Tuesday, August 22, 2006

French Fishermen Block Greenpeace

Fishermen and authorities running the port in France’s southern city of Marseille are blocking the arrival of a Greenpeace ship due this week amid a row over a campaign to save dwindling tuna stocks. The head of a tuna fishermen’s union, Mourad Kahoul, told journalists yesterday that “if the Greenpeace ship arrives it won’t be welcome — all the fishing sector is mobilised, the ship will not be accepted.” Marseille authorities have retracted initial permission given last month to Greenpeace for its Rainbow Warrior II to dock in the port.“The main reason is that this is a commercial port and this ship is not a commercial ship,” a spokeswoman, Claire Battedou, said, adding that security was also a concern. Greenpeace had been planning to use its ship in the port for a public information campaign about the threat to tuna stocks from overfishing. It was basing its action on a July report by the allied conservation group, the World Wide Fund for Nature, which said tuna were in danger of disappearing from the Mediterranean because of illegal catches by French, Turkish and Libyan boats.

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