Heading to sea to stop destructive fishing

Heading to sea to stop destructive fishing

Greenpeace Esperanza Indian Ocean 2016, Children wave to the Esperanza as the ship prepares to depart from the port of Diego Suarez. 15 Apr, 2016  © Will Rose / Greenpeace

The smell of fish is all around the Greenpeace Esperanza. We’ve been docked in Diego Suarez in Madagascar, getting ready to take on the tuna giant Thai Union again. Fittingly, there’s a fish processing factory right next to the ship. The symbolism gets even better. As we sail out, there’s a rainbow in the sky.

Tackling the issues of unsustainable tuna fishing

Greenpeace has been tackling overfishing for years, and last fall we appealed to Thai Union the biggest tuna company in the world  to switch to fish caught sustainably and under humane working conditions. Over 300,000 of you joined that call, making sure Thai Union heard it loud and clear. Now the Esperanza is riding that incredible wave of support into the Indian Ocean.

Thai Union has tried to fix the dents in its reputation, but the limited steps the company has taken simply aren’t enough. So now we’re back for round two, and we need you on board with us once again.

The Esperanza departs from the port of Diego Suarez. The Greenpeace vessel is in North Madagascar embarking on a new campaign in the Indian Ocean. 16 Apr, 2016  © Will Rose / Greenpeace

Come on board as we sail off

We’ll be sailing the East African part of the Indian Ocean. This is where the enormous French and Spanish fishing vessels try to catch as much fish as they can in the least amount of time. Many of these vessels supply Thai Union – with that tuna ending up on shelves around the world.

The unsustainable fishing methods of these vessels puts more and more pressure on tuna stocks. They also catch all kinds of other marine life – including sharks – and throw them back into the ocean, dead or dying. They call it “bycatch.” To make matters worse, they pollute the ocean with ghost nets and a growing number of decoy debris called FADs (fish aggregation devices) meant to lure tuna.

Greenpeace campaigner searches for FADs on the ship's monkey nest. 17 Apr, 2016  © Will Rose / Greenpeace

A daring change of tactics

This time we’re taking a different approach. After all, bearing witness does not only mean that we document. We’ll be peacefully opposing the destructive practices of these fishing vessels to prevent the indiscriminate harm caused to marine life. We are sailing out to find the fishing boats, expose their fishing methods and clean the Indian Ocean of the FADs we find.

You can join us. Tell Thai Union how you feel about the unsustainable tuna they sell us. Sign the petition today. And follow the Greenpeace Esperanza’s journey through the Indian Ocean on Facebook and Twitter.

A woman walks past a wall painted with tuna fish outside the port in Diego Suarez. 15 Apr, 2016  © Will Rose / Greenpeace

François Chartier is oceans campaign leader for Greenpeace France.

Source: Green peace

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