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Greenpeace Sounds The Alarm On Philippine Tuna Supply Philippines, September 10, 13

Major tuna industry players in the Philippines are being urged by Greenpeace to put a stop to declining tuna stocks by implementing extreme reduction measures. The environmental group advised the country that it is the only way to secure a future for its multi-million dollar tuna business.
Calls for further protection of the region’s lucrative bigeye and yellowfin stocks were issued at the 15th Tuna Congress in the country’s capital last week. Scientists emphasized that unless action was taken in reducing the catch of juvenile tuna caught by purse seiners fishing on FADs, stock levels will continue to fall.
Mark Dia, Regional Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace said: “Instead of pursuing ever-increasing tuna catches and opening up new fishing grounds, the Philippine government needs to direct its support to shift the tuna industry and prop up existing sustainable methods in catching tuna.”
Declining fish stocks are already thought to be impacting negatively on longline and handline fleets who are finding it harder to catch tuna. The size of bigeye and yellowfin left in the oceans is getting smaller, as tuna is being caught before it reaches maturity.
Sari Tolvanen, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace International said: “Without strong action to stop overfishing and overcapacity in the fleets, which means that there are already many boats catching fish, fishing companies as well as coastal communities will suffer huge losses as the stocks decline and the fleets will be forced to move elsewhere.” The Alliance of Tuna Handliners echoed the concerns of Greenpeace.
The Philippines’ catch accounts for the second largest volume of tuna catch globally, but in 2011 suffered its biggest decline in total tuna catch in recent years, dropping by over 70,000 tons from 2010.
A proposal to lengthen the FAD ban in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean has been widely agreed, but Philippines has said it wants to be excluded from the restrictions.
Mark Dia stressed: “Instead of continuously trying to seek exceptions to conservation measures, the Philippines should instead work more closely with the rest of the Pacific region and help put in place strong science based management measures that can help stop overfishing.”