(ZIZ News) — International activist group, AVAAZ, is threatening to hurt St Kitts-Nevis’ reputation if the country’s flag isn’t removed from a vessel transporting endangered whale meat. Without the flag, they said, the ship cannot leave port.
In response, Minister of Marine Resources, Eugene Hamilton, has defended the Federation’s position.
He said advocacy groups who believe in a certain position will do all they can to ensure their position is dominant.
“I’m not sure if they are trying to scare us. I think they know they can’t scare us. But I think that is an advocacy group and they are positioning themselves and it’s their right and you have to admire them for doing it. And if what they claim is accurate, once the facts are before us then cabinet can make a decision…once the facts are before us,” he said.
Minister Hamilton says to his knowledge, the ships are not violating any laws.
“The ship as I understand it was carrying a certificate issued by the government of Iceland for the shipment of whatever they were carrying. So they appear not to be in violation of any Icelandic rule and I don’t have any information that they were in any international agreement. If that is the case, based on the facts, the government will make the decisions. But that is not before us at this time,” he said.
AVAAZ is claiming that the ship, Winter Bay, which is registered with the St. Kitts-Nevis Registry in the United Kingdom, will be transporting 1,700 tonnes of endangered whale meat bound for Japan.
The group said tourism is the main pillar of the Federation’s economy and they can put the nation’s reputation on the line.
Their website is opened to accept one million petitions to stop the ship from sailing.