Sea Shepherd Buys Coast Guard Vessels

Sea Shepherd boats

Published Jun 1, 2015 4:38 PM by The Maritime Executive

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has secured two new ships to join its international fleet. 

In January, Sea Shepherd USA purchased two recently decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard patrol vessels, the USCG Block Island and the USCG Pea Island. Both are 110-foot Island-class fast patrol vessels.

The two ships now renamed the Jules Verne and the Farley Mowat, purchased in Baltimore, are now berthed in Key West, Florida.

Sea Shepherd USA now operates three vessels. In addition to the two newly acquired fast patrol boats there is the sailing ketch the R/V Martin Sheen, currently finishing its engagement with Operation Milagro, protecting the endangered vaquita in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.

The new Farley Mowat replaces the first vessel Farley Mowat that Sea Shepherd purchased in 1997 and retired in 2008. The new vessel was purchased with a bequest left to Sea Shepherd by longtime friend, Sea Shepherd International Chair and Canadian writer Farley Mowat, who passed away a year ago this month.

The Jules Verne is named in honor of the French writer who gave the world the inspiring story of Captain Nemo. The Jules Verne is partially sponsored by supporter John Paul DeJoria’s Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation.

In 1990, Sea Shepherd purchased a 95-foot Cape-class patrol vessel from the U.S. Coast Guard that it named the Edward Abbey. In 1999, the Edward Abbey was renamed the Sirenian and Sea Shepherd donated it as a permanent patrol vessel for the Galapagos National Park Marine Reserve.

“These two ships, the Farley Mowat and the Jules Verne, give Sea Shepherd USA a combination of speed and long-range capabilities,” said Sea Shepherd Founder Captain Paul Watson. “We have already offered the Jules Verne to assist the rangers at Cocos Island National Park Marine Reserve with anti-poaching interventions, 300 miles off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and the Farley Mowat has been offered to patrol the Sea of Cortez in partnership with the government of Mexico to protect the endangered vaquita.”

Sea Shepherd has been operating ships for 37 years since 1978. In total, 15 ships have carried the Sea Shepherd flag on campaigns in all the world’s oceans. During this time, more than 5,000 people have participated as volunteers on board Sea Shepherd ships.

Sea Shepherd Global, based in Amsterdam, operates the vessels Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, Sam Simon, Brigitte Bardot and the Jairo Mora Sandoval. A sixth ship, as yet unnamed, is currently being constructed and will be launched in September 2016.

The History of Sea Shepherd ships:
1. Sea Shepherd: 1978 – 1979 (Flagged U.K.) (Retired)
2. Sea Shepherd II: 1980 – 1992 (Flagged U.K.) (Retired)
3. Divine Wind: 1987-1988 (Flagged Panama) (Sold)
4. Edward Abbey/Sirenian: 1990 – 2005 (Flagged USA/Canada) (Donated -Ecuador)
5. Cleveland Amory: 1993 -1994 (Flagged Canada) (Retired)
6. Whales Forever: 1994 – 1996 (Flagged St. Vincent) (Retired)
7. Ocean Warrior/Farley Mowat: 1997 – 2008 (Flagged Canada) (Retired)
8. Robert Hunter/Steve Irwin: 2006 – present (Flagged U.K./Netherlands)
9. Gojira/Brigitte Bardot: 2010 – present (Flagged Australia)
10. Bob Barker: 2009 – present (Flagged Netherlands)
11. Sam Simon: 2012 – present (Flagged Netherlands)
12. Jairo Mora Sandoval: 2013 – present (Flagged U.K.)
13. Martin Sheen: 2013 – present (Flagged USA)
14. Farley Mowat: 2015 – present (Flagged USA)
15. Jules Verne: 2015 – present (Flagged USA)

Sea Shepherd also maintains a fleet of small boats and surveillance and documentation drones.