Greenpeace is in the area to call for an end to unsustainable
fishing and for the establishment of a Marine Reserve between
Cyprus and Turkey.
Earlier, Greenpeace flew its helicopter to document the
activities of tuna fishing vessels. Three Turkish vessels (1) then surrounded the Greenpeace
ship and one, the Cinar Ibrahim, collided with the Arctic Sunrise.
The tuna ship's crew then started hurling lead fishing weights at
the Greenpeace ship. Gunfire was also heard. Fortunately no one was
injured but the Greenpeace helicopter was damaged and is now
The Greenpeace ship's Captain notified the Turkish Iskenderun
Gulf Port Authorities and reported the damage.
"This unprovoked attack against the Arctic Sunrise, a peaceful
protest ship, endangered the safety of our crew and ship and is
completely unacceptable. We urge the ships owners to instruct their
crews to return to port for an immediate investigation," said
Greenpeace Mediterranean Oceans campaigner Banu Dokmecibasi, on
board the Arctic Sunrise.
"We understand that these guys are angry - we're angry too. But
the real problem has been caused by the refusal of governments to
take action to regulate an industry that is fishing itself to
death," said Karli Thomas, Greenpeace International Oceans
As part of the Defending our Mediterranean tour, Greenpeace is
in the Cypriot Channel to highlight the over capacity in the
bluefin tuna fishing fleet. Across the Mediterranean, fleets are
fishing well beyond the quota and placing the stock in severe
threat of collapse. Greenpeace is calling on the Turkish government
to support the protection of the Cypriot Channel, one of the
breeding areas of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea, as a
marine reserve. The Turkish government should immediately revoke
all permits for its own bluefin tuna fleet.
"Marine reserves are urgently needed to protect the future of
marine life, including tuna. The population of tuna is close to
extinction - if we don't protect the breeding and spawning grounds
now, there will be no fish for the future. By protecting tuna,
fishermen are protecting their own future," added Thomas.
Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of
fully-protected marine reserves covering 40% of our oceans as an
essential way to protect our seas from the ravages of climate
change, to restore the health of fish stocks, and to protect ocean
life from habitat destruction and collapse. As part of this
campaign, the Arctic Sunrise is currently in the Mediterranean,
documenting threats to the sea and promoting the designation of
Other contacts: Omer Elnaiem, Greenpeace International Communications, Mobile: 0031 6 15093589Yesim Aslan, Greenpeace Mediterranean Communications, Mobile 009 0532 26311 14Banu Dökmecibasi, Greenpeace Mediterranean Oceans Campaigner, aboard the Arctic Sunrise, phone: 0031 207 122 616
VVPR info: Images: John Novis, Greenpeace International Photo Desk +44 207 865 8230Video: Maarten van Rouveroy, Greenpeace International Video Desk: +31 646 162 015
Notes: Notes: (1) The vessels names are: Cinar Ibrahim, Sursan 1, Kul Balikcilik