Two Buddhists harm the environment unintentionally as part of a religious ceremony.
Ni Li and Zhixiong Li, both Buddhists caused unprecedented damage to the environment when they released a large number of crustaceans which they bought from the market by paying £5,000. According to these two, the crustaceans were thrown into the sea off the Brighton coast as part of their religion's 'life release' ceremony. The 2015 event was attended by about 1,000 people. They were celebrating the arrival of Hai Tao, the Buddhist master from Taiwan.
The Brighton Marina CCTV footage showed a number of Buddhists traveling in chartered boats. There were a total of three boats. The respondents had purchased native lobsters and crabs of an approximate value of £2,500. Their place of purchase was Shoreham harbour. Most were bought from Newhaven Fish Sales. Investigations found the Buddhists had also purchased a total of 350 Dungeness crabs and 361 U.S. lobsters from SeeWo, a wholesale fish supplier based in Greenwich, south-east London. Ni Li made the latter purchases.
Ni Li is 33 years old and a banker in London. Zhixiong Li, 30 years old, works as an estate agent. They both pleaded guilty to charges of releasing the non-native species into wild. They testified at the Brighton Magistrates’ court during the fourth week of September. According to Joseph Miller, the prosecutor for Marine Management Organization, Ni Li had told them that the shellfish were purchased only for subsequent release as a component of a certain Buddhist ceremony. There was no intention from the organizers to harm the environment.
The problem with the release of the crustaceans is that they were not native to the English waters. The Buddhists, in order to practically implement their theoretical notion that returning the animals to their natural environment, dumped those things into the sea. The result was that the crustaceans threatened local marine life. The problem has now become so acute that the UK Government has spent considerable sums of money to recapture those shellfishes. Fishermen were offered financial incentives to capture them.
— Sonzai Shinai (@TheSonzaiShinai) September 22, 2017
According to Ni Li, Zhixiong had sent her to buy the maximum number of crustaceans possible. The former then followed the subsequent delivery to Brighton. She said to investigators that she did not realize that many of them were foreign species. She then allegedly took the crustaceans back home and kept them in a salt water bath. She later admitted to making up the story.