For many pacific island countries, no tuna means no future.
The Commission will also consider the closure of a
third high seas area in 2009. We have been campaigning for
these areas to be designated as marine reserves
Last year, our ship, Esperanza, patrolled these high seas areas
for over ten weeks. During this time we took action againstfishing
US and the
In order to support sustainable fisheries, protect marine life
and clean up
pirate fishing in the region -
marine reserves are essential.
Scientists have been warning since 2001 that the bigeye and
yellowfin stocks in the Pacific are in decline and recommended a
minimum 30 percent reduction in fishing for 2009. Yet the
commission only agreed to cut fishing on bigeye tuna with a range
of measures including a 10 percent reduction for longliners
Greenpeace activists from Fiji and
Papua New Guinea stand on juvenileyellowfin and skipjack tuna in
the hold of a vessel that was caughtoffloading fish from purse
seiners in the Pacific Commons.
Tuna exterminators strike back
Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Island countries, and the US
all put up a strong front to save the Pacific tuna. But resistance
from Japan, Korea, China, Chinese Taipei and the Philippines meant
that fishing will not be reduced enough to make a difference.
These nations, with a huge appetite for tuna, resisted moves to
ensure the long-term sustainability of the fishery, despite strong
economic arguments. Recent studies indicate that the fishing
industry is undermining its own profits by having too many fishing
vessels on the water and by depleting stocks to the point that fish
are harder to catch. We've been calling for a precautionary 50
percent fishing reduction in order to ensure both the long term
sustainability and profitability of the fishery.
Just add water
But rather than protecting their fishing future - these
shortsighted governments are sending entire species into oblivion.
As usual consensus based decision making ensured that many
agreements were diluted to the lowest common denominator -
determined only by short term interests. The needs of the Pacific
Island States, whose livelihoods and economies depend on tuna, have
been neglected yet again - despite members of the fishing industry
calling upon these nations to follow the advice of scientists and
reduce fishing by at least 30 percent.
Markets and marine reserves
In order to save fish for the future we're now calling on
retailers and fish purchasers to stop buying all overfished
bluefin, bigeye and yellowfin tuna as well as skipjack caught using
fish aggregation devices.
We're also continuing to push for a
global network of fully protected marine reserves covering 40
percent of our oceans. This will help to; buffer our seas from the
ravages of climate change, restore the health of fish stocks and
protect ocean life from habitat destruction and collapse.
Join the call for a global network of marine reserves.
Thanks to donations from individuals like you - we are able to support the Pacific islanders who are trying to preserve their way of life and economies. We don't accept donations from government or corporations. Please give what you can.