Ever wondered how Sea Shepherd prepares its ships for departure? Watch as the mighty Sam Simon sets sail this week from Melbourne bound for New Zealand in preparation for its latest campaign: Operation Ice Fish - which aims to target the illegal fishing of Patagonian and Antarctic Toothfish in the Southern ocean.

The departure of the Sam Simon from Melbourne marks the start of a new Southern Ocean patrol mission for Sea Shepherd. This year we will be preparing to once again confront the illegal whalers from Japan if they return to the kill. However, if they abide by their statement to not return to the slaughter till 2015 then Sea Shepherd will use this summer to target the illegal poaching of Patagonian and Antarctic Toothfish.

The Sam Simon will arrive in Auckland, New Zealand on the 23rd October, departing from Wellington for the Southern Ocean on December 1st. The other vessel involved in Operation Icefish, the Bob Barker, will depart Melbourne for Hobart in mid-November and leave from Tasmania also on December 1st

"2015 marks the 11th year in which Sea Shepherd will venture South to confront poachers intent on reaping the illegal profits from the rich Southern Ocean. As the sun inches south each day towards the solstice to bring warmth and summer to the Southern Hemisphere, the Sea Shepherd crew are getting their cold weather gear ready in preparation for Antarctica. Be it Whale poachers or Toothfish poachers, Sea Shepherd remains committed to its resolve to protect the Southern Ocean," said Captain Sid Chakravarty.

"New Zealanders are proud of the Sea Shepherd crew and their work defending whales of the Southern Ocean. We welcome this new campaign taking on illegal Toothfish poachers and look forward to hosting them on our shores soon,” said Michael Lawry, Sea Shepherd New Zealand.

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