World’s Only Whaling Mother Ship to Retire, Replacement Being Constructed

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The whaling mother ship Nisshin Maru arrives at Sendai Port in Sendai on Sunday.

The world’s only whaling mother ship, which will be taken out of operation in November due to aging, arrived at Sendai Port in Sendai on Sunday.

A ceremony was held to commemorate the Nisshin Maru’s last days, and the ship’s interior was opened to the press after the event.

A whaling mother ship is responsible for loading whales caught by small vessels, disassembling them and freezing the whale meat.

The Nisshin Maru is 130 meters long, 20 meters wide and weighs 8,145 tons. It was constructed in 1987. Serving as the core of Japan’s whaling research, the vessel has made 27 voyages to the Antarctic Ocean.

The ship will leave Sendai Port on Aug.13, operate off of Tohoku and Hokkaido, and be retired at Shimonoseki Port in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in November.

Tokyo-based whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Co., which owns the vessel, is constructing a new mother ship, the Kangei Maru, to replace the Nisshin Maru. Construction is scheduled to be completed in March next year.