Bula. My name is Ronetava Ronaivakulua (you can call me Ron) and I’m from an island in the South Pacific called Fiji. I'm currently onboard the Rainbow Warrior on its East Asia Ocean Defenders tour in Taiwan. I'm here as a representative of Fiji and also the South Pacific to voice our concern on tuna overfishing and the protection of our oceans and its fast depleting marine resources. I am also here because I fully support the goal of this ship tour which is to seek the support of the Taiwanese government and its fishing industry in sustainable fishing practices. This involves but is not limited to; reduction of fishing vessels, banning the destructive use of fish aggregation devices (FADs) by purse seiners and the establishment of marine reserves.
The success of this ship tour and our East Asia oceans campaign is immeasurable to the South Pacific countries because Taiwan has the largest tuna fishing fleet in the world. If the decision makers and the people of Taiwan can realise and accept the importance of sustainable fishing, together with other powerful Asian fishing powers in the region then the South Pacific countries would have a relatively healthy fishing ground for years to come. The Western and Central Pacific Ocean is the world largest tuna fishery and Taiwan has an opportunity here to be one of the first fishing nations to implement and support Greenpeace goals for the Pacific. I would think that the Taiwanese, like us from the South Pacific, depend on the ocean for survival. If our marine resources like tuna become extinct then our loss would be catastrophic for our marine ecology, our economy, fisherman's livelihoods and for many of us - our survival.
Sometimes we learn when it’s too late. We must act now for the preservation of our ocean and fisheries. There needs to be a 50% reduction of tuna catches, and the creation of marine reserves in international waters that lie between the national waters of the Pacific Island Countries. John James Audubon once said that “A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children”. With these words in mind - we must remember that our resources are not infinite and that we as a people need to be more responsible guardians for our future generations. We hope to recruit many new ocean defenders here in Taiwan to ensure sustainable fisheries and healthy oceans for all of us.
You can join our campaign by writing to one of the leading seller of tinned tuna and demanding they change their policy on ocean sustainabilty.
Write to Princes and ask them to stop canning ocean destruction.