Tuna scientists find Pacific tuna stocks more threatened than ever - Greenpeace

Press release - August 22, 2009
Greenpeace is calling for urgent action in rescuing Pacific tuna fisheries after Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Science meeting concluded stocks are in bigger trouble than previously reported.

The science meeting of the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) reported 2008 had the highest tuna catch in history and also agreed that wasteful fishing techniques like Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs),(1) essentially acting like deadly fish magnets, are threatening juvenile tunas and other marine life. (2)

"The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting this December in Tahiti must immediately  ensure fishing is halved across all of the tuna fisheries," said Greenpeace Oceans campaigner Genevieve Quirk in Vanuatu.

"The Commission must also agree to close off all four pockets of international waters from any fishing. These areas of the ocean, flanking many Pacific Island countries, must be protected in order to safeguard tuna stocks."

After years of Greenpeace campaigning for a 50% cut in all tuna fishing, the science committee has recommended a 34-50% cut to protect the overfished bigeye tuna stocks.

Greenpeace has been repeatedly calling for a global ban on the use FADs with purse seine fisheries.

Greenpeace is calling for a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the ocean to give them a chance to recover after decades of overexploitation and wants to see these biodiversity rich international waters set aside as world's first high seas marine reserves where no fishing is allowed.

Other contacts: Genevieve Quirk - Greenpeace Oceans Campaign in Vanuatu +61 458 297 671 Josephine Prasad - Greenpeace Media Advisor + +614 08487155 Lagi Toribau - Greenpeace Oceans Team leader +679 9370330

Notes: 1. (FADs) used by purse seine vessels, which intensify overfishing. FADs are used to attract skipjack tuna but juvenile bigeye and yellowfin as well as sharks and other marine life are killed as bycatch when caught in the nets and thrown overboard, dead, as waste. 2. Korean researchers presented data on how FADs led to overfishing of juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tuna and kill large amounts of by-catch like Marlin, Barracuda, Whale and Silky Sharks and vulnerable Olive Ridley turtles. 3. Doo-Hae An, You-Jung Kwon, Doo-Nam Kim, Dae-Yeon Moon and Seon-Jae Hwang, 2009, Effects of set type on catch of small-sized tuna by the Korean tuna purse seine fishery in the WCPO. WCPFC-SC5-2009/FT-WP-02. (http://www.wcpfc.int/meetings/2009/5th-regular-session-0)">http://www.wcpfc.int/meetings/2008/5th-regular-session-commission 4. Patrick Lehodey, and Inna Senina 2009. AN UPDATE OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND APPLICATIONS OF THE SEAPODYM MODEL. WCPFC-SC5-2009/EB-WP-10 (http://www.wcpfc.int/meetings/2009/5th-regular-session-0)">http://www.wcpfc.int/meetings/2008/5th-regular-session-commission

Exp. contact date: 2009-09-22 00:00:00