Greenpeace activists call for marine reserves to protect the Pacific Commons.
About 60 percent of the world's tuna stocks come from the
Pacific, and scientists believe that two key species - bigeye and
yellowfin - are in danger of becoming overfished.
To help stop this Greenpeace is touring the Western Pacific
Ocean in the ship, Esperanza, to gather evidence of illegal and
excessive tuna fishing practices.
On Sunday, Greenpeace took action against the US purse seiner,
Cape Finisterre, ina pocket of international waters between Pacific
Island countries known as the Pacific Commons.Activists painted the
side of the vessel with the words "Tuna overkill"and held a banner
reading 'Marine reserves NOW'. The fishing vessel wasasked to leave
the area immediately.
A few days ago, Greenpeace confiscated a Fish Aggregation Device
(FAD) we found in the Pacific Ocean. Fishing fleets use FADs to
lure schools of tuna to a specific spot so they can be quickly
caught in huge nets. However, juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tuna as
well as other fish are killed as bycatch when caught in the
We also deployed a banner reading 'Marine Reserves Now' near the
bow of a Korean
purse seine vessel called Olympus, while we asked it to leave
the area. The ship is owned by Korea's largest tuna company,
Dongwon Industries Co. Ltd, which is suspected of being involved in
illegal fishing in 2006.
Watch video of the action at our Australian
Update, 21 April 2008 Greenpeace activists boarded
a Taiwanese longliner, the Nian Sheng 3, to inspect the contents of
the hold. As well as tuna, the activists discovered a dozen sacks
with hundreds of frozen shark fins and tails. Shark finning is one
of the practices that would be banned in a marine reserve. It's
shockingly wasteful: only the fin is removed for the Asian
shark-fin soup market, with the entire shark returned to the ocean,
sometimes as a carcass, sometimes alive. We escorted the vessel out
of international waters, but this practice
will not stop in the Pacific Commons until these waters become
Marine Reserves -- you can help by signing our petition.
Shark fins found aboard the Nian Sheng 3
Greenpeace Pacific campaigner onboard the Esperanza Lagi Toribau
said that advances in technology meant large ships (floating
factories from countries as far away as the US and Europe) could
catch as much fish in two days as the fishers of some small Pacific
Island countries catch in a year.
"As tuna catches in other oceans have declined because of
overfishing, the floating factory ships are looking to move into
the Pacific, making it harder for local fishing fleets to catch
tuna which is a vital food source for the region," Toribau
Greenpeace is calling on the Australian Government to support
the Pacific Island nations to make fishing in the region
sustainable by turning some of the Pacific's international waters
into no-take marine
reserves. This will allow tuna stocks and all other marine life
to recover from overexploitation.
Greenpeace is also calling for a 50 percent cut to the fishing
effort in the Pacific to ensure there is tuna left to catch in the
Greenpeace advocates the creation of a network of marine
reserves, protecting 40 per cent of the world's oceans, as the
long-term solution to overfishing and the recovery of our
What you can do
You can help ensure the survival of the Pacific's tuna stocks by
demanding that retailers and chefs stop stocking unsustainable tuna
products such as bluefin, bigeye and yellowfin, which are now
threatened in all oceans. You can also sign our petition demanding
that 40 percent of the world's oceans be set aside as no-take
Join the call for full protection of 40 percent of our world's oceans as marine reserves.
To keep our ships at sea we need your financial support -- we don't accept donations from governments or corporations, relying entirely on people like you to keep us afloat.