Greenpeace activists have thrown themselves into the sea in front of the Amazon Warrior seismic vessel off the New Zealand coast.
The swimmers’ position has forced the oil exploration ship to halt its operations and deviate off course.
To find oil, the Amazon Warrior is using seismic cannons to blast the seafloor with sound waves.
The blasts it lets off are comparable in sound to an underwater volcano and can cause chronic distress to whales and dolphins in the area, Greenpeace said.
Greenpeace has been tailing the Amazon Warrior for the past 2 days in its newest boat, Taitu.
From on board Taitu, Greenpeace executive director, Dr Russel Norman, said: “Neither the Government nor the oil industry can stifle people across New Zealand peacefully rising up against this mad pursuit of new oil to burn in the midst of what is nothing less than a climate emergency.”
Public opposition to oil exploration has seen protests in ports, petitions garnering tens of thousands of signatures, and significant local government and iwi opposition.