The captain of the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, Vladimir Votiacov, was arrested by Cairns police last week after taking part in a blockade of the Hay Point coal.

According to the Greenpeace press release, Captain Votiacov's arrest follows the arrest of 14 activists who were arrested earlier 'for participating in peaceful direct action to defend the Pacific'.

They face charges which range from "engaging in unregulated high risk activity", to trespass and obstructing police. The four climbers who were locked on to a coal loader 50 metres above the ground were also charged for leaving their hammocks behind.

According to the press release, 'Greenpeace took the action to highlight the dramatic expansion of Australia's export coal capacity during the Pacific Island Forum, which saw Pacific Leaders agree to a disastrous climate deal'.

"Aiming to limit global warming to 2 degrees spells certain disaster for Pacific Islands, and leaves Kevin Rudd's moral credibility in tatters," said Greenpeace climate campaigner Trish Harrup, on board the Esperanza.

"The kind of action that Greenpeace took is vital," said Fijian Greenpeace Campaigner Lagi Toribau. "Our communities at home are being displaced and the existence of low lying states like Tuvalu is threatened.