Sea Shepherd Crew to Ride "Godzilla" Into Battle Against Japanese Whalers

It's either a brilliantly clever new title or a hugely offensive one. Either way, the anti-whaling San Juan Island-based conservation group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has a new ship that it plans to unleash in its fight against Japanese whalers and it's called "Gojira" or "Godzilla" to anyone who's not a fanboy or from Japan.

Sea Shepherd is led by early Greenpeace member Paul Watson and uses direct action tactics to disrupt whaling ships, like boarding the ships and chaining their own boat or their crew members to it, all while videotaping every move. The group's efforts have been popularized on the Animal Planet show "Whale Wars."

The new ship comes as a replacement to the crew's old ship, the Ady Gill, which had its front end smashed off when it collided with a whaling boat in the Antarctic Sea.

Here's that collision.

The 115-foot Godzilla is a trimaran style vessel that looks a lot like the Ady Gill with its sleek curves and fast engine.

It was launched on Monday in Fremantle, Australia amid much fanfare and with a different paint job than early photos showed it.

Inexplicably, the ship seems again to offer no outward protection from the high pressured water hoses that seem to greet the Sea Shepherd crews wherever they go.

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