The Nisshin Maru
|Name:||Nisshin Maru (Previously Chikuzen Maru)|
|Owner:||Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha, Ltd.|
|Operator:||Institute of Cetacean Research|
|Port of registry:||Japan|
|Builder:||Hitachi Zosen Corporation Innoshima Works|
|In service:||Active as of 2013|
|Homeport:||Shimonoseki Harbor, Tokyo, Japan|
|Identification:||IMO number: 8705292, Call sign: JJCJ, MMSI: 431683000|
|Status:||Docked in port as of August 2013.|
|Tonnage:||8,030 gross register tons (GRT)|
|Length:||129.58 m (425 ft 2 in) o/a|
|Beam:||19.4 m (63 ft 8 in) (moulded)|
|Draft:||11.7 m (38 ft 5 in)|
|Propulsion:||5,383 kw (7315 bhp)|
|Speed:||Max: 15.5 knots (28.7 km/h)
Cruise: 13.5 knots (25.0 km/h)
The 8,030-ton vessel MV Nisshin Maru (日新丸) is the primary vessel of the Japanese whaling fleet. It is a converted stern trawler and is the world's only whale factory ship. It is also the largest member, and flagship of the seven-member whaling fleet, headed by research leader Shigetoshi Nishiwaki, and is based in Japan in Shimonoseki harbor. The ship is owned by Tokyo-based company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd and is contracted by the Institute of Cetacean Research.
2007 Antarctic voyage
A major fire in the ship's processing factory broke out on 15 February 2007 while in Antarctic waters. The resulting damage caused the ship to be temporarily disabled, all while continuing to carry approximately 1,000 tons of oil. This incident took place within the New Zealand Search and Rescue Region. One crew member was killed in the fire.
Citing environmental concerns, specifically the disabled ship's proximity to Cape Adare, Antarctica and the world's largest Adelie Penguin rookery, New Zealand Conservation Minister Chris Carter joined international citizens' groups in urgently requesting that the ship be towed away. Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), which administers the ship with the Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha, declined offers of a tow from the Greenpeace ship MV Esperanza, which had been nearby and monitoring the situation since 17 February. On 28 February, the ICR released a statement on its decision to cut short its Antarctic whale hunt for 2006/2007 due to unrecoverable equipment, and the Nisshin Maru departed for Japan.
The Nisshin Maru and Greenpeace's MV Arctic Sunrise collided in December 1999 and in January 2006. In 2006 both ships claimed to have been rammed by the other, and the ICR posted video footage to support its version of the incident. Greenpeace responded that the waves emanating from the MV Arctic Sunrise in the video support Greenpeace's contention that its vessel had its engines in reverse; Greenpeace also claimed the location of cloud formations in the background of the ICR video indicate the MV Nisshin Maru was turning into the Greenpeace ship at the time of collision.
Sea Shepherd claimed its president Paul Watson was shot by someone on the Nisshin Maru during a confrontation with the MY Steve Irwin off Antarctica in 2008. He was wearing a bulletproof vest and was uninjured. An ICR spokesman acknowledged that seven flashbangs were thrown, but stated that "no gunshots of any kind" were fired.
In March 2011, the Nisshin Maru returned early from operations in the Southern Ocean and immediately began assisting in disaster relief efforts following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, transporting food, fuel, and other supplies to areas devastated by the catastrophe.
In February 2013, the Nisshin Maru was involved in a multiple-ship collision, colliding with the Sea Shepherd vessels the Steve Irwin, the Bob Barker, and the Sam Simon, as well as the whaler's refueling ship, the Sun Laurel. The Bob Barker was damaged and issued a mayday. The Sun Laurel's lifeboats were also damaged due to the collision.
New IMO regulations
New regulations from the United Nations International Maritime Organization which took effect in July 2011 have made it illegal for the MV Nisshin Maru to operate while using heavy oil below 60 degrees south. This will most likely increase the cost of operating in the Southern Ocean. The new rules prohibit ships using heavy oil in the Antarctic treaty system area due to the risk to wildlife in the event of an oil spill.
The MV Nisshin Maru, is featured in Ship Simulator Extremes, along with the Kyo Maru # 1 and the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza, along with its outboard inflatable boats, and RIBs. The Nisshin Maru was the main setting for the movie Drawing Restraint 9.
- "Nisshin Maru". ClassNK Register of Ships. Retrieved 20 February 2007.[dead link]
- Lloyd's Register - Fairplay. Retrieved 20 February 2007
- "NISSHIN MARU (fishing vessel): ship particulars and AIS position - IMO: 8705292, MMSI: 431683000, Callsign: JJCJ - FleetMon.com". Fleetmon.com. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- Darby, Andrew (18 July 2009). "New rules for safe shipping may save whales". The Sydney Morning Herald.
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- http://sprite.msn.com/assets/Media_Center/Press_Releases/asset_upload_file187_51771.pdf%7Cdate=21 January 2011
- Hon. P. Garrett MP, Australian Minister for the Environment, and Hon. B. Debus MP, Australian Minister for Home Affairs (7 February 2008). "Whaling Announcement – Release of images from the Oceanic Viking, Interview Transcript" (PDF). Maroubra, NSW, Australia.
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- VIDEO TAKEN BY ICR : ARCTIC SUNRISE RAMMING THE NISSHIN-MARU. Institute of Cetacean Research. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Draper, Michelle; Gartrell, Adam (8 March 2008). "Japan denies shooting anti-whaling captain". AAP.
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- Choe, Kim (21 February 2013). "Sea Shepherd claims victory over whalers". 3 News NZ.
- "Whalers' 'ramming' damages Sea Shepherd ship". The Age. Retrieved 19 February 2013.