Yesterday, Greenpeace activists in Turkey helped people concerned about the state of our oceans make a call for change to the Ministry of Agriculture, in charge of fisheries and oceans affairs there.
Already, over 250,000 petitions had been delivered to the ministry and 4,000 text messages had made their way to the Turkish government, demanding that Turkish fleets stop catching juvenile fish. For months, Greenpeace has been campaigning to get the government to commit to change the legal size of caught fish, so that fish populations can continue breeding. It's pretty simple, really: if fish aren't allowed to reproduce, we'll run out of fish even more quickly. We're talking about not catching fish that have not even ovulated once, based on scientific assessments.
Greenpeace volunteers urge members of the public to save the fish and our oceans by making a call to Turkey's government, urging them to keep juvenile fish in the oceans and out of fishing nets.
The urgency is clear in Turkey: officials are meeting this June to decide the future of fishing activities for 2012-2016. If the problems of overfishing are going to be addressed in the next 4 years, we need action from the Turkish government has to bring together scientists and experts immediately. That's why we brought the giant red telephone to the ministry and had hundreds of people make the call for a sea change in Istanbul.
Greenpeace is running a campaign, "How many cm is yours?" that is asking for an urgent stop to the catching and selling of undersized fish. Recently, Greenpeace met with Mehdi Eker from the Ministry of Agriculture and asked him to act and regulate the catch sizes, presenting clear scientific data. However, the Ministry offered no clear answers as to when or how they would address these issues.
Steve Smith works on oceans communications in the Amsterdam office of Greenpeace International.