Blogger profile

Karli Thomas

Karli Thomas is senior oceans campaigner with Greenpeace Aotearoa New Zealand. She has spent many months at sea in fishing grounds, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean and as far south as Antarctic waters. Karli coordinates Greenpeace's pirate fishing blacklist and works on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

  • Saving the last Japanese dugongs

    Blogpost by Karli Thomas - November 2, 2015 at 11:12

    The home of the last few Japanese dugongs is about to be landfilled to make way for two airstrips - part of the expansion of a US military base on the island of Okinawa. But a movement nearly 18 years old is standing up to say NO. That’s why our ship the Rainbow Warrior is en route to join them...

    The first thing that drew me to Greenpeace as a young New Zealander was actually the “peace” side of things. Nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific had drawn strong opposition from local people and from Greenpeace. Ultimately, that opposition cost Greenpeace its ship, the Rainbow Warrior – bombed and sunk by the French government in an act of state sponsored terrorism – and the life of photographer Fernando Pereira. But it also helped win a nuclear free New Zealand.

    I was at school, an...

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  • Last week in the Pacific high seas, we busted a Taiwanese longliner fishing illegally. The case sent shock waves around the region and the tuna industry. Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency agreed to meet with our colleagues in Taiwan after they protested outside their office. The Government of Nauru boldly banned transshipment in their waters, and the issue will be discussed at a Pacific tuna meeting this week, where Pacific Island countries and other fishing powers discuss fisheries rules and how they are being followed (or not, as the case may be).

    Meanwhile, here on the Rainbow Warrior we struggled with the amount of evidence we had uncovered from the vessel. In addition to the fact that it wasn’t on the regional Record of Fishing Vessels (a database of vessels authorised to fish in these waters... Read more >

  • The problem with tuna

    Blogpost by Karli Thomas - July 31, 2015 at 15:48

    Global tuna fisheries are out of control. They’re emptying our oceans of fish, harming marine life and exploiting workers. The Rainbow Warrior is sailing into the Pacific Ocean to confront the industry with a simple message: It’s time to change.

    If you’ve bought or eaten tuna recently there’s a good chance it came from the Pacific.
    As well as being the world's largest and deepest ocean, the Pacific is the biggest tuna fishing ground on the planet.

    But the way companies are fishing there means tuna's days are numbered. Thousands of fishing vessels from all over the world are slowly but surely emptying the Pacific of its prize catch.

    They’re doing this any way they can. Illegal catches, indiscriminate fishing methods, exploiting their workers – whatever it takes. It’s like a wet wild west ... Read more >

  • Sharks butchered for questionable cure-all

    Blogpost by Karli Thomas - June 2, 2015 at 21:22

    It’s a macabre case spanning continents. A European vessel crewed by under paid and ill-treated Indonesian fishermen turned up in the port of Suva this week. Meanwhile, an illegal shipment of sharks, shark fins and other fish from the vessel is seized in Spain – and the owners are reportedly in a deal with New Zealand company SeaDragon to supply shark livers to be rendered into a cure-all product that’s questioned by science.

    The ship in question, Artico, doesn’t have a great reputation. It’s there on the Greenpeace monsterboats list - a compilation of vessels from Europe that are decimating fish stocks around the world on an industrial scale. Although flagged to Portugal and owned by Pescarias Cayon & Garcia LDA, the ship actually operates on the opposite side of the world, deploying its ... Read more >

  • Mexico 1 : New Zealand 0

    Blogpost by Karli Thomas - April 21, 2015 at 11:49

    No, that's not a football score, it's the score-card on how our countries are faring in the protection of two of the world's smallest and cutest marine mammals: Mexico's vaquita porpoise and New Zealand's Maui's dolphin.

    New Zealand and Mexico share the dishonor of being responsible for the decline of the world's rarest marine dolphin and porpoise, both critically endangered with less than 100 animals left. TheInternational Whaling Commission has criticised the lack of action by New Zealand and Mexico to protect these species.

    But thanks to people power, there's now a ray of hope for Mexico's vaquita. The Mexican Government this week announced the protected area – where harmful gillnet fishing is banned to prevent entangling and drowning vaquita – will be extended to cover the full 13,000... Read more >

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