Ireland complicit in Senegal ‘madness’
Damien Enright on our Christian conscience.
TO MAKE provision for our children is a basic instinct. But these days, in making material provision for them, we sometimes destroy the planet they will inherit. We give with one hand, and take with the other. While they could do with less and survive, what we take away is irrecoverable, and without it they cannot survive. If we continue the rape of the planet, the truth is that the sins of the fathers will surely be visited on the children.
In the matter of protecting the Irish environment, we have turned a blind eye to lack of water treatment a laissez-faire approach to waste management and to encroachment on important habitat. We are complicit in the planning outrages all over the country, ditches torn out, bogs drained, slurry from massive pig units polluting the air and running into streams and rivers, raw sewage running into bays. Money is squandered on voting machines and toll road deals. Meanwhile, the health service is among Europe’s worst, the roads and transport system are pathetic and Ireland has the second-lowest percentage of protected wild habitat in the EU.
However, there are fellow humans whose plight is much worse than ours and whose resource we Europeans, with Christian consciences, etcetera, continue to pillage on a daily basis.
Last week, on the ever-excellent TG4, I watched a programme about Senegalese fishermen, and what our EU wealth is doing to them. Africa is, once again, being raped by Europe. Now that we have given back the land, we take the seas. Local chiefs are paid off, as in the Slave Trade days when they sold their own people. The EU pays for fishing rights off Senegal; the EU minister sanctimoniously trots out the figures, 18 million in Aid, two million for fishing rights. Meanwhile, we see the fishermen cast their nets and catch no fish. We hear the spokesman for the fishing village tell us that not a single penny filters down to them. The EU bureaucrats know this. They also know the once-sustainable communities along the coast of Senegal are already in their death throes and we are hastening their death.
Since the EU boats arrived, all the big fish are gone. More than 20 familiar species are now never caught. As one man said, the fish they caught were big as a man; now the biggest is as big as a man’s hand. Villages of fishermen, grandfathers, fathers, and children remembered the fish they landed until a few years ago, gilthead bream, bass, and so on. Now, only the cheapest, smallest fish remain.
In these communities we saw no cars or TV masts, but many children. The village boats were wooden, long, narrow pirogues, open to the elements, with no superstructure or decks. As night fell, the men set out for the deep sea, the raw Atlantic, where it is cold and dark. The only lights are flashlights or lanterns. The French film-makers accompanied a boat of eight men on a night’s fishing. They caught 22 boxes of sardines. For these, they got €22. The diesel cost €35. Meanwhile, huge EU boats bobbed on the horizon, industrial units working day and night, filling their holds.
Aboard, is every kind of navigational aid, fish-finder and bottom-filming equipment, in duplicate. . Areas which were previously too dangerous to fish, where fish could find refuge and reproduce, can now be harvested. The fish have no hiding place.
The EU takes 50% of all fish caught in Senegalese waters. The Irish-owned Atlantic Dawn, a EU boat, can hoover up and freeze 400 tons of fish a day. The coastal communities take the rest, divided between tens of thousands of families. All that is left are the smallest and least commercial inshore fish; and these, now suffering from overfishing, are also disappearing.
Check out the website: http://www.atlantic-dawn.com.
and read the following outrageous lies.
"To future generations we guarantee the sustainability of fish stocks by respecting fishing quotas, only using authorised fishing gear, and avoiding at all times breeding grounds and jeuvenile fish.
The future of fishing is our future..............."
it continues unbelievably:
"Reliability for our company first and foremost means respect for the world's fishing resources. Our company is dedicated to the development of the fishing industry and is committed to the preservation of world stocks."
But worse is to come. The hinterland of Senegal is drying out, desertification is increasing and the population is moving towards the coast, the last resource left.
Soon, this resource will also be gone and massive human tragedy will ensue. We in Europe, having taken that very resource, will supply aid to a proud and brave people whom we have condemned to poverty despair. We have stolen their heritage, knowingly bought it from governments we know have sold out their people. Ireland will send aid, and we may even feel good about it.
We can now map every nuance of the sea bed. We can use our technology to farm it, not to rape it. With the Greens sharing in Government, let Ireland’s complicity in this madness stop.
Kevin McHugh , a greedy bastard by all accounts was called to account by his maker quite recently, (may he rot in Hell) and his family have taken full control of his fishing empire. he was , respecting no territorial limits, it seems judging by the folling article from the Sunday Business Post:
Atlantic Dawn in Mauritania stand-off
Sunday, February 19, 2006 - By Pieter Tesch and Ed Micheau
Talks between EU officials and the west African state of Mauritania about Irish fishing rights broke down this weekend.
Atlantic Dawn, the supertrawler owned by Donegal man Kevin McHugh, was involved in a stand-off with Mauritania after being fined almost $100,000.
The fine was imposed last autumn after the Mauritanian navy boarded Atlantic Dawn for allegedly operating inside an exclusion zone. McHugh’s company rejects the allegation and claims that a number of European factory ships have been victims of increased piracy since a military coup in Mauritania last summer led to the creation of a junta government.
‘‘In September, the Atlantic Dawn was boarded by the Mauritanian Fisheries Patrol for the fifth time in a month,” said Niall O’Gorman, finance director at Atlantic Dawn, which runs the ship.
‘‘They demanded money and also huge quantities of fish.
“The captain refused. He was then notified that he was being detained for fishing inside the permitted limits. The captain denied the allegation, but the vessel was detained. We were not allowed to be present or represented at a hearing, where the vessel was fined.
‘‘The fine was the same as fines imposed on many, if not all, of the other large EU vessels working there. There is no due process or appeals procedure.”
Atlantic Dawn was withdrawn from the region and the company is waiting for the outcome of talks between EU negotiators and the Mauritanian government.
(Mc Hugh is a well connected boyo in Brussels as well as St Lukes Drumcondra)
Speaking to The Sunday Business Post, the Mauritanian fisheries minister Sidi Mohamed Ould Sidina said Atlantic Dawn was not welcome in his country’s waters because of a history of alleged infringements. ‘‘The EU is stressing to introduce Atlantic Dawn to Mauritanian waters under a new fisheries agreement,” he said.
‘‘It is putting pressure on us to accept her in the EU fleet, but we don’t want her. Mauritania is also seeking a substantial increase in EU payments for the right of its vessels to fish in Mauritanian waters. It currently pays €84 million a year for the rights.”
O’Gorman said Atlantic Dawn would only return to the area under the protection of an EU agreement.
It was the newest and largest vessel to grace the Irish fleet. The ship arrived in Dublin August 31st 2000. among quite excitement. The new £50 million supertrawler MFV "Atlantic Dawn" continued to its home port - Killybegs - Friday 1st of September after many setbacks. it was Built in Norway by Umoe Sterkoder AS
The MFV "Atlantic Dawn" is the biggest fishing vessel in the world at over 144m long and a a breadth of 24m. It's top speed is around 18 knots. It has a compliment of 60 men.. It has the capacity to catch process and hold 7,000 tons of Fish ( Enough to feed 18 million people! )
The completion of the vessel was another major success story in the 35 year career of recently deceased owner and Achill Island born, Kevin McHugh. Mr. McHughs owned the hugely successful trawler MFV "Veronica" A magnificent vessel which caught and froze and packaged its fish on board.
The main markets for the produce of these two vessels were West Africa, the Middle East, Central America, an Eastern Europe.the catch was often transferred at sea to other purchasers for hard cash.
Speaking of his new vessel in Dublin where it was registered, Mr. McHugh said that he " wanted to bring fishing in Ireland on to a par with the rest of the world".
The boat that destroyed the lives of ten thousand African, coastal families:
Committee on Procedures and Privileges, July 2006
Frank Fahey wrote to this Committee citing the remarks of Trevor Sargent Teachta Dála in the Dáil when Sargent referred to Fahey as a dodgy builder and accused him of being able to avoid tax in building up a multi-million euro property empire and failing to declare interests in a Moscow hairdressing business. Sargent also maintained that Fahey had given 75% of the total State compensation for fisheries vessels lost at sea to two constituents (of Fahey's) and giving half of Ireland's mackerel quota to one boat, the Atlantic Dawn.
Fahey failed to secure the necessary 75% committee vote to censure Sargent and his failure embarrassed and annoyed his Fianna Fáil colleagues.
Lost at sea scheme
In 2000, Fahey as Minister for the Marine & Natural Resources launched the Lost at sea scheme which was to provide compensation to those fishing vessels, which were lost at sea.It transpired that three quarters of the €2.8m compensation scheme for fishermen went to only two people, both of whom were constituents of Fahey. In 2005, the Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, in an interim report, described the Lost at sea scheme as "seriously deficient and flawed". It was further revealed by Ireland on Sunday that Fahey "had consulted with the two fishermen four months before he introduced it; that he wrote to the two fishermen telling them they were approved before the application process closed; and that the rules were changed to benefit one of them."
Record numbers of refugees reach Spain's Canary Islands
The Rickety "Cayuco" Senegalese fishing boats which are used by "people trafficers".Many are drowned at sea.
Sep 3, 2006, 17:40 GMT
Santa Cruz, Spain - Record numbers of refugees have been streaming into Spain's Canary Islands, with more than 1,100 illegal immigrants landing in the past 36 hours, Spanish officials reported Sunday.
Never before had so many refugees arrived in so short a time, officials said, adding that the immigrants of African origin, including a number of children, were in good health.
Around 20,000 illegal immigrants have landed in the Canaries since January, about four times as many as in all of 2005.
According to aid organizations, as many as 3,000 would-be immigrants have died in the dangerous Atlantic journey.
A conference of Mediterranean states is to take place this month in Madrid to address the continued refugee crisis.
The number of migrants landing on the Canary Islands, off the west African coast, has risen steadily this summer. Close to 6,000 arrived in August, compared with 4,751 for the whole of 2005. Television news footage of Red Cross workers covering dehydrated young men with blankets, or carrying away corpses, is broadcast nearly every evening.
As refugee camps overflow and tourists help bedraggled migrants on to the beach, Madrid is pushing the EU to help cut off this new sea route to Europe.
Spain has pushed immigration to the top of the agenda at the EU summit next month. Ministers from France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia have also been invited to a crisis meeting this month, said a spokeswoman for the Spanish prime minister's office, where the coordination of sea patrols, rescue operations and repatriation will be discussed.
"We are the southern frontier of Europe," she said. "Anyone who enters our country enters the EU. Their final destination may be France or Belgium."
The Spanish foreign minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, believes part of the problem is that Europe does not take its waters as seriously as its airspace or land borders. "There is no concept of maritime frontiers in the EU regulations," he told reporters after meeting Erkki Tuomioja, the foreign minister of Finland, which holds the EU presidency.
Migrants have started taking the risky 600-mile route to the Canary Islands because the shorter land route via Morocco was closed off after clashes last year at the border with the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Another popular route from north Africa to Sicily has been cut off by Italian navy patrols. Spain is a favoured destination as it relies on migrant labour to fuel its economy, especially the construction sector. Until now, Spain has dealt with the boatloads of migrants by signing repatriation agreements with the African countries from where they set sail. The government has also promised economic aid, has supplied sea patrol equipment and opened at least two new consulates.
Last week, three Spanish and Italian naval ships left for Senegal, where they were to join local patrol vessels. People traffickers charge the migrants between €460 (£309) and €760 to make the crossing - with the promise of a refund of half the money if the person is intercepted at sea and repatriated, according to yesterday's ABC newspaper.
But, according to the Canary islands government, less than 10% of those who arrive are sent home. The remainder are held for a short period in detention centres on the islands before being sent to mainland Spain and released. Many end up in limbo, unable to gain work papers and unwilling to return home.
Migrants take this risky 600-mile trip because the shorter route via Morocco has been cut off. Last autumn, hundreds of sub-Saharan migrants met at its border with the Spanish enclave of Melilla, and rushed over razor-wire fences to reach Spanish soil. At least six died. Officials pressured Morocco to step up patrols and repatriate migrants. Another popular route from north Africa to Sicily was cut off by Italian navy patrols, says the International Organisation for Migration. Economists blame the rise in numbers on Spain's reliance on cheap construction labour.
Britian and Ireland are among the final destination countries, particularly Ireland where a recently formed government quango treats them like royalty.Last year the cost to the state for aslyum accommodation was 78.8m euro while the recently formed Irish Naturalisation and Immigration service cost 52m euro.