nisshin Maru rammed the Sam Simon again, this time taking off paint and destroying the radar. After the campaign, the Sam Simon, Steve Irwin, and Bob Barker docked in Melbourne.
In the summer of 2013, the ship was painted with a camouflage pattern and jaws on the bow. A new logo was added and "ANTI-POACHING" was printed on the sides in both English and Japanese. The crane was also serviced.
Operation RelentlessEditBecause of a pending injunction against Sea Shepherd USA The Sam Simon stayed out of the fight and was used by Sea Shepherd as a refueling ship and was placed north of the Ross Sea with the Sun Laurel.
Operation Icefish Edit
in 2014 The Sam Simon and The Bob Barker were deployed to Antarctica to hunt down and arrest a fleet of Spanish fishing boats that are wanted by Interpol and known as The Bandit 6. the leader of the Bandit 6 Thunder dropped gillnets in the water and fled. 5 days later The Sam Simon recovered the gillnets and left Antarctica to trail the Thunder. halfway through the campaign Sam Simon spotted three of the Bandit 6 notably the Kunlun, the Yongding, and the Songhua fishing off their bow and chased them into the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic where they were arrested by the New Zealand, Australian, South African and Thailand Navies.
Thunder Manhunt Edit
Sam Simon took part in the Thunder Manhunt which was a 110 chase around the world which resulted in Thunder sinking on April 6, 2015.
Operation Sleppid Grindini Edit
In 2015 Sam Simon was deployed to The Faroe Islands to stop the hunting of pilot whales in an event called a Grind Hunt five members of the small boat team and two members of the land team were arrested by Faroe Police and the Danish Navy for interfering with a Grind and are scheduled to be deported.
The Sam Simon went into drydock in Germany in December of 2015. All damage caused during Operation Sleppid Grindini, Operation Icefish, and Operation Relentless were replaced and the ships camouflage repainted. Also new boats were bought by Sea Shepherd to replace the ones that got stolen by Denmark during the grind. With repairs complete Sam Simon was handed over to Sea Shepherd United States and deployed to the Gulf of Mexico for Operation Toxic Gulf and Operation Milagro 3.
Operation Toxic Gulf 2015 Edit
In 2010 the oil rig Deepwater Horizon sank . The goal of Operation Toxic Gulf is to alert the public to the dangers caused by an oil spill. For the past five years since the Deepwater Horizon sank Sea Shepherd has deployed its vessels to the Gulf of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez to collect samples of the oil and monitor the ecosystem in the Gulf which is in decline since 2015. With the campaign complete the Sam Simon transited the Panama Canal headed towards the Sea of Cortez where it met up with the Martin Sheen and the MY Farley Mowat.
Operation Milagro 3 Edit
In 2016 Sam Simon, Martin Sheen, and Farley Mowat departed for the Sea of Cortez off the coast of Mexico to look for illegal driftnets and the boats placing the nets in the water. Sam Simon, Martin Sheen, and Farley Mowat have found close to 400 marine life trapped in the nets and even a couple dead whales and sharks. With this campaign wrapping up the Sam Simon is on its way to Italy for Operation Jairo Med where it will assist ICCAT and sister ship Brigitte Bardot to look for driftnets and arrest tuna poachers.
Operation Sola Stella 2017 Edit
After the successful completion of Operation Jairo Med the Sam Simon met up with the Bob Barker in Gabon to hunt down poachers who are fishing in the waters of Gabon and Liberia illegally for shark. Early in the campaign the Bob Barker and the Sam Simon spotted seven vessels registered to China. All six vessels were arrested along with a factory ship and detained. These vessels were using driftnets and transporting shark both of which is illegal according to the United Nations Charter of Nature. Sam Simon also arrested legal vessels but two of them were fishing with an expired license and one was fishing out of season. In the year long campaign The Sam Simon has arrested 13 vessels most of them were IUU poachers with connections to The Bandit 6. With the campaign wrapping up The Sam Simon met up with the Bob Barker and preformed a change of command ceremony before setting course to Italy. The Sam Simon is headed in for an overhaul before next year's campaign.
Operation Siso Edit
After a year in drydock Sam Simon is now in the Aeolian Islands hunting for poachers who set illegal traps known as FADs which are Fishing Aggregating Devices which comprise of plastic jugs and fishing line covered with palm leaves to camouflage the traps.To date Sea Shepherd has found and destroyed 52 FADs and seized 100 kilometers of illegal fishing line.