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

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  • A few moments ago, fifty polar bears entered and occupied Cairn Energy's headquarters in Edinburgh, England. Their purpose? To look for Cairn's elusive Arctic oil spill response plan, and to take your messages to the heart of the company.

    The fragile world of the Arctic - home to the Polar bear, the Narwhal whale and scores of other species found nowhere else on Earth, as well as to four million humans who rely on the unique balance of nature for their economy and survival - is under threat.

    As the ice melts, oil companies are moving in to extract more of the fossil fuels that caused the melt in the first place. Cairn is spearheading this new oil rush at the top of the world, drilling in sites that are as deep as the Macondo well that ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico.

    But above... Read more >

  • Campaigning to save the oceans by changing European fishing

    Blogpost by Genevieve Quirk - July 15, 2011 at 14:56

    A few months ago I lived on an Australian beach with rainforest for a backyard. Why would I leave this behind to work in rainy Belgium? Because some time ago, having largely emptied their own seas, super-sized European fishing boats began plundering Pacific waters. One of the only ways to stop them is to fix the European Union’s fishing rules.

    A once-in-a-decade shake-up of these rules, known as the Common Fisheries Policy, started today in Brussels. For the next couple of years, members of the European Parliament and their corresponding governments, including large fishing nations like Spain, will battle it out until the new rules are finally agreed.


    A Greenpeace inflatable takes on the Dutch supertrawler Willem van der Zwan in 2010 off the coast of Mauritania, in West Afri...
  • Shark finning – for shame, New Zealand!

    Blogpost by Karli Thomas - July 13, 2011 at 17:01

    You've got to wonder what sort of barbaric backwater you're living in when Taiwan overtakes your country in its efforts to crack down on shark finning.

    The last few of weeks have brought some great news for the world's sharks. Fiji's Ministry of Fisheries has announced it is drafting legislation, which it hopes will be adopted by the end of the year, banning all trade in shark meat. Fiji, known for its world class shark diving, will join Palau as a champion for sharks in the Pacific. French Polynesia, American Samoa and Australia also have legislation banning shark finning, and Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands both banned finning earlier this year.

    Shark finning is already banned in the eastern Pacific Ocean by the fisheries management organisation IATCC and last week Chile joined ... Read more >

  • The Fin Brothers – sharks saving tuna

    Blogpost by Phil Crawford - July 13, 2011 at 11:21

    The Greenpeace campaign to protect Pacific tuna stocks from overfishing has been given a boost with the arrival of the Fin Brothers. We caught up with Clark (the brains) and Bruce (who refers to himself as the good looking one), during some brief downtime in their hectic schedule, to talk about tuna, movies and sundried tomatoes.

    GP: So guys, welcome to New Zealand. What brings you here?

    Bruce: Ocean currents (laughs).

    Clark: Thanks Bruce I’ll handle this one. We’ve seen a lot of problems in tuna fisheries around the world so I guess you could call us tuna experts. We never really expected to be down here though as the Pacific used to have a reputation for being the last relatively healthy tuna fishery. However, that’s changing fast. Scientists are warning that catches of Pacific tuna ... Read more >

  • UK in the spotlight as global whale conference comes to Jersey

    Blogpost by Willie Mackenzie, Greenpeace UK - July 13, 2011 at 11:07

    In a warehouse-like hall in a hotel on the island of Jersey in the English Channel, several hundred people have gathered this week for the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission.

    This is my first time at one of these meetings, and it’s a bit of an eye-opener.

    The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is an odd beast. And it’s a full ten years since the meeting last set foot on UK soil. So there are some hopes that this year’s meeting will be useful, but there are also a lot of worries that the IWC is so mired with difficulties that progress might well be elusive.

    Sixty-odd years ago the IWC was set up as effectively a ‘whalers’ club’, where governments would get together to regulate the world’s whaling industry. In many ways that was ground-breaking stuff, and a... Read more >

  • Raising the masts on the Rainbow Warrior III

    Blogpost by Oscar Soria - Greenpeace International - July 13, 2011 at 8:58

    It was a thrilling weekend in Fassmer shipyard, near Bremen in Germany, where many of us watched a revolutionary mast design being installed on the new Rainbow Warrior. It’s not only a key milestone in the Greenpeace flagship’s construction – this weekend also marked 26 years since the first Rainbow Warrior was sunk in New Zealand.

    The highly efficient 55m-high A-Frame mast system, created by the famous Dutch naval architecture firm Dijkstra and Partners, can carry far more sail than a conventional mast of the same size, is optimised for maximum efficiency, and is the first time this design has been installed on a vessel of the Rainbow Warrior’s size.

    William Sykes, our project manager on the shipyard, was very excited all weekend, although he did grow concerned about how the weather se... Read more >

  • A Solar Promise

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - July 12, 2011 at 14:41

    This week, as the nation batons down the hatches to shield itself from the ravages of winter’s fury, there is a ray of sunshine piercing the grey and blustery vista. And where else but from than the solar capital of Aotearoa – Nelson.

    The launch of Solar Promise - the brain child of Nelson City Council, Nelson Environment Centre and Solar City – is an inspiring initiative. It aims to get other councils, the Government, individuals, organisations and businesses throughout the country to do what they can to make solar more affordable for more New Zealanders. And the premise is simple.

    In a world which is increasingly bound by the need to reduce carbon emissions to tackle climate change, and with energy security fast becoming the staple of global political diets, this nationwide campaign is ... Read more >

  • Whales and narwhals under threat from oil drilling

    Blogpost by Richard Page - July 12, 2011 at 11:56

    richard page portraitIn 1996 I was part of a Greenpeace team dispatched to document an oil spill resulting from the grounding of the Sea Empress on the coast of South-West Wales. Approximately 72,000 tonnes of crude oil were released into the sea, oiling seabirds and ruining beaches. I could smell the oil long before we reached Dale marine station where we were to be based and when we arrived the picturesque inlet was marred by the sheen on the water. The next few days were depressing; I remember feeling nauseous from the fumes as we filmed in the oil slick and also the pitiful sight of struggling guillemots, their feathers totally covered in glutinous oil. 

    Bearing witness to the Sea Empress was a profound reminder of one of the heavy costs of our dependence on oil, for as long as we continue to drill for ... Read more >

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