Daily blogs from the frontlines of the Greenpeace planet down under. 

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  • How well do you know the orangutan?

    Blogpost by MeenaRajput - May 25, 2016 at 11:21

    Next in the series, forests campaigner Richard George shares his 10 favourite facts about one of of our closest living relatives - the orangutan:

    10. Orangutans are ticklish

    There are two kinds of ticklish. There’s the gentle kind that feels itchy and the kind that makes you laugh uncontrollably. Many animals are the first kind of ticklish - it’s an evolutionary behaviour that helps them ward off potentially dangerous animals and insects. But only very few animals are the second kind of ticklish. In fact, it seems to be just us humans and our very closest primate relatives, including the orangutans.   

    Read more >

    9. Orangutans’ arms can be longer than you are tall

    Orangutan’s arms can grow to a reach of seven feet. To put that figure in perspective, think about the height of the tallest pe...

  • How much do you really know about turtles?

    Blogpost by Willie - May 25, 2016 at 9:45

    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.

    Over the years I’ve had the privilege of watching turtles from the bow of Greenpeace ships, and many of my colleagues have encountered these peaceful ocean wanderers far out at sea in the Mediterranean Sea, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

    I’ve also learned a lot of interesting and surprising facts about these enigmatic creatures, and I wanted to share a few of my favourites with you: Read more >

    11. Sea turtles are ancient

    Like, really old. Not just that they live long, but they have existed on earth for an incredible 150 million years. Dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, but the turtles are still with us!

    10. The Leatherback turtle is the world’s fastest moving-reptile

    Cumbersome and sluggish on land, turtles seem as slow as...

  • How much do you know about whales?

    Blogpost by Willie - May 25, 2016 at 9:39

    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.

    Over the years I’ve had the privilege of seeing lots of whales, both from the deck of Greenpeace ships, and also on whale-watching trips. I’ve been lucky enough to see massive humpbacks leaping clean out of the water in Cape Cod, migrating gray whales in California, Orcas chasing salmon in Canada, and even minke and fin whales in glassy-calm British seas.

    I’ve also learned a lot of interesting and surprising things about these ocean giants, and I wanted to share a few of my favourite facts with you: Read more >

    11. Sperm whales have the biggest brain of any animal - ever

    Not only is it the biggest animal with teeth, it’s also got the smarts. The world’s largest true predator has a brain over 5 times heavy as ours.

    10. The biggest ...

  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?

    Blogpost by Fiona Nicholls - May 25, 2016 at 7:38

    Sperm whales beached on the Dutch Island of Texel, Jan 2016

    Noise is the most invisible of all the man-made threats to the ocean, but to whales who ‘see’ by hearing, they simply cannot escape it.

    Water is an excellent medium for relaying sound, enabling some species of whale to communicate across entire oceans. However, during the last century, things have started to get loud in the ocean. Increasingly industrialised, the seas can be an inescapable aural assault for marine life; noise is created by ship engines, seabed drilling, seismic blasting, military sonar use, and bomb testing.

    Hearing and navigational abilities are one and the same for whales, and so if deafened by, say, a bomb going off underwater, their ability to steer away from unsafe shallow waters is hindered, and they may beach.

    Last week, 27 pilot whales were beached ... Read more >

  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action

    Blogpost by Jennifer Morgan - May 24, 2016 at 13:37

    Last week, #BreakFree2016 wrapped up across the globe. Greenpeace joined with many inspiring organisations in a global wave of peaceful actions that lasted for 12 days and took place across six continents to target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.

    In places like the Philippines, Germany and Indonesia, thousands of people gathered together to take action. They occupied mines, blocked rail lines, linked arms, paddled in kayaks and held community meetings in 13 countries.

    Break Free Action in Jakarta: Thousands of people have taken to the streets in a carnival atmosphere to urge the government to end Indonesia’s addiction to coal. 11 May, 2016  © Afriadi Hikmal / Greenpeace

    The wave of activity is stemming from a growing global awareness that the impacts of climate change are real and increasing. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that April 2016 marked the 12th consecutive month of record warmth for the globe. Research released by Greenpeace...

    Read more >
  • Cats love tuna, just a little too much

    Blogpost by Kate Simcock - May 18, 2016 at 9:43

    Aerial view of a FAD at night. The devices also pollute the ocean with ‘ghost’ nets and debris, which wash up on beaches and coral reefs. Photograph: Will Rose/Greenpeace

    Every day, all around the world, people and their pets eat tuna sourced from a Thai seafood conglomerate that has been condemned for destructive fishing methods and a connection to slave labour, including the locking of indentured workers in cages.

    Whether we’re talking about exploiting people or our oceans, until they clean up their supply chain, any seafood from Thai Union should be seen as bad seafood. Thai Union supplies tuna to a whole bunch of major pet brands, including brands owned by MARS like Iams and Whiskas.

    Cat food might not seem like a big deal compared to the tuna human beings eat, but let’s paws a moment and do some calculations.

    We’ll start with New Zealand, it’s a small country, around four and a half million people, one hobbit, and nearly 1.5 million cats. According t... Read more >

  • Break Free 2016. New Castle, Australia

    Break Free was an unprecedented wave of people power.

    Over twelve days, on six continents, in countries all around the world people acted. Individuals, communities, local and international groups all came together to Break Free from fossil fuels.

    In New Zealand, 350 Aotearoa shut down several ANZ branches over several days to pressure the big bank to divest from fossil fuels. Forest & Bird added its weight by threatening to pull its business from ANZ.

    In Germany, thousands with Ende Gelände shut down Europe's largest coal plant — occupying it for over 48 hours and reducing the plant's capacity by 80 percent.

    Hundreds stood up to South Africa's most powerful family with a march that delivered coal to their front door.

    Break Free action in Johannesburg, South Africa: deliver coffin full of coal to Gupta's House. Shayne Robinson | Mutiny Media
    Image credit: Shayne Robinson | Mutiny Media

    10,000 ... Read more >

  • Does MPI help the fishing industry dump on New Zealanders?

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - May 17, 2016 at 15:08

    A historical orange roughy catch

    An explosive report released yesterday by the University of British Columbia and University of Auckland has revealed that the total amount of marine fish caught in New Zealand waters between 1950 and 2010 was 2.7 times more than was officially reported. Unreported commercial catch and discarded fish make up most of the difference.

    Equally troubling, the report suggests the government department in New Zealand responsible for managing the fishery, Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), has helped the industry cover up illegal fishing.

    It looks like the Ministry charged with looking after our oceans, has instead been looking after the short term interests of the fishing industry.

    The report cites an internal MPI report which stated:

    “It is more than sustainability. It is more than the ... Read more >

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