It’s hard to tell if it is a simple faux pas or a grim prophetic view of what’s to come.
Philippine media outlet Sun Star reported recently a new fishing vessel acquired under a joint venture between a local fishing tycoon and “Taiwan-based Farewell Fishing Co. Ltd.”
Actually it’s Fair Well Fishery Co. – but Farewell Fishing would perhaps be more appropriate. The company’s website ominously boasts: “Our fleets are ever expanding…”
The problem is that fishing and fleets cannot continue to expand when we have already overfished so many of the world’s tuna stocks. Here in the Pacific, overfishing is afflicting bigeye and yellowfin tuna and urgent action is needed to avert a developing crisis in the region. A report released last week set out, in a worst case scenario, the possibility of Pacific fisheries collapse by 2035.
In our expeditions across the Pacific, Greenpeace has witnessed first-hand the root of the problem: The influx of more and bigger fishing vessels from foreign fleets, destructive fishing technologies like fish aggregating devices, and of course pirate fishing.
As for the Fair Well Fishery vessel in question, the Sun Star reports: “The brand-new F/V Discovery 101 has a helipad, fish finder equipment and high range satellite device. It was deployed to tuna-rich Pacific nations early this month and will use a helicopter to find tuna stocks.”
Hello super seiner. Hello helicopter. Hello satellite.
Goodbye fish. Farewell fishing…
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In December, countries of the Pacific Tuna Commission will meet to decide on measures that could set Pacific fisheries on a sustainable path, including the closure of the high seas pockets to fishing.
You can help by urging the New Zealand government to support the initiatives of our Pacific Island neighbours to avert this crisis and secure a future for their fisheries.