Greenpeace served tunaless sushi to the delegates of the 4th session of the West and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (1) as the meeting failed to agree any new effective conservation measures to ensure the long-term survival of the region's bigeye and yellowfin tuna stocks.
"Despite the strong front presented by Pacific Island countries,
resistance from Japan, China, Chinese Taipei and Korea meant that
the Commission failed to take effective measures to cut the catch
of the threatened tuna stocks." said Lagi Toribau, Greenpeace
Australia-Pacific Oceans Campaigner.
These 'distant water' fishing nations blatantly disregarded the
advice given to them by their scientists pointing out the need to
drastically reduce the catch or face the consequences of an
impending fishery collapse despite also the strong economic reasons
of doing so (2).
"Coming in the wake of the failure by the International
Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (3) to take
action to protect the endangered bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and
Mediterranean, it is now clear that if left to their own devices
the fishing industry will destroy the world's remaining tuna stocks
for short-term profit." said Sari Tolvanen, Greenpeace
International Oceans Campaigner in Guam. "Tuna is central to both
the economies and the livelihoods of the Pacific Island countries.
The outcome of this meeting puts their long-term economic survival
under threat," continued Tolvanen.
"Political action is failing the world's favourite fish and
Greenpeace is now calling for retailers around the world to take
responsibility and stop the sale of the three most endangered tuna
species, bluefin, bigeye and yellowfin. Greenpeace is encouraging
retailers to work with developing coastal states for sources of
sustainable and equitable tuna products instead," said
One positive note at the meeting was a visionary proposal tabled
by Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands calling for the creation
of marine reserves in three large high seas areas, which would
close them to all fishing. While the proposal was not adopted, it
is now on the table. Greenpeace is calling for 40% of the global
high seas to be protected as no-take marine reserves in order to
reverse the decline of biodiversity and fish stocks in our
Other contacts: Sari Tolvanen, Greenpeace International Oceans Campaigner, in GuamLagi Toribau, Greenpeace Australia-Pacific Oceans Campaigner, in GuamBoth available on +16716866051
Notes: (1) The Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission is the Regional Fisheries Management Organisation mandated to manage the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the western and central Pacific Ocean in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.(2) Economic models have shown that effort reduction in the number of fishing vessels in the Pacific is a key for increasing the profitability of the industry as well as a key for the long-term sustainability of the fishery.(3) The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas is charged with the management of fisheries for tuna and tuna-like species -including albacore, bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, skipjack tuna and swordfish- throughout the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.