Saturday, June 13, 2009

Wyland Wall huge marine murial in Antigua. The video

A great movie showing photos taken by Roddy Grimes Graeme of here in Antigua of the soon to be famous whale and marine murial done by Wyland and kids from all over Antigua. If you are in Antigua you should go have a look at this thing. It's kids like these who will help change Antigua's stance on whaling. Aquafilms didn't do the movie, but Roddy's images are always nice to look at.


Anonymous said...

The organisers of the Wyland mural in Antigua lied to the authorities and people of Antigua and Barbuda. In an effort to promote their fund rasing(save the Whales)agenda they gave the people the impression that they were highlighting features of the Island's marine life;instead they painted a huge picture of a whale and a token of a few marine species that have no relevance to the the sustainable use of the marine environment in Antigua and Barbuda. The kids that participated in this project are not a true representation of the tipical antiguan kid, these are a privalige few from the very privalege schools, The typical Antiguan is more concerned about the sustainable use of the resources of the ocean for food instead of the nastolgic and self serving intentions of the neo colonialists that are still hell bent to tell the governments in the Caribbean how to use their natural resources so that the maximum benifits from their use can continue to be directed into the coffers of the children of the Colonialists.Our fishermen and the living resources of the ocean are more important to the economies and food security of the caribbean than those persons that are making Millions of dollars from the deceptive conservation campaigns in promotion of a very narrow and personal agenda to save whales that are neither threatened or endangered. If these so called vanguards of the marine enviroment were sincere they would use some of the funds that they raised to offer scholarships to Caribbean youths to persue environment and resource use studies so that they can can help to develop the caribbean region in a sustainable manner to benefit caribbean peo ple instead of the few opportunists that are benifiting significantly from this deceptive "save the whale" campaign.

Ali said...

"If the japanese whaler people are going to pay someone to spread a bunch of propoganda like that they should at least find someone that can spell and has good grammar! Seriously though, that is one very ignorant person."

Jane said...

Hi Eli , Good seeing U today .. Boy did that comment VEX me on your blog !! Naturally I replied, but for some reason I couldn't get the blog to take what I wrote ..I'm really tired , & I guess I didn't do something right !!?? ;o me na no If I copy & paste what I wrote below, will you enter it for me !? I'd really like to STICK it to this ignoramous !! Here it is ...copied & pasted to U Lordie Merci, I actually feel sorry for this very misinformed person that wrote this CRAP !! You are so wrong ! What we need, is to get the Japaneese and others, including our French neighbours out of our waters, so that the fish painted on the mural will actually still exist ! We do not need the fisheries compounds built here, and in Barbuda to sustain our industry ..all these con artists are doing , are raping our waters of fish & taking ALL for themselves ! We or rather [the government] sold our soul to the DEVIL, for WHAT? Now we get to eat farmed TALAPIA ..grown in dirty fresh water !!?? Thanks but no thanks ! It's high time any boat that's not Antiguan get OUT of our waters , go home, & find their own fish, before ours is all gone ! Just think of the revenue we could earn if we put this in check, & fined the culprits ! I want to eat , grouper, snapper, mahi mahi, king fish, lobster etc. in 10 years from now, it's already getting difficult to buy these fish! When is our Government going to be accountable for it's BAD decisions !??

franbanks said...

Maybe as a way of protest againt the jap whalers people should boycot going to antigua for a holiday,i think many people here in the uk are againt whaling,perhaps the govenment will take not and listen,i would rather see a whale than a whaling ship if i come back to your lovely country said...

Fran, it is my opinion that if tourism is hurt the island stays poorer and less educated which ultimately leads to a bigger reliance on "aid" from corrupt nations, businesses, and people. Boycotting Antigua will not make rich politicians who take bribes change their stance, so you can be assured that this won't help people. Read the comments in the blog from yesterday and see what i said further on the topic.

To be specific, Antigua's support on international whaling means that they just vote alongside Japan, Norway, and Iceland during international whaling conventions and it does not mean that whaling will be done here in the Caribbean. You will not see Japanese whaling ships in the Caribbean. What you will see is Japanese fisheries complexes being built to be used as storage and not as the purpose they were intended as commercial fishing is a thing of the past here. Somehow the Gov. missed that bit of info.

franbanks said...

point taken and understood

triniman said...

It never fails to disgust me as born and bred West Indian when I see the level of ignorance and unadulterated bigotry and racism (that is what it is I assure you) that Mr. Anonymous has graced us with in response to Eli’s well meaning post on the Wyland Mural in Antigua. Why is it that self-styled “intellectuals” who think that by invoking terms like “neo-colonialism” in any and every argument they engage in, that this gives them the moral high ground in what is an incredibly ill-informed and self belittling inferiority complex rant against people who genuinely want to see countries like Antigua prosper and sustainably develop as opposed to the real “neo-colonialists” who are there for one thing and one thing only – profit? Intellectually stunted buffoons like this have decimated the ecology of my home country Trinidad where now our Bucco reef is a shadow of its former self due to the careless run off of coastal construction, illegal quarrying by armed gangs in league with the government ravage our hillsides, and hundreds of acres of tropical rainforest have been cleared by our ‘leaders’ to build massive aluminum smelters that necessitate yearly cancer screening for villagers in surrounding communities, the wholesale destruction of beaches…!!!!! The list could go on and on!!! What is so ironic is that when people oppose this kind of thing, the first thing the devious hate mongers say is that “those who oppose this are the privileged few” the “children of the colonialists” etc etc. But who suffers from this? The poor man who now lives in the shadow of a carcinogen belching monstrosity where once a rain forest stood. The fisherman who no longer can feed his family because the fish spawning grounds have silted up, the small farmer whose home and crops are covered in dust from the illegal quarries… Again the list goes on… And who wins? Certainly not the common man – there are no jobs for him – unless he’s happy to be a security guard at the gate or perhaps if he’s lucky a janitor! The real winners are the corrupt greedy local politicians lured by the bribes and baubles of the of the developed world’s corporate fat cats who know a good thing when they see it and who take great pleasure in fooling little island boys like Mr. Anonymous into thinking that if he can parrot words like “neo-colonialism” he might just have a leg to stand on in his pathetic attempt to have an opinion on a subject he clearly knows nothing about.

Anonymous said...

i like this triniman.. well said.

Anonymous said...

Let us keep this debate in prospective, I am an ecologist and like Triniman I do not support the wanton destruction of our coastal zone or our marine environment, but my point remains one of sustainable use of resources for the benefit of the people of the Caribbean and not the sentimentality that is associated with the untrained conservation enthusiasts that promote their arguments on emotive opinions rather than the realities that sustainable livelihoods and food security of small island states is tied to the sustainable and consumptive use of living marine resources. Why should we be singling out the absolute protection of one marine family "CETACEANS" (Whales and Dolphins) while at the same time promoting the sustainable use of other species such as lobsters, snappers, groupers and conch? The problem is that some of us are against the sustainable use of whales for food whether or not those species that are targeted can be sustainably harvested this is unfortunately wrong and very discriminate. What we are doing is imposing our cultural and culinary preferences on others; if this is not bigotry then what is? I still maintain that if the true story about the issues surrounding the international whaling debate is told to the people of the Caribbean, there would be majority support to the coastal people of Norway, Iceland St Vincent and Japan who harvest a relatively small number of whales from abundant whale stock. If those species were endangered or remotely threatened then as an ecologist I would have the moral and professional obligation to speak out against their harvesting and this I would do without fear or favor. While I respect the emotional views of those who might have misguided sentiments that whales are so endangered that they must be saved at all cost or the arguments that whales are ancient mammals of the ocean and therefore should be given special protection I can neither agree or support those views. Unfortunately the complex marine ecosystem dictates that all marine species must be manage and utilize within the framework of a management model that takes the entire marine ecosystem into consideration, Anything short of the ecosystem approach which also factors in the human element will (and underline the word will) result into the long term detriment of the populations of those species that we are emotionally trying to protect. I have no apologies for my references to the neocolonialists and the children of the colonialists in the region because the evidence is clear that on matters of conservation and protection of the marine ecology the need of the traditional users of these resources are often either under played or ignored in place of the virtues of what I call the pleasures of non consumptive use of these very resources for the benefits and enjoyment of nontraditional users that are usually the children of colonialists and the neocolonialists. What is racist about this factual observation? This is not endemic to Antigua alone but it is a phenomena throughout the Caribbean and is even more prevalent in areas like the US Virgin Islands(St Thomas and St John's) where vast areas where local fishermen once fished to sustain their livelihoods and contributing to food security are now under national park protection benefiting USA "continentals" that can afford the investments in activities such as pleasure cruising, Sport fishing and other tourists related activities, fishermen were deprived of their traditional livelihoods and have been relegated to becoming bartenders and taxi drivers, while the lucrative benefits from the marine resources are taken over by the neo colonialists and the children of the colonialist. Why ,Triniman are these observations seem to you to be racists. I am not a racist in any measure but a true defender of the marine environment and the coastal people the world over that have a right to the sustainable use of all marine species in accordance with their cultural and culinary preferences.

Antiguan said...

you are a pretty smart person probably paid very highly by the Japanese gov. and I think you do know quite a bit about what's going on, but you are missing plenty.
I think you should read up on your west indian history a bit more. neither the whites nor the blacks who live here with all the other creeds at the moment are any more "traditional" than the next one. Remember the true traditional people were what are now known as the Arawak people. There is no record at all of Whales ever being hunted here in Antigua or Barbuda. They were "traditionally" protected by the true people of this area. That arguement is simplified though in your delivery and has nothing much to do with the heart of the matter. This isn't about "neo colonialists" telling Antiguans what to do. It is about Japan paying our political representatives what to vote for and what propaganda to sell to the people. Fifty million dollars worth of manipulation and as we see here it isn't just about building fisheries plants. This dedication to manipulate a foreign nation is the worst type of neo slavery. It is pure MENTAL SLAVERY!

ali said...

why has this anonymous guy not commented on any of your other blog articles. where there are 'actual' foreign people fishing in our waters? for instance the recent article about guadelouope FADS all over Antiguan waters. or how about a comment on the ones about gill nets that just wipe out everything that gets too close. how about a positive comment on the efforts you put in with the help of your friends to go out and clean up trash from the beaches. i know you have written about these things more than once but dont remember THIS GUY being concerened AT ALL. seems like he is only interested in this JAPANESE BRIBE MONEY for real. antigua and barbuda doesnt need japanese bribes to build a decent jetty or two, or to build a fuel dock.
and i cant stand how he looks at some pictures and sees a couple white kids in there and starts talkin about neo colonialism.. yes racist!!!
also i would like to know who is making these 'millions of dollars from the deceptive conservation campaigns' .. LOL please tell me how that is possible. i thought conservations efforts were made mostly by donations and volunteers.

Ms Nemo said...

As I can not contain myself ????!

triniman said...

By very definition Japan’s actions – exchanging large sums of money with small states like Antigua for their support for what it disingenuously labels “scientific research” is self serving and thus “neo-colonialist” in nature! Is it that Japan as a non-white / non-European power doesn’t fit the profile of the ‘oppressor’ and thus warrants less suspicion than some fair skinned (and dark skinned!) children painting whales and fish at the side of the road?

Forgive this continued focus on race but I’m afraid that Anonymous’ first letter seethes with barely concealed animosity at what he apparently perceives to be some ulterior agenda (filling the “coffers”!) of those he describes as “the children of the colonialists”. Using terms such as these, coined in newly independent post colonial 1960’s Africa in 2009 is symptomatic of a malaise existent across the wider Caribbean where any and every failing of post independent governments here can be conveniently explained away by the continuing evil influence of the ‘oppressor’ and his lust for continued domination.

I am not an ecologist, but I think that I have enough common sense to be able to formulate an informed and rational opinion given the facts. I am not opposed to the sustainable harvesting of whales in situations such as exists in Bequia (where it poses as much danger to the man armed with a hand held harpoon in a flimsy wooden boat) and other places where this activity forms an integral part of local heritage and can be shown to be fundamental to the culture and way of life of that society.

Japan however, despite their claims at having 400 years of whaling history is unashamedly attempting to fool the world. Eating whale meat only became common in Japan during World War II when severe food shortages meant that starvation was the alternative. In 1982 when the International Whaling Commission (created in 1946 to regulate the sustainable harvesting of Whales) voted to introduce a moratorium on Whale hunting given the severely reduced numbers of whales remaining, Japan - citing scientific research reasons, continued killing whales to the tune of 25,000 from then until now. Not one peer reviewed, reputable scientific paper has been published as a result of these 25,000 kills. The meat from these whales far from feeding the masses in poorer countries finds its way to high class restaurants in one of the wealthiest nations in the World. Given that a Japanese newspaper poll in 2005 indicated that only 4% of Japanese regularly ate whale meat, it is clear that there is more going on here than meets the eye. Citing Jeff Kingston an academic who studies whaling, BBC news ( indicate that the tradition of eating whale meat in Japan is an ‘invented’ one – a policy that the government perpetuates because as Kingston says “This has become a touchstone issue for Japanese people who are sick and tired of being pushed around and told what to do by other countries like the United States," and that "If the media and a few leaders tell them that whaling and eating whale meat is part of Japanese tradition and culture, people are willing to believe it." This isn’t about food resources or heritage or what Japanese people like to eat, it’s all about a small, vocal minority in Japan who see this as a matter of pride and nationalism and a way to stick it to the West who they no doubt also see as being big bad neo-colonialists – just like you do.

Anonymous, I applaud your support for sustainable development and I respect you for that. What I cannot accept are your insinuations that somehow there is a conspiracy by those you describe as “neo-colonialists’ to take over and usurp your interpretation of what - or who the Caribbean is, or should be. Just so you know, over in Trinidad where we don’t have tourists and neo-colonialists depriving us of our indigenous ways of life, we have only ourselves to blame for being taxi drivers and bartenders. Good luck – let’s hope that in time you come to see the light! said...

As it was too long to include here I put part of the comment taken from

Mr. Anonymous, It strikes me that you may indeed be a shrill for the Japanese government and a "gun for hire" in their endeavor to return to commercial whaling.

The anti-whaling movement is not averse to aboriginal subsistence whaling and before you raise objection to the word Aboriginal read your dictionary for its definition, it is not degrading in anyway. These are the people who originally settled and adapted to the areas in which they live and have thrived, mainly coastal oriantated. This is also another topic in terms of human rights, but let us stay on point.

I doubt the organizers lied to the authorities, perhaps there is a "turf war" as to who is the authority, therefore someone's ego may have been bruised.

ALL schools were invited to participate, fact. However some were unable due to a short lead time and exams. However there was provision made for individuals who may have wanted to participate. Yes, I called the organizers and asked !!

Sustainable use, this is an interesting phrase that is very Japanese inspired. However the practice is another conundrum. In Antigua and Barbuda, now the proud recipients of what four fisheries facilities, and one under construction in Barbuda leaves it to the coast guard to patrol the water of our EEZ, a huge area some 110,000 plus square km's of sea. Yet, regularly vessels from Guadeloupe arrive and purchase seafood from local fishermen, likely with no export license or account of how much of what has been removed from the ecosystem. Two points, where is the tax revenue that would be due, more importantly from a sustainable use "pov" how the heck can fisheries be managed from an ecosystem approach with no monitoring ?

I have myself brought a policeman to show him fishermen who were harvesting juvanile conch, not his problem he tells me, ok so call the fisheries I suggest, he was unwilling to do so, yet laws were being broken and not enforced by a law enforcement officer !!!!!! Later I saw he was happily receiving a bag of cleaned conch….aah there is the answer, graft !

MORE ON the long but very interesting comment here

Roddster said...

Sweet debate indeed. I must confess that as I was taking the photos here it struck me that the first group of kids was from a well-off demographic but as the day wore on, more schools showed up, representing the full social range of Antiguan schools. The species they painted were taken from photo cards handed out by Wyland and the organisers and yes, there are some 'exotic' species represented that dont live here. However the points of the excercise were : 1) to expose these kids to a major international artist. A guy who has made a great living and contribution to society through an unconventional skill. Not banking, not law or dentistry but art. That is inspiring to talented young artists. Especially in a place where that talent has limited career avenues and support. I'm sure he has made some of those kids, regardless of their social status, feel like they can do this too. All kids need something to aim for.
2) to create an un-missable statement about the wonder of our ocean. What is out there? how does it work? People will see that every day for the next 10 years hopefully. So many Antiguans have no idea that sperm whales pass by here occasionally and that Humpbacks can be seen breaching every spring in our waters. If this mural, innacurate as it may be about actual marine diversity here, causes Antiguans to search for info themselves or to realize that we're surrounded by the same species that we can see on TV shows from around the world, it will only help awareness that we actually do have something to protect in our waters. So that is the point of the mural. It is political now because of the Japanese investment in Antigua's IWC vote. Anonymous claims to support only sustainable resource use locally. To do that we need a marine reserve system like, St. Lucia, the BVI's, and like the ones in NZ and Australia. There are lots of stakeholders and our resources cannot be just for the fishermen or tour ops or anyone else. Most importantly there must be totally protected areas from shoreline to blue water where enough examples of local species can live their life cycles to repopulate the areas where they are fished. This is NOT what the Japanese are paying for so they have not provide fishery patrol boats to keep the french out, or local education on marine conservation.

Roddster said...

By funding fish plants, they are just developing levels of fishery capacity in an island that can't support those levels. They may have the goal of having global bases where they can land catches and supply Japan with fish from around the world. The concern with whaling is that it will again go out of control and exceed the ability of the affected species to reproduce and therefore wipe them out as happened in the last centuries. Pro whalers say they will stay within those bounds but the problem is that they can change all the time. Factors like climate change could collapse the polar ecosystems where whales feed, making populations unsustainable when whaling pressure is added. The point is that nobody knows what the right levels are for species that take such a long time to reproduce and have low birthrates. Humans have a history of depleting the most abundant species to insignificant levels. Codfish, right whales, its happening right now with Bluefin tuna. Driven by Japanese demand. Japan wants to secure its future food supply using populations of migratory species like whales and Tuna that no nation has exclusive rights to. They have jumped through the IWC loophole on scientific whaling to do so and are making fools of the rest of the world in the process. Especially countries that sell their vote in exchange for enhanced fishing capacities in their own local waters that cannot sustain it!!!!

Thankfully we have the internet now and anyone with access can seek out information on this and learn for themselves based on facts and not opinions. It is sweet to see Antiguans excited about a project like this wall and it is tragic that many of the species on it are so scarce now. Not one of the reefs I dove as a child looks anything like it once did and seeing big reef predators is so rare its a thrill. Lets get our heads out of the sand (if it hasnt been carted off for cement ) and do something about all this. Its way beyond fisheries - our entire economy depends on marine ecosystem health. Even for taxi drivers and waiters . . . Like it or not we live in a Tropical beach economy. Except that the beaches and reefs look nothing like they used to 20 years ago. So we are in fact endangering our economy by allowing this all to slide. Its not someone else's fault either, not even Japan's. It's our fault for doing things wrong. We can change, but will we? Anonymous talks about 'privelage'. Our politicians have the privelage of representing us and securing our future. Does a tropical beach economy have a future without tropical beaches and reefs??? Who will taxi drivers carry and waiters serve then? Anyone who thinks that environmentalism is for the elite has a rude shock coming.

Anyway, thats enough of a rant for now.

Jane in Antigua said...

Wow ..the blog is heating up,though I still think too many have missed the point ! Getting into foolishness like "neo-colonialism" ,racisium, who born here etc. is only deviating from the crux of the problem. It's like they want to hide the TRUTH , which all boils down to greed, corruption, & greasing each others palms for profit, while the little man SUFFERS ! Let me re-phrase that , not , the "little man" ..the hardworking, honest man , be him/her a fishers person , or a customer at the fish market looking to buy local FRESH fish , that is not just parrot fish, old wife , jack fish ... but our snappers, groupers etc.all mentioned previously. They/We are ultimately the ones effected, not the "Big Wigs" ..

It's all fine and well to intellectualise , rationalise, and try to justify. But the truth remains, we have destroyed our marine resources in the Caribbean , and if we are not careful we will have no fish left to enjoy for ourselves ! Yet this tiefing is all under the guise of 'sustainability' ? Sorry , but B.S. !!! Who is really profiting from this ? Does anybody know how much we are selling our fish & lobster to the Japaneese for ? Are we REALLY making $$$ ...NO ..

Lets rethink our reasons for allowing the destruction of our natural resources .Like the Trini bloger said , where does this decimation end ,and how many must suffer needlessly ,for profit by some power hungry and greedy polititians ! ? We the people , must put these concerns and issues in check , before we hit the point of no return ..We have a VOICE , lets excercise it !