In 1977, something truly remarkable was created. Captain Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace, yearned for more. It was then that Sea Shepherd came into existence, and what emerged from that creation was more than just a name. It was a manifestation of passion, courage, and imagination, giving birth to
aggressive non-violent conservation.
The MV Steve Irwin, originally known as "Westra," was built in 1975 as a Scottish Patrol Fisheries vessel - she was build for conservation. Paul Watson and Locky Maclean acquired the ship in 2006, renaming it after Paul's friend and founder of Greenpeace, Robert Hunter. This vessel was specifically purchased to serve as a "weapon" in the ecological war against illegal whaling in the Australian Marine Sanctuary and other campaigns, totaling 18 and spanning twice around the world.
To elevate the visibility of their missions, Captain Watson invited Steve Irwin to join an Antarctic campaign. Tragically, Steve Irwin passed away before this collaboration could take place. Terry Irwin, Steve's wife, supported the renaming of the ship as the "Steve Irwin," which significantly influenced the profile and campaigns of Sea Shepherd's flagship.
Over the course of a decade, the ship and its volunteer crew fought valiantly, directly saving over 6,000 whales, as documented in the well-known series "Whale Wars."
MV Steve Irwin, as the flagship of "Neptune's Navy," stands as the sole surviving ship among Captain Watson's fleet, once of eleven ships and many small boats.
While the top ten museum ships in the world are all relics of wars waged against humanity, MV Steve Irwin is the lone museum ship representing our modern war—the ecological war—to save both humanity and species from extinction.
Now registered as a historic museum ship, it commemorates the most infamous battles fought in the ecological war and pays tribute to the campaigns and crew who fought them. Sea Shepherd has altered its actions of conservation, but still plays a significant role in raising awareness and taking action against the exploitation of oceans and the beings that depend on them. The Captain Paul Watson Foundation continues to practice "aggressive non-violent" methods as intended in the creation of Sea Shepherd.
Today, the mission of the MV Steve Irwin is to inspire and educate people about ocean conservation, serving as a symbol of the ship and its crew's dedication to this cause.
'For the inspriation and education of ocean conservation' Ship4Good constituion
above circa 1972 a yound Paul Watson trying to block the harpoon of a Russan Whaling ship
Below Paul Watson in MV Steve Irwin small vessel with helicoptor, jetski also used in 'aggressive non violet' conservation circa 2011 Faroses Islands. Still using 'small vessels' to block and distract whaling as done some 40 years earlier.