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

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  • A new chapter for Arctic oil? Not on our watch.

    Blogpost by Sophie Allain - June 9, 2016 at 7:38

    The 18th May 2016 was just an ordinary Wednesday for most. But for the petroleum industry in the Arctic, it was the "start of a new chapter".

    If Arctic oil were a fiction novel it would make a particularly dark drama, with no shortage of tragic irony. Sadly it is a very real threat - and it certainly does not need a new chapter.

    In fact the whole oily saga has been overly drawn out for several decades and the plot is looking thinner and thinner: Shell pulled out of the Arctic last year with their tail between their legs; oil production in Norway has halved since the turn of the century; crude oil prices have plummeted to less than half of June 2014 levels; and earlier this year a bunch of big oil companies, including Conoco Philips and Shell, quietly relinquished claims they once hoped wo... Read more >

  • What happens in the Arctic affects us all

    Blogpost by Kirsten Thompson - June 8, 2016 at 11:13

    Narwhals breaching in icy waters in the US.  © Glenn Williams / National Institute of Standards and Technology

    The Arctic is a remote wilderness that is home to some of the most iconic, and threatened, wildlife on Earth, including polar bears, narwhal and Arctic foxes. Few of us have been lucky enough to explore the expanses of sea ice, glaciers or ice-sheets, yet we are inextricably linked to this vast region and it plays an integral role in our global climate system. Rising temperatures in the Arctic region appear to be influencing weather systems in other areas of the world, though the details of the complex processes involved are unclear.

    The Arctic region is warming at more than twice the rate of other areas of the world in a phenomenon known as 'Arctic amplification'. The sea ice is melting earlier and the total area of summer sea ice has, on average, fallen markedly over the last 30 years.... Read more >

  • Taking the Spin out of Fishing

    Blogpost by Tim McKinnel - June 4, 2016 at 12:30

    On 16 May 2016, a long awaited report into New Zealand’s fisheries hit the inboxes of media, politicians, and fishing industry bosses. It was complex, detailed, and it was damning. In addition to data suggesting our oceans were being plundered, there were reports within reports that were suggestive of a benevolent and toothless regulator allowing a misbehaving industry to act with impunity.

    The ‘catch reconstruction report’, released by the University of British Columbia, found that the total amount of marine fish caught in New Zealand from 1950 to 2010 was 2.7 times more than recorded by official statistics. It started a firestorm, making headlines throughout New Zealand and internationally. Social media was abuzz with condemnation of the industry and the government, and greenies, recreat...

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  • Your voice will reach the Arctic

    Blogpost by Pilar Marcos - June 3, 2016 at 11:48

    Officers look out the window where Greenpeace activists have deployed a banner to call for Arctic protection. The action is carried out on the day that a group of countries, within an organisation called OSPAR (Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic), are meeting to agree on a long term protection for the Arctic region.  © Pedro Armestre / Greenpeace

    If you're reading this, you're probably one of eight million people who dream of there being a sanctuary in the Arctic. And a year ago, you quite likely had a good feeling when you discovered that your voice, combined with others', really works. By joining together we managed to force one of the biggest oil companies in the world to abandon the Arctic. Shell had millions of dollars and a host of lawyers but we had the passion of millions of people.

    There are 18 days left before the OSPAR commission decides whether or not to protect a small piece of the Arctic. These international waters should be part of the heritage that belongs to the world, not to oil companies or fishing industries. Before our very eyes we can see how climate change is opening up a new ocean, which is still the least... Read more >

  • Taking 400,000 people on a trip to the Indian Ocean

    Blogpost by Tom Lowe - June 2, 2016 at 15:01

    It was a sunny afternoon in April when the Esperanza left port in Madagascar six weeks ago. Its mission: to hunt down Thai Union’s destructive fishing operations in the Indian Ocean.

    Perhaps because of everything achieved since then, it seems longer ago. In these past weeks we've hauled dozens of so-called fish aggregating devices (FADs) from the ocean – almost 100 buoys and many hundreds of metres of rope, nets and fishing lines.

    We’ve paddled alongside local Malagasy fishermen and witnessed first-hand how they struggle to make a living as fish stocks come under increasing threat from industrial operations.

    We’ve stopped supply vessels deploying harmful fishing gear and we’ve confronted, then chased, a reckless fishing vessel, which was evidently gathering fish with highly controversial...

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  • This court victory in Indonesia could send shock waves across the fashion world

    Blogpost by Ahmad Ashov Birry - June 1, 2016 at 16:28

    Indonesia’s textile industry is worth a whopping US$20 billion, and supplies global fashion brands around the world. It has also left a huge environmental footprint. But a recent court victory could change everything. The question is: will big fashion brands catch up fast enough?

    A boy passes by a rice paddy field that faces crop failure caused by polluted water.A boy passes by a rice paddy field that faces crop failure caused by polluted water.

    I remember the first time I came to Rancaekek district, on the Indonesian island of Java. It was in 2011 during the dry season. This area is one of the many industrial areas in along the Citarum river - considered one of the most polluted waterways in the world. I saw a black river and thousands of hectares of rice fields that couldn’t be planted anymore. They had been irrigated for far too long with water from a tributary of t... Read more >

  • Artivists take to the seas to save the Arctic

    Blogpost by Mike Fincken - June 1, 2016 at 9:46

    My name is Mike and was one of the three judges of the #SaveTheArctic poster competition. What an honour it has been! We've just chosen the top entries and soon I will meet the three lucky young winners; Anastasia, 21, from Russia; Sara, 18, from Spain; and Emile, 20, from Canada. It will be my pleasure, as captain of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, to welcome them on board for a voyage to the Arctic where the sun will never set.

    Arctic poster competition winner. 2016 © Anastasiya Terekhova / Greenpeace Arctic poster competition winner. 2016 © Sara Medina Rodriguez / Greenpeace Arctic poster competition winner. 2016 © Emile Maheu / GreenpeaceArctic poster competition winners.

    I followed the competition closely and can confidently say that I've seen every single one of the over 2000 original posters from people in 75 countries around the world. I've tweeted some of my favourites along the way, like Bear Walks into a Bar.

    There were other funny ones – like giraffes poking their heads above the... Read more >

  • Turning ocean destruction into brighter ideas

    Blogpost by Tom Lowe - June 1, 2016 at 9:37

    Deployed in their thousands and killing non-target species in their millions, fish aggregating devices (FADs) are a scourge to our oceans, devastating marine life to supply companies like Thai Union.

    Made up of nets, metal and bamboo frames, buoys and ribbon, these marine snares also have beacons which tell their owners where they are and often the amount of sea life that has gathered beneath them. This bundle of electronics is made up of rechargeable batteries, solar panels, LED lights and circuitry.

    But it’s not just the damage they do at sea – this gear often ends up either in huge trash heaps on land, or washed up on reefs. So, while the crew of the Greenpeace ship Esperanza have been recovering and dismantling every one that we find in the Indian Ocean, our enterprising on-board wh... Read more >

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