Protesters in boats meet ship bringing ‘blood’ phosphate into Christchurch and Trade Union delivers protest letter

JOSIE BLOSSFIELD / SUPPLIED/ Stuff.co.nz/ PUSL

Today protesters have met a phosphate-laden cargo ship as it arrived in Christchurch, calling for New Zealand companies to stop importing the controversial fertiliser.

Cargo ship the Federal Crimson on Monday arrived in Lyttelton carrying 50,000 tonnes of phosphate from the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

It was met by a peace flotilla of 15 kayaks, a yacht, and a ferry filled with more than 100 school children. A further 80 human rights activists sang Saharawi songs of freedom from land.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union boarded the ship on arrival, issuing a letter of protest to the captain.

The blood phosphate from occupied Western Sahara is Moroccan exporter OCP’s illegal cargo until it is unloaded. Three such shipments arrive annually.

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