Save Yellowfin Tuna From Entrapment and Extinction

Target: Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency

Goal: Prohibit devices contributing to endangerment of yellowfin tuna within Indian Ocean.

One of the top predators of the Indian Ocean is quickly disappearing because of human plundering. While Africa, Asia, and Australia border the ocean, another continent has raced past them in its damaging yellowfin tuna overfishing expeditions: Europe. The situation has become so dire for these beautiful fish that an emergency meeting of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission took place in March, and several major retail chains joined in urgent calls for reform. Multiple proposals have been put forth, yet main perpetrator Europe’s solutions to curb overfishing fall woefully short of other regions that have more to lose. Worse, almost none of the proposals seriously address the main culprit behind rapidly dwindling populations.

Both retailers and conservationists have condemned the widespread use—especially among the European Union (EU)—of fish-aggregating devices (FADs). Large industrial EU fishing fleets utilize a particularly destructive version, drifting FADs, to draw large fish schools to an area. The entrapped animals are then vulnerable to wholesale capture via nearby nets and eventual slaughter. Since the shadows cast by these buoys attract all the fish in a school (including juveniles), the reproduction rates of the fish have dropped drastically, endangering the overall population even more. Worse yet, other unsuspecting marine animals like turtles and sharks often become “bycatch” collateral damage.

Sign the petition below to urge a ban on these instruments of what critics call “neocolonial plundering.”

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Bruyninckx,

You have likely studied and perhaps offered input into the plight of  the Indian Ocean’s yellowfin tuna population. You are also probably aware of the intense criticism the EU has received for its lack of goodwill in helping correct a crisis it largely fueled. The EU Distant Water Fleet has a 97 percent capture rate for juvenile yellowfins: the very fish desperately needed to facilitate the species’ growth. This troubling rate distinguishes the EU from other regions, as does the dangerous method that makes this plunder possible.

Drifting fish-aggregating devices are in widespread use by the EU fleet, yet proposals by the union for cutting back on overfishing remain silent on the very instrument that is causing the problem. You better than anyone have knowledge of why these devices are responsible for so much damage. Please promote this expertise to help facilitate real and meaningful reform.

Advocate for a ban on drifting FADs immediately. Protect this vital marine population from a preventable bleak fate.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Andy Nabreski

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One Comment

  1. There are just too many mouths to feed and people who will do what ever they can to exploit that need by overfishing. It’s all about the amount of money they can make with no clue as to what they will do when the fish run out. It’s all about the here and now. Fisheries should be managed with a long term goal in mind for future abundance for humans and wildlife.

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