In 2012, the Rainbow Warrior undertook a 9-week expedition through the Indian Ocean's fishing grounds, and the Esperanza undertook a 3-week expedition in Pacific Commons Area 1 and the EEZ of Palau. Both expeditions documented fishing operations; here are summaries of their findings.
The Indian Ocean is the second most important tuna fishing ground in the world, with approximately 24% of the world's tuna catch. Fishing capacity in the region is already estimated to be more than what the fish stocks can sustain in the long term. Yet, many coastal states are allowing more and more vessels to enter the fisheries, using various types of gears including large-scale driftnets.
The Case Studies in our Rainbow Warrior Indian Ocean Expedition report raise a number of concerns, and highlight the urgent need for better management of fishing fleets in the region.
Download Rainbow Warrior Indian Ocean Expedition 2012 - Summary of Findings
More than 60% of the world's tuna is caught in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Industrial fleets from distant water fishing powers take the overwhelming majority of this catch. As demand for tuna grows, that proportion is increasing. Due to the lack of monitoring, control and surveillance capacity, foreign fishing vessels use the high seas to launder fish out of the region. Key areas are becoming safe havens for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities.
Download Esperanza - Defending Our Pacific Expedition 2012 - Summary of Findings