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

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  • Deepwater drilling in New Zealand in deep trouble

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - January 15, 2015 at 9:01

    It looks like the Government’s plans to open up New Zealand’s deep and clean oceans to dangerous deepwater drilling could be in deep trouble.

    Today’s Herald reports that plunging global oil prices have forced explorers to scale back plans in New Zealand. This is not breaking news as such, as the price of oil has been collapsing over the last six months, but we are now starting to see what this actually means for the oil industry. And it’s bad news for them and the Government.

    With oil now below $50 a barrel, plans for drilling in risky areas like the Arctic and off our coastlines are looking shakier than the Wellington fault line. The thing is, not only is deepwater drilling dangerous, it’s also very, very expensive. And oil giants looking to drill in New Zealand, like Anadarko and Statoi...

    Read more >
  • 7 Resolutions for #OceanLovers

    Blogpost by Veronica Frank - January 13, 2015 at 10:12

    An Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) swims in the open blue ocean of the Pacific. 10/16/2011 © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

    One week in to 2015, and even though some New Year’s resolutions will already have fallen by the wayside, we all need to urgently think about one more resolution: 

    The resolution to protect the oceans and all its beautiful whales, turtles, tunas and sharks.

    I don’t need to tell you that the oceans are under threat. Overfishing, pollution and climate change are taking their toll on all ocean creatures. So let’s resolve to save them.

    We’ve come up with our favourite resolutions for #OceanLovers like us. 

    Which is your favourite? Let us know in a comment or tweet. And feel free to suggest your own (on Twitter or Instagram, use the hashtag #OceanLovers and we’ll retweet it). 

    And guess what? We’re going to share your responses with UN delegates at a critical meeting this January. Read mo... Read more >

  • Busan Fish Market in South Korea The Sajo fish company building beside the main fish market in Busan. 06/25/2011 © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert / Greenpeace

    As a country with so much invested in high-tech export earnings, Korea’s out-of-control distant water fishing industry must be starting to give its politicians and business leaders ulcers. The Oyang 75 sitting in Montevideo, Uruguay, after fishing just beyond the border of Argentinean waters, demands international attention.

    The blacklisted ship is owned by Korean fishing company Sajo Oyang. Or is it? The infamous vessel had been legally forfeited to the New Zealand government. Sajo paid a bond for its release, and continued to control and operate it out of reach of NZ authorities, who they now owe over NZ $400,000 in unpaid fines. This has been going on for years – and it’s high time Oyang 75 was seized and scrapped or sold to responsible owners.

    Sajo Oyang has certainly demonstrated ... Read more >

  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’

    Blogpost by Heather Braid - December 17, 2014 at 11:06

    North Cape Sunset

    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so I jumped at the chance to be involved.

    We left from Houhora and rounded Cape Reinga. It took us an entire day to get out to the survey site and on the way our first mate Nick showed me how to steer the boat, which was important because we all had to take turns doing this during the trip. Twice on the way, we had dolphins come up and swim along side the boat. The next time we saw dolphins, we had hydrophones in the water recording close to where the Aquila Explorer was doing its seismic testing for Statoil.

    Dolphins alongside the SV-Vega

    Seismic testing involves a ship firing off repeated sound blasts day an... Read more >

  • Statoil’s deafening silence

    Blogpost by Phil Crawford - December 12, 2014 at 16:25

    Seismic Survey Map

    Statoil has seen a lot of Greenpeace this week but so far its staying schtum in response to New Zealanders calling on it to ‘go home’.

    However, that deafening silence does not extend to the deep waters off the Northland coast right at the moment.

    Statoil has started its search for oil, about 120 west of Cape Reinga, using noisy seismic testing. Evidence from marine scientists around the world suggests that seismic testing is bad for whales and dolphins.

    Seismic testing is the first step of oil exploration. Before the oil rigs even arrive, before the drills go in the seabed, companies must first determine where to find the oil, if there is any. The process is done from a ship firing off repeated sound blasts day and night sometimes over weeks or months. The blasts, created by underwater... Read more >

  • Statoil: Licensed to Spill

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - December 10, 2014 at 15:34

    Statoil Offices Boarded Up

    This morning Greenpeace activists barricaded shut Statoil’s new Wellington office before the Norwegian oil giant has fully opened for business.

    And the reason: to send a very clear message to Norway that New Zealanders don’t want Statoil here drilling for deep sea oil, putting our environment and economy at risk.

    Activists blocked the entry by adding extra locks to the front door and boarding it up with planks and a sign reading ‘Go Home Statoil’. The sign, featuring Maori motifs, was designed by members of Northland iwi that are opposed to deep sea oil exploration off their coast.

    Today’s action comes a day after Energy and Resources minister Simon Bridges opened up vast new areas of our ocean (including maui’s dolphin habitat) and forest parks to oil drilling. Statoil has picked up... Read more >

  • Shell's Arctic drilling team just pleaded GUILTY

    Blogpost by Ben - December 10, 2014 at 6:38

    Read more >

    Shell and its allies cannot be trusted to drill in the Arctic. Their reputation took another hammering last night when Noble Drilling, Shell’s sub-contractor, plead guilty to a staggering eight felony charges relating to environmental and safety violations on board the vessels Noble Discoverer and Kulluk (which it operated on behalf of Shell) in the Alaskan Arctic in 2012. Noble will pay a $12.2m fine, has been placed on probation for four years and must upgrade all of its plans to meet safety and environmental protection requirements.

    This really is bad news for Shell as it gears up for another crack at the Arctic next summer. Pretty much everything that could go wrong in 2012 did go wrong, and this is yet more evidence that Shell is simply not up to the challenge of operating in ...

  • Typhoon Hagupit © NASA Goddard MODIS

    As Typhoon Hagupit hits the Philippines, one of the biggest peacetime evacuations in history has been launched to prevent a repeat of the massive loss of life which devastated communities when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the same area just over a year ago.

    "One of the biggest evacuations in peacetime" strikes a sickening chord. Is this peacetime or are we at war with nature?

    I was about to head to Lima, when I got a call to come to the Philippines to support our office and its work around Typhoon Hagupit (which means lash). In Lima another round of the UN climate talks are underway to negotiate a global treaty to prevent catastrophic climate change. A truce of sorts with nature.

    But these negotiations have been going on far too long, with insufficient urgency and too much behind the scene... Read more >

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