It was a wild, rainy, cold, and windy day in Wellington…… just perfect for eels, but not so for the average person planning to protest and deliver a petition on the forecourt of New Zealand’s Parliament. Fortunately, my tuna whanau is not made up of average people. Over 150 folks from all over the country showed up to carry our 150 metre long Tuna Tapestry….. about twice as many as I had hoped for even with the expected sunny weather! It was an incredible experience to dance to the music of a marching Bella Cajon and lead the tuna and all her supporters as we s-curved our way to the steps of Parliament and presented the petition calling for a moratorium to be placed on the commercial fishing of the longfin eel.
Our voices may have been a bit nervous and shaky at times as we spoke, and the tapsetry almost became a giant tuna kite with Careew Peel Forest kids and Wairarapa kids attached, but we did it. After I, Mike Joy, Caleb Royal, and Sam Ludden spoke the petition was given to Eugenie Sage and she rushed it into the building to immediately present on the floor. Steffan Browing (another Green MP along with Eugenie) is now part of the Parliamentary committee who is reviewing the scientific support for the petition…. so, all our fingers are crossed as we wait.
Finally, we are given extra hope after the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released this report on the longfin. It sends a very strong message in support of the moratorium and we are all very excited!
There is so much more to share, including the fact that Velvet & Elvis, my childrens’ eel book finally exists and is being read now by kids all over NZ and beyond! And there were quite a few great reports on our march in March, including this one on Radio NZ in which the Careew Peel Forest School kids are intgerviewed. And, be sure to check out this article in Element Magazine, as well as Nicki Wakefield’s video bit.
Best of all, it was very powerful for all of us tuna lovers to get together and share our kinetic energy to make a difference even when the work days are long and we each feel like we are not getting anywhere. We now know who all the other people are who are joining us every day in fighting the good fight.