Steve Irwin sails in friendly seas
SEA Shepherd's flagship the MY Steve Irwin called in at Byron Bay last Friday on its way to Abbot Point to protest against the Adani coal mine.
A large group of local Greens and anti-Adani protesters were on hand to greet the vessel, with a solitary humpback whale breaching in the sea near Julian Rocks as the Steve Irwin sailed in.
Organisers said: "Sea Shepherd was part of the Stop Adani Alliance that represent almost 40 organisations and millions of Australians calling for an end to the Adani Carmichael coal mine.”
The ship's captain, Mal Holland, said he and the crew were committed to the campaign against the controversial mine project.
"This is a campaign to demonstrate to the politicians that the Adani project is not good, and they are very disconnected from how opposed people are to the project,” he said.
"We very much draw a line in the sand against this project and when we get up to Abbot Point we will do everything we can to stop it happening.”
Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson was there to welcome the Steve Irwin and crew.
"Sea Shepherd is a much loved and respected organisation in Byron Shire because we share so many values, especially a deep love of our marine environment and an unwavering commitment to protect it,” he said.
"We wish them all the best for their ongoing vital work."
Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said she was delighted to welcome the ship.
"Sea Shepherd have been strong supporters of my campaign in this region to bring an end to the unscientific and cruel shark nets off Ballina and to protect our Cape Byron Marine Park,” she said.
"The Greens support Sea Shepherd in the effort to stop Adani and protect the Great Barrier Reef.”
Managing director of Sea Shepherd Australia Jeff Hansen said: "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 Byron Bay community.
"Sea Shepherd stands with Byron indefence of the Great Barrier Reef and a liveable climate for our children. United, there is nothing we cannot achieve in fighting for this planet.”