Lack of nature protection in French Poly

Reading and watching the news you’d think French Polynesia was a nature paradise. Almost each week the president, PEW and other organisations announce new protection zones in the Pacific around Fr Poly , rahui areas around islands (traditional bans) and anchoring bans for the nastiest polluters–us cruisers. Turtles have been protected for a long time, the same goes for sharkies.
Unfortunately that’s just theory: protected areas are not supervised (and they exclude “traditional fishing” a term which includes basically everything but international fleets), many rahui are opened too regularly to make a change and turtles and sharks are still killed in fish traps for consumption on the islands (where nobody cares about the protection when mayor and police officer hunt as well) or even exported to Tahiti with nobody checking the supply boats.
Snorkeling in the Societies, many parts of the Australs and even in the Tuamotus you find empty reefs with a few tiny fishies that scatter in panic when they see a diver. With no fish to eat the algae, the reefs that are weakened by pollution (from shore) and global warming (caused by all of us) are soon overgrown. But is that reported on the media? Not at all. Local fisherman assure us that there’s plenty of fish (maybe they’ve never seen a reef with plenty of fish…), fishermen go out day after day and catch the last specimen, tiny reef fish are for sale on the market and next to the road.

We keep sending pictures and reports to the DIREN (ministry for environment), PEW (American organisation) and Te mana o te moana (turtle protection centre in Moorea), so far to no avail. It might make a change if more people pestered them, so please take the time to write an email and send pics if you see something that needs to be reported. Maybe they’ll listen eventually.
direction@environnement.gov.pf, jpetit@pewtrusts.org, info@temanaotemoana.org

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