Greenpeace’s research vessel Esperanza pulled back into Unalaska this weekend. According to spokesman Joe Smyth, they’re here to resupply and switch out crew members.
Greenpeace staged a small protest in front of Shell’s Noble Discoverer drill ship yesterday and posted the photos to their Flickr feed. According to a federal injunction, Greenpeace can’t get within a kilometer of Shell’s drill ships or 500 meters of Shell’s other support vessels. The Coast Guard says they’ve had no reports of the group violating that order.
The Esperanza is back in Unalaska after a research cruise to study the Chukchi seabed near Shell’s drill sites. So far, Greenpeace has found unexpectedly large amounts of corals in the Chukchi. They report that corals are the third most abundant form of sealife they’ve come across at Shell’s drill site. Greenpeace says that Shell may have understated the concentration of corals in the environmental impact reports they filed for their drilling expedition. Shell told the Washington Post that the corals can cluster in some areas of the seabed, but they stand by their initial report.