Greenpeace activists have demonstrated against tuna vessels operating illegally in an area known as the Pacific Commons near Indonesia.
Greenpeace says an unnamed purse seine vessel with no flag or nationality but with Filipino crew was caught “illegally” transshipping its tuna catch to a carrier vessel, the Lapu Lapu. The vessels were found by Greenpeace in an area which has been closed to purse seine fishing by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and Pacific Island nations’ governments.
“We call on the members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission to take action against these vessels, prosecute their owners and blacklist them from further fishing. In addition, seafood companies must end their complicity in this kind of crime by refusing to source tuna from the Pacific Commons,” says Greenpeace Australia Pacific oceans campaigner Lagi Toribau.
Activists have also removed three Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs) found in the area. Greenpeace is calling for a ban on FADs being used by purse seiners as the method catches and kills other sea life including threatened sharks, juvenile tuna and even the occasional turtle.
The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is currently on an expedition “Defending Our Pacific.