On behalf of my crew, thank you for welcoming us in Taiwan. We are delighted that we're starting the year in one of our newest offices.
Greenpeace is expanding and strengthening our environmental protection work in Asia. We firmly believe that Asia is one of the keys to our campaign to protect our planet for it to support future generations and life in all its diversity.
The Rainbow Warrior and its crew are here in Taiwan to launch our Ocean Defenders tour of East Asia. This tour will take us to different parts of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea. Greenpeace is campaigning for clean and healthy oceans, through the creation of a global network of marine reserves and effective enforcement of laws to protect ocean life. As you probably have read or heard, our oceans are under severe threat from industrial fishing, pollution and global warming. Fish stocks such as tuna are facing collapse, perhaps even the possibility of extinction.
During the Ocean Defenders Tour of East Asia, we will ask governments to support concrete actions to protect our oceans and stop the depletion of species such as tuna.
This tour is historic for us, not just because its our first official tour here, but because we're celebrating the 40th anniversary of Greenpeace this year, and this is part of the last voyage of the current Rainbow Warrior. She will be retired and replaced by a new better-equipped vessel bearing the same name this year.
I and my crew share a very special bond with this ship. She carries with her special memories of our environmental campaign struggles and victories -- ending nuclear tests in the Pacific, providing relief work during the 2004 Asian tsunami.
She's very special because for a good portion of lives, she's been our home. She helped shape our lives. She's not just a ship but a symbol and inspiration for the environmental movement across the world.
This legendary ship quite appropriately got its name from a legend. In this legend a Cree Indian grandmother named Eyes of Fire predicted: "There will come a time when the Earth grows sick and when it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures of the world to heal it....they will be known as Warriors of the Rainbow."
While we are in Taiwan, we will continue to spread our values of non-violence, independence and bearing witness to environmental problems. We will ask Taiwanese people to help protect our planet, be part a of Greenpeace and become Rainbow Warriors.
Thank you for joining us.
This speech was made by Mike Finken, Captain of the Rainbow Warrior, as the ship arrrived in Taiwan this weekend.