Boycott Tuna and Save wildlife

 

I have decided to stop eating all Tuna products because I feel that I must take a stand against the tuna machine to protect even just one animal lost to bycatch not to mention the loss of entire species of tuna.  If we all stop eating tuna and tell all of our friends to do so then maybe we can make a difference.  Wildlife Warriors it is time to take a stand and make a difference.  Join me and stop eating tuna products before it is too late and the tuna, turtles, sharks and more are just a memory.  When the oceans die, we die.  Please read the information below and decide to make a stand with me on this most important issue.

From the Sea Shepherd Website : http://www.seashepherd.org 

 "Why Defend the Bluefin Tuna?

%u2026It is an Amazing Creature

For millions of years, the most incredible of all the world%u2019s fishes has swum our oceans.  The bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is the fastest fish in the sea, one of the largest fish in the ocean, and a marvel of creation %u2013 unique in that is a warm-blooded animal.. This allows them to inhabit areas of the ocean that are very cold.

Bluefin tuna (BFT) are one of the top predators of the seas %u2013 they eat just about anything and travel great distances, swimming up to 55 miles per hour, to find their prey. Through tagging programs they have been found feeding from the surface down to 3,000 feet. Very few people have ever seen them while diving or snorkeling, as they typically inhabit deep waters.

BFT live up to 30 years (!) and reach maturity at 8 years.

%u2026It is Being Fished Out of Existence

Unfortunately, it is the favored fish of sushi restaurants worldwide, especially in Japan, and that is the reason that this magnificent creature is now on the fast track to biological extinction. One fish sold for US$173,000 recently. With that kind of financial incentive, it is impossible to expect common sense to reign. Governments have proven to be incapable of putting a stop to this carnage due to the deep pockets of the fishing industry, and corruption is rampant.

%u2026It has been Abandoned by Protection Agencies

On March 18th, at the general assembly of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), governments rejected trade bans for bluefin tuna. The decision occurred after Japan, Canada, and many poor nations opposed the measure.

Stocks of bluefin tuna have fallen by at least 85% since the industrial fishing era began. Bluefin quotas are set at a ludicrously high 13,500 tons by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), but realistically over 60,000 tons are killed every year. The scientific community believes bluefin tuna is at a high risk of fisheries and stock collapse in the Mediterranean Sea in less than 5 years. The quota is too high, it is not enforced, and there is insufficient political willpower to act %u2013 the same old story.  ICCAT is the governing body that sets limits on the amount and location of tuna to be caught. This commission is as effective in regulating the killing of tuna as the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) was in overseeing the overfishing of Cod off the Newfoundland coast.

You may recall that Sea Shepherd successfully chased a fleet of Cuban trawlers off the Grand Banks in 1994, for which Captain Paul Watson was arrested and put on trial for interfering with commercial fishing. Years later he was acquitted, but it was too late for the cod. The catches were down so low %u2013 1% of historic levels %u2013 that the DFO had to declare the fishery closed, saying that they would re-open it in two years. Now here we are 15 years later and the cod population has still not recovered, and the fishery is still closed to commercial fishing.

%u2026Because of the State Of The World%u2019s Fisheries  Why save the bluefin?  Because every commercial fishery in the world is presently in a state of collapse.  Captain Paul Watson, founder and president of Sea Shepherd, predicts that there will be no commercial fisheries operating in three to four decades from now.

%u2026Because Sea Shepherd Cares about Fish
We have a history of defending fish of all kinds. Besides being the leading voice for the conservation of fish species, we %u201Cwalk the walk%u201D taking our ships out on the high seas to defend these defenseless creatures. From driftnet campaigns, the tuna-dolphin fight, chasing drag trawlers, to dropping %u201Cnet cutters%u201D on the ocean floor, Sea Shepherd employs direct action to stop the overfishing of our oceans." 

From a Greenpeace article on their website:

Fishing practices used by the global tuna industry are contributing to the sharp decline of populations of sea turtles, sharks, rays and other marine animals. Marketing campaigns attempt to make tuna fishing look like a quaint cottage industry, but the truth is that the tuna trade is all about big business.

Tinned (canned) tuna is worth around US$2.7 billion per annum worldwide.3 Suppliers Princes (owned by Japanese multinational Mitsubishi) and John West (owned by private equity firm MW Brands) dominate the UK market: John West accounts for 31.3% of the standard tinned tuna market value in the UK and 27.7% of the volume. Princes are the second biggest with a 27.1% market value and 24.9% volume share. The tuna industry has taken action in response to consumer pressure to ensure that virtually all tinned tuna in the UK is dolphin friendly, but this alone is insufficient to ensure that the

industry is sustainable in the long term. Many fishing practices that are labeled dolphin friendly still result in the catch of a host of non-target species, known as bycatch, including turtles, sharks, rays, juvenile tuna and a huge range of other marine life.

We can only protect marine ecosystems and guarantee continued supply of fish like tuna by changing the way oceans are managed. This change needs to incorporate major alterations to fishing practices and setting aside large areas as marine reserves,  national parks at sea, where no fishing takes place. The creation of a large scale network of marine reserves is now

widely recognized as essential by marine scientists but they currently cover less than 1% of the world's oceans.

DWINDLING TUNA STOCKS

What we call tuna is really a number of different predatory fish of varying colors and sizes, widely distributed across the oceans of the world. Most tinned tuna sold in the UK is a small species called skipjack, though the larger, more commercially valuable yellowfin and albacore tunas are also sometimes sold in tins. Yellowfin is the main type of tuna sold fresh by retailers.

Years of being badly managed and over fished has left tuna stocks in crisis. Of the 23 commercially exploited tuna stocks identified:

At least nine are classified as fully fished

A further four are classified as overexploited or depleted

Three are classified as critically endangered

Three are endangered Three are vulnerable to extinction.

All 23 stocks are heavily fished and in 2007 the overall global picture was characterized by declining catches. Even previously healthy fisheries are now under pressure. Worldwide, yellowfin stocks have now reached a state where over fishing is suspected to be occurring in all oceans with many stocks in serious decline.9 Without more effective management of

tuna fishing, even stocks of the healthiest remaining species, like those of skipjack, the least valuable tuna, risk collapse.

A GROWING FAD

The majority of tinned tuna is caught using fish aggregation devices (FADs) which use floating objects to encourage tuna to gather in particular locations and then scoop them up in huge nets known as purse seines. But FADs do not just lure the tuna that fishermen want to catch. On average, every time a FAD is used, for every 10kg of catch, 1kg will be unwanted,

consisting of juvenile tuna, turtles, sharks, rays and a wide variety of other species. Scientific research from 2005 concludes that the total bycatch from the use of FADs amounts to 100,000 tonnes every year.

FADs act as death traps for young tuna. According to the University of Hawaii's pelagic fishing program, FADs fished by purse seine nets are considered a major contributor toward yellowfin and bigeye stocks being pushed towards depletion.12 The over fishing of both bigeye and

yellowfin is exacerbated by the number of juveniles of both species that are killed as bycatch, including in fisheries where the target species is actually skipjack. Given that yellowfin and bigeye are of high commercial value, it is not only environmentally destructive, but also short sighted in economic terms to be killing their young, especially in the pursuit of less valuable fish. There is growing evidence that FADs seriously disrupt the life cycles of even those tuna that

are not caught. In May 2008, scientists reported that FADs appear to pull tuna and other fish away from their migratory routes, causing them to become undernourished, with potentially serious broader ecological consequences.13

Despite all this, purse seine fishing with FADs has expanded considerably in recent years and currently accounts for about 70% of reported tuna catches.14

THE END OF THE LONG LINE

Long lining involves setting out a length of line of up to 100km in length, to which numerous shorter lines of baited hooks are attached. As long lining is generally targeted at only more commercially valuable tuna species, it is only likely to be used for fish at the higher end of the tinned tuna market. A number of measures can be used to minimize the impact of long lining, but take up of these has been varied and long lining remains responsible for the deaths of turtles, seabirds, sharks, rays and billfish in large numbers.15

KILLED FOR TINNED TUNA

Turtles.  Six of the seven sea turtle populations worldwide feature in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and all five Pacific sea turtles are listed as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. Among the most dramatic declines have occurred in the Pacific Ocean, where nesting populations of leatherback turtles have plunged by over 95% in the last three decades and loggerheads by 80% over a similar period.17 Fishing with FADs may cause severe problems for local populations of turtles18 while research indicates that thousands of marine turtles die each year in long lines in the Pacific Ocean alone.19

Sharks and rays.  Sharks and rays are being killed in massive numbers by tuna fishing. More than three quarters of the oceanic pelagic shark and ray species are now classified as threatened or near threatened by the IUCN. Many of these species are caught regularly in purse seine nets targeting tuna.20 Cutting fins off sharks, often while they are still alive and then throwing them back in the ocean is also common practice on tuna fishing boats. The fins can be sold at top prices in countries where shark fin soup is a delicacy. In the central Western Central Pacific Ocean, total shark mortalities have been estimated at 500,000 to 1.4 million sharks annually based on observer data from long line fisheries.21

 

A DOLPHIN FRIENDLY LABEL IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF

SUSTAINABLY FISHED TUNA

Virtually all tinned tuna sold in the UK is certified by the Earth Island Institute (EII) as dolphin friendly or dolphin safe.23 The EII was one of the organizations to pioneer dolphin safe certification in response to the setting of tuna fishing nets on schools of dolphins. This certification demonstrates that the tuna industry is able to respond to environmental concerns. There should be no relaxation of such standards, but they need to be expanded so that other marine life is also safe from tuna fishing. The Friends of the Sea certification scheme is now beginning to certify some skipjack tuna fisheries. While the scheme claims to deal with wider sustainability issues connected to tuna fishing, it does not take into account the impacts of purse seine fishing with FADS and has  started to certify fisheries where over fishing is acknowledged to be taking place.

For each 1,000 tons of yellow fin tuna caught in FAD sets over

three years, fishermen caught nearly 111,000 other individual

animals, including sharks, rays, marlins and sea turtles.22

 The real problem is giving ourselves high fives for solving

the tuna dolphin problem when weve just created

other problems.   Timothy Essington, University of Washington

--Greenpeace

A DOLPHIN FRIENDLY LABEL IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF

SUSTAINABLY FISHED TUNA

Virtually all tinned tuna sold in the UK is certified by the Earth Island Institute (EII) as dolphin friendly or dolphin safe.23 The EII was one of the organizations to pioneer dolphin safe certification in response to the setting of tuna fishing nets on schools of dolphins. This certification demonstrates that the tuna industry is able to respond to environmental concerns. There should be no relaxation of such standards, but they need to be expanded so that other marine life is also safe from tuna fishing. The Friends of the Sea certification scheme is now beginning to certify some skipjack tuna fisheries. While the scheme claims to deal with wider sustainability issues connected to tuna fishing, it does not take into account the impacts of purse seine fishing with FADS and has started to certify fisheries where over fishing is acknowledged to be taking place.

TIME FOR CHANGE

The fishing industry must stop using FADs and all purse seine and long line vessels must have observers on board 100% of the time to make sure they use all possible means to reduce bycatch. Industry must move towards the best methods of catching tuna by prioritizing pole and line and trolling. These methods of catching tuna are already in use in various smaller fisheries and

are highly targeted towards adult tuna, avoiding the bycatch associated with other methods. These fisheries are also more likely to support locally based industries in developing countries. Governments must cooperate to establish marine reserves to make large areas of the world's oceans off limits to fishing. There is overwhelming scientific consensus that a large scale

network of global marine reserves is needed to safeguard the world's marine ecosystems from destructive fishing practices. Greenpeace is calling for 40% of the world's oceans to be protected as marine reserves.

Some progress was made earlier this year when Pacific Island Nations declared that areas in the Pacific Commons,  high seas between the islands with abundant tuna and other marine life,  should be off limits to fishing. Making tuna fishing sustainable is critical not only to the environment, but also to the economic future of the Pacific Island Nations. At the moment,the Pacific Island Nations get too little of the economic benefit from adjacent waters that are mainly being exploited by long distance fleets from deep water fishing countries. Marine reserves over the Pacific Commons will not only allow fish stocks to recover, but could also  provide a boost for developing economies in the region.

Greenpeace/Hofford

WHAT SUPERMARKETS AND TUNA BRANDS CAN DO

Most canned tuna is sold in supermarkets, so the action of major

retailers and tuna brands can help transform this trade.25 Retailers and tuna bands must:

-- Stop buying tuna caught using FADs

By rejecting tuna from purse seining with FADs, retailers can encourage best practice in the tuna fishing industry.

-- Only purchase tuna caught using sustainable catch methods

The Co-op and Sainsbury's have already moved their sourcing towards pole and line fisheries for tinned tuna.26 Other UK retailers and tuna brands must now follow suit by prioritizing tuna caught by low impact methods like pole and line and trolling. If buying tuna caught using purse seine nets, independent verification must be available to show that FADs have not been used

-- Support the creation of marine reserves

USA and UK retailers and tuna brands should publicly support the call for the Pacific Commons to be protected by designated marine reserves as part of a large scale global network of marine reserves and ensure they are not selling any tinned tuna caught in the area.

By changing the way tinned tuna is caught and setting up marine reserves  where ocean ecosystems are protected and where fish stocks can recover from over fishing we can bring an end to the damage that current tuna fishing practices cause to the marine environment.

THE SOLUTIONS EXIST, BUT WE MUST ACT NOW

TIME AND TUNA ARE RUNNING OUT.

from the Greenpeace.org website.

And from another care2 petition that is now closed:

Other Marine Wildlife Is In Jeopardy! Scientists worldwide recognize that large-scale industrial fishing techniques -- such as purse-seining, longlining, and drift-netting -- are devastating our oceans and the countless wildlife species that live within them. Dolphins, endangered sea turtles, sharks, sea birds and other marine wildlife are all falling victim to the nets and lines of tuna fishermen and the pressure of overfishing, especially in the Pacific Ocean. (Visit savedolphins.org for more information)

Sharks in Danger: Sharks, due to their low birth rate, slow maturation and growth patterns, and naturally small populations, are extremely vulnerable to pressures from fisheries and human exploitation. Pacific populations of Angel Sharks, Lemon Sharks, and Blue Sharks, to name a few, are all facing grave dangers from overfishing practices. (Visit savesharks.org for more information)

Sea Turtles in Trouble: Sea turtles, abundant throughout the world's oceans for millennia, are being killed when they become entangled in fishing gear or caught as bycatch in fishing nets. All eight of the world's sea turtle species are now listed as threatened with extinction. Within the last decade, the Eastern Pacific populations of the critically endangered leatherback turtle have declined drastically.

Here's yet another reason to stop eating tuna:

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/sushi-carbon-footprint.php


...please join me in my boycott of all Tuna products by signing this petition and passing it on.

Thank You. 

 

 

 

We the undersigned have decided to stop eating all Tuna products because we feel that we must take a stand against the tuna harvesting machine to protect even just one animal lost to bycatch not to mention the loss of entire species of tuna.  Until your organization develops a reliable method to sustainably harvest or farm tuna without harm to other wildlife--bycatch--or without overfishing all species of tuna into extinction I will not eat any tuna product and I will urge all of my friends and family and coworkers to do the same.  When the oceans die%u2014we die. 

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