The Rainbow Warrior anchored in Nepean Bay – Stan Gorton

The Greenpeace flagship “Rainbow Warrior” visited Kangaroo Island last month as part of a research expedition to explore the marine life around the island and along the Great Southern Reef.

With large tracts of this marine wonderland as yet unexplored, known to host many species never before identified, this research was of the highest priority given emerging threats from inappropriate development and oil and gas exploration activities in the Great Australian Bight.

This extraordinarily rich series of ecosystems showing high levels of endemism – 85% of the known species occurs nowhere else in the world, is in danger of being lost forever should an oil spill catastrophe happen.

Too high a risk one might suggest….

A group of Dolphin Watch stalwarts and other local identities who have campaigned against oil and gas drilling in the waters off KI and the Great Australian Bight, were invited aboard for lunch while she was anchored off Kingscote. It was a moving experience of a lifetime to meet the inspirational scientists and crew and enjoy a stunning tour of this magnificent vessel.

NZ Photo Journalist Richard Robinson delighted us all over lunch, with a stunning presentation of images of the divers’ wonderful discoveries during their explorations of the Great Southern Reef, with many new discoveries, all illustrating just how amazing this stunning marine environment is, about which so little is known ……..and so in need of urgent protection!

From Greenpeace Facebook post on December 12th:

“Have you heard of the Great Southern Reef? If not, you’re not alone. Australia’s little-known ‘other’ reef is absolutely huge, spanning 8,100 km.

We’ve been exploring this magical place with a team of marine biologists. We found an underwater world of astonishing beauty, home to some of the most amazingly diverse marine life on Earth.

But this amazing place could be devastated by dangerous deepwater oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight, before we’ve had a chance to fully understand it….”…/whos-heard-great-southern-reef

All invited were extremely grateful to Captain Hettie Geenen for hosting this very special event and to Nat, Simon, Holly and Diana for their part in the logistics. What a privilege.

Thankyou so much to the wonderful scientists, the incredible Rainbow Warrior and all at Greenpeace for helping us to spread the word about our pristine southern waters, Kangaroo Island …and……the Great Southern Reef!

Love and gratitude… all of you, from us and the whales, large and small….and friends!

#rainbowwarrior #conservation #marineenvironment  #PeopleVOil  #makeoilhistory  #greataustralianbight  #protectthebight #savesmithbay #whales #dolphins #biologicallyimportantarea #marinebiodiversity #sanctuary #endangeredspecies  #criticalhabitat  #inappropriatedevelopment #kangarooisland  #tooprecioustolose

In the best company on the bow! – Phil Smith