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Six Greenpeace activists boarded a coal ship bound for South Korea near Australia's Great Barrier Reef on Wednesday (April 24), protesting against the expansion of the rich Australian coal industry and its impact on the World Heritage site.
Environmentalists say the Great Barrier Reef, a popular tourist site worth about A$6 billion ($6.1 billion) a year to the Australia economy, is threatened by dredging, sedimentation and coal port and shipping development.
UNESCO will decide in June whether the reef should be listed as a World Heritage Site in danger.
The ship MV Meister was carrying thermal coal from Abbot Point in northern Queensland state, a port that falls within the Great Barrier Reef heritage area, and was still in Australian waters in the Coral Sea when it was boarded en route to Donghae in South Korea.
Activists launched inflatable boats from the Rainbow Warrior and boarded the coal vessel early on Wednesd