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March 9, 2021

Sea Shepherd visit highlights urgency of stopping Adani

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The Sea Shepherd vessel moored off Byron Bay. Photo Jeff Dawson

Aslan Shand

Moored off the coast of Byron Bay on Friday, the Sea Shepherd’s flagship vessel the MY Steve Irwin was there to point out the insanity of building the Adani Carmichael coal mine, the biggest ever Australian coal mine.

While all the important people were off making speeches at the Byron Lighthouse I got to go on board and met some of the dedicated crew that are making the journey up the coast from Melbourne to Abbot Point. They are making the journey as part of the Stop Adani Alliance that represents almost 40 organisations and millions of Australians calling for an end to the Adani Carmichael coal mine.

‘Climate change is a global issue,’ said Scott Wallace, campaign leader of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Reef Defence.

‘If Adani was a country it would be the fifteenth largest polluter, if you include both the operation of the mine and the burning of the fuel.’

Members of Sea Shepherd’s crew on the M/Y Steve Irwin moored in Byron Bay on Friday (July 27). Photo Jeff Dawson

But it is not just the broader issue of climate change, that the Climate Council has predicted will lead to devastating bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef every second year by 2034, that is being highlighted.

It is also predicted that the full operation of the Adani mine will require an extra 500 ships to annually access the port of Abbot Point and will lead to direct impacts including: clearing away of reef habitat for the development of Abbot Point Terminal Zero; dredging; vessel collisions with whales, dolphins and other marine life; as well as the risks of ship groundings and fuel and oil spills that will severely affect the reef.

‘We need to do everything we can to stop the single largest coal mine in Australia being built,’ Mr Wallace said.

Grant Gerathy from John Butler’s band. Photo Jeff Dawson

This was echoed at the official press conference on Cape Byron by managing director of Sea Shepherd Australia, Jeff Hansen, who stated that the ‘Sea Shepherd stands proud and strong with Byron in opposition to the Adani coal mine, in defence of the Great Barrier Reef, and for a liveable climate for our children.’

‘Byron Bay is one of Sea Shepherd’s strongest ground support bases for the oceans, under the leadership of our brave and tireless eco warrior, Adam Shostak. So many of Sea Shepherd’s campaigns over the years in defence of the world’s oceans, humanity’s primary life support system, would simply not have happened without the support of the wonderful Byron Bay community.

‘United, together, there is nothing we cannot achieve, for if there is one thing worth fighting for on this planet, it’s life.’

The Sea Shepherd is currently in Brisbane (July 30) and will be running free ship tours between 11am and 5pm.


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  1. While they’re in the region, why doesn’t the Steve Irwin go looking for the three whales entangled in ropes? Just a thought

    • Why doesn’t the council remove the nets in order to prevent that from actually happening? SS has to work within the law. Write some letters. Protest a bit. Do your part… what are YOU doing?

  2. One DOES recognise – of course – the irony of the (perhaps) impending Adani Coal mine being protested by a fossil-fuel-powered vessel.


    No – we don’t play
    Any more.

    Instead we watch
    The day

    Its chalice
    Of electrodes

    The caustic air,
    And a shoreline
    That won’t

    Stop weeping.

  4. Hey do these dudes know who the largest polluters are on this planet? Cows and humans! Yep by far the biggest emitters of CO2. So stop both breeding like cancer.

    Also do these dudes have tvs, fridges, ovens and air conditioners and cars. Coz the Indian people the coal is for don’t.
    BTW: Good comment on the whales.

  5. Close to 300Lt of diesel per hour. This old diesel guzzler carries 200,000lt of diesel.
    I wonder who hits the jackpot and gets the Sea Shepherd visa Card to refuel.
    Nice time of the year for a jaunt up to the Whitsundays. Much better than stuck in the miserable home port of Melbourne. Hope you wet a line and get a nice Coral Trout or Red Emporer along the way.
    Don’t forget Slip Slop Slap.

  6. Hi to all! To those interested… the protesting Sea Shepherd is
    in fuel efficient e-drive. Please note – I don’t have air conditioning,
    a mobile phone, electric blanket, heater [used twice this winter], or
    a car. Occasionally the tv is sighted for local & world news that
    raises blood pressure. Also, I’ve not bred another human in 53
    years. I’m assured there are others like me. Yeah! Stop Adani
    by all means.

  7. Oops… forgot to mention biodiesel made from cooking oil collected from
    fish & chip shop usually in 44 gal + drum size each week. Multiply that
    by 12 shops & restaurants & you’ve got a very clean mega mixed diesel
    for cars & whatever floats. Cost after make/mix 25 cents a litre. Very
    little pollution. I know about this. Years back I had an eat-in take away.
    Friday am was pick-up.


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