Mustique homeowner acts as human shield to prevent killing of whale
An international recording artiste used his body as a shield to prevent a whale from being killed off Mustique recently.
Canadian born singer-songwriter, artist, and musician Bryan Adams said when he was on the Grenadine island last week, he intervened and stopped a kill when he saw hunters going after a whale.
Adams said the hunt was taking place within the 1000-metre sea conservation zone around the private island which is home to villas of the rich and famous.
“I was witness to a whale boat and speed boats corralling a whale; several boats going around and hurting it. I saw it first-hand…and I got out on my paddle board, and I was in between the whale and the whaler.
“I was there on a peaceful mission, it was big sea, the moment may have been lost. But the whale was beside me for a moment and it was gone,” related Adams.
He revealed that the whalers left after Mustique’s security boat came and informed them that they could not hunt within the 1000-metre area. He also stated that reports on social media that firearms had been drawn on the whalers during the incident are not true.
Adams, who has a home on Mustique, is also a citizen of St Vincent and the Grenadines and does not consider himself an outsider.
He feels this country should move away from whale hunting to whale watching and other forms of eco-tourism.
As Chairman of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Environment Fund (SVGEF), Adams supports the view of Executive Director of the SVGEF Louise Mitchell that the whalers on Bequia are breaking the rules by using speedboats to catch whales.
Adams said that apart from this aspect of the hunt, the killing of two humpback whales off Bequia during the Easter Regatta last Saturday was witnessed by many tourists including an American who videotaped the incident and published it on Facebook.
He said that looking at the video of speed boats with fishermen throwing a lance, and no whale boat in sight was upsetting and he would like the practice to stop.
The international recording artiste said he started the SVGEF along with Ben Goldsmith (English financier and environmentalist) in 2016 because he loves SVG and wants the natural beauty preserved.
“My role is that of somebody who wants to make sure we protect it (SVG) for the future, for our children and children’s children,” Adams told SEARCHLIGHT via WhatsApp call on Tuesday.
Asked to respond to the opinion of a Bequia whaler that foreigners want to change local traditions, Adams said he does not consider himself a foreigner, so it is not his place to comment on that statement.
He however said that SVG has promised to engage in traditional whaling, “not to corral a whale and hurt it as was seen in the recordings as that shows modern whaling practices and not the traditional way.”
“I have no will to judge anybody or what their tradition is. That is not my place. I have always lent my voice to international causes, environmentally,” said the singer of the mega hit “I do it for you”.
He said the way he feels about the killing of whales, also goes for turtles, geckos and birds. He urged persons to respect the natural environment around SVG.
“I am not interested in damaging the country. I want people to come to SVG and see how beautiful the environment here is.
“It is so broad and beautiful and rare…eco-tourism should be the focus of the future as it is a much more viable thing to be thinking of instead of whaling, because tourists would be horrified if they see that going on,” said Adams whose hits have gone platinum.
Adams said discussions on whaling need to happen and more persons need to support the local environmental efforts.
The SVGEF is funded by Adams, other Mustique home owners and international agencies.