|Sunday, August 12, 2012|
John Butler Performs on the Steve Irwin
Day 4 of the Miinimbi campaign has brought us up to a humpback whale count of 355 individual animals. The bridge crew of the Steve Irwin has documented and logged over 355 whales. With 25% of the individuals being calves. The youngest calf spotted was estimated at being only a few weeks old. Also sighted has been several species of dolphin, manta ray, sea turtles and snakes as well as a very large tiger shark. The marine diversity of the Kimberly has been surprising and absolutely breath taking.
Geoffrey Cousins was on board the M/Y Steve Irwin today, along with Ronnie Roe, a traditional law boss, and Australian musician John Butler. After a very close encounter with several bull humpbacks, Mr. Cousins spoke of Woodside's plans on a port for the Gas Refinery that would be built in the middle of this whale nursery: "It relies on 1,500 large vessels movements a year coming into the port. The wharf would go 2 kms out to sea right in the whale calving area. You can imagine 1,500 massive tankers coming in here and all support vessels running around. If that isn't going to cause major disruption to the life pattern of these animals I don't know what would."
The crew and officers of the M/Y Steve Irwin were very excited to welcome John Butler on board. Not only is John a celebrated Australian artist but is also been an active supporter and campaigner for the Kimberly project. John spent time with the crew and was very expressive about his personal investment and feelings about the Kimberly and its communities. " It's an inspirational thing to be part of. I think apart from all the humbug that Woodside and State government have created they have also brought the community together in a strange way." John also went on to say, "Some things are worth more than money. Protecting the things that matter which is culture, land and life. Not dollars and not the Dow Jones." Later in the day John filled the lounge of the Steve Irwin with some very inspiration songs about the Kimberly and about the struggles of the community to hold on to this untouched land and coast.
Sea Shepherd has witnessed and documented many whales and other species living in perfect harmony well with in the area of the Woodside proposed gas refinery and port. Beck Straussner the 1st officer and humpback whale researcher knows first hand the adverse effects the construction would have on this marine ecosystem. " Looking around at this pristine environment and seeing these beautiful animals swimming free and thinking that this gas hub could be here and really displace not only these whales but lots of other species is something that we can't stand for."
John Butler performs for the crew of the Steve Irwin