Taiwanese government continues to riskthesustainability of its own fishing industry Environmentalgroups call for Taiwan to support marine reserve

Taipei, 21 November 2009. Greenpeace and the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) released a new report[1] today, illustrating that illegal and overfishing by the Taiwanese controlled fishing fleets continue to plunder vulnerable Pacific high seas and are putting the industry itself and its long term survival at risk as tuna stocks decline.

The report includes evidence of Taiwanese fishing vessels caught in illegal acts during a recent Greenpeace expedition in the Pacific Ocean and highlights that despite recent new legislative measures in Taiwan, the government is still unable to effectively control its distant water fishing fleets and nationals involved in fishing under other flags. In order to ensure sustainable fisheries the Government needs to support international conservation measures and proposals of Pacific Island Countries to close four areas of international waters[2] in the Pacific Ocean to all fishing activities at the upcoming annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in Tahiti December 7-11th.

The Greenpeace ship Esperanza recently completed an eight-week Defending Our Pacific expedition[3] during which it documented 13 vessels from Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, US and Panama. Seven of the vessels carried Taiwanese flags or were found to be operated by Taiwanese companies, from which three were caught fishing or transferring fish illegally while the other four were fishing exclusively in the vulnerable high seas pockets where surveillance is non-existent. Greenpeace presented an investigation report of the illegal incidents to both the WCPFC and Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency and demands that the Taiwanese government take immediate action to control the activities of Taiwanese fishing operations internationally.

“This recent example of Taiwanese small-scale longliners engaging in illegal acts is just the tip of the iceberg. Dozens of reports are released from around the world every year to tell the story of Taiwan’s fishing fleets out of control,” said Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner Sari Tolvanen. “This cannot continue as the sustainability of the tuna stocks and the fishing industry itself is under threat. Unless urgent and immediate action is taken, the fishing industry will simply fish itself and our oceans to death.”

EAST’s Executive Director Wu Hung singled out his criticism for the Taiwanese government for vowing to protect the sustainability of distant water fisheries while in practice is reluctant to support the closure of the four high seas pockets in the Pacific.

“It is time that the Taiwanese fishing industry and government look into the science and respond to its call. Tuna catch must be cut by half and setting up of marine reserves needs to be supported as essential mechanism in ensuring protection of our oceans.” stated Wu. Although Taiwan has

reduced its distant water fishing vessels in recent times, the remaining fleet capacity at 2500[4] vessels still far exceeds economically viable and sustainable catches of tuna.

The two groups will be holding an exhibition in Taipei from November 21st to 29th, 2009 to present captivating photographs of the current oceans crisis and the plight of Pacific tuna. The public can participate via interactive activities at the exhibition.

Formosa & Tuna – Netting up the Pacific Exhibition
Venue: Eslite Book Store, Dun-Nan Branch, Taipei
Date: November 21st-29th
ENDS

Table 1 Greenpeace Definding Our Pacific Expedition 2009 (23/08~19/10/2009)

 

Date

Location

Name of Ship Flag

Remarks

02/09/2009

High Seas Pocket 1

Ja Yu Fa(Taiwan)

Illegal transshipment

02/09/2009

High Seas Pocket 1

Her Hae(Taiwan)

Illegal transshipment

11/09/2009

High Seas Pocket 2

Fukuichi Maru No.85(Japan)

Continued use of FAD during the two-month FAD ban period.

14-15/09/2009

High Seas Pocket 2

Oryong 717(Korea)

Holding fishing license from the Solomon Islands or Kiribati but fishing at high seas.

17/09/2009

High Seas Pocket 2

American Legacy(U.S.A)

Made in Taiwan in 2008.

17/09/2009

High Seas Pocket 2

Fong Seong 888(Panama)

Refueling the purse seiner the American Legacy at sea.

18/09/2009

High Seas Pocket 2

Chung Yong 73(Korea)

Holding fishing license from Kiribati but fishing at high seas.

07/10/2009

Cook Islands EEZ

Koyu Maru 3(Japan)

Holding fishing license from Kiribati but fishing in Cook Islands’ water. Owned by a Taiwanese enterprise.

14-15/10/2009

High Seas Pocket 3

Kai Jie No.1(Taiwan)

Does not hold any fishing license from the Pacific Island countries. Can only fish at high seas.

15/09/2009

High Seas Pocket 3

Chu Huai No.368(Taiwan)

Does not hold any fishing license from the Pacific Island countries. Can only fish at high seas.

16/10/2009

High Seas Pocket 3

Ming Jyh Fwu No.16(Taiwan)

Does not hold any fishing license from the Pacific Island countries. Can only fish at high seas. Built in 2006.

16/10/2009

High Seas Pocket 3

Yu Long Fa No. 36(Taiwan)

Does not hold any fishing license from the Pacific Island countries. Can only fish at high seas. Built in 2006.

[1] http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/resources/reports/overfishing/taiwan-s-role-in-pacific-tuna

[2] http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/marine-reserves/pacific-tuna-need-marine-reserves

[3] www.greenpeace.org/defending-our-pacific2009-summaryreport

[4] 2007 Taiwan Fisheries Agency Annual Statistics Report

社團法人台灣動物社會研究會 All rights reserved by EAST 立案證號:台內社字第八九〇九四〇〇號 法人登記證號:105證他字第232號 (02)22369735~6 eastfree@east.org.tw 台北市文山區和興路84巷18號1樓 劃撥帳號:19461051 戶名:社團法人台灣動物社會研究會 網站協力製作:拾穗者文化