Activists Bust Pirate Tuna Fishing

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10th May 2008, 01:47pm - Views: 920


Greenpeace Australia Pacific Ltd.

Ph: +61 2 9261 4666 Fax: +61 2 9261 4588 [email protected] ABN 61 002 643 852

Activists bust pirate tuna fishing

Sydney, Saturday, May 10, 2008 Greenpeace yesterday exposed an illegal tuna purse seiner, the
Queen Evelyn 168, in a pocket of international waters between Papua New Guinea and the Federated
States of Micronesia. The Queen Evelyn 168 is not authorised to undertake any fishing activities in this
part of the Pacific.

This Philippines-flagged vessel was at the site of a transfer of tuna between her sister vessel and a
refrigerated mothership, the Kenken 888. It is likely that a transfer of fish at sea involving an illegal vessel
was about to occur, but the arrival of Greenpeace prevented it from taking place as the vessels
immediately separated and fled.

"Transfers of fish at sea are well known to be facilitating pirate fishing around the world - now we have
proof of this in the Pacific and it is unacceptable that this is still allowed to continue", said Greenpeace
Australia Pacific campaigner Lagi Toribau on board the Esperanza. "Transfers of fish should only be
allowed in port so they can be monitored properly."

"At-sea transfers result in massive underestimation of the Pacific tuna catch. For years tuna have
disappeared unreported on motherships like this. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission -
which is supposed to protect tuna from overfishing - is clearly failing to do so. The only hope for Pacific
tuna fisheries is to close the pockets of international waters as marine reserves and to ban all transfer of
fish at sea," said Toribau.

Greenpeace activists later boarded the mothership with the permission of the ship's Captain and found
predominantly juvenile yellowfin and skipjack tuna in the hold. The Captain said he had done six other
transfers of tuna totalling 675 tonnes over the last month in the same pocket of international waters.

"Scientists have been warning for years that bigeye and yellowfin tuna are suffering from overfishing.
When you consider that these secret catches haven't been included in the assessment, bigeye and
yellowfin tuna are probably in much worse trouble than scientists predicted," continued Toribau. "We need
to act now and cut the fishing effort by half within the waters of Pacific island countries to save these

The Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza, is in the Pacific for the fifth week to defend the pockets of
international waters between Pacific Island countries as marine reserves (1).

In the last month Greenpeace has taken action against overfishing by Korean, Taiwanese and US boats,
confiscated a fish aggregation device that intensifies overfishing and freed marine life from the hooks of a

Greenpeace advocates the creation of a network of marine reserves, protecting 40 per cent of the world's
oceans, as the long term solution to overfishing and the recovery of our overexploited oceans.

*/Notes to Media:/*


Greenpeace Australia Pacific Ltd.

Ph: +61 2 9261 4666 Fax: +61 2 9261 4588 [email protected] ABN 61 002 643 852

To download images and footage of today's action and background vision
go to:
username: photos
password: green

Enter folder called "Defending Our Pacific".
To download high resolution pictures, right click and "save image as".


Ria Voorhaar, Communications Officer: 0400 376 021
Jason Collins, Oceans Campaigner: 0418 650 995
Dean Baigent-Mercer, Communications officer on board the Esperanza: +872
324 469 014 (GMT + 11);
Abram Powell, Audio Visual Coordinator: 0409 812 641 ;

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