Operation Reef Defence

The crew of the M/V Steve Irwin and Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia Jeff Hansen have Adani in their sights. Photo: Massimo Bonadei / Sea Shepherd
The crew of the M/V Steve Irwin and Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia Jeff Hansen have Adani in their sights. Photo: Massimo Bonadei / Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd Australia has joined the Stop Adani Alliance in an effort to stop the proposed Carmichael coalmine from polluting one of the most-pristine marine environments on Earth: the Great Barrier Reef.

The Indian-owned Adani Group proposes to build one of the world’s largest thermal coalmines in the north of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland.

Adani expects to produce 2.3 billion tonnes of coal over 60 years, mainly for export to India, whilst pumping 4.7 billion tonnes of planet warming greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

Despite the Queensland Environment Department fining the Adani Group for carelessly releasing sediment stormwater during Tropical Cyclone Debbie at a level many times higher than allowed, the Queensland state government has made a deal with Adani, with mining expected to begin in 2020.  Back home in India, the Group is facing fraud and corruption charges yet the Australian federal government wants to provide a $900M concessional loan to help them along.

 

Why Stop Adani?

Sea Shepherd’s Mission is to defend, conserve and protect the marine environment and all the creatures that inhabit it.

If the Adani coalmine goes ahead, it will significantly contribute to climate change, which is already responsible for killing half the coral in the Great Barrier Reef in well-documented bleaching events in the past two years.

Great Barrier Reef and Abbot Point

The mine will have a direct impact on the Great Barrier Reef, as the coal will be exported to India via a busy shipping terminal on the Queensland coast at Abbot Point, the most northerly deep-water coal port in Australia, located 25 kilometres north of Bowen, Queensland.

Sea Shepherd have Adani in their sights with Operation Reef Defence. Photo: Massimo Bonadei / Sea ShepherdSea Shepherd have Adani in their sights with Operation Reef Defence. Photo: Massimo Bonadei / Sea Shepherd

The port lies directly opposite the Great Barrier Reef, increasing the risk of collisions, spills and excessive coal dust that can harm coral.

The terminal will be expanded to accommodate coal from the Carmichael mine, which will involve dredging. 

This is notoriously problematic for surrounding coral, since it stirs up sediment, which degrades water quality and starves coral of sunlight.  Dredging will also rip up and destroy important habitat such as seagrass beds, and will kill marine life in the process.

Excessive coal dust can also cause coral bleaching, which is currently occurring along the reef, and will result in the loss of precious breeding grounds for marine fish and animals, including Humpback whales, who migrate through the Great Barrier Reef during the winter months to calve.

 

Our Oceans, Marine Life & Climate Change

In addition to the impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, ocean warming leads to a reduction in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the ocean and causes sea levels to rise from thermal expansion of seawater and melting sea ice. Rising temperatures, coupled with ocean acidification, affects all marine species and ecosystems. 

Any creature with a calcium carbonate skeleton such as crabs, shellfish and corals will not be able to secrete calcium carbonate to grow their skeleton, because the carbonic acid in the water essentially dissolves and does not allow these compounds to form.

Rising temperatures also affect vegetation and reef building species, such as coral and mangroves, which protect coastlines from erosion and sea level rise. 

Rising sea levels and erosion will affect low lying island countries in the pacific, as well as densely populated coastal regions in countries around the world, including Australia.

Through accelerating global warming, the Carmichael coalmine will affect all marine species and ecosystems. Excessive coal dust can cause coral bleaching, which is currently occurring along the reef, resulting in the loss of precious breeding grounds for marine fish and animals.

Rising sea temperatures also directly impact on the climate through changing weather patterns.

The Great Barrier Reef is already reeling from the effects of climate change, and given the state of the world’s oceans, the Great Barrier Reef is of global significance, and it deserves our outmost protection.

Operation Reef Defence LogoOperation Reef Defence Logo

What our campaign logo means

The Operation Reef Defence logo shows what we have and what we stand to lose should we allow Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and shipping terminal to go ahead. 

The left side of the logo gives us a glimpse into a dystopian future where we have given Adani a green light to seal the reef’s demise. This is a world marred by pollution, runaway climate change and habitat destruction, where monstrous coal transport ships run up and down the coastline above bleached and dying coral that can no longer survive due to warming waters and ocean acidification. Whales, sharks, turtles, fish and a wide variety of other marine life are similarly affected by our reckless exploitation of fossil fuels and Adani’s industrialisation of the Queensland coast. 

The right side of the logo shows what we have and what we must protect. This is a world of breathtaking natural abundance and beauty that attracts millions of visitors from all over Australia and the world. A healthy, vibrant reef supports life, not only in the ocean, but also on the land. This is a world that we can all enjoy and benefit from.

About the designer - Michael Beasley
Designer/Deckhand, 33 – Australia


Michael began his time with Sea Shepherd as an onshore volunteer in Melbourne. Since joining the Bob Barker as a deckhand in 2010 he has participated in four of Sea Shepherd's most successful Antarctic whale defence campaigns. He has also assisted in efforts to shut down toothfish poaching in the Southern Ocean and ventured to Taiji and the Faroe Islands to oppose the capture and slaughter of dolphins and pilot whales. For the last couple of years Michael’s focus has been on documenting global marine microplastics and tackling illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing operations off the coast of West Africa.

 

Stop Adani Alliance LogoStop Adani Alliance Logo


Latest campaign news:

Steve Irwin sets sights on Adani | Sea Shepherd Australia | October 27

 

Adani should not get a loan | Brisbane Times | November 8

Stop Adani campaign to hit top gear ahead of Queensland election | The Australian | November 6

Adani activists spell out grievance | Townsville Bulletin, October 9, 2017

Thousands take to the streets with chants of Adani Go Home! | India Today, October 9, 2017

Sea Shepherd joins Stop Adani Alliance and the fight for our Great Barrier Reef | August 1, 2017

 

You can follow the campaign by searching for #StopAdani on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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