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Sophie Schroder

Sophie Schroder is a communications specialist with Greenpeace Aotearoa New Zealand, and works predominantly on the campaign to stop deep sea oil drilling.

  • Matt Stoios is a man who has seen the world from many different perspectives, but mostly from above.

    A good natured Aussie bloke from Melbourne, you can find the Rainbow Warrior helicopter pilot in the skies over the Pacific Ocean, as he scours the seas for evidence of destructive tuna fishing.

    But, as Matt explains, becoming part of a campaign to fight out-of-control tuna fishing has seen him do a full circle in his life.

    We sit in the lounge area of the Warrior during a small break in a heavy work-day so that I can grill him about his experiences. It’s been particularly topsy-turvy weather and we’re all feeling a bit green around the gills, but the show must go on.

    He starts from the beginning. Soon after finishing high school, Matt set his heart on training as a helicopter pilot. Read more >

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  • Busted: Big ocean, bad boat

    Blogpost by Sophie Schroder - September 10, 2015 at 19:15

    We knew that the Taiwanese longline vessel could be fishing illegally almost as soon as its details popped up on the Rainbow Warrior's radar system.

    We were in the high seas of the Pacific, at least two days away, but when our checks came back from the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency confirming nothing matching the ship's name or radio call sign was on their list of vessels authorised to fish in these water, we made a beeline for it.

    By the time we got close, it had already deployed 50 miles of line weighed down by 2,000 hooks, and was ready to start hauling in tuna and any other sea creature caught up in the process. The boat Shuen De Ching No.888 is a brand new 24-metre longline vessel on its maiden voyage in the Pa... Read more >

  • To the untrained eye it looks like a rogue barrel, fallen overboard from a distant ship, bobbing along in the calm Pacific Ocean.

    Time and again we see odd objects floating past out here, things like mini cocktail umbrellas or polystyrene cups, and it always feels kind of strange because even though we’re in the middle of ocean surrounded by sea for as far as the eye can see, humans have still left their mark.

    But this one is more than just another piece of ocean trash. The ‘barrel’ is apparently a ‘FAD’: Exactly the object we’d been looking for over the past week while each of us was doing two-hour daily shifts watching the sea.

    Since joining three weeks ago in Pago Pago, American Samoa, I’ve been on the Rainbow Warrior to travel around the Pacific and learn about where our tuna really ... Read more >

  • Like longline ships passing in the night

    Blogpost by Sophie Schroder - August 29, 2015 at 18:18

    The Korean longliner looked impressive from a distance. In the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean where you can go weeks without seeing anything but sea, the lights of the fishing vessel at night on the horizon were almost majestic.

    Pulling alongside her, though, the reality was somewhat different. This one had a slick operation going on. The 56-metre boat was 25 years old and looked far more carefully maintained than many of the rust buckets we’ve come across out here.

    But the end result is the same. Crew, many of them young men that look barely out of their teens, work most of the hours of the day and night in an endless cycle of setting lines and hauling them back in again. Each process takes many hours to complete, and typically the ship and crew are only at rest when the lines are le... Read more >

  • People power the winner on the day

    Blogpost by Sophie Schroder - March 17, 2015 at 16:27

    kids at Paturoa kauri tree

    The battle to save an ancient kauri tree from execution-by -property developer is over: Something is still standing…and it’s certainly not the leg of the Auckland City Council.

    For several days the nation has been transfixed on the epic David and Goliath story of one community’s revolt over consent given to chop down a native kauri and rimu tree thought to be hundreds of years old.

    The consent - ticked off by the council for the land owners, a couple of architects who wanted to build a home there - had not been publicly notified.

    But when it all eventually came out, people living both nearby the site in Auckland’s western suburb of Titirangi and far further afield, decided to go out on a limb.

    Enter Michael Tavares, a well-spoken Waiheke Island local, who upon hearing about the trees’...

    Read more >

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