The other night on the news a new law has been passed here in French Polynesia. It is no longer legal to kill sharks and export the meat and fins to Japan. Now let me tell you why this one is so wonderful. Here the islands are a natural paradise and the balance of nature is so important to the existence of life here on the islands.
For a very long time we had a President who was into advancing the economy of the islands and turning this natural paradise into a commercial enterprise such as Hawaii. For everyone who lived here on the islands the year he was voted out of Presidency was the year change started to take place. Our next President was not so wonderful either. He was a man who thought the islands should be independent. But in achieving this goal he tried to make deals with China and Japan.
During this period our fishing industry was exploited and our waters were invaded by boats from Japan and China. They had come here to fish our waters and take all the fish they could. They started to build here on the islands at an extreme rate cutting down mountain to build large condo units on the mountain tops.
The Tahitian people were loosing their land and on top of this the waters were being stripped of our fish and polluted from the boats that came here. One day the Tahitian stood up for their rights here on the islands and rebelled from these attacks. They were tired of the rivers being dredged for the rock they had and the lands being stripped of the trees. The Tahitian people are simple people who live off the land and value nature.
The year finally came and we were able to vote for a new President. Since this time many changes have taken place on the islands. One is that our waters have been saved from commercial fishing out of Japan and China. Second change the President made was to stop the cutting of the mountain. The President hired or found a Minister who was for the ecology of our islands.
The first changes we saw was the fish in our waters started to be replenished. Second the building came to a halt. The mountain were no longer cut down and apartments or condos built where the trees belongs. During the years before the effect of cutting the mountains has come back to haunt them greatly. During our summer months is our rain season. This year and last we have had a lot of rain on the islands. The effect of cutting down the mountains is now showing. There are mud slides and parts of the mountains are falling apart from the stripping of the natural trees that protected them.
The rivers have been affected as well. From the stripping of the rock now when the rains arrives the water from the mountain flows so fast the river beds can not handle the flow of water. There was a lot of flooding in homes and land from the water due to the fact the rivers no longer have the rocks in the river bed to help control the waters.
With the arrival of the new President changes are taking place here on the islands. The mountains and natural lands are being saved, the waters are safe now from commercial fishing boats out of Japan and China, and our rivers can rebuild themselves with the rocks that are moved down stream from the storms and natural flow of the water. Now it is time to look at the exporting and what the effects it is having on our waters. Japan is a major consumer of shark mean and dried fins. The French took advantage of this and fished sharks from the waters here for seven years. The shark population was in danger. The natural flow of nature was being affected.
Thanks to our new President this has all stopped now. The sharks are safe once again and the balance of nature in our waters can be restored. I have seen changes in our lagoon in the past years. Before when I went swimming I could see thousands of fish in our lagoon. Now you are lucky if you can see small schools of them. The coral is starting to die from the pollution of the fishing boats. Our new President does not want to see this happen. He wants to preserve the islands of Tahiti as a natural paradise for all to enjoy.
I am so happy to know that the sharks now are safe and in hopes that our waters in time will change too. I see since the commercial fishing has been stopped a year back the lagoon is clean again. The fish are starting to return and the coral is starting to grow once again. Here three times a year there is a clean up of the lagoon where everyone pitches in. We go to the water and pick up the bottles, cans, and other stuff the young throw in the water. We are trying hard to educate the young now about the pollution of the waters here on the islands.
This last week was our clean up here on the islands. I am so happy to report that we had hardly any trash in our waters this time. The effort the Government is making to clean up the waters and restore the sharks to them again is working. I know being here on the islands the beauty will be restored due to all our heavy rain fall. The trees are growing again in the mountains and Tahiti is one very lovely green place to live.
I look forward to all your comments on the saving of sharks and the banning of commercial fishing. I feel this is one giant step forward for our oceans here on the islands.
Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)