Canned tuna's secret catch

Check out the fishing method that is being phased out by New Zealand’s big canned tuna brands.

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New Zealand’s five big tuna brands have committed to phase out a destructive tuna fishing method that kills sharks, turtles and baby tuna. This makes us the third country, behind the UK and Australia, to take steps to change to more sustainably caught tuna. This is good news for the Pacific tuna fishery which supplies most of New Zealand’s canned tuna. However, there is still more we can do to preserve tuna stocks and ensure we have tuna on our shelves, and in our Pacific Ocean, for the long-term:

  • The New Zealand Government must stand with our Pacific neighbours to ban the most destructive fishing methods, end overfishing and create marine reserves;

  • New Zealand’s tuna fishing companies must switch to more sustainable methods.

Until recently the Pacific had the world's last healthy tuna fisheries. These are now being overfished as industrial fishing fleets, which have exhausted tuna stocks in other oceans, are now concentrating their efforts in the Pacific.

All Pacific tuna stocks are in decline. Bigeye and yellowfin are the most at risk. Scientists have advised that fishing needs to be cut by up to 50 per cent to allow bigeye tuna to recover.

Many fishing fleets are using methods which are destructive catching five to 10 times more turtles, sharks and juvenile tuna compared to more sustainable fishing practices.

There are almost 6000 vessels licensed to fish in the Western and Central Pacific region. In 2012 those vessels caught over 2.6 million tonnes of tuna – around 60 per cent of the world’s tuna supply.

Foreign fishing vessels continue to steal tuna from the region, exploiting four pockets of international waters between Pacific islands nations. Illegal fishing is estimated to cost the Pacific region up to NZ$1.7 billion per year.

In 2013 we launched a report providing a blueprint for Pacific Island governments and regional bodies to promote a more sustainable and locally owned and operated tuna fishery in the region.

The report - titled Transforming Tuna Fisheries in Pacific Island Countries: An Alternative Model of Development makes detailed recommendations for how to develop smaller-scale and locally owned fisheries that will maximise economic returns, create local jobs and better protect countries’ precious tuna reserves for the long term.

The latest updates

 

Hoisting a new flag to combat pirate fishing: blacklist.greenpeace.org

Press release | October 2, 2008 at 3:04

Greenpeace today launched an online database of fishing vessels involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and the companies that own them.

Tuna laundering

Blog entry by Nick | September 2, 2008

The pirate fishing vessel, Luna Rossa, cut off its illegal driftnet and fled from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise. © Greenpeace / Gavin Parsons There's an interesting story about Tuna over at the Greenpeace International blog ...

Greenpeace Red Fish List launched in New Zealand

Feature story | August 10, 2008 at 0:00

Today Greenpeace launched the New Zealand Red Fish List – a guide to help consumers avoid buying fish that comes from the most unsustainable fisheries.

Defending the Pacific - Part 4: The Esperanza and Goliath

Blog entry by Greg | May 27, 2008

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.

Pacific islands act to save tuna

Feature story | May 21, 2008 at 0:00

Finally, some good news for tuna stocks and a first step towards protecting the Pacific Commons for future generations! Eight Pacific island countries have taken the most significant action ever to combat overfishing in the region.

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