Greenpeace records illegal fishing

Greenpeace has found illegal fishing operations in the Indian Ocean. © Paul Hilton/Greenpeace Greenpeace has found illegal fishing operations in the Indian Ocean. © Paul Hilton/Greenpeace
Industry Database

Greenpeace has found illegal fishing operations in the Indian Ocean, and the organisation says that the monitoring of tuna fisheries must be strengthened and transfers of fish at sea banned to end the overfishing crisis.

Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior recorded illegal fishing activities by two Sri Lankan tuna and shark boats in the Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the adjacent high seas last Friday (9 November) before arriving in Colombo over the weekend to end a two-month expedition in the Indian Ocean.

"Fisheries in the Indian Ocean are being massively overexploited. Our oceans and the billions of people around the world dependent on them need better control and enforcement of fishing regulations. If we don't act now, there may be no tuna left for future generations," said Sari Tolvanen, Greenpeace International campaigner aboard the Rainbow Warrior.

"Transshipments of fish at sea are allowing illegal fishing to go undetected. These transfers of fish at sea must be eliminated and the number of fishing vessels in the region cut to end the overfishing crisis."

Greenpeace International had earlier found two illegal Sri Lankan fishing boats in the Chagos marine reserve and has called on the UK government, which established the reserve in 2010, to enforce protection of the area. It has also urged Sri Lanka to take control of its sprawling fishing fleet.

The Rainbow Warrior set sail from Durban, South Africa, in early September to Mozambique, Mauritius, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Greenpeace says that the lack of proper management and pirate fishing in the region is contributing to the demise of albacore and bigeye tuna and sharks that are targeted for the lucrative sashimi and shark fin trade.

Greenpeace is campaigning for responsible fishery management to end overfishing and to support a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the world’s oceans.

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