Thursday, 24 April 2008 2:08 PM

Tuna Species under Threat: Green Peace

Two migratory Tuna species are seriously under threat of being extinct in the Pacific Ocean, a recent survey by World Conservation Union (WCU) revealed.

Pacific bigeye and Eastern Atlantic bluefin are now listed as critically endangered on the WCU redlist, meaning they are at high risk of extinction in the near future.

There are five main commercially harvested tuna species: Skipjack, yellow fin, big eye, albacore, and bluefin. The Green Peace is on a Pacific tour to inform governments and people around the pacific of the dire need to do something about the situation before it is too late.

The Green Peace is campaigning and proposing five recommendations to governments which include;

. Shifting to domestic, small-scale harvesting to build a fishing economy.
. Shifting to increased domestic handling and processing
. Replacing Access Agreements with Joint Venture Supply Agreements
. Decoupling Fisheries Aid from Fisheries Access and Increasing Development assistance Targeted for Fisheries Management and isolated coastal Communities.
. Reduce fishing effort by 50 percent or more.

They are calling on the island governments to build domestic fisheries economy to maximize the employment benefits of the fishery. Greenpeace believes that the best means of doing so for job-starved coastal States is to develop labour-intensive, domestically built and financed, small-scale fishing fleets based exclusively on passive and highly selective fishing gear, preferably hook and line, pots and fish traps.

Greenpeace is also targeting the closure of three enclave high seas between the 17 Pacific Island countries and turning these into Pacific Marine Reserves. The area is located within the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, within the Exclusive Economic Zone of some countries. Greenpeace is advocating that these areas be designated as fully-protected marine reserves.

"We believe that doing so will yield a mixture of conservation, management and economic benefits to the Pacific region, its marine life and the all important tuna fisheries," the Green Peace said in a statement.