Sea Shepherd claims new ship can ‘outrun’ Japanese whalers

Updated 12:54 PM EDT, Wed August 31, 2016
Sea Shepherd Australia
Now playing
02:11
Why is Japan still whaling? (2015)
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02:  Tom Ford attends the premiere of 'Nocturnal Animals' during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2016 in Venice, Italy.  (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02: Tom Ford attends the premiere of 'Nocturnal Animals' during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2016 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:20
New York Fashion Week: Tom Ford's fashion revolution
Japanese plastic food models orig_00013015.jpg
Japanese plastic food models orig_00013015.jpg
Now playing
01:37
What goes into making Japanese food models
FAA
Now playing
01:53
Airport bird patrol: Paintball, lasers and fake grass
giant petri dish bacteria resistance nccorig _00000000.jpg
giant petri dish bacteria resistance nccorig _00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:17
Giant petri dish shows how bacteria mutate
Now playing
01:34
At the center of the transgender bathroom debate
mike pence ronald reagan dana bash origwx bw_00013101.jpg
mike pence ronald reagan dana bash origwx bw_00013101.jpg
Now playing
02:21
Running in 2016, remembering 1988
CNN/Will Mullery
Now playing
01:59
Samantha Jayne on college tuition and #TheStruggle
9/11 anniversary Palombo firefighter family orig cm_00001011.jpg
9/11 anniversary Palombo firefighter family orig cm_00001011.jpg
Now playing
03:36
10 children continue their father's legacy after 9/11 (2016)
Melody Shih
Now playing
01:35
Terrorism has no boundaries
Now playing
02:18
What is bog snorkelling?
CNN
Now playing
02:19
Sober raves: Best done before breakfast
Gladskikh Tatiana/Shutterstock
Now playing
01:53
Defiant child? How to sway them your way
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15:  Singer Chris Brown attends a progress hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  Brown was first placed on probation after the 2009 domestic violence case in which he plead guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna.  (Photo by Lucy Nicholson - Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Singer Chris Brown attends a progress hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Brown was first placed on probation after the 2009 domestic violence case in which he plead guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna. (Photo by Lucy Nicholson - Pool/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:12
Chris Brown's troubled past
Underground galleries, part of Nazi Germany "Riese" construction project are pictured under the Ksiaz castle in the area where the "Nazi gold train" is supposedly hidden underground, on August 28, 2015 in Walbrzych, Poland. Poland's deputy culture minister on Friday said he was 99 percent sure of the existence of the alleged Nazi train that has set off a gold rush in the country. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI        (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Underground galleries, part of Nazi Germany "Riese" construction project are pictured under the Ksiaz castle in the area where the "Nazi gold train" is supposedly hidden underground, on August 28, 2015 in Walbrzych, Poland. Poland's deputy culture minister on Friday said he was 99 percent sure of the existence of the alleged Nazi train that has set off a gold rush in the country. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:18
'Nazi gold train' mystery close to being solved?
Shipwreckworld.com
Now playing
00:57
Rare shipwreck discovered
Nairobi, Kenya. Young elephant feeding.
Alex Lee/CNN
Nairobi, Kenya. Young elephant feeding.
Now playing
01:00
60-Second Vacation: Nairobi, Kenya
Corsica burkini ban Gorani segment_00011424.jpg
Getty Images
Corsica burkini ban Gorani segment_00011424.jpg
Now playing
01:18
Burkini ban suspended by French court
Nautilus Live
Now playing
00:47
Scientists spot 'googly-eyed' creature
Now playing
01:49
The bomb shelter farm hidden deep under London
Now playing
01:04
How useful is the Farmer's Almanac?
sibling gun violence bosley orig mg_00011110.jpg
sibling gun violence bosley orig mg_00011110.jpg
Now playing
03:19
'It just never felt the same'
Bowmar Bowhunting/YouTube
Now playing
01:07
Hunter draws criticism for killing bear with spear
Courtesy Amy Lloyd
Now playing
01:06
Why flash floods are so dangerous
perseid meteor shower orig al _00002708.jpg
perseid meteor shower orig al _00002708.jpg
Now playing
00:50
Watch a timelapse of the Perseid meteor shower
Ellis Island hidden hospitals origncc_00000825.jpg
Ellis Island hidden hospitals origncc_00000825.jpg
Now playing
01:53
Hidden side of Ellis Island

Story highlights

Anti-whaling activist group announce the launch of a new ship

The activists group's new campaign in the Southern Ocean comes in the wake of a court loss

Though Japan is often in the media spotlight for its whaling operations, Norway is actually the global leader in whale hunting

(CNN) —  

Anti-whaling activist group Sea Shepherd announced its 11th whale defense campaign Tuesday with the launch of a custom-built vessel, which it claims will have the requisite muscle to take on Japanese whaling fleets.

“For the first time we will have the speed to catch and outrun the Japanese harpoon ships, knowing speed can be the deciding factor when saving the lives of whales in the Southern Ocean,” Alex Cornelissen, Sea Shepherd Global CEO, said in a statement.

The Ocean Warrior has a deck area large enough to accommodate a helicopter and several small boat operations.
Sea Shepherd
The Ocean Warrior has a deck area large enough to accommodate a helicopter and several small boat operations.

Sea Shepherd told CNN that its new ship – dubbed “Ocean Warrior” – is 54 meters (177 feet) long, displaces 439 tons and can reach speeds of 25 knots and higher. Japanese whaling ships are estimated to reach speeds of up to 22 knots, and Sea Shepherd’s previous ships could only reach 15 knots. A deck area also enables ship operators to dispatch small boat operations and support a helicopter.

The ship was built in Turkey by Dutch shipbuilder Damen from an 8.3 million euro ($9 million) fund awarded to Sea Shepherd by the Dutch, UK and Swedish lotteries.

Ocean Warrior is expected to arrive in Australia at the end of 2016 so it can be prepared for the activist group’s 11th whale defense campaign in the Southern Ocean.

No effect on Australian law

Sea Shepherd’s efforts to strengthen their campaign in the Southern Ocean comes a week after a court-mediated settlement between their US arm and a Japanese whaling institution.

On August 23, a preliminary injunction – which prevents Sea Shepherd’s US branch from disrupting Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean – became permanent, ending a legal dispute that has been raging between the two groups since 2011.

In a statement released on the same day, the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), a Japanese nonprofit, said that under the injunction, Sea Shepherd USA would be barred from “physically attacking” their research vessels and crew and from sailing within 500 yards of their whaling ships.

Though Sea Shepherd USA confirmed that the organization would comply with the legal restrictions of the injunction, the Australian branch of Sea Shepherd asserted that the injunction over their US arm would not affect cons