Tuna industry must chart future with ‘less boats, more fish’

Press release - 23 May, 2012
Bangkok, Thailand, 23 May 2012 – To rescue the world’s oceans and fishing industries from collapse, Greenpeace will be calling for “less boats, more fish” at the global tuna industry’s biennial convention in Bangkok this week.

Greenpeace activists will deliver a large design with the same message to the conference, while Greenpeace experts will also speak at the meeting, lobby attendees and deliver a speech on tuna sustainability.

“The tuna industry is on course to fishing itself out of existence. If we want healthy oceans and a viable tuna industry tomorrow, we simply need fewer boats on the water taking tuna,” said Sari Tolvanen, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner.

“Here in Bangkok, industry leaders and policymakers have to create a way forward for the tuna sector that delivers sustainable tuna supplies for the future, not just short-term profits. Consumers around the world are demanding responsibly-caught tuna and scientists are urging for tuna fishing industry reform, but the industry’s influence is too strong. The world needs change – time and tuna are running out.”

At the Bangkok Tuna Forum, more than 600 industry, retail and political officials are expected to attend three days of talks focused on the future of the world’s tuna industry. Tuna is one of the most lucrative fishing sectors in the world, but is in trouble as the world’s tuna stocks are in decline, with some species now listed as critically endangered.

Greenpeace is campaigning around the world to change the tuna industry, by pressuring tuna brands to abandon the most destructive fishing methods, to source sustainable tuna caught using methods such as pole and line and purse seine nets set on free swimming tuna, support the creation of marine reserves and create transparent supply chains.

Greenpeace is also working to give more market access to responsibly-caught tuna products to improve the monitoring and surveillance of fishing vessels at sea.

“The consumer markets are changing rapidly. Demand for sustainably and fairly-caught tuna is on the rise. The industry has an opportunity here in Bangkok to embrace this demand and begin to reform both itself and its failed ocean-management practices. This change must include radical cuts in the numbers of industrial-scale tuna fishing vessels, necessary to deliver healthy oceans to the millions dependent on them for food and jobs,” Tolvanen added.

Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the world’s oceans and for a more sustainable fishing industry, both are which are necessary to restore our oceans to health.


Sari Tolvanen (in Bangkok) +31 655 125 480 (mobile) or

Steve Smith (in Amsterdam) +31 643 787 359 (mobile) or