Well I really don’t know quite where to start, what a bizarre day!
Morning started with Tracey, Kevin and I heading in to town for a meeting that I had called with all involved in this plastic disaster. I was growing tired of the usual nonsense that goes on when dealing with governments, where no one wants to take responsibility, or needs to “clarify and get back to you”, add to the mix ‘Agents’ representing shipping companies that have had the misfortune of losing 6 x 40ft containers overboard and “trashing Hong Kong” with billions of plastic pellets and the wheels of action turn even slower. Finally add a good dose of “Insurance” agents and the wheels seem to STOP! Hence why I called for a meeting all around one table to thrash it out face to face!
So I find myself, sitting with my two fellow eco-warriors at a large table surrounded by Government Dept representatives. Everyone was there including the Senior Management reps of Sinopec who still continue to amaze me with their genuine concern for the situation and their assistance in helping to push in the right direction when things grind to a halt. Moments later I’m designated CHAIRMAN of the meeting (after all I did arrange it all)!
Imagine that if you can, a SEA SHEPHERD chairing an environmental crisis meeting for the Hong Kong Government!!! It doesn’t get better than that…. I had a warm cheeky smile inside.
So the meeting goes on and we offer some ideas and stress our feelings of how important it is for Immediate Action. We can’t wait for insurance companies to mess around, we need to be out there now collecting the “Bags of Death” and moving them to safety. We finally convinced the Agent for the Ship Owner to give me funds to hire a helicopter and video the coastlines, so we can see where the high concentrations of sacks are, and get a general overview. Then tomorrow we can send a Rapid Reaction Team in a small boat to collect or at least move the bags to secure safety .
At the start of the day I tallied up the potential bags in the water to be 3,680! There are two containers missing, each with 1,000 bags in each. If we find them, we can account for 2,000 bags! Marine Department were convinced that they were either sunk, or had been washed out into the open ocean!
The scary thing is in the last picture…….a pleasure boat is only feet away, with everyone swimming in pellet infested water!!!!
Let’s see how tomorrow pans out when I take a RIB out to see what we can recover from some of the remote beaches…..whose up for it?
Pictures By Tracey Read.