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RV Farley Mowat was a long-range, ice class ship. Originally built as a Norwegian fisheries research and enforcement vessel, she was purchased by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Edinburgh, Scotland, in August 1996. Originally named Sea Shepherd III, the name was changed in 1999 to Ocean Warrior, before eventually being renamed in 2002 after Canadian writer Farley Mowat.[4]

Farley Mowat at Docklands, Melbourne, Australia.jpg
Farley Mowat at Docklands, Melbourne, Australia
Name: Johan Hjort
Port of registry:  Norway
Builder: Mjellem & Karlsen, Bergen, Norway
Yard number: 79
Launched: 1956
In service: 1957
Out of service: 1983
Identification:IMO number5172602
Name: Skandi Ocean
Port of registry:  Norway
Acquired: 1983
Identification:IMO number5172602
Name: STM Ocean
Port of registry:  Norway
Acquired: 1990
Identification:IMO number5172602
Name: Cam Vulcan
Port of registry:  Norway
Acquired: 1990
Identification:IMO number5172602
Name: Sea Shepherd (1997),[1][2] Ocean Warrior (2000), Farley Mowat (2002)
Owner: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Port of registry:  Canada (2002),  UK (2006),  Belize (2006), (2007),  Netherlands (2008)
Acquired: August 1996
Out of service: 2008
Identification:IMO number5172602
Fate: Impounded in 2008 and sold at auction by the Canadian Government in 2009[3]
Owner: Green Ship LLC[3]
Acquired: November 2009
Identification:IMO number5172602
Status: Retrofit for Pacific Gyre studies; abandoned due to financial difficulties
Owner: Tracy Dodds
Acquired: March 2013
Identification:IMO number5172602
Fate: Purchased for demolition
Status: Laid up at Shelburne NS
General characteristics
Tonnage: 648 gross register tons (GRT)
Displacement: 657 long tons (668 t)
Length: 52.4 m (172 ft)
Beam: 9.3 m (31 ft)
Ice class: Yes
Installed power: 1,400 hp (1,000 kW)
Propulsion: Variable-pitch propeller
Speed: 10 kts

She was the flagship of Sea Shepherd's fleet until seized by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans off the coast of Newfoundland in April 2008. She was sold for C$5,000 by court order in November 2009,[3] to Green Ship LLC, a company headquartered in Oregon. During 2010 she was moored in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, undergoing refit for operation as an expedition vessel for research in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.[5] However, by 2011 the ship was on the market again, to cover unpaid docking fees, and was eventually sold in March 2013.[6] The vessel, stripped of her superstructure having been purchased for scrap, sank at her berth at Shelburne, Nova Scotia in June 2015 and was subsequently raised. The vessel remained laid up at Shelburne until July 2017, when the hulk was taken away to be broken up.



The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society used the vessel to monitor international waters for violations of international fisheries agreements. Farley Mowat officially began her career in the waters off Costa Rica, immersed in controversy over policing actions against illegal fishing activities.

In March and April 2008, Farley Mowat was involved in controversy related to the 2008 Canadian commercial seal hunt. On 12 April 2008, Fisheries and Oceans Canada seized Farley Mowat in the Cabot Strait after the ship came near the seal hunt without an observation permit and two collisions with a coast guard vessel occurred.[7][8] During the raid, the captain and first officer were arrested and later charged for the incident.[9][10]

While seized, Farley Mowat was held by Fisheries and Oceans Canada at Sydney, Nova Scotia until put up for sale.[11] The location of the ship at the time of the seizure is controversial.[8] The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society claims the ship was seized illegally in international waters. The Canadian Fisheries minister claims that the ship was seized in Canadian waters, but also that the Fisheries Act gave him authority to order the boarding outside Canada's territorial waters zone of 12 nautical miles (22 km).[12]

The captain and first officer made a court appearance on 1 May 2008.[13] On 2 July 2008, they entered a plea of not guilty to coming too close to sealers. Convicted in absentia in June 2009 on two counts each of approaching within 926 metres (0.575 mi) of a seal hunt, the pair were sentenced on 10 September 2009 to fines totaling C$45,000.[14]

MV Fundy Paradise, CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, RV Farley Mowat, Sydport Nova Scotia, March 2009

On 27 February 2009, the Canadian Crown-in-Council announced that Farley Mowat was being put up for sale to cover approximately C$500,000 in berthing fees accrued since the April 2008 seizure.[15] Subsequently, Farley Mowat was reportedly sold for C$50,000, but the buyer did not complete the transaction. As of September 2009 the ship was still in the possession of the Canadian government and continued to accrue berthing fees.[14] Sea Shepherd later stated that the seizure of the ship had been expected and, in fact, encouraged. Therefore, she had been used in provocation, with the full intention to have the Canadian government end up with, in their opinion, a more or less worthless vessel.[16]

Farley Mowat arrived in Halifax on 18 December 2009 for refit and was towed to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia where she was tied up as of February 2010.[17] It was reported[18] in November 2009 that the vessel has been sold for the sum of C$5,000 to the Green Ship LLC subsidiary of Stephen Munson's organization Tenthmil to be used in a survey of the North Pacific Gyre.[5] As of August 2010, Farley Mowat remained berthed in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia for a refit under the direction of Cliff Hodder.[19][20] In early 2013, with unpaid docking fees on the order of C$90,000 and Green Ship LLC apparently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, the ship was sold at a sheriff's auction to an undisclosed buyer.[6] The buyer was later identified as Tracy Dodds of Eastern Scrap and Demolition Services, a Halifax-based company; the purchase price was C$9,200.[21] The vessel sat in Lunenburg for several months, during which the superstructure was removed, before being evicted by the Lunenburg Waterfront Development Corporation for non-payment of docking fees. In early September 2013, Farley Mowat was towed to Shelburne, Nova Scotia, on the way to Meteghan, Nova Scotia, where she would be scrapped.[22]

On 24 June 2015, Farley Mowat sank at her berth and came to rest on the bottom of the harbour.[23] The vessel was subsequently refloated and 2,000 litres (440 imp gal; 530 US gal) of pollutants were removed, with the Canadian Coast Guard incurring costs of some C$815,000.[24][25] Owner Tracy Dodds was found to be in contempt of court for failing to remove the vessel or pay C$10,000 in penalties and fees.[24] On 3 August 2016, Dodds was arrested in Wolfville, Nova Scotia on contempt charges and subsequently served 20 days in jail.[25]

As of 29 December 2016, Farley Mowat hulk remained docked in Shelburne, with over C$130,000 in docking fees owing.[26] In June 2017, the Canadian Coast Guard informed Shelburne city staff that the vessel would be removed in the following weeks to be broken up.[27] On 26 July 2017, the hulk was towed away by Atlantic Towing under contract from the Canadian Coast Guard to be broken up at Liverpool, Nova Scotia.[28]


Farley Mowat registered under the Canadian flag in April 2002. In October of the same year, the government suspended her registration. The complete record of registration is unclear, but the latest record under Canadian Vessel Registration Query System is closing on 20 November 2006.[29]

The United Kingdom revoked the ship's registration in early December 2006; the same day it was issued. Sea Shepherd then received registration for her in Belize on 19 December 2006. Ten days later, on 29 December 2006, Farley Mowat cleared Australian Customs in Hobart, Tasmania, only hours before Belize struck her flag.[citation needed]

During 2007, the ship operated without an officially recognised registration flag. In May 2007, Sea Shepherd issued a press release stating that the Mohawk long house of the Iroquois Confederacy, in response to the Canadian government action, had agreed to the ship (and Sea Shepherd's other ship Robert Hunter) flying their flag.[30][31] It was not clear if this was recognised as a registration by port authorities as the body is not internationally recognised as a country.

The vessel was registered in the Netherlands in 2008.[11]


In January 2015, Sea Shepherd USA purchased two recently decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard 110-foot (34 m) Island-class patrol boats, one of which has been christened the MY Farley Mowat.[32]

In popular cultureEdit


  1. ^ "Miramar Ship Index – IMO 5172602". Retrieved 24 January 2010.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Ship Photos – Sea Shepherd". 6 June 1997. Archived from the original on 30 August 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Her Majesty The Queen v. The Ship "M.V. Farley Mowat" et al, 812 Montréal Court Registrar pages 238–240, Court Number T-1863-08 (Federal Court, Canada 9 November 2009) ("Court Decision: Montréal 09-NOV-2009 BEFORE Richard Morneau, Esq., Prothonotary Language: E Before the Court: Motion Doc. No. 24 on behalf of Plaintiff Result of Hearing: Matter granted held in Court Senior Usher: Monique David Duration per day: 09-NOV-2009 from 09:34 to 09:39 Courtroom : Courtroom 334 – Montréal Court Registrar: Emmanuelle Belice Total Duration: 5min Appearances: Me Jean-Robert Noiseux 613-946-2780 representing Plaintiff Comments: The Court signed the draft Order submitted by the Plaintiff on the bench Minutes of Hearing entered in Vol. 812 page(s) 238 – 240 Abstract of Hearing placed on file. Document 24, Recorded Entry Summary: Notice of Motion contained within a Motion Record on behalf of Plaintiff returnable at General Sitting in Montréal on 09-NOV-2009 to begin at 09:30 duration: – language: E for an order pursuant to Rule 490 of the FCR ordering the sale of the ship "M.V. FARLEY MOWAT" to Green Ship LLC for an amount of $5000. filed on 06-NOV-2009").
  4. ^ "Sealing activists bailed out with bag of toonies". 14 April 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
  5. ^ a b Pottie, Erin (12 November 2009). "MV Farley Mowat will have new purpose". Cape Breton Post. Archived from the original on 1 December 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Former anti-sealing ship sold at sheriff's sale". Halifax Chronicle-Herald. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  7. ^ Associated Press (1 April 2008). "Sea Shepherd and coast guard ships collide". Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 January 2011
  8. ^ a b "Where, precisely, was the Farley Mowat?". Archived from the original on 4 November 2012.
  9. ^ "2 crew members arrested as anti-sealing vessel seized". CBC News. 12 April 2008.
  10. ^ "Anti-sealing activists appear in court". CBC News. 13 April 2008. Archived from the original on 14 April 2008.
  11. ^ a b "Anti-seal hunt protesters decry Canada's 'act of war' in seizing their vessel". Archived from the original on 4 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Crew maintain seizure broke international law". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 13 April 2008.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "N.S. court grants bail to anti-sealing activists". CBC News. 13 April 2008.
  14. ^ a b "Seal Savers Sentenced for "Egregious Crime" of Seeing a Seal Slain". 10 September 2009. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010.
  15. ^ "Federal government selling sealing protest vessel". CBC News. 27 February 2009. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009.
  16. ^ "The Tar Baby Farley Case is Now Closed". Archived from the original on 23 January 2010.
  17. ^ "Farley Mowat back in town". Shipfax.
  18. ^ "MV Farley Mowat will have new purpose". Cape Breton Post.
  19. ^ "Ex-SSCS ship 'Farley Mowat' to continue working for ocean conservation". Retrieved 11 July 2011.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "The Farley Mowat Receives a Boarding Party". Tenthmil. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  21. ^ "Anti-sealing ship may be destined for the scrapyard". The Chronicle-Herald. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  22. ^ "Booted from Lunenburg, MV Farley Mowat hulk arrives in Shelburne". The Shelburne County Coast Guard. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  23. ^ "MV Farley Mowat focus of Coast Guard containment after sinking". 25 June 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  24. ^ a b "Owner of once notorious MV Farley Mowat found in contempt of court". CTV News Atlantic. The Canadian Press. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Tracy Dodds, owner of derelict Farley Mowat, arrested". 4 August 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  26. ^ "Town of Shelburne Continues Fight To Remove Farley Mowat Vessel". 29 December 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  27. ^ Julian, Jack (16 June 2017). "Coast guard to tow derelict vessel Farley Mowat from Shelburne wharf". CBC News. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  28. ^ "Farewell, Farley: Shelburne celebrates removal of MV Farley Mowat". CBC News. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  29. ^ "Details for registered vessel FARLEY MOWAT (O.N. 823176)". 1 December 2016.
  30. ^ Sea Shepherd Conservation Trust. "Sea Shepherd Receives the Flag of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy". Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2007.
  31. ^ "As It Happens". 19 June 2007. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012.
  32. ^ "Sea Shepherd Welcomes the Farley Mowat and the Jules Verne to its Fleet". Sea Shepherd Global. 2 June 2015. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.

External linksEdit