NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
Allen Moore is the International Relations Officer for Mec Vannin and Environmental Officer for Celtic League Mannin.
In the article below he delivers an acerbic view of Mann’s new ‘trading partner of choice’ China following information he gleaned from contacts made after a recent visit to Australia.
His article about the conditions for fisherman matches the reports we have carried previously from Ian Urbina’s series of articles (The Outlaw Ocean) published by the New York Times.
As this article indicates the Chinese, as well as illegal fishing, are also destroying coral reefs and constructing huge man made islands like the one pictured with an airfield on it.
“Doing business with poachers and vandals
I was voted Mec Vannin’s International Relations Officer at the last AGM. It’s an apposite role as I travel extensively both in Europe, the Celtic countries and further afield.
I have been to Australia 5 times in the last 10 years, visiting friends from the Isle of Man, others who have worked with me in Noble’s Hospital and Australian friends. On one of my trips I signed up to receive emails from Greenpeace Australia.
As if there isn’t enough to be depressed about in the Isle of Man and elsewhere in Europe environmentally on 14th October 2015 Greenpeace Australia sent me the following:
Greetings again from the Rainbow Warrior, where we spent the last two months traversing the stunningly beautiful Pacific Ocean.
We’ve been on a mission to find out what’s really going on in the tuna industry. We boarded nine boats in total – seven Chinese flagged, and two Taiwanese flagged. We encountered illegal fishing, shark finning and oppressive working conditions. One boat had pinned up a scrap of paper informing fishermen of fines – huge relative to their meager wages – for things like drinking bottled water (reserved for officers only) or falling asleep on the job (even though they can be expected to work up to 17 hours per day).
It’s hard to imagine people living like this, sometimes for years at a time without a break. But by exposing these abuses, we’re creating real change, and that’s why it’s so important to keep going.
In direct response to the overwhelming evidence of illegal fishing gathered by the Rainbow Warrior, Taiwanese authorities are investigating the crew and threatening strong action. To protect its resources, Nauru has decided to ban the transferring of fish onto mother ships at sea – a practice that lets vessels fish for years without oversight and facilitates illegal fishing and labour abuse. Other Pacific Island nations are being urged to follow suit. It’s a potential game-changer, and this is only the beginning.
Captain, Rainbow Warrior’
You will see that our business partners China are implicated in this. Last month I saw the following link on the BBC:
How bad are we getting in the Isle of Man that we have to do business with such wreckers of the planet as the Chinese? I have snorkelled in the Great Barrier Reef and have seen the diversity of life in the coral reefs. My children will tell you, quite correctly, that I wasn’t very good at snorkelling, but even in those seconds before I had to surface spluttering I could see what amazing life coral reefs have. Coral reefs are said to be good at absorbing carbon dioxide, something to do with chemical reactions producing the calcium carbonate that coral sets down in its structure. The Chinese are wrecking the coral reefs, ironic when there was all that talk at the recent Paris Climate Conference. The reaction of the Chinese government to the imprisonment by the Philippines of the poachers shows that it cannot be claimed that they are unaware of the poachers’ actions in what is disputed territory, despite being much closer to the Philippines than China. The Chinese government are good for business, despite their human rights record. The business community probably said that about Nazi Germany in the 1930s!
Issued by: The Celtic News
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.
The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues