Big fishing nations that won’t stop overfishing
Tuna overfishing was a hot topic at the conferences I attended in Fiji over the past month, as reps from Kiribati, Tuvalu and Cook Islands among others talked about their issues with foreign fleets in their waters
A recent Guardian article exposes some of the figures behind industrial tuna fishing in the pacific.
The article says that the US, China, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan are responsible for 80% of bigeye tuna caught each year. The remaining 20% is captured by vessels flagged to smaller fishing nations. Some of the smallest nations depend on their fisheries for basic survival.
In 2012, 2.6m tonnes of tuna were extracted from the Pacific – 60% of the global total. Scientists are in agreement that tuna is being overfished at an alarming rate. Some species are practically on the brink, with bluefin tuna populations being currently just 4% of what they were before industrial fishing commenced.
Yet, the organisation that has been entrusted by the international community to be the steward of tuna fisheries in the Pacific ocean, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, has failed to protect the fish for…
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