Magellan calls for Greenpeace to leave their research vessel under increasing safety concerns.

  • Deepwater Survey specialist, Magellan, advise that Greenpeace are putting personnel at risk daily in order to disrupt their legal right to perform scientific research in the CCZ area, for the sake of photo opportunities and social media soundbites. Greenpeace’s actions cannot be considered peaceful, lawful or safe, and have resulted in the crews of both the MV Coco and MV Arctic Sunrise being put at risk.
  • Despite Greenpeace’s actions, safety of all personnel at sea continues to be top priority of the crew aboard MV Coco and Magellan calls upon Greenpeace to immediately abide by the ISA notification to maintain a safe distance from the vessel and all other relevant international laws, which it has thus far ignored.
  • Magellan calls upon Greenpeace to retract and disavow its earlier statements that its vessel MV Coco is a “specialised drilling vessel”. The MV Coco is a research vessel with no prior experience working in the oil and gas sector.
  • Magellan supports NORI and TMC taking all necessary legal steps against Greenpeace and the Master of the MV Arctic Sunrise, and will make available all related evidence, reports and disclosures to the ISA and the Dutch, Danish and U.S. maritime and law enforcement agencies.
  • The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has also issued instruction for Greenpeace to immediately comply with the law ‘Notification of immediate measures’.

(Channel Islands), Nov 30, 2023 – Magellan, a globally recognized leader in offshore deep-sea surveying, today provided an update on illegal actions being undertaken by Greenpeace International, and addressed recent inaccuracies regarding the vessel MV Coco and its activities as the contract holder for the current environmental and scientific campaign being conducted by its client, Nauru Ocean Resources Inc’s (NORI), to collect data on ecosystem function and recovery one year on from its 2022 integrated collector test.

The vessel MV Coco, Chartered by Magellan and used exclusively for deep-sea research. Contrary to Greenpeace’s claims, it is not a specialised drilling vessel but a research vessel equipped with advanced Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) for deep-water surveying. Magellan’s expertise in this field is well-established, having contributed to significant projects like the search for the Titan submersible and independently performing the 3D mapping of the Titanic wreck using the same ROV currently on site in the CCZ. Magellan calls upon Greenpeace to retract all inaccurate claims, including those published in the news media and on their website.

Magellan was chosen as the operator for this complex environmental study because of its worldwide reputation as a next-generation deep-sea surveyor, and capabilities in Deepwater operations. Given the inaccuracies put forward in recent coverage of the disruptions to its legally-mandated and contractually-obligated operations, Magellan believes it is crucial to correct the record on several points and re-assert its commitment to safe, responsible operations.

Greenpeace’s Actions are not peaceful, safe or lawful

Greenpeace unsafe actions to date include:

  • As standard operating procedure, MV Coco implemented a 500meter safety zone to perform the research safely. Greenpeace has breached this safety zone continuously and without notification or warning utilising small craft and the MV Arctic Sunrise, the mothership.
  • These interactions have escalated to the point where Greenpeace is now placing small craft directly against the hull of MV Coco and directly behind us in direct line of our thrusters.
  • Greenpeace claim in a response to a TMC press release published on Associated Press that MV Coco moved without warning causing the capsize of a kayak with two of their crew members. This is inaccurate. The protestors were informed of a vessel maneuver well in advance and were requested to maintain a safe distance in advance of the move. This is documented and the evidence has been shared with our client NORI. This action highlights the danger and reason for a safety buffer zone.
  • In addition to utilizing small craft to harass and impede the scientific research by the MV Coco, the larger MV Arctic Sunrise took an unannounced and direct course, at speed and in darkness, towards Coco on 26th November 2023 13:00hrs (UTC+1hr) coming within 80 meters of MV Coco. Had the 49-year-old vessel Arctic Sunrise experienced a failure, this would have caused a major shipping incident five days away from a local port and rescue services.
  • Only last night during a Greenpeace photo-op exercise, a protestor was dropped into the water, inflating their lifejacket and was left suspended and swinging into the aft of the vessel above the main thruster area whilst they took more photographs.

Contrary to Greenpeace’s claims, these actions cannot be considered peaceful, safe or lawful. As such, they have been reported to the Danish Maritime authorities and are being documented extensively for legal purposes. With the approval of Danish authorities, Magellan has implemented additional safety measures to protect high risk areas from unsafe access. This includes high-pressure water barriers to prevent unauthorized access to areas such as the launch site for its ROV, where the high voltage umbilical poses a major risk to those in close proximity. Attempts to cross these additional safety barriers will be a risk to people and equipment, potentially immobilizing small craft. If Greenpeace act in a safe manner, then these barriers will be respected, and no harm will come to any people or equipment.

We acknowledge the ISA’s ‘Notification of immediate measures’ released on November 27, 2023, calling for Greenpeace’s prompt compliance with pertinent international regulations, by which they refuse to abide.

The ongoing protests are hindering Magellan’s ability to fulfill its contractual obligations to deliver NORI’s scientific and environmental studies. This work is crucial for providing scientific evidence on the environmental impact of deep-sea activities to inform the decision-making process, evidence which was asked for by ISA Member States, and at the explicit request of the Legal & Technical Commission that will review NORI’s application.

We fully support NORI and TMC taking all necessary legal steps against Greenpeace and the Master of the MV Artic Sunrise, and we will make available all related evidence, reports and disclosures to the ISA and the Dutch, Danish and U.S. maritime and law enforcement agencies.

While we respect the right to peaceful protest, Magellan’s priority is the safety of all parties involved and the fulfilment of our contractual and environmental responsibilities. We urge Greenpeace to respect our right to do our job safely, by adhering to the 500-meter exclusion zone and allow us to proceed with our work, which is vital for advancing scientific understanding and responsible environmental stewardship.


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