Greenpeace activists detained after boarding palm oil tanker off Spain

Ship is carrying palm oil linked to rainforest destruction in Indonesia

Adam Forrest
Sunday 18 November 2018 14:56 GMT
Greenpeace activists board palm oil ship

Six Greenpeace activists who boarded a tanker transporting palm oil off the coast of Spain have been detained by the ship’s captain, the campaign group has said..

The protesters unfurled banners reading “Save our Rainforest” and “Drop Dirty Palm Oil” from the tanker in the Gulf of Cadiz on Saturday.

Greenpeace said its volunteers – from Britain, Germany, France, Canada, Indonesia and the US – were being held in a cabin on the ship.

A ship tracking website shows the Stolt Tenacity, which Greenpeace claims is carrying palm oil to the Netherlands, was charted by Wilmar International – a company linked to rainforest destruction in Indonesia.

“We have limited radio contact with our volunteers and have called on the ship’s captain to free them so they can continue to peacefully protest against companies like Wilmar,” said Greenpeace campaigner Hannah Martin, speaking from on board the group’s own ship Esperanza.

Greenpeace said the Stolt Tenacity’s captain was informed in advance via marine VHF radio that the protest, staged Saturday, would be peaceful.

Five of the six Greenpeace volunteers who boarded the palm oil tanker (Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert / Greenpeace)
Five of the six Greenpeace volunteers who boarded the palm oil tanker (Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert / Greenpeace) (© Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert / Green)

Palm oil is used in a huge array of consumer goods, from make-up to snacks. Wilmar International supplies Mondelez, the maker of Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolate, with the edible oil.

The substance gained widespread attention in the UK earlier this month when Iceland released a Christmas advert featuring an orangutan mourning the destruction of his rainforest home by palm oil growers.

“Hundreds of thousands of consumers from all over the world have had enough of forest destruction,” said Yeb Sano, executive director at Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

In September, Greenpeace activists occupied a palm oil processing facility belonging to Wilmar International on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

The group scaled the refinery and painted “DIRTY” on the storage tanks, while Indonesia rock band Boomerang performed on top of the tanks.

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