By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 04 August, 2013
A new report from Greenpeace Australia Pacific outlines a blueprint for how Pacific island governments and regional bodies can promote a more sustainable and locally owned and operated tuna fishery in the region.
“Transforming Tuna Fisheries in Pacific Island Countries: An Alternative Model of Development,” makes detailed recommendations for how to develop smaller-scale and locally owned fisheries that will maximize economic returns, create local jobs and better protect countries’ tuna reserves.
The Western and Central Pacific tuna fishery supplies more than 60 percent of all tuna consumed globally, valued at USD 5.5 billion (EUR 4.15 billion) annually.
“Unfortunately, most of the profits are not reaching the small island economies from which the tuna is sourced,” said Greenpeace. “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.
“Sustainable and equitable tuna fisheries are needed if we are to prevent a tuna crisis in the Pacific. Now more than ever, sustainable and locally owned tuna fisheries need to be supported. A shift away from the large-scale industrial model of fishing — currently promoted, pursued and dominated by big wealthy countries and their corporations — towards a model that promotes environmentally sustainable and socially responsible smaller-scale vessels and operations is needed.
“Government support is crucial for ensuring this vision becomes a reality. In particular, governments must develop fisheries management and social policies that protect the resource and favor smaller-scale and home-grown fishing businesses.”