Greenpeace brings oceans campaign to Asia

Industry Database

Greenpeace is to bring it oceans campaign to Asia as it builds up its presence in the region.

The environmental campaigners will import many of the tactics they use elsewhere in the world although they are aware the region’s size and diversity will make some modifications necessary.

“It’s a big job we’ve got ahead of us” said Sarah Duthie, head of Greenpeace’s global oceans campaign when meeting reporters in Bangkok on 3 June.

One key area Ms Duthie cited was tuna stocks in the West and Central part of the Pacific which are starting to be overfished by fishing fleets from outside the region, many of them Asian. The other species she mentioned as causing concern were the orange roughy and grenadiers which are sometimes called rattails.

Both are caught using deep-sea bottom trawlers which leads to the depletion of other species. This practice along with long-lining and purse-seining are “destructive methods” of fishing the group wants to end as part of its campaign.

The other key part of this is making 40% of the world’s oceans maritime reserves to act as a buffer zone for fish stocks.

 Greenpeace has worked with the governments of the Pacific islands successfully on the issue of unlicensed vessels and will use that tactic again but admits it is held back by the lack of suitable forums and a global fishing register.

Another tactic it plans to bring to the region is working with the supermarkets on their fish procurement policies which has paid handsome dividends in Europe. “That’s starting to show some possibilities in Japan,” said Ms Duthie, although she acknowledged in Southeast Asia it would be less so given the importance of street markets to the retail sector.

Whilst the fast developing Asia region tends to be hard ground for environmental groups, ideas are changing and Greenpeace feels its presence will raise the profile of their concerns although itself is quiet about exact strategies and timelines.

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