William Benjamin, adviser to Trinidad & Tobago's Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources made some interesting comments back in 2004, which I am finally getting around to posting about now.
"... Cabinet took a decision to involve what we call the ecosystem approach to the management of our fisheries, the study of all species. We look at the total ecosystem. We have to look at the top predators and the last organism in the food chain."These comments came in an interview following a CARICOM sustainable use symposium held in Trinidad and Tobago.
"Decisions concerning the utilisation of our marine resources should be based on sound scientific information. If the information indicates commercial whaling will be resumed, then let it be. This is food for some people."
"Look at the people of South East Asia, the Japanese, the Taiwanese. They are people too. Their culture is to consume all types of marine resource.
"Very few of us in the Caribbean utilise whale meat as food, but those who choose to do that, if it's their culture, they must be free to do so, once the resources placed here by God can be used in a sustainable manner.
"These decisions cannot be based on your emotions, or the Director of Fisheries' emotions ... They must be based on the scientific evidence."
"Science and technology must inform decisions we make and not the emotions of other people prodding you."
"... people have been going overboard in an unscientific way. People will tell you some species are endangered when in fact they are not. These people have an agenda. They are not forthcoming with the truth; the argument is very skewed to support the agenda of choice."
"People are saying we must not use our resources at all. Protectionism against conservation. Thirty years ago, the same people who banned whaling were decimating the whale population of the world to supply factories with oil and grease and to put light in street lamps. Then they discovered petroleum, they decide, okay, let us put the ban on whales. They telling Third World people not to use these resources as food. They were concerned about their Industrial Revolution."
"... the same people who decimated the whale, put the ban on whale oblivious to those people who use those resources as food. After 20 years the IWC has become a political instrument, and it is telling the world that the whale population is still endangered. Other researchers are telling us no, that some species of whales are recovered and allow for sustainable use.""It's a big open sea; an environment that have all the marine resources in there. If we are to manage our fisheries in a sustainable manner then we have to take into account the impact of the whales on our fisheries.
"The Government of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Cabinet, has taken a decision to investigate that. We must investigate the impacts of whales on our fisheries resources."
"... I know that whales would impact on our fisheries population-could impact-once the population is large enough. Since it is well recognised that the IWC makes decisions that impact our fisheries and the food security of many Third World countries, then perhaps we as a country would want to participate in that decision-making. It would probably not affect us, our food security, but other Third World brothers and sisters. We must be concerned at their welfare and be there to support them."
June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 January 2010 February 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 February 2011 March 2011 May 2013 June 2013