Time and tuna running out: Greenpeace

Press release - May 22, 2012
Bangkok, Thailand -- To prevent the irreversible destruction of the world’s marine ecosystems, Greenpeace is calling for “less boats, more fish” at Infofish 2012, the global tuna industry’s biennial convention, held in Bangkok this week.

“The tuna industry must be stopped from stripping our seas.  Not only is it fishing itself out of existence, it is also robbing fisherfolk of their livelihoods,” said  Mark Dia, Regional Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.  “If we want healthy oceans and a viable tuna industry tomorrow, we simply need fewer boats on the water taking tuna today.”

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.

 “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 reform of the tuna fishing industry, but the industry’s influence is too strong. The world needs change – time and tuna are running out.” Said Sari Tolvanen. Greenpeace International Oceans Campaigner.

Around the world Greenpeace is pressuring tuna brands to abandon destructive fishing methods like fish aggregating devices (FADs), and to source sustainable tuna caught using methods such as pole and line and purse seine nets set on free swimming tuna, and to 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 big consumer markets in Europe, the US other places 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,” said Dia.  “Here in South East Asia and in the Pacific,  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.”

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.

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Contacts: 

Sari Tolvanen (in Bangkok) +31 655 125 480,

Mark Dia (in Bangkok) +63917 843 0549,

Steve Smith (in Amsterdam), +31 643 787 359,

AC Dimatatac (in Philippines), +63 9178686451,

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