The Arctic Sunrise being pursued by Turkish purse seiner fishing vessels. Crew aboard threw lead weights, rammed the Greenpeace vessel midships, and smashed the windshield of the helicopter.
We flew over the ships early in the morning to document the
activities of tuna fishing vessels.
Three Turkish vessels then surrounded the Greenpeace ship -- one
colliding with the Arctic Sunrise and causing superficial damage
midships on the starboard side. The tuna ship's crews then started
hurling lead fishing weights of around four centimetres at the
Greenpeace ship. Gunfire was heard. Amazingly, no one was injured
but the Greenpeace helicopter was damaged and is now
The series of dangerous maneuvers were caught on video and the Arctic Sunrise live
The Greenpeace ships Captain notified the Turkish Iskenderun
Port Authority and reported the damage.
"This unprovoked attack against the Arctic Sunrise, a peaceful
protest ship, endangered the safety of our crew and ship and is
completely unacceptable, we urge the ships owners to instruct their
crews to return to port for an immediate investigation," said
Greenpeace International Oceans campaigner Karli Thomas, on board
the Artic Sunrise.
The real bad guys: governments
"We understand that these guys are angry -- we're angry too. But
the real problem has been caused by the refusal of governments to
take action to regulate an industry that is fishing itself to
death," Said Banu Dokmecibasi, Greenpeace Mediterranean Oceans
Scientists from the international body which regulates tuna
fishing, ICCAT, recommended a maximum sustainable catch of 15,000
tonnes of bluefin tuna, to be divided among all the countries
licensed to fish in the Mediterranean. The Turkish fleet comprises
more than 200 purse seiners in total, with enough catch capacity to
fish the entire 15,000 tonnes. Turkey has an allocated quota of
less than 900 tonnes.
We're calling on the Turkish government to support the
protection of the Cypriot Channel, one of the most productive tuna
breeding areas in the Eastern Mediterranean, as a marine reserve.
The Turkish government should immediately revoke all permits for
domestic fleets to fish in the channel.
"Marine reserves are urgently needed to protect the future of
marine life, including tuna. The population of tuna is close to
extinction - if we don't protect the breeding and spawning grounds
now there will be no fish for the future. By protecting tuna,
fishermen can protect their own future." Said Banu Dokmecibasi,
Greenpeace Mediterranean Oceans Campaigner.
Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of fully
protected marine reserves covering 40 percent of our oceans as an
essential way to protect our seas from the ravages of climate
change, to restore the health of fish stocks, and protect ocean
life from habitat destruction and collapse. As part of this
campaign, the Arctic Sunrise is currently in the Mediterranean
documenting threats to the sea and promoting the designation of
At the same time, our vessel Esperanza is calling for marine reserves in
the Pacific. You can add your
voice to our efforts without risking seasickness or getting
anything thrown at you.
Give our oceans a chance to recover. Save one of the life support systems a warming planet needs. Join the call for a global network of marine reserves.
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