"If we do not want to see Pacific tuna go the same way as Atlantic cod, and Pacific livelihoods destroyed; we need to immediately halve the fishing effort and the amount of tuna being caught, end pirate fishing, and create a network of marine reserves – national parks at sea."-- Fijian Lagi Toribau, chief campaigner on board the Esperanza.
Workers on a Taiwanese purse seiner trans-ship yellow fin tuna and skipjack tuna to a reefer (refrigerator) ship. As fisheries collapse in other parts of the world, countries are moving their fishing fleets into the Pacific.
The next leg of the Defending Our Oceans expedition takes the
Esperanzainto the island dotted vastness of the Pacific. In an
area ofwater Planet's total landmass combined; the crew will
highlight theproblems of tuna overfishing, and pirate fishing.
More than halfthe tuna consumed worldwide comes from here. Yet,
our researchwarns that Pacific Bigeye tuna and Yellowfin tuna will
be criticallyoverfished within three years.
The money and the tuna
"Weare sucking the oceans dry," continued Toribau. "Unless
drasticaction is taken now then Bigeye and Yellowfin face
commercialextinction within three years, and then all we will see
is empty nets.Instead of taking responsibility for overfishing
their own waters, richindustrialised nations, are moving into other
areas, such as thePacific. Travelling thousands of miles, they use
boats that can take asmuch in 2 days, as our local fleets can take
in a year."
In thePacific, foreign fishing fleets from distant countries
such as Japan,USA, Taiwan, China, Philippines and the EU take 90
percent of the tunacatch, and 95 percent of the US$2 billion the
fish is worth on theglobal market. Pirate fishing, illegal,
unreported and unregulatedfishing, is also rife in the region.
Pirates give nothing back andleave a trail of environmental
destruction in their wake.
Read more on the Esperanza crew weblog.
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