In a new
report, released today, the environmental group also presents
recommendations for improving the profitability of developing
nations' own fisheries and ending access agreements through which
the fishing industry exploits coastal nations.
"Tuna stocks are in trouble in every ocean," said Sari Tolvanen,
Greenpeace International oceans campaigner. "Unless there is urgent
action to halt this decline, the world's favourite fish will become
a luxury item that only the elite can afford to eat. This would
have severe impacts on food security and people's livelihoods,
particularly in developing countries."
Tuna fisheries have been thrown into crisis after the big tuna
fishing nations of Japan, Taiwan, Korea and the European Union
ignored clear scientific advice and failed during two recent
international meetings to take effective action to halt overfishing
of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic or to address
the decline of bigeye and yellowfin tuna in the Pacific.
In "Taking Tuna Out of the Can: a rescue plan for the world's favourite fish
", Greenpeace argues that the huge overcapacity in the world's
tuna fleets is destroying the economic basis of tuna fisheries, as
well as their sustainability. The solution is a network of marine
reserves protecting 40 percent of the world's oceans, and
agreements to reduce fishing effort and the number of fishing
vessels by 50 percent to improve the industry's economics,
according to Greenpeace.
"At the moment everyone is struggling to fill their holds.
Without drastic decisions to halve the effort used to fish for tuna
in the Pacific, the tuna industry is on a one-way trip to
oblivion," continued Tolvanen.
Greenpeace has also analysed the access agreements made between
big fishing nations and the coastal states where tuna is primarily
caught. With around 95 percent of the profits leaving the region
where tuna is caught, Greenpeace believes the agreements are
grossly unfair to coastal developing states.
"For coastal States, access agreements are the same as having
someone pay a single entry fee to shop in your store, take whatever
they like, come back repeatedly all year and then leave when they
are done," according to Tolvanen. "Coastal States would be much
better off if they developed their own sustainable fishing
industries rather than sell their resources and livelihoods at
knock-down prices," she said.
Other contacts: Sari Tolvanen, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner.Tel: +31655125480