Greenpeace says immediate action needs to be taken to halt the decline of tuna stocks in the Pacific.
The call was made at the start of the 8th Scientific Committee meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC SC8) in Busan, South Korea this week.
Greenpeace is urging scientists at the Busan meeting to recommend that bigeye tuna catches be cut by 50 per cent. It is also calling for a ban on the use of destructive fish aggregating devices in purse seine fisheries and the creation of marine reserves in the Pacific Commons where all fishing activities should be banned. Final decisions will be made at WCPFC annual meeting in Manila this December.
"Strong recommendations from scientists and commitments from government are both necessary to save the Pacific and the millions dependent on it for food and jobs. Time is running out for tuna, and for future generations, we need action now," said Jeonghee Han, Oceans campaigner, Greenpeace East Asia.
More than 150 scientists and representatives from WCPFC members including fishing powers such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines will review stock status information at the meeting concluding August 15. The current analysis shows that current fisheries management practices in the Pacific are failing to maintain healthy fish stocks fisheries and ocean ecosystems.
Three Greenpeace activists representing different generations held tuna images and delivered "No Fish No Future" messages as a warning sign to the delegations at the meeting venue.
Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of marine reserves covering 40 per cent of the world's oceans and for a more sustainable fishing industry, both necessary steps to restoring our oceans to health. Around the world, Greenpeace is working with retailers and tuna brands across New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and the Americas to increase the market share of sustainably-sourced tuna.
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