It’s Monday March 8 and I’ve been at sea now for 10 days – and this was the toughest yet.
Over and above the stuff happening out here on the open water, protecting our natural resources, I’ve had issues back home in Joburg. It’s difficult to deal with these kinds of things at the best of times, but being here helped.
I chatted to Raoul, our lead campaigner, he’d just come back from an afternoon on the inflatables that had been launched from the Arctic Sunrise.
The guys had gone out after lunch to speak to the local fishermen who were this far out – in canoes.
Surprise, surprise, they were from Senegal, but had relocated to Mauritania because the fishing stocks had been pillaged by the big foreign trawlers.
But they’re part of the problem too, because in Mauritania, the gig is that you catch and sell the same day because if you don’t you’ve got the expense of putting the fish on ice, which cuts straight into your profits.
Poverty is one of the four great horsemen of the African apocalypse and these guys have got no real option but to do what they do.
This is why we’re saying at Greenpeace that the European Union has to get involved and build fisheries so the local fishermen can fish in an orderly fashion and make a decent and sustainable living.
As it is Raoul said he’d been touched by what he’d heard and inspired to do more research to find out the real plight of the people living down the west coast.
And, with my wake up call from home and his words to me this evening, I’m right with him on this. We have to do everything we can to save the world, starting right here, right now off the west coast of our beloved continent.