Bob Makin | Vanuatu Daily News Digest
Yesterday’s comment from a well-known local environmentalist that even removing limestone chimneys takes place in the name of research was followed by another pointing out how much play there is between the words mining, digging, exploiting and prospecting, and also research.
Wendy Him Ford points out that the International Court of Justice finally got round to seeing what the Japanese called marine scientific research of whales as commercial whale fishing last year.
However, today, the Acting Commissioner of Mines quite rightly points out that VT 64 million was earned last year from fees for licences to research the sea-bed. And of course research needs something to be taken out of the water.
Talking with Daily Post he he went to great length to stress that no digging had taken place, and it is hard to imagine even a chimney or two going missing being a huge loss to our marine treasury if they bring in so many millions of vatu.
Rakau quite nicely adds that he is not responsible for the way this income to government is spent. One wonders however, whether some of it could buy the necessary geo-positioning equipment (GPS) and enable the placement of equipment and a ni-Vanuatu enforcement officer on board prospecting ships.
Might it not be a good idea to supervise what goes on?
And it might also be a good idea with fishing vessels of which a lot, foreign owned, carry the Vanuatu flag. Even the flag-of-convenience management has welcomed government trained personnel on vessels of the Registry.