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

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  • 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 >

  • Earlier this week, almost 90,000 gallons of crude oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico near Shell’s Brutus drilling platform. New photos taken on Saturday show that it’s not a pretty sight.

    Two days after it was initially reported, oil sits on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico after a Shell well leaked 88,200 gallons into the Gulf. Photo by Derick E. Hingle / Greenpeace.
    Two days after it was initially reported, oil sits on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico after a Shell well leaked 88,200 gallons into the Gulf. Photo by Derick E. Hingle / Greenpeace.

    In the midst of a remarkable global wave of resistance to fossil fuels, we’ve received another stern reminder that it’s time to keep it in the ground and say no to deep sea oil drilling.

    Shell’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this week — just 90 miles off the coast of Louisiana — is the largest since BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the effects of which are still resonating throughout the region.

    Currently estimated... Read more >

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