Data loading...

Greenpeace Launches “Out of Line” Report On Tuna Longlining

A grave lack of regulations hinders sustainable management of the world’s oversized longline tuna fishery fleets, Greenpeace International warned as it released a new report today.

The report, ‘Out of line, the global failure of tuna longline fisheries’, outlines the main environmental and social impacts of the tuna longline fishing business, arguing that governments responsible for the management of longline fisheries either in their capacity as flag States or through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations are not living up to their obligation to ensure these fleets operate sustainably. This includes ensuring an adequate control of the fishing activities, keeping the capacity of these fleets in line with precautionary limits and minimising the impacts of fishing on the whole ecosystem.

“The behavior of the longline tuna fisheries industry is scandalous, as it is constantly reported to be involved in practices such as illegal fishing facilitated by at sea transfers of fish, labor law abuses involving captive crews who can spend several years at sea and the killing of vulnerable species like sharks and turtles,” said Sari Tolvanen, Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace International.

“The sector is fragmented with many diverse small players, which means that markets and traders on these products have an even greater responsibility in ensuring the seafood they sell is legally caught, traceable and comes from decent and sustainable working and environmental practices.”

In just a few weeks the future of the world’s largest tuna fishery will be decided in Cairns, Australia, as the members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission need to agree on far-reaching cuts in the region's bigeye and yellowfin catches. Longline powers mainly from Taiwan, China, Korea and the US are expected to resist further cuts and efforts to limit longline fishing in the high seas – measures that would ensure critical improvements in fisheries management to achieve more sustainable and legal Pacific fisheries.

Greenpeace International is calling for sustainability and equity standards to be implemented without delay by the key traders, market players and fishing operators active in the longline tuna sector.

“Action cannot be delayed any longer and it is essential that this fishing business starts accepting proper management and conservation rules. Only by getting larger players to act will it be possible to bring this highly fragmented fishing sector under control,” added Tolvanen.