Fishing for tuna in highlight
UK meals retailer Sainsbury and Germany’s Edeka have joined a worldwide group of NGOs and environmental organisations calling for the restriction of a controversial fishing follow mentioned to threaten yellowfin tuna shares within the Indian Ocean.
The initiative is being led by Kenya and Sri Lanka urgent for larger monitoring and administration of using fish aggregating units (FADs), a technique the place nets are hung from floats to lure tuna. They will both be free-floating or tethered to the seabed however have attracted criticism as a result of they typically seize juvenile tuna, placing the sustainability of specific tuna shares in danger. They usually additionally are likely to catch fish outdoors of the goal species referred to as bycatch.
The Marine Stewardship Council, a London-based non-profit organisation selling sustainability, which isn’t a part of the group, explains on its web site: “All kinds of marine life together with tuna, turtles and sharks congregate round FADs. These species can change into entangled within the floating nets hooked up to FADs.
“Bycatch of non-target species will be excessive when fishing round FADs, notably compared to different strategies of tuna fishing akin to free college fishing, the place nets are set within the open water. Excessive quantities of bycatch can have detrimental impacts on the sustainability of those species.”
The World Large Fund for Nature (WWF) has additionally joins the retailers and a bunch of different organisations in assist of the Kenya and Sri Lanka-led initiative.
Clarus Chu, the seafood supervisor at WWF UK, mentioned: “The ocean is the beating blue coronary heart of our planet, however fishing is driving magnificent species like tuna to the brink of collapse. Stopping catastrophic nature loss and restoring the seas to good well being requires coordinated worldwide motion to watch and management using applied sciences like fish aggregating units, that are making fisheries basically unsustainable.”
The group urgent for restrictions and higher administration has penned a letter to the Indian Ocean Tuna Committee (IOTC), based mostly within the Seychelles, to contemplate the proposals at a gathering this week.
It learn: “Signatories of this letter recognise the pressing want to enhance drifting-FAD administration within the Indian Ocean and take into account this proposal to be each well timed and appropriate for this goal. Profitable implementation of this proposal will assist facilitate rebuilding of the Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna inventory, primarily by decreasing catches of juvenile tropical tunas, but additionally by extra broadly enabling sustainable administration of business purse seine fleets operations throughout the Indian Ocean.
“Implementation would additionally assist mitigate different ecological impacts related to drifting-FADs, together with these on turtles, sharks and marine mammals, that are affected as direct bycatches, and thru entanglement mortality with continued ghost fishing when drifting-FADs are misplaced, discarded or deserted.”
“The harm to coral reefs and different delicate inshore habitats when drifting-FADs change into stranded, in addition to the contribution of drifting-FADs to marine particles and marine plastic air pollution, may be mitigated by implementation of this proposal.”
A spokesperson for Sainsbury advised just-food the retailer’s tuna is FAD-free, confirming its assist for the initiative.
The UK’s prime meals retailer Tesco, which isn’t a signatory to the letter, and Edeka each already advocate pole and line caught tuna however keep away from FAD caught fish.
This publication has approached Tesco and Edeka for remark however had not obtained a reply on the time of publication.