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Transforming Tuna Fisheries in the Pacific: A Public Briefing

Transforming Tuna Fisheries in the Pacific: A Public Briefing

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The Western and Central Pacific has the world’s
largest and richest tuna fishery. It supplies over
60% of all tuna consumed globally.

The value of tuna sourced from this region is over
$5.5 billion annually. Unfortunately, most of the
profits are not reaching the small island economies from which the tuna is sourced. This is due to the domination by foreign industrial fishing fleets operating in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

These fleets give paltry returns back to Pacific
Island countries in the form of access fees and
take away the bulk of the earnings.
The Western and Central Pacific has the world’s
largest and richest tuna fishery. It supplies over
60% of all tuna consumed globally.

The value of tuna sourced from this region is over
$5.5 billion annually. Unfortunately, most of the
profits are not reaching the small island economies from which the tuna is sourced. This is due to the domination by foreign industrial fishing fleets operating in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

These fleets give paltry returns back to Pacific
Island countries in the form of access fees and
take away the bulk of the earnings.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Greenpeace Australia Pacific on Aug 04, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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 A Public Briefng
Transorming TunaFisheries in the Pacifc 
 August 2013
 
Tuna Fisheries in the Pacifc
 The Western and Central Pacic has the worldslargest and richest tuna shery. It supplies over60% o all tuna consumed globally. The value o tuna sourced rom this region is over$5.5 billion annually. Unortunately, most o theprots are not reaching the small island economiesrom which the tuna is sourced. This is due tothe domination by oreign industrial shing feetsoperating in the Western and Central Pacic Ocean. These feets give paltry returns back to PacicIsland countries in the orm o access ees andtake away the bulk o the earnings.
Most o the tuna fshing has been done by oreignvessels paying access ees to island countries tocatch fsh in their waters. Those ees usually amountto a mere 5-6% o the landed value o the fsh.
The need or transormation
 There is increasing support among Pacic Islandcountries to transorm the region’s tuna sheries toan alternative model. This model would see morelocals and communities participate in the sheriesand associated activities thus providing more jobs,livelihoods and socio-economic benets or the region.Over the last 50 years, the region’s tuna shery hasbeen dominated by large industrial feets rom theEuropean Union, Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea and theUnited States. These feets have robbed the Pacic o its wealth and driven tuna stocks down and catchesup to unsustainable levels. Now is the time or PacicIsland countries to take action beore their valuablesheries are driven to collapse. Poor oceans mean apoor uture or Pacic Island countries.
The Greenpeace vision
Sustainable and equitable tuna sheriesare needed i we are to prevent a tunacrisis in the Pacic. Now more thanever, sustainable and locally owned tunasheries need to be supported. A shit away rom the large-scaleindustrial model o shing – currentlypromoted, pursued and dominated by bigwealthy countries and their corporations– towards a model that promotesenvironmentally sustainable and sociallyresponsible smaller-scale vessels andoperations is needed.Small-scale tuna sheries could beoperated in many o the region’s coastalcommunities, resulting in greatereconomic benets to Pacic Islandcountries and communities.
Government support is crucial orensuring this vision becomes a reality.In particular, governments must developfsheries management and socialpolicies that protect the resource andavour smaller-scale and home-grownfshing businesses.
© Greenpeace / Alex Hoord 
 
 An alternative model
Smaller-scale vessels provide ar greater benets to PacicIsland countries than larger industrial boats. They can belocally built, owned, operated and maintained by the islandstates, bringing the prots generated rom their activitiesinto the local economy. Having shing vessels built andbased locally creates multiplier eects in the economythrough employment and other businesses needed toservice and supply their operations.Local owners and investors have a greater stake in thelong-term sustainable management o sheries resourcesthan the ‘distant water’ large-scale industrial feets thathave moved to the Pacic ater overshing and maximisingshort-term gains in other ocean areas.
Markets paving the way toward transormation
 The marketplace or tuna has changed in recent years,and an ever-increasing number o tuna brands, tradersand retailers are making a policy o sourcing and tradingtuna rom sustainable sheries. More recently, leadingcompanies have begun to seek out tuna rom sheriesoperating in ways that is both environmentally sustainableand socially responsible.In important canned tuna markets like Australia andthe UK, all major brands and retailers have committedto buying only responsibly sourced tuna like pole andline and ree-school purse seine. Large companies likeSaeway in the US and Mareblu in the EU have ollowedsuit. This equates to thousands o tonnes per year o extra demand or responsibly sourced tuna.Smaller-scale tuna sheries generating economicdevelopment in coastal island communities can takeadvantage o this growing retail demand and have greatpotential to make up a signicant portion o the sheryinto the uture.
“ 
 
Here at Sacol we led the way in Australia by  being the frst company to move our entiretuna range to responsibly caught tuna. Thiswas an obvious choice or us to ensure the sustainability o the industry. We encouragecoastal states to develop locally-based, sustainable industries to meet their own goals and the wishes o our customers.” 
(Sacol, 2013)One o the modes o tuna shing that is more socially andecologically sustainable and is encouraged by Greenpeaceis the pole and line method. This mode o shing ensuresvery little bycatch, and creates more employment thanpurse seine shing as it requires large shing crews,meaning more employment opportunities or local people.Currently the majority o locally caught pole and linetuna is supplied by Indonesia and the Maldives with theormer quickly expanding its production. Pacic Islandcountries should move quickly to enter the marketplace orresponsibly sourced tuna.
“ 
 
 At Sirena, not only do we believe it is important to look ater fsh stocks, we also eel it is vital to support the people who go fshing. We support, and our customers demand, fsheries tha are sustainable as well as air. We encouragecoastal states to move toward a model that uses responsible methods and provides or local fshing communities.” 
 
(Sirena, 2013)
© Greenpeace / Daniel M Ocampo

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