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Ship will stop in Auckland en route to save whales

Greenpeace ship will stop in Auckland en route to save whales

Auckland-20 December 2006-The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is en route to the Southern Ocean as part of a massive global campaign to stop whaling in the Sanctuary.

The ship will stop in New Zealand in the New Year to re-supply and make final technical and safety checks before leaving for the Southern Ocean shortly afterwards. It will be the first time the ship has been to New Zealand.

Two thirds of Japanese people do not support whaling on the high seas, according to a recent opinion poll. Greenpeace will be working to bring international and domestic pressure on the Fisheries Agency of Japan to end the hunt in the Southern Ocean.

Greenpeace is creating the biggest crew that it has ever taken south - with thousands of supporters sailing with the ship on-line. Supporters can become part of the campaign by generating ideas for the Esperanza crew's actions in the Southern Oceans.

The website is at http://www.greenpeace.org.nz/whales or supporters can text their email address to 4858.

The journey brings full circle the Defending Our Ocean expedition http://oceans.greenpeace.org , which began in November 2005 in the Southern Ocean, where activists put themselves between the whales and the harpoons to stop them being killed.

Since then the ship has sailed across the world's oceans, highlighting threats to the oceans, from the overfishing of tuna to marine debris and oil pollution.

The Esperanza is now embarking on the last leg of the voyage, which will also be the launch pad for Greenpeace's new whale campaign.

ENDS

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