Tuesday, November 01, 2005

No introduction needed...

Greenpeace fined as Rainbow Warrior damages Philippines reef

TUBBATAHA REEFS, Philippines (AFP) - Greenpeace was fined nearly 7,000 dollars after its flagship Rainbow Warrior II damaged a coral reef in the Philippines during a climate change awareness campaign.

The crew were handed a 384,000-peso (6,857-dollar) fine after the 55-meter (180-foot) motor-assisted schooner ran aground in the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park Monday, park manager Angelique Songco and Greenpeace said in the joint statement.

The ship's bow sliced through a reef formation measuring 96 square meters (1,033 square feet), they said Tuesday.

Songco earlier told AFP the ship had damaged 160 square meters (1,722 square feet) of corals and that its crew had been fined 640,000 pesos (11,600 dollars). No explanation was given over the revised figures.

Greenpeace official Red Constantino described the damage as an "accident" that was "regrettable". He said the environmentalist group would pay the fine on Wednesday.

The Rainbow Warrior II arrived in the reserve in the middle of the Sulu Sea, about 600 kilometers (375 miles) south of Manila, last weekend as part of a four-month Asia-Pacific campaign to promote earth-friendly energy sources.

"The chart indicated we were a mile and a half" from the reef when the ship ran aground, Constantino told AFP. He said the August 2005 navigational map had been provided by the mapping office of the Philippine government.

The ship's own rubber boats safely towed the Rainbow Warrior II into deeper water, and it escaped serious damage, an AFP photographer aboard the ship said.

Songco said park authorities "appreciate the immediate action they took to get the full assessment of the damage".

Originally built in Britain in 1957 as a steam-powered fishing vessel, the Rainbow Warrior II replaced its namesake that was sunk by French agents in 1985 in Auckland harbor on its way to Moruroa Atoll to block a French nuclear test.

One crew member drowned and two French secret service agents were later jailed after pleading guilty to charges of manslaughter and wilful damage.

Constantino said Greenpeace proceeded as scheduled with underwater dive sorties to inspect the effect of global warming on the coral formation, which is listed as a World Heritage Site by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

They found healthy corals at Tubbataha and no evidence of bleaching, a phenomenon believed to be caused by warming sea temperatures.

Constantino said their healthy state did not disprove the theory of global warming, which he described as an "extremely complicated science".

BAHahahahahahahahahaha...*GASP*...hahahahahahahahahaha. So, not only do they damage the reef...they damaged it more than "global warming." Smooth move guys. Apparently, they learned navigation from the Capt. Joe Hazelwood school.


Blogger Darth Weasel said...

Too bad the French agents were jailed. Best thing done by them in a couple centuries.

11 November, 2005 08:39  

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