Bryan Adams, the singer of “Summer of ’69,” happened to be on the Grenadine island last week when he intervened when he saw hunters going after a whale. This story has gotten him quite a bit of attention…
Bryan Adams Is Saving The Planet
It’s been 25 years since the Canadian singer spent four months at the top of the charts with “Everything I Do, I Do It for You,” and it seems that after decades of selling out stadiums, Bryan Adams has turned his hand to save the planet…
Bryan Adams said the hunt was about to happen within the 1000-meter sea conservation zone off the Caribbean island of Mustique. The island covers 1,400 acres, and it has several coral reefs, housing many species of marine life and animals. The land fauna includes tortoises, herons, iguanas, and many other species. The island is off the coast of Venezuela, and close to Barbados. It’s home to villas of the rich and famous. The island’s shareholders see themselves as the island’s custodians and are deeply committed to its long-term conservation for future generations.
Green World Warriors
Just last month a movie was published of a whale hunt, highlighting the plight of the whales all around the world. The video was taken on the heels of horrified tourists witnessing the killing of two orcas in Vincentian waters. Environmentalist groups from all over the world have been doing a lot to raise awareness for the whales who are being hunted illegally. A spokesperson from the Green World Warriors charity said that whaling is a “cruel and barbaric” trade that should not be a part of modern society.
Charity And Philantrophy
The Canadian rocker legend is 59 this year, and he uses his photography skills to help benefit charities and improve lives. His most recent work is a book called Homeless, and it features touching portraits of homeless men and women on the streets in the U.K. All profits from sales of this book went to The Big Issue Foundation, a homeless charity in the U.K. And when he’s not taking photos he’s advocating for animals and the environment…
“I witnessed the whaleboat and speed boats corralling a whale; several boats were going around and hurting it.” Bryan Adams said about his experience, and he knew exactly what was going to happen as he saw the group closing in on the whale with their spears and harpoons. Thinking quickly, the singer paddled out to confront the hunters. He put himself in harm’s way to stop the group of hunters from poaching the whale…
Bryan Adams was in between the whale and the whalers; they couldn’t get to the whale now. The local residents of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on the island of Bequia have a limit from the International Whaling Commission of up to four humpback whales per year using traditional hunting methods and equipment. Even though it is illegal for them to hunt whales beyond this, they still do it as is their tradition since 1876, when there was a growing need for a viable income, which continues to this day.
“I was there on a peaceful mission, and I was alone on the sea, the moment was almost lost. But the whale was next to me for a moment, and then it was gone,” related Adams. Shortly after Bryan’s intervention, he revealed that the whalers left after Mustique’s security boat came and firmly told them that they were not allowed to hunt within the 1000-meter area. This incident has put pressure on the Caribbean nation to end the controversial practice for good.
Security around the Island
Since the illegal hunt that happened last month and awareness about whaling has grown, the security company has been very serious about preventing any more whale hunts. As a result of this incident, they will try taking action that can result in better protection for whales and dolphins. They have been monitoring the seas and any behavior that may arouse suspicion. The security company is working hard to preserve areas of the natural landscape and to minimize the environmental impact on Mustique.
There were reports on various social media platforms that firearms had been drawn and a quarrel had ensued between Adams and the whalers during the incident. Adams firmly stated that these rumors are simply not true and that he himself is a peaceful activist, not wanting to harm anybody, whether it’s a human being or an animal. In fact, the singer-songwriter has participated in many concerts and campaigns to help raise money and bring awareness to a variety of causes for almost 30 years.
A Citizen Of Mustique
Adams, who has a house on the island of Mustique, is an official resident of St Vincent and the Grenadines and does not think of himself as an outsider. When asked by a Bequia whaler about what he thinks of foreigners trying to change local traditions, he responded by saying that he should have no say, as he, himself is not a foreigner, so it is not appropriate for him to comment on that statement.
Adams feels that the country should move away from whale hunting and focus more on whale watching and other forms of eco-tourism. In the mid-’90s, he successfully campaigned for the southern Antarctic Whale Sanctuary and gave out 500,000 postcards on his tour asking people to write to different heads of state to vote for the sanctuary. “We gave out thousands of postcards at my concerts in order to convince the countries that support the whaling industry to vote yes to the sanctuary. We were successful and had lots of fun doing it.”
Breaking The Rules
Bryan Adams is also the Chairman of St Vincent and the Grenadines Environment Fund (SVGEF) and supports the view that the whalers on Bequia are breaking the rules by using speedboats to catch whales. He said that seeing the video of speed boats with fishermen throwing a lance, and no whaleboat in sight, was upsetting, and he would like the practice to stop. The fact that it is a traditional practice means traditional instruments and equipment need to be used for it to be considered legal whaling.
Killing The Whales
Bryan Adams has also said that apart from this aspect of the hunt from the video, the killing of two humpback whales off Bequia that was witnessed by many tourists who were in complete shock. There has been outrage which led the government to reconsider the nation’s relationship with whaling altogether. Although the International Whaling Commission voted in favor of a suspension on commercial whaling since 1982, it continues to tolerate whaling for the purpose of scientific research and traditional whaling.
The international recording artist and activist said that he and Ben Goldsmith, who is an English financier and environmentalist, started the SVGEF in 2016 because he loves SVG and hopes to preserve its natural beauty. “My responsibility is that of somebody who wants to make sure we protect Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for the future, for our children and children’s children.” The fund supports sustainable initiatives to promote the preservation of the beauty and natural value of the islands.
A Supporter Of International Causes
He, however, said that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has promised to engage in only traditional whaling, “not to corral and confine a whale and hurt it as we saw in the video clips as it shows modern whaling practices and not the traditional way that whaling was done before.” Adams added that “I have no desire to pass judgment on anybody or on their tradition. This isn’t my place. I have always used my voice for international causes, environmentally,”
Respect For The Natural Environment
He mentioned the way he feels about the killing of whales, is also how he feels about turtles, geckos, and birds, which all live on and around the island. This is their natural habitat, and he urged persons to respect the natural environment around Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He is passionate about these causes and has even worked with Greenpeace Chairman David McTaggart, as well as Farm Aid and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of animals.)
Behind The Tradtion
Whaling was first introduced to the island back in the 1870s by a Bequian man returning home from North America. In the emerging decades, the practice has become an important part of local culture and is considered unique in the Caribbean. International campaigns, along with domestic concerns about catching orcas on other islands, may prove too much for Bequia’s whalers to weather, and if traditional whaling was to be outlawed, it would a psychological blow.
The Beauty Of Nature
“This place is so beautiful, pure and rare, eco-tourism should be emphasized in the future as it is a much more practical thing to be focusing on instead of whaling because tourists would be horrified if they see that going on,” said Adams. Since the incident, tourist companies have taken strong action in protest of the age-old tradition and canceled all their whale and dolphin watching tours, hoping that the government will instead develop a commercial market for whale watching and not whaling.
Adams uses his platform to make a difference in the world. In addition to his dedication to animal rights, most of Adams’ philanthropic activity is focused on The Bryan Adams Foundation. The musician has long been a philanthropist, and his foundation supports numerous charities around the world, including Wild Bird Aid, U.K. and WaterAid, a global program whose mission is to create access to clean water for the poorest nations as well as environmental causes.
Divide Between Locals And New Citizens
In Bequia, there seems to be a sense of ‘us’ and ‘them,’ which defines the island’s relationship with the state government on ‘mainland St. Vincent.’ This divide becomes especially apparent when discussions turn toward whaling, as local residents and tourists and celebrities see things very differently. The act of whaling itself has been around much longer than the local tradition, as thousands of years ago, Alaskan natives and Norwegians first partook in subsistence whaling as a source of food and clothing.
Along with the other causes and charities that he supports, Bryan Adams is a long-time defender of the environment and wildlife. He has been a vegan for the past 30 years, and his heroic action is just one example of how caring and selfless he is. What Bryan Adams did is similar to what happened in the early days of Greenpeace and its famous ship, The Rainbow Warrior, that routinely sailed in the path of commercial whaling ships and whales in order to protect them.
A Change Is Happening
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is the country’s prime minister and has previously stated he would like to move the local industry away from whaling and towards whale-watching tourism. He responded quickly to the Thomson Cruise incident. The prime minister has committed to passing legislation to make the killing of whales illegal. “It is important for us to say that we have our traditions and we need to keep traditions, but we can’t keep traditions out of sync with the rest of the world or have those traditions continue in a manner which is injurious to us,” he said.
The singer-songwriter is not the only celebrity who owns a home on Mustique; there are other famous names that have decided to buy property on the island, such as Sir Mick Jagger and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Prince William and his wife, Kate. It was a favorite of Princess Margaret. The island is home to only two hotels and around 100 private villas. Tommy Hilfiger also owns a home on Mustique, and his daughter had her wedding there.