Protecting tuna is not just about dressing up as sharks and exposing the companies selling unsustainable tinned tuna.
Our ship the Esperanza is currently on the high seas in the Pacific to find, document and take action against illegal and unsustainable fishing throughout this region.
The Western and Central Pacific Ocean is the world's largest tuna fishery. More than 70% of the tuna consumed worldwide is taken from this area.
But the future of tuna in the Pacific is under threat. If fishing continues at its current level, some of the fisheries (such as bigeye tuna) could be lost, just as commercial fisheries for bluefin tuna have been wiped out altogether in parts of the world. The bluefin tuna fishery in the Norwegian Sea was over in a matter of a few decades.
In the past, Pacific island countries sold most of their fishing rights to foreign companies who depleted stocks and took profits out of the region. More recently these nations have started to develop their own sustainable fishing industry, to protect their resources and income for the future.
But there are areas outside national waters, known collectively as the Pacific Commons, where many large international fishing fleets use unsustainable and illegal methods. This activity threatens the long term prospects of both the fish stocks and the livelihoods of Pacific Island communities.
To protect tuna stocks, illegal practices such as pirate fishing need to be stopped, the Pacific Commons should be designated and protected as marine reserves, and the total amount of tuna fished need to be drastically reduced.
The Esperanza is in the Pacific to identify and take action against these practices, to try and protect tuna for generations to come.
For updates on the Defending the Pacific tuna tour visit http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/defendingpacific2011/
The Defending the Pacific tour is supported by the Postcode Lottery. The Postcode Lottery Project Oceans is an international project to help save the world’s oceans. The Postcode Lotteries fund a total of 7 million Euros for projects that focus on the challenges the oceans are facing and how to meet them. Greenpeace is one of the organisations that have received funding from the project. The Postcode Lottery Project Oceans also aims to increase awareness about the state of the oceans.
Read more at www.projectoceans.com.