Writing these posts on my cruise life has awakened many memories and I realised how lucky I was to visit these beautiful islands, and meet the friendly people, while they were still relatively unspoilt. Now many of them have links with the outside world by the increase in air travel and world wide travel by many more ordinary people. This has undoubtedly increased the wealth of the islands, but the simple way of life which was so charming to the visitor has gone forever. 

Today on  BBC radio 4 I listened to “From our own correspondent” (the item is about 19 minutes into the programme)  and, coincidentally, there was a piece on Polynesia, in particular Raratonga, about the commercialisation of the South Pacific by the fishing fleets from many nations. whilst this has brought in much needed revenue from the issue of fishing licences, some countries are trying to avoid paying for the licences and try fishing illegally. Green Peace have a ship in the harbour at Raratonga which is helping to police the fishing.

 These huge factory ships are using giant trawling nets which scoop out all the livestock, which is causing great concern to the ecologically minded. It is not only the tuna stocks which are becoming dangerously low. I couldn’t help thinking of the islanders going out in  their simple dugout canoes and sailing rafts, taking just enough to feed themselves and their neighbours.

They are also talking about mining for minerals in that area, which could cause further damage to that environment. 

I realise that  there have to be changes, that has been the way of the world since Captain Cook first explored this Ocean, but I still feel incredibly privileged to have visited before the changes happened.

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