UPDATE: Reading the various comments in Sunday's "Times of Malta" there is quite a bit of criticism of the Fishing Companies based in Malta. However that may be, as regards the conservation of the bluefin tuna for the future the fishing is legal and under a quota. The importance of conservation, which NAUTICAL LOG strongly believes in, does not give the right to NGO's to self-appoint themselves to attack catch cages and injure fishermen.
The key phrase from PM Dr. Lawrence Gonzi this morning was "no one can justify his cause through illegal means". The Greenpeace and Sea Shepherds are wrong because they are acting at sea outside the law. Under maritime law that is piracy clear and without any confusion, as such it must be punished in an organised society otherwise we will all descend into total anarchy.
Grazzi - bongu.
The official word has come from Malta this morning, in an interview with the Prime Minister Dr. Lawrence Gonzi. The government can never tolerate Maltese fishermen being attacked and obstructed in their work. As a result of clashes between the fishermen and tuna fishing protesters this week, both Greenpeace and Sea Shepherds, the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) are authorised to take action. NAUTICAL LOG quotes Dr. Gonzi:
"For as long as our fishermen operate according to the law, they will have the protection of the government with all available resources and also the protection of the international community."
This latter statement means that the various EU naval vessels on fishery protection duty can pursue the SS-PG vessel MS Steve Irwin throughout the Mediterranean.
Dr. Gonzi continues:
"We respect the NGO's but no one can justify his cause through illegal means."
NAUTICAL LOG and indeed many others now hope that The Netherlands Flag State pirate vessel MS Steve Irwin will be arrested at sea and taken to port for the trial of the crew. Since there is an outstanding International Arrest Warrant for Paul Watson he can and should be handed over to the Japanese law enforcement authorities. The reaction within Malta has been positive since the sovereignty of the Maltese people has been violated. One might add that the tiny island of Malta is showing a lot more positive decision-making than the large and cocky island of Australia. Well done Malta!