The carcass of a cow floats in waters, about 120 kilometers northwest of Amami Oshima in the East China Sea. Japanese rescuers found a second crew member and multiple dead cows Friday in waters where a livestock ship capsized and sank during stormy weather two days earlier.
Photo: The 10th Regional Japan Coast Guard Headquarters via AP
We have been doing a bit more work into the very recent sinking of the ‘Gulf Livestock 1’ vessel near to Japan.
Latest news –
Japan’s coast guard rescued a second ‘survivor’ who was unconscious and floating face down in a dinghy on Friday. The man, whose identity was unknown, was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead, said Takahiro Yamada, a spokesman for the regional coast guard headquarters. Mr Yamada also stated that rescuers had spotted dozens of cow carcasses floating in the area. We know the crew of ‘Gulf Livestock 1’ originally sent a distress signal early Wednesday.
Regarding the vessel before the incident, there are a few interesting issues that have arisen from further investigation:
- The ship is technically managed and crewed by Germany’s Marconsult Schiffarht GMBH – what exactly does the term ‘crewed by’ mean ? – if crewed by Germany, then why so many Filipino ‘crew’ on the vessel ?
- A December inspection report from Indonesian authorities on the website of Equasis, which collates ship safety information from both public and private sources, logged issues with the ship’s propulsion and auxiliary machinery.
- Issues included “deficiencies” with the propulsion main engine and gauges, thermometers. We understand from the sole survivor of the incident that he told rescuers the ship stalled when an engine stopped, then capsized after being hit by a powerful broadside wave and sank.
- A 2019 report by the Australian government on the same cattle ship’s transit in June from Australia to Indonesia noted the vessel’s departure was delayed for a week because of “stability and navigation issues identified by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).”
AMSA’s website showed Gulf Livestock 1 was detained by the Australian authorities for three days in May 2019, because of issues related to its navigation Electronic Chart Display and Information System. The report cited both a lack of up-to-date charts and training for officers using the system.
- A report on the website of FleetMon, a German-based maritime tracking site, shows the ship, under its previous name of Rahmeh, anchored off the Turkish coast in September 2018 “to fix a mechanical problem” that required the delivery of spare parts.
- The FleetMon report also noted some concern from local residents about the ship’s extended stay at Cesme port, because livestock on a previous voyage had been found to be infected with anthrax.
Today, 4/9/20, it appears that Maritime New Zealand found no issues with the livestock ship, Gulf Livestock 1, before it left the port of Napier (New Zealand) last month. The ship with 43 crew and nearly 6000 cattle on board sailed from Napier on 14 August bound for China.
Maritime New Zealand said the vessel was checked on arrival and prior to departure from Napier, and no irregularities were found.
The marine regulator said livestock carriers were checked for stability and the conditions of the livestock pens.
At the same time, the animal activist group SAFE is calling for the minister of agriculture Damien O’Connor to be held to account over the sinking of Gulf Livestock 1.
We wonder why ? – So far, O’Connor has declined all media requests on the issues.
Yesterday, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) temporarily suspended consideration of cattle livestock export applications.
Video footage supplied to us today by activist Jane in England shows another issue which English campaigners have been attempting to get official UK authority action on for many years. It concerns an ex Soviet battle tank RIVER vessel called the ‘Joline’ which is operated by a Dutchman to take British livestock across the English Channel into Europe for slaughter. It should be remembered that the Joline is a river use vessel and was not designed for crossing the English Channel as it does now.
UK activists have raised concerns about the use of the Joline as an animal transporter carrier for many years. At WAV it is thought that as long as it (Joline) does not bury human victims on the sea floor; the vessel and its animal ‘cargo’ will continue to be used. In our opinion; the authorities do not have the guts to stop it by taking action.
Above – the Joline. Note openess and low level of deck. Trailers are loaded with live animals, Photos: Val Cameron.
Above – the Joline in the English Channel in rough weather. Note loaded livestock transporters on deck.
Here at WAV it is also considered that the New Zealand Minister would never have banned a single animal transport if the accident off Japan had not drowned 43 human animals. There are just a few basic, simple words for the other 6,000 non human animals that drowned and died such terrible deaths. The ban in NZ now, in which O’Connor has declined all media requests on the issues we mention, has been done solely out of public pressure, and not out of philanthropy, or ensuring the welfare of animals. Very little is said for the 6,000 sentient beings who lost their lives; only for the 43 human beings carried by the vessel.
This all begs the question, and maybe shows, just how powerful is the animal transport Mafia of the world is, this may be reflected in just how soon we again see the NZ government cave in to the industry demands to resume exports come what may.
We would hope that the relatives and families of the lost crewmen who vanished the other night would show solidarity with us simply because we have a common enemy; the live export mafia. Sadly, but probably; the shipping industrialists will compensate and comfort them with the fact that their loved ones were ‘victims of a typhon’, that seldom happens, but it can happen.
Very little, or nothing, will be said about the technical defects or as we show above, for June 2019, the vessel’s departure was delayed for a week because of “stability and navigation issues identified by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).” Most of the crew who perished are Filipino; their families; probably like them, are most likely poorer people who cannot pay lawyers.
So it looks as if the mafia of the animal transport industry will win again, by banging out a few nice words; making excuses for defects, and as always; simply ignoring the deaths of thousands of animals they are allegedly responsible for. Words mean little; but actions mean a lot.
We will continue to fight for the paltry injustice served to the animals – the victims of the money grabbing meat makers. I have done it with many others for the last 30 years; so tomorrow will be no different for me.