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Greenpeace Calls For Arrest Of Japanese Tuna Captain

Greenpeace today called for the arrest of the captain of the Japanese tuna long liner ship Koyo Maru 3, which the environmental organization claims, was fishing illegally in the Cook Islands.

The Greenpeace ship Esperanza, campaigning in the Western Central Pacific to Stop IUU fishing, encountered the Koyu Maru 3 hauling its longline and catching tuna within Cook Islands waters, while according to the Cook Islands Ministry of Marine Resources, the longliner is not on the register of vessels licensed to fish in the waters of the Cook Islands, Greenpeace provided the Cook Islands Ministry of Marine Resources and the Fisheries Agency of Japan with photographic evidence of the illegal activity.

The activists demands that the Japanese government order Koyu Maru 3, which is owned by Tokyo-based World Tuna Co Ltd., to stop its illegal fishing activities and sail to the nearest port for further investigation.
They accuse the longliner of stealing fish for their own profit, depriving the people of the Cook Islands of a vital source of income.

A recent report “The global extent of illegal fishing” by the University of British Columbia, estimated that pirate fishing in the Pacific accounted for an average of 36% of its total fisheries, much higher than the global average of 19%.

“The government of Japan must show leadership in tackling illegal fishing by its vessels in the Pacific. Furthermore, Japan must take the lead among major fishing nations and support efforts by Pacific countries to reduce fishing activities in the region by half and close all four pockets of international waters to fishing to allow tuna stocks to recover,” added Wakao Hanaoka, Oceans Campaigner of Greenpeace Japan.