Worldlog Week 06 – 2012

٧ فبراير ٢٠١٢

I have reported in previous Worldlogs about Dutchman Erwin Vermeulen who was arrested in the Japanese coastal town on Taiji on 16 December 2011. As a Sea Shepherd volunteer he was trying to photograph the trade in dolphins and the attendant slaughter. The trial against Erwin is a matter that is exercising many minds in the Netherlands and there are obviously some misunderstandings about Erwin’s detention and treatment.
Our party also feels involved with this case, which is why we organized a benefit screening of the film The Cove as I reported last week in my Worldlog. The screening was both inspiring and successful, with ticket sales and donations totalling 2500 euros that will go towards Erwin’s legal fees. Not a bad figure and one which will hopefully help Erwin’s speedy return to Dutch soil. Erwin’s next day in court is 16 February. Below is a short photo report of the benefit screening:

On Tuesday 7 February our parliamentary party will be organizing another special event on Erwin’s behalf to which all political parties as well as the public are invited. Speaking at this event will be the director of Sea Shepherd Netherlands, Geert Vons, and Erwin Vermeulen’s father, Ad Vermeulen. We will also be screening The Cove.
PiepVandaag, the Internet community of people making a stand for animals, nature and the environment, has launched an e-mail campaign for Erwin. The e-mails – which are also available in English – can be signed and sent to the Japanese embassy!

Last week we succeeded in getting the issue of the shady dog trade on the political agenda! Following critical questions from Esther Ouwehand, State Secretary Bleker is going to tighten up measures designed to regulate the dog trade. Esther pointed out to Bleker that the mandatory registration of puppies now being implemented by Bleker will have little impact if the origin of the puppies is unknown. This is especially relevant with regard to puppy farms where the breeding bitches are kept under appalling conditions. Urgent measures are required to ensure these puppy farms are inspected as only then can we tackle the dubious trade in puppies. Breeders in eastern Europe, but also in the Netherlands, throw respect for animals to the wind in their blind craving to earn as much money as possible from puppies, with harrowing animal suffering as a result.

Two major articles in daily newspaper Trouw and an item in the television news programme Nieuwsuur have drawn people’s attention to the deplorable situation of the horse mackerel this past week. This fish is mainly caught in the waters around Chile. The population of this fish species is being wiped out by gigantic fishing boats known as trawlers. A portion of the harvested horse mackerel is used as feed for pigs in factory farms. And some of these ‘sailing fish factories’ come from the Netherlands. It is unbelievable that while our seas and oceans are rapidly being emptied of sea life there are still no binding agreements in either the Netherlands or Europe for completely ending the harvesting of, for example, the horse mackerel. Our parliamentary party has requested a debate to be held on the issue in the Lower House on 15 February.

And I would like to end with some beautiful and confrontational photographs of The Big Picture, this time on the extremes people go to in order to ravage the earth's resources.

Till next week!