Sea Shepherd Wiki

The Nisshin Maru.

The Nisshin Maru is the factory ship of the Japanese whaling fleet and the flagship of ICR. It is the only whale factory ship left in the world. The Nisshin Maru is the Sea Shepherd's main target on the Antarctic campaigns.

Confrontations With Sea Shepherd[]

2006-2007 Season[]

The Nisshin Maru was pursued by both Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace during this whaling season. Greenpeace documented the transfer of whale meat and fuel between the Nisshin Maru and the Oriental Bluebird. Greenpeace tried to stop the transfer with their small boats. The Nisshin Maru moved dangerously close to the Oriental Bluebird and crushed the protesters. Later when the transfer was complete Greenpeace tagged the Oriental Bluebird with the Harpoon Boats and the Steve Irwin watching. The Nisshin Maru suffered a colossal fire on 15th February 2007, causing the ship to be disabled for 12 hours until the Yushin Maru and the Oriental Bluebird arrived to help. The Greenpeace ship Esperanza also offered assistance, but was turned down. One crew member onboard the Nisshin Maru died in the fire. The season was cut short because of this incident.

2007-2008 Season[]

The crew of the Steve Irwin engaged the factory ship in March, 2008, and the crew threw twenty-four bottles of butyric acid, and two packages of slippery paste at the factory ship. The whalers responded with teargas and flash bangs. One of the whalers shot Paul Watson but his vest blocked the bullet. The whalers denied this saying "Watson faked the shooting", which was proven to be true.

2008-2009 Season[]

The Nisshin Maru was pursued by Sea Shepherd into an ice field and the Steve Irwin was forced to slow down to get through the ice. When Sea Shepherd arrived on scene they encountered all three harpoon boats and the Shonan Maru No. 2 with the Nisshin Maru. Sea Shepherd could only watch as all three harpoon boats transferred poached whales onto the deck of the factory ship to be processed. During one transfer the Steve Irwin collided with the Nisshin Maru's stern and the Yushin Maru No. 3 causing damage to all three vessels. ICR blamed the collision on Sea Shepherd and when each vessel returned to port footage of the collision was seized. The investigation ruled Yushin Maru No. 3 was at fault because they turned after cutting the towing line and the stern hit the Steve Irwin.

2009-2010 Season[]

The Nisshin Maru was discovered by the Bob Barker and the Ady Gil assisted in slowing it down. However, the Ady Gil was severely damaged when it collided with the Shonan Maru No. 2 and the Nisshin Maru fled the scene. The Bob Barker was able to catch up, and was later joined by the Steve Irwin. The Steve Irwin circled the Nisshin Maru, at one point coming within meters of the ship. Later, the Steve Irwin deployed a small boat team to fire red paint at the RESEARCH sign on the Nisshin Maru symbolizing blood.

2010-2011 Season[]

The Gojira engaged the Nisshin Maru with butyric acid and paint. The Nisshin Maru was processing a whale at the time because work lights were on, on the decks and red blood was coming out of the scuppers. The Gojira was forced to fall back as the Nisshin Maru entered an ice field, but it had slowed down the ship long enough for the Bob Barker to catch up.

2011-2012 Season[]

The Nisshin Maru took a different route to Antarctica this season to avoid running into Sea Shepherd. However, the Brigitte Bardot still intercepted the entire whaling fleet north of Antarctica. The Nisshin Maru flees and the Brigitte Bardot is unable to locate it. Later, the helicopter of the Steve Irwin spots the Nisshin Maru, but the pilot misidentified it as a harpoon vessel and it got away again. Finally, towards the end of the season, the Bob Barker intercepts the Nisshin Maru. Two harpoon ships attempt to lose the Bob Barker, but the Sea Shepherds stay on its stern until the whaling season is cut short.

2012-2013 Season[]


The Nisshin Maru Rams The Bob Barker

The Nisshin Maru rams the Bob Barker and Sun Laurel.

The Nisshin Maru was spotted by the Bob Barker early in the campaign, but was lost in bad weather. A few days later, the Bob Barker caught up again, and attempted to block the transfer of a whale from the Yushin Maru No. 2. The Sea Shepherds held their position for nine hours before the Yushin Maru No. 2 threatened to ram, and the Bob Barker backed down. The Nisshin Maru received the whale and processed it. The Steve Irwin and Sam Simon caught up with the Nisshin Maru also when it attempted to refuel with the Sun Laurel. A total of nine ships were present during the attempt, five whalers, three Sea Shepherd ships, and the Sun Laurel. The Sea Shepherds created a blockade around the Sun Laurel, preventing the Nisshin Maru from moving in. In response, the Nisshin Maru rammed all three Sea Shepherd ships multiple times, and also collided with the Sun Laurel, damaging its lifeboats. The Bob Barker received large amounts of damage and was almost capsized before the Nisshin Maru backed down. The ship fled as the Sea Shepherds assessed the damage. Less than a week later, the Nisshin Maru returned to refuel with the Sun Laurel. The Bob Barker placed itself between the two ships and was subsequently crushed in between the ships. The Nisshin Maru used water cannons to flood the engine rooms of the Sea Shepherd vessels and the crew tossed flashbang grenades, one of which struck the Sun Laurel. The Nisshin Maru then turned into the Sam Simon, causing hull damage to the Sea Shepherd ship before breaking away.

2016- 2017 Season[]

Fallowing a two year hiatuses because of being sued by the International Court of Justice The Nisshin Maru is back to plunder the waters of the Southern Ocean once again. Along with her are the tanker Sun Laurel, Kaiyo Maru no. 7 a krill trawler standing in for Shonan Maru No. 2 who got impounded by the Russians, and the harpoon boats the Yushin Maru No. 1, Yushin Maru No. 2, and Yushin Maru No. 3. Sea Shepherd has dispatched its newest ship the MY Ocean Warrior and the Steve Irwin departing from Melbourne to the Southern Ocean to stop them. Because of hull damage the Brigitte Bardot and the Jairo Mora Sandoval will not take part in Operation Nemesis and have been reassigned to Sea Shepherd UK. The RV Martin Sheen , and the coast guard cutters MY Farley Mowat and the MY John Paul DeJoria are barred from entering the Southern Ocean by the Japanese government and the government of Australia because of a pending injunction for Sea Shepherd United States and will not be participating in this campaign. The Bob Barker and the Sam Simon are wrapping up driftnet patrols and will not join the campaign this year.

The Nisshin Maru was spotted by the Steve Irwin with freshly poached whales on their deck. The whalers tried to hide this and destroy the evidence but Sea Shepherd's helicopter caught them red-handed and transmitted the photos to the ship and to Interpol. Right now all whaling has stopped and Nisshin Maru is currently being chased by the Steve Irwin and the Ocean Warrior.

With the season over The Nisshin Maru has returned to Japan once again defeated and bankrupted by her nemesis the Steve Irwin and Sea Shepherd.

Dispute being chased by Sea Shepherd The Nisshin Maru managed to catch all 333 whales .

2018-2019 Season[]

For the first time in years ICR faced Sea Shepherd unopposed. Because of the cost of maintenance to the Steve Irwin and the impoundment of the Yushin Maru No.1 and the Shonan Maru No. 2, the ICR only commissioned the Nisshin Maru along with the Yushin Maru No. 2 and the Yushin Maru No. 3. The whalers met their quota and killed all 333 whales. The Government of Japan had voted in December of 2018 to leave the IWC and resume commercial whaling in their own exclusive economic waters.

2019-2020 Season[]

On July 2, 2019, the Nisshin Maru and harpoon boats the Yushin Maru No. 2 and the Yushin Maru No. 3 departed Tokyo and grouped with the Taji Whalers. This is the first commercial hunt since ICR left the IWC the year before. By the end of the day two Minke Whales were killed and butchered on the deck of the Nisshin Maru. Sea Shepherd opposes this hunt because not only is ICR targeting their traditional catch they are targeting Sei Whales which are endangered.


Because of the age of Nisshin Maru the Japanese plan to sell her and buy a larger trawler to replace their mothership which has shown its age and is now more then 20 years. Nisshin Maru was decommissioned in 2020 and returned to its owner Kyodo Senpaku and stripped. All paint and the REASEARCH letters have been removed in preparation for sell or scrapping.