Here on the caribic islands I look with admiration at the way in which the reefs are protected. There are anchor prohibitions, dumping prohibitions and one is asked to contribute actively in the protection of the reefs. Tourism is more than welcome in the Caribbean and eco tourism and sailors support a big part of the economies. Logical that the reefs are protected. Unfortunately the Eastern Caribbean have no warm feelings for a sailors best friend.
A sailors best friend
Sailors and dolphins are best friends. As world sailor dolphins visit Hope and me many times. They use sonar and know that we are there before I can see them. Dolphins have the biggest brain in relation to their body weight after humans. Many times they approach rapidly jumping high and low until they overtake us and settle on the bow wave. The bow wave pushes them forward so they effortlessly ride along with Hope and glide through the water whilst playing merrily.
Time for working, time for playing
It is magical to see dolphins communicate with each other. Sometimes they stay hours on end with the yacht. I can then almost touch them with my feet and enjoy their company. But one word in dolphin language is enough and the whole pod leaves in a matter of seconds. Incredible what a social cohesion they have. Other times I come across a pod of hunting dolphins and see how they circle around and hunt on a school of fish. On those moments, when they are “working” they do not care for us and ignore Hope and me.
Unfortunately few whales
Whales I don’t see much unfortunately. Whales are biologically the bigger brothers of dolphins and untill the ban of whaling in 1986 have been driven to the brink of extinction. Fortunately most whale species are (slowly) recovering. In the gulf of Biskay I saw some groups. And another off the Canary islands. But they are few. Japan, Iceland and Norway continue whaling and annually kill thousands of whales. In Japan on top of that thousands of dolphins are killed annually and their meat sold as whale meat.
Caribbean support for hunt in exchange for funds
Ever since the whaling ban Japan tries to undo the ban within the International Whaling commission. With bogus arguments Japan tries to achieve this result. It claims that the decline in fish stocks are not the result of over fishing but of hungry dolphins and whales. Also Japan buys votes within the committee. It supports small countries financially with funds for projects or in cash when they vote for a raise of the ban. And as it turns out the own reefs are important but whales and dolphins are not. The Caribbean islands vote in favor of the hunt on dolphins and whales and support Japan in exchange for some cash. Which islands? St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda. Sad.
1. Watch the film http://www.takepart.com/cove/
2. E-mail one of the Caribbean islands tourist offices to stop their support.
3. Go to http://www.takepart.com/cove/ and take action!