Together, we are an ocean

Feature story - 18 November, 2005
A voyage of one year. Four oceans. One million Ocean defenders. That’s our response to the growing crisis our oceans face. We are launching our most ambitious ship expedition ever, to respond to the threats and highlight the wonders of our marine world. It’s going to be an amazing journey - and we’re taking you with us!

The Esperanza

The Esperanza will take us through four oceans over 14 months, all thewhile mapping and demonstrating the emergency need for a global networkof marine reserves - comprising 40 percent of our planets oceans. These marinereserves would act like national parks at sea, giving the oceans afighting chance of survival. "Only through establishing and enforcing avast network of marine reserves can we reverse the decline andguarantee our children's right to inherit healthy seas,"  saidShane Rattenbury, head of Greenpeace's Oceans Campaign.

Cutting-edge technology

The Esperanza has been fitted out with cutting-edge communicationstechnology.  We will be online 24/7 with blogs, chats, videoblogs, podcasts, webcams and much more. We're pulling together amillion people to become "Ocean Defenders" with us, to help save theoceans and be a part of the action. It's your chance to really getinvolved in the action wherever we are -- from wherever you are.

The start of an incredible journey: Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary

Heading south from Cape town, South Africa, the Esperanza will beaccompanied by the Arctic Sunrise on the first leg of this expedition.We are returning to the internationally recognised waters of theSouthern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to defend the whales and call for animmediate end to the annual hunt referred to as "scientific whaling".

This year the Fisheries Agency of Japan intends to more than double itscatch of minke whales to 935. Adding insult to injury this year 10 finwhales will also be caught in the harpooner's sights. Next year 40 morefin whales will be added along with 50 humpback whales. Both arerecognised as endangered species. These actions defy internationalprotests and repeated calls from the International Whaling Commissionto stop the annual hunt.

We're not going to stand by.  We're heading out in search of thehunters to take a non-violent stand against them, and calling upon theglobal community to help us hunt the hunters.  The law of sixdegrees of separation means that you, dear reader, know somebody whoknows somebody who knows somebody who knows precisely where the whalerswill be hunting this year. 

Hunt the hunters

We have our own methods of  locating them, but this is always avery difficult task.  If you know someone who works in maritimetracking,  satellite imagery, the Japanese fishing industry,cetacean  research, who's doing an ocean crossing in the Pacificor working in some other field that might have first hand knowledge ofwhere the fleet will be, pass the message along - they may be holdinginformation which could save the lives of whales.  The ship we areseeking is named the Nisshin Maru, gross tonnage 8,030, length 130metres, radio call sign JJCJ. She is the factory ship and will beaccompanied by three catchers, Kyo Maru No. 1 with radio call signJKNG, the Yushin Maru call sign JLZS and Yushin Maru No. 2, call signJPPV. These ships left Shimonoseki, Southern Japan, at 10am local timeon the 8th of November 2005.

You can send information to   All information in strictest confidence.

The story of the oceans

"Even though the ban on commercial whaling has been agreed, theinternational community has failed stop the hunt. Starting with theeasiest whales to catch, vast whaling fleets have pushed one speciesafter another to the brink of extinction." said Rattenbury. "Thepersecution of the great whales is a tragic echo of what is happeningthroughout our oceans," Rattenbury added.

From the Southern ocean we will continue the expedition along the coastof Africa, through the Mediterranean, across Asia and the Pacific anddown the west coast of the Americas, returning to Antarctic waters in2007, exposing the threats and providing solutions to the crisis facingour oceans today.

We will tell the story of the oceans, from the life forms that call ithome, to the people whose lives depend on it. The oceans cover twothirds of our planet, hold 85 percent of all life and provide half theair we breathe. It's time to stand up and start defending our oceansnow. Be one in a million - become an Ocean Defender.

You can be one in a million - become an Ocean Defender now.

Sign up as an Ocean Defender!

Sign up now to join us on our journey and take action to save our oceans.