Sea Shepherd Vessel to Head to Great Barrier Reef

Steve Irwin

By The Maritime Executive 10-28-2017 11:57:20

Sea Shepherd Australia has joined the Stop Adani Alliance in an effort to stop the proposed Carmichael coal mine which the organization says could pollute one of the most-pristine marine environments on Earth: the Great Barrier Reef. The organization plans to sail it's vessel the Steve Irwin to the region.

The move follows a national day of action by the Alliance earlier this month involving thousands of protesters across Australia. 
"Sea Shepherd is most well-known for defending the whales in their Antarctic feeding grounds, however the place where they are born, their home in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef face an even bigger threat than the Japanese whaling fleet in the form of Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine” said Jeff Hansen, Managing Director, Sea Shepherd Australia.

 “The increase in vessel traffic causing ship strikes, spills and noise pollution will have a catastrophic impact on Australia’s whales. If the Australian government will not oppose whaling by Japan, the very least it can do is protect the whales birthing grounds and put an end to this madness of the Adani coal mine.”

Coal would be exported via a terminal on the Queensland coast at Abbot Point, the most northerly deep-water coal port in Australia.

Recent polls show that the majority of Australians oppose the Adani coal mine, says Hansen. He is disappointed that the government plans to provide Adani with a concessional loan worth almost one billion dollars. “On top of that, the negligible jobs on the table put at risk 64,000 indirect and direct jobs the Great Barrier Reef creates," says Hansen.

In August, Australia's Commonwealth Bank confirmed that it would not be involved in financing the Carmichael coal mine. In the past decade, the “big four” Australian banks (ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac) have been involved in 75 percent of fossil fuel project finance deals, providing a quarter of all debt, says the Stop Adani Alliance. “24 banks around the world have now either publicly distanced themselves from the idea of financing Galilee Basin coal export projects or have introduced policies that would prohibit the bank from funding the mine.”

The Australian Government continues to support its approval for the mine despite allegations of corruption and environmentally-destructive behavior in India made against Adani by investigative TV program Four Corners this month. 

Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham said the mine would be subject to strict monitoring throughout the construction process.