Data loading...

Greenpeace: “WCPFC Outcomes A Disaster For The Pacific” Pacific Ocean, December 10, 12

The WCPFC week-long meeting concluded last Thursday and its government members failed to protect Pacific tuna populations, says Greenpeace.
"This meeting was a disaster for the Pacific. The governments here should be held accountable for failing to protect vulnerable species that form the backbone of many economies in the Pacific, and provide food and livelihoods to coastal communities across the region. The big corporate players won and will continue their plunder for short-term profits at the expense of our oceans’ health," says Lagi Toribau, head of the Greenpeace delegation to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
According to the environment group, the Commission failed to sufficiently stop overfishing of the region’s bigeye and yellowfin tuna, failed to fully close the Pacific Commons to all fishing which encourages illegal activity, and insufficiently extended the current three-month ban on the use of fish-aggregating devices (FADs) in purse seine fisheries by only a month.
Little progress was also made to manage the region’s “large and poorly regulated” longline fleets, as only the Chinese fleet was required to reduce its fishing by 10% in 2013, says Greenpeace.
The group also points out that efforts to stop the landing of illegally-caught fish in ports were also rejected, and that the WCPFC also failed to implement stricter rules to stop shark finning and the incidental catches of sharks in longline fisheries.
The WCPFC also extended an exemption for 36 Philippine purse seiners, giving them access to high seas fishing grounds that had previously been closed to fishing, says Greenpeace.
The governments, however, did agree to ban the setting of nets on whale sharks, which are often used by purse seine vessels as living FADs. The WCPFC also tightened monitoring and control rules by making it compulsory for fishing vessels to report data when transiting in exclusive economic zones.