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

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  • Fuel slick hundreds of miles from land

    Blogpost by Andrew Davies - September 18, 2015 at 11:53

    My dawn lookout watch was going well. Strong, fresh breeze coming almost straight at us. Spotted a few flying fish. In the distance, an area of flatter water. Odd. Maybe a patch with less wind? Then, faintly at first, a whiff of diesel fuel.

    I ran and grabbed Maite, an experienced deckhand. “Quickly, come to the bow. We need to check something”. At first she was skeptical, not smelling anything. Then she pointed, “Oh no, look at this”. Ahead of us was a rainbow coloured fuel slick, probably over 200 square meters of it, out in the middle of the ocean.

    Paul Hilton /GREENPEACE

    Using fish holds as fuel tanks

    Just yesterday, Lauren (a food blogger who sailed with us on the first leg of this trip) shared the story that some tuna fishing ships allegedly store both fuel and fish in the same hold (flushing it with se... Read more >

  • Nauru calling for overhaul of Pacific fisheries following Greenpeace bust

    Blogpost by Kate Simcock - September 18, 2015 at 11:51

    Today Nauru became the third Pacific Island State to stand up for conservation and ban transshipping in its waters.  That’s a big stand for the smallest state in the South Pacific, especially in the face of significant pressure from the many foreign fishing fleets sniffing around and competing for fish.  

    It’s definitely worth celebrating. 

    In you and me speak, transshipping is when tonnes of frozen fish are transferred between boats – usually from a longliner to a big refrigerated mothership, which then takes the fish away for processing, so the longliner can keep on fishing. 

    It can be convenient, but it’s also an easy way to take the transparency out of tuna fishing and allow companies to get around the law.  

    Sometimes the motherships also provide the longliners with fuel and food. ... Read more >

  • Paul Hilton has watched countless sharks have the fins sliced from their bodies, some of them still alive and left to suffer an excruciating death.

    The thought almost brings him to tears.

    The conservation photojournalist is on board the Rainbow Warrior on its Pacific tour to document the out of control tuna fishing industry, that is not only leading to a scary decline in tuna stocks, but contributes to hundreds of thousands of sharks being killed for their fins every year.

    Paul has dedicated the last decade of his life to investigating and exposing this cruel industry in an effort to give the apex predators one more shot.

    But with some shark species down by as much as 90%, time is running out.

    “Sharks basically regulate the world’s oceans,” says Paul. “If they die, we’re in big trouble... Read more >

  • FADs – Floating Atoll Destroyers

    Blogpost by Dr. Cat Dorey - September 18, 2015 at 9:19

    The remote island atolls of St François and Farquhar are part of the Alphonse and Farquhar outer island groups in the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Like most of the Seychelles, these atolls are important nesting sites for sea birds and sea turtles, and are surrounded by some of the world's healthiest and most intact coral reefs. There is a small settlement on Farquhar atoll, but St François has no human inhabitants.

    In my mind, coral atolls like these have embodied a tropical paradise, untouched by human hand. How wrong could I be? When I went to the Seychelles last year, I discovered that even in these remote places the tuna industry is causing trouble.

    Yep, it's those FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices ) again, although I know a few less flattering acronyms to describe them!... Read more >

  • Reality check required on world's forests

    Blogpost by Greg Norman - September 17, 2015 at 14:34

    Such is the gap between World Forestry Congresses (5 years) that it prompted one of the facilitators to describe it as the forestry sector's Olympics and World Cup rolled into one.

    Taking place in Durban last week, the United Nations-funded event brings together politicians, scientists, civil society and other experts. This, the 14th iteration, is very much trying to create an air of positivity with regards to how we manage and protect the planet's forested area.

    Tree in DRC Rainforest. 15 Mar, 2008 © Thomas Einberger / argum / Greenpeace

    Drawing on the official event slogan of "Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future" proceedings opened with much fanfare and the headline findings from a report sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that claims the rate at which we are losing forests globally has halved in the last 25 years. The... Read more >

  • Delivering renewable energy for all: Let's go all the way!

    Blogpost by Daniel Mittler - September 17, 2015 at 14:30

    Children in Dharnai Village in India. 22 Jun, 2014 © Vivek M. / Greenpeace

    Little has been transformed more in recent years than the world of energy. It's hard to think of a sector that has undergone more changes in the years between the 2000 launch of the Millennium Development Goals and the new 2015 Sustainable Development Goals that will be formally endorsed at a global Summit at UN Headquarters this September.

    There is now 15 times more solar power and three times more wind power in the world than in 2007. On a global level, more clean power capacity is being installed than coal, oil, and gas put together. Solar power is growing faster than even we at Greenpeace predicted, and renewables are now the cheapest way to provide additional electricity in an ever-growing number of countries. In other words: renewable energy is winning the race against fossil fuels... Read more >

  • Block the Offer to Stop Deep Sea Oil

    Blogpost by Genevieve Toop - September 17, 2015 at 13:19

    From now until the 30th of October local councils, iwi and hapū around New Zealand have the opportunity to take a position on deep sea oil drilling off our coast.

    Every year the Government via NZ Petroleum and Minerals (NZPAM) proposes “block offers”. The ‘blocks’ are  huge swathes of our land, ocean and seabed that the Government wants to open up the following year to international oil companies to explore for oil and gas. The area that the Government has offered up this time - “Block Offer 2016” - is massive.  It is twice the size of New Zealand’s whole landmass, and includes nearly a quarter of the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary where the critically endangered Maui dolphins live. 

               Block Offer 2016

    But before the Government sells off our oceans they have asked for submission... Read more >

  • Matt Stoios is a man who has seen the world from many different perspectives, but mostly from above.

    A good natured Aussie bloke from Melbourne, you can find the Rainbow Warrior helicopter pilot in the skies over the Pacific Ocean, as he scours the seas for evidence of destructive tuna fishing.

    But, as Matt explains, becoming part of a campaign to fight out-of-control tuna fishing has seen him do a full circle in his life.

    We sit in the lounge area of the Warrior during a small break in a heavy work-day so that I can grill him about his experiences. It’s been particularly topsy-turvy weather and we’re all feeling a bit green around the gills, but the show must go on.

    He starts from the beginning. Soon after finishing high school, Matt set his heart on training as a helicopter pilot. Read more >


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