Greenpeace activists handing over the illegal gillnet to a Polish fisheries inspector and the owners of the net, onboard the fishing Vessel Kol-79.
Pirates of the Pacific
TheEsperanza has docked in Pohnpei, finally
revealing that we have beenworking with the Government of the
Federated States of Micronesia(FSM). Together we have been
patrolling FSM's fishinggrounds for illegal fishing, finding out
first hand how difficult it isto monitor 2.7 million square
kilometres of ocean.
Overthe course of 16 days, we boarded five suspicious vessels.
Fourof them were fishing with apparently "faulty" reporting
Ifthese boats aren't reporting, it means there is no way of
knowing howlong they stay out to sea for, nor how much (or what)
they catch. We say if your reporting system is broken, you should
not be allowed tofish until it's fixed.
Tuna in trouble
Onboardthe Esperanza, campaigner Lagi Toribau said, "Two key
Pacific tunaspecies are already in big trouble and, unless we see a
drastic cut infishing rates, they will be severely depleted within
three years.Distant foreign nations take nearly all our fish,
giving Pacificnations a pitiful 5 percent of the US$2 billion the
fish is worthannually."
People in these far off nations includingJapan, US, EU, Korea
and Taiwan, don't know that they may be eatingtuna stolen from
people whose lives depend on it. "Governments must actnow to
regulate their ships, we as consumers must start questioningwhere
our fish comes from, and retailers must refuse to stock
stolenfish," said Lagi.
Check out the "Esperanza on Patrol" from Ocean Defender TV:
...and cod in crisis
In Sweden retailers have been doing just that after our campaign
revealing the extent of illegal cod for sale in
Europe. Meanwhile, in Poland, our activists found several
pirates last week.
Thecrew on the Arctic Sunrise first spotted several suspicious
trawlers onWednesday 13 September. The day after they confiscated
illegalnets and took the largely undersized cod out of them. The
area wassupposed to be closed to fishing until September 15.
Howeverauthorities chose to give them back to the fishermen
claiming they"lacked the authority to confiscate them".
One fishermanblamed the incident on the nets, saying that they
had drifted into theclosed area, an obvious lie, not to mention
quite a feat consideringthe nets were firmly anchored to the sea
CampaignerIda Udovic explains: "They hadn't moved an inch since
he placed themthere. The Polish government need to seriously
improve their system forfisheries control, much more money has to
be invested in capacity forinspections and law enforcement."
Making piracy history
We are demanding a
global network of marine reservesto shut down the pirate trade
and allow stocks to recover. Marinereserves make controls much
easier than the current patchwork ofregulations that have made
control impossible. Additionally all fishingvessels should have a
device onboard enabling electronic surveillance,controls ashore and
off shore should increase and a black list for allvessels caught
cheating should be established.
We will be takingall the findings we gathered in the Pacific to
the regional TunaCommission when they meet in Brisbane, Australia,
later this month.
Take action: tell Unilever to stop buying Baltic cod
Birds Eye and Iglo buy a huge amount of cod, some of it caught illegally from the Baltic. Tell their parent company to clean up their act!
Ask where your fish comes from
A few simple questions before you bite into your fishsticks can help ensure you're not eating pirate bounty