Leg two of the Defending Our Pacific 2009 tour is under way!

by Mike Gaworecki

September 28, 2009

Ahoy there! Im blogging from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza out here in the Pacific. Weve just embarked on the second leg of the Defending Our Pacific 2009 tour, which is aimed at getting all four of the high seas pockets you see on the map below (marked in orange) designated as marine reserves which is to say, closed to ALL fishing.

Pacific Marine Reserves

We left Port Vila, Vanuatu just a few days ago, and are currently in transit, headed back out to the high seas to continue our quest to stop the pillage of international waters by longline and purse seine fishing vessels.

A transit generally means a bit of down time, so Im taking it upon myself to document some ship life for you. Check out these pics:

Captain and second mate on the Esperanza's bridge

Our captain, Madeleine (with binoculars), and second mate, Nadia, on the Espy’s bridge, charting a course out of Port Vila Harbor.

High seas sunset onboard the Esperanza

After taking my turn on “whale watch” yesterday evening, I stepped out onto the deck and noticed this high seas sunset. Pretty nice, eh?

For a bit of recent history, check out the blog posts by Mary Ann (here, here, and here), the intrepid webbie who I have replaced onboard (actually I only replaced her as webbie, shes still onboard as a deckhand and is taking care of our waste and recycling in the role of “chief garbologist” a noble and selfless job, I can tell you, having helped with the compost yesterday morning). As you can see from the blogs, the first leg of the tour was spent patrolling the first and second high seas zones to help enforce a temporary ban on fish aggregating devices (FADs) highly destructive devices that catch EVERYTHING indiscriminately. FADs are commonly used by purse seine fishing vessels. We took direct action against those violating the ban. For instance, you can see the crew hauling a FAD we confiscated up on to the Espy here:

The crew of the Espy hauls a FAD onboard copyright Paul Hilton/Greenpeace

On the second leg of the tour, were going to continue searching out the pirates and the pillagers, and stand in solidarity with the Pacific island countries who are seeking a closure of the high seas pockets. We are also pushing for the implementation of sensible, sustainable fishing practices rather than longlines, purse seines, FADs, and all the other highly destructive fishing practices that are currently in use. Stay tuned.

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