Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Lets kill more whales....???

I took the photos above while out catching mahi mahi with my cousin David one afternoon. These lovely creatures pass through our waters each year.

Many people are quite shocked when they find out that several of the governments in these tiny Caribbean islands support countries like Japan, Norway, and Iceland in commercial whaling. I can just hear some of you saying: “WHAT!!”, but although unfortunate it is true. Japan decided to use manipulative democracy and outright bribes to persuade islands like Antigua to vote alongside them at International Whaling Conventions so that they may be able to protect and peruse their interests.
One of the biggest problems when it comes to marine environmentalism in Antigua and Barbuda is that our people do not swim. It’s that simple to me. I have been told by ministers in our government that because they don’t swim they are not interested in going boating at all. Because people don’t get a chance to see all the cool and interesting stuff out there they don’t understand or care as much. There is incredible ignorance within the government when it comes to marine related matters and so much so when it comes to whaling. Look at this government statement printed in today’s Daily Observer. Speaking about why they have chosen to side with Japan here is what they say:

“It is a matter of
food security and the preservation
of our right as a sovereign
nation to build international
alliances,” it said.

That almost sounds ok but then you read: “A government statement
said the island has
always been guided by its
“principled support for the
sustainable utilization of our
vast and rich marine
resources in a manner and at
a rate that will ensure that
these resources are available
for generations to come.”

Absolute crap!!! Read the rest of the article on OBSERVER ARTICLE
Our marine recourse has nothing to do with voting for increased whale kill quotas for Japan, and when Japan is offering financial “aid” in the form of useless fisheries plants the argument is even more ridiculous. Our fishing industry is not being helped by Japan of our government and I am the first to say that instead of making sure it is there for generations to come, it is being ignored in a way that there can be no doubt of its demise long before my generation passes the torch. Our fishery is being utilized alright but by Guadeloupe…something which our government cares not to regulate at all. At the end of the day, our government’s position on fisheries is just this simple: they are using it as an excuse to take specific “aid” (bribes) from Japan, and have chosen only to educate themselves on the Japan argument for international whaling. They know more about that than they do know about conch farming, Mahi Mahi catching, reef fishing protection and regulation, tuna fishing….or anything else that is directly related to our waters and fisheries. It’s a political argument which no opposing political party has chosen to ridicule yet. The only people trying to expose how crazy our island’s support for international whaling are individuals and NGOs like http://caribbeanwhalefriends.org/index.htm which is a site that was launched today. There is a heap of info on this topic and i will add links in the near future. You can write on message boards and send letters to our toursim offices to show them how horrified you are that they could side with japan. They need to know that this can not and will not go on. They will lose support from people like you and me.

6 comments:

Johnny said...

Hi Eli
I have lived in Antigua for 2 years now and I've never posted a comment before on this site or any other. Nothing this government (or the previous one) does surprises me anymore, the sad thing is that they get away with it. Antigua is selling it's soul to Japan, China, Cuba and everyone else. We need people like you to have a bigger voice and I urge everyone to give you all the support they possibly can. This island is being raped and NOT by the Stanfords of this world but by those who are duly elected to run this country. It's about time the rest of the world got to see the real truth and not just the beaches.

Anonymous said...

Hay Eli,

Just read the article from the observer and I can not believe the ridiculousness of it all! Lawd help me when I start working at home...

The fact that they say the sustainable use of our extensive marine resources or something along those lines irrates me... well obviously not a single persn who put that article together has ever been out boating or snorkelling off Antigua! I highly doubt that they even know what the meaning of sustainable is and in terms of poverty and food security, whaling in Antigua or even Antigua supporting it will be extremely detrimental to our main industry... tourism. People don't come to a place to see no marine diversity!

Anyways enough of me ranting just needed a break from my thesis on turtle conservation!
x fran x

Bob Greenie said...

Japan has used its financial resources to gain a foothold in small, cash-strapped nations; it has also pandered and prostituted the governments who have the misguided view that more yen will assist not only their country but the personal fortunes and political milage of the state servant sanctioning the greed motive.
I strongly believe in bringing the power of the Internet to bear on these tainted officials and their cohorts in the respective governments. They must be brought to account and exposed.
Many of these nations rely on tourism and it is very clear we could collectively damage their prospects of gaining tourists – as a person in a senior position in the tourism sector in New Zealand I know this can be achieved. The Internet can be far more damaging than any explosive tipped harpoon. We simply just have to coordinate the public effort and display how the public voice can be effective.

Bob Greenie said...

Japan has used its financial resources to gain a foothold in small, cash-strapped nations; it has also pandered and prostituted the governments who have the misguided view that more yen will assist not only their country but the personal fortunes and political milage of the state servant sanctioning the greed motive.
I strongly believe in bringing the power of the Internet to bear on these tainted officials and their cohorts in the respective governments. They must be brought to account and exposed.
Many of these nations rely on tourism and it is very clear we could collectively damage their prospects of gaining tourists – as a person in a senior position in the tourism sector in New Zealand I know this can be achieved. The Internet can be far more damaging than any explosive tipped harpoon. We simply just have to coordinate the public effort and display how the public voice can be effective.

libertyful said...

so great to see suport from as far away as new zealand... well done eli - and johnny and fran and bob and tanya and the Uni of Georgia scientists and all who are involved in the conservation of endangered species ... even when it looks like the chips are down, think of your kids and their kids and keep up the fight!on a personal note, eli first held a baby turtle in his hands when he was around 2 years old and his dad and i were babysitting callaloo beach hotel on the south coast of antigua.. in those days we were pretty ignorant and figured we would increase the chances of a nest of hatchlings surviving by keeping them in salt water tanks till they were bigger... a guy we knew in parham kept them for a while before releasing them into the ocean... so much work has been done since then... so much more is known..yet so many issues seem so much more pressing in our troubled world.. but everything is related. if we can only educate people to respect the natural order of things and lessen the interference of mankind in that order, wonders like this little hawksbill will survive to play their part in the natural order and delight future generations into the bargain... thanks to you all for your work and your dedication.

Anonymous said...

Hello Eli,

Did you see this article? Whats up? http://www.radiojamaica.com/news/story.php?category=6&story=35422 I currently live in Antigua, and thank you for the link to carribean whale friends

Rockinamyg