The latest assessment of the Sea Shepherd’s fleet raised numerous issues. To correct these issues, and consider ongoing maintenance, Sea Shepherd Global’s Board of Directors decided to retire the notorious vessel.
On December 7, 2007, Teri Irwin and I launched the M/V Steve Irwin, a vessel that would be our flagship for the next decade. It has been my honour to have been captain of this vessel for so many successful high seas campaigns.
Sea Shepherd's Founder, Captain Paul Watson stated.
Furthermore, he added that it would not be wise to risk the lives of their crew beyond the boundaries of practicality.
Battle scarred and damaged, regrettably she must be retired, but the memories, the campaign victories and the lives saved will be the lasting legacy of a ship that was as valiant and courageous as her namesake.
The Captain concluded.
The M/Y Steve Irwin’s final journey will be to a Hong Kong Convention approved recycling facility, meaning it meets international labour and environmental regulations.
Before the ship is retired, all equipment of value, like radios and radar, will be removed and dispersed appropriately around the fleet.
The M/Y Steve Irwin will pass the flag to the M/Y Ocean Warrior, to become the flagship of Sea Shepherd’s global fleet, which consists of 11 seafaring vessels, and other smaller boats, which makes up the world’s largest private navy.
The MY Ocean Warrior is a cutter-class vessel which has already been used in Sea Shepherd’s direct-action campaigns against whaling and against illegal fisheries activities.
On July, 2016, after 18 months of construction by Dutch shipbuilding company, Damen, Ocean Warrior was lowered into the waters of Antalya Harbour in Turkey and her maiden voyage was part of 'Operation Nemesis' in the Southern Ocean.