Greenpeace activists deploy banner reading, "No Fish No Future" next to the world's biggest tuna fishing vessel Albatun Tres. Greenpeace has been highlighting the overfishing of tuna in the Pacific for the past two months. Greenpeace/Paul Hilton
Today Greenpeace took action against the biggest and most devastatingly efficient tuna catching vessel in the world, the Spanish owned purse ‘super, super seiner’ (because it is so amazingly large) Albatun Tres.
After chasing the vessel for five days over 1,000 nautical miles, the Esperanza finally caught up with the Albatun Tres this morning, and caught it red-handed deploying its massive net inside a Kiribati marine area proposed for protection.
The colossal ship can net more than 3,000 tonnes of tuna in a single fishing trip - almost double the entire annual catch of some Pacific countries – however, despite this major haul and the perilously low levels of tuna stocks worldwide, its Spanish owners do not think this is enough and are looking at deploying more ships in the area.
“Pacific tuna stocks are in decline and there simply isn’t enough fish in the sea to fill the holds of these huge vessels,” says Lagi Toribau Greenpeace Australia Pacific Oceans Campaigner on board the Esperanza. “Adding more vessels to those already allowed to fish guarantees that there will be no fish left for the future. It is insane that the fishing industry is following a business model where it wipes out its long term viability for short term profit.”
Activists laid a 25 metre floating banner reading ‘No Fish, No Future’ into the net in an attempt to prevent the net from being hauled.
The Esperanza has been in the region for the last eight weeks highlighting the overfishing of tuna. During the time at sea, the activists have taken direct non-violent action against fishing fleets from Taiwan, Korea, the US, the Philippines and now Spain.
“Time and tuna are running out,” says Sari Tolvanen of Greenpeace International. “Vessels of this size cannot be left to plunder and empty out the remaining tuna stocks and need to be taken off the water and scrapped immediately in order to address the overcapacity of the world’s tuna fleets.”
Greenpeace advocates the creation of a network of marine reserves, protecting 40 per cent of the world's oceans, with strictly regulated fishing in all other areas as the long term solution to overfishing and the recovery of our overexploited oceans.