Moored in the same basin in Saint-Malo as Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise is a small fishing vessel from the local industry with a banner hanging over the side saying “Greenpeace Prédateur des Emplois de la Filière Pêche” (Greenpeace Predator of the jobs in the fishing industry). The target for today, in the meetings that will follow with local small-scale fishermen, and local politicians, is to find out what this protest is supposed to mean exactly.
Greenpeace of course disputes the very basis of the counter-campaign. In short: if there are no fish, then there will be no fishing jobs. This, their people say, should be clearest of all here in Saint-Malo, a former cod fishing town, with its fleet decimated because there are no more cod. Further, Greenpeace’s statistics seem to show that small scale ‘artisanale’ fishing maintains 50% of the jobs, and 80% of the boats in the French fishing industry. It is industrial fishing, so the argument goes, that wipes out the stocks and does not even keep many people in employment. This was the message projected onto the old town walls of Saint-Malo at 5.30am this morning (low tide, and before the sun was up!) to French Minister of Fisheries – M. Cuvillier, do you know how to count?
So far my ability to live blog / tweet / film what’s going on here has been severely curtailed because the satellite internet on board is so slow so as to be close to un-usable… More coverage later, as and when things improve!