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Greenpeace Releases Shocking Video From Tuna Industry Whistleblower
Greenpeace Releases Shocking Video From Tuna Industry Whistleblower

18/11/2011

 Shocking new video footage captured by a tuna industry whistleblower was released by Greenpeace today, revealing the routine careless slaughter of marine species, including whale sharks, rays and whales, as purse-seine vessels deploying Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) cut a swathe through the Pacific Ocean (1). The video has emerged less than a month before the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting, where key conservation measures to secure the future of the Pacific region's tuna, marine life, food security and economic prosperity will be decided. It was shot by a helicopter pilot employed as a spotter for the tuna industry. To protect the pilot from reprisals Greenpeace has disguised his identity.

The never-before-seen footage, shot onboard a tuna fishing vessel in the Pacific, reveals the true cost of a can of tuna, and underlines the urgent need for nations to extend a fishing ban in the Pacific Commons (2) and to ban the use of FADs with purse seine nets at December's meeting. Both are necessary steps for the creation of a healthy tuna industry, and the promise of living oceans for the future.

Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) are floating devices used to attract fish to the surface and are one of the most aggressive fishing operations used by the industry in the face of declining fish populations due to overfishing. While they have been banned in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean for three months of the year, this is not enough and Greenpeace is calling for their ban in purse seine fisheries on a year-round basis.

Simon Clydesdale, Oceans campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said “The leadership shown by companies in the UK, the world's second largest tuna market, proves that this industry can operate without such indiscriminate destruction - large scale change is urgently needed, and we've already shown that it can be done.“

Several tuna brands, including UK tuna giants Princes and John West and all the major UK supermarkets, have committed to not source tuna from operations using FADs as well as tuna caught in the Pacific Commons (3). Greenpeace campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Canada and the United States are putting the pressure on retailers and tuna brands to take steps to rescue the Pacific for the benefit of the region's food security and economic prosperity.

“Consumers have the right to know what is destroyed and discarded in order to fill their cans with tuna," said Casson Trenor, Greenpeace USA oceans campaigner.

“This shocking video is a wake-up call: we as consumers, can demand that retailers give shelf-space only to responsibly-caught tuna. Without significant changes to global fishing practices and more protected marine reserves across the world's seas, we will literally fish away future tuna supplies, jobs and healthy oceans."

Greenpeace is campaigning globally for nations to ban all fishing in the Pacific Commons and to ban the use of FADs with purse seines across the Western and Central Pacific at the Pacific tuna commission meeting. Nearly 60% of the world's tuna comes from the Pacific (4), where the region's valuable bigeye and yellowfin tuna are currently being overfished. The increased catch of juvenile tuna with FADs is further putting these species at risk.

“The tuna fishing industry is at a crossroads: continuing business as usual is simply handing our children empty oceans, empty nets and empty plates and bellies", continued Trenor.

Greenpeace is campaigning around the world for fishing industry reform and for a global network of marine reserves, areas of ocean off-limits to fishing, covering 40% of the world's oceans. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JlKwoUtMk4  

 

  • Large marine animals such as whale sharks and cetaceans are also being routinely used as FADs in purse seine fisheries, resulting in increased deaths of these vulnerable species
  • Globally, over 80 percent of fish populations are at risk of commercial extinction, due to overfishing. In the Pacific the bigeye and yellowfin tuna populations are now being overfished, both were recently listed as vulnerable and threatened with extinction by the World Conservation Union (IUCN):



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