Mon, Sep 24, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Greenpeace protests overfishing

SOMETHING FISHY:Taiwanese fleets have a strong presence in Western Pacific fisheries that provide 60 percent of all tuna caught around the world

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Greenpeace volunteers create a human banner reading ‘to have fish every year,’ in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chris Stowers , EPA

About 300 people lay on the ground at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂) yesterday morning to form the Chinese characters for “to have fish every year” (“年年有魚) in an campaign event aimed at emphasizing the importance of sustainable fisheries.

Greenpeace Taiwan, the organizer of the event, said that according to a UN report, 85 percent of all fish species in the world are being overfished, and if the situation worsens, there may be no more fish to eat in 2048.

“Our oceans are being threatened by overfishing, and people have stood up today to express their hopes for the marine environment,” Taiwan Greenpeace oceans campaigner Yen Ning (顏寧) said.

“Taiwan has the largest number of fishing vessels in the world’s most important fishing areas in the Western Pacific region, so the government should take the problem of fish stock depletion seriously,” Yen said, adding that the government should actively support conservation plans to protect the sustainability of the fishing industry, and to guarantee future generations still have fish to eat.

Taiwan’s distant water fishing fleets have been strong in the Western Pacific fisheries, and the fisheries in this area provide 60 percent of all the tuna caught around the world, the organization said.

However, it added that three of the four main tuna species are now listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened or Near Threatened Species.

According to the IUCN’s report last year, five of the eight species of tuna were in the threatened or near threatened red list categories, including the yellow-fin, big-eye and albacore.

In addition, Greenpeace said its ship, the Esperanza, will arrive to Taiwan on Sunday, with public visits to the ship scheduled from Oct. 5 through to Oct. 7 at Keelung Harbor.

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