Greenpeace Australia Pacific BLOG

Overfishing affects me too

Posted on November 25, 2014 at 14:30 by Greenpeace Australia Pacific

With more than 10% of the world’s population depending on fisheries for their livelihood, it’s fair to say that fishing helps make the world go round. But with 90% of our global fish stocks fully exploited or over-fished, the future of our oceans and the fishing industry looks fairly bleak. The livelihood of local, small-scale and sustainable fishermen is under threat as they face unfair competition from monster sized fishing boats that leave very little catch behind in their destructive wake.

Last week Greenpeace joined low impact fishers, fishmongers, consumers, ocean lovers, divers and chefs from around the globe to send a message to our global ministers – overfishing affects me too. It’s time for our governments to act! We need to fish fairly by removing the most destructive and over-sized fishing vessels from our oceans and allow low impact fishers to do the fishing.

Two years ago the Margiris super trawler threatened Australian oceans. Thanks to huge pressure from thousands of Australian’s, the government put a two year ban on all over-sized fishing vessels, but now that ban has expired and super trawlers like the Margiris are free to come back. Tell our government, no super trawlers, not here, not now, not ever!

The Philippines

"Fish Fairly' Week of Action in The Philippines

Australia

"Fish Fairly' Week of Action in Australia

Italy

"Fish Fairly' Week of Action in Italy

Greece

"Fish Fairly' Week of Action in Australia

Australia

"Fish Fairly' Week of Action in Australia

Australia

"Fish Fairly' Week of Action in Australia

Aboard the Rainbow Warrior

"Fish Fairly' Week of Action Aboard the Rainbow Warrior

Japan

"Fish Fairly' Week of Action in Thailand

The Arctic Sunrise, Spain

'Fish Fairly' Week of Action Aboard the Arctic Sunrise

Austria

"Fish Fairly' Week of Action in Austria

Who brought him? Abbott’s G20 blunders

Posted on November 21, 2014 at 10:22 by Anna Weingord

We all have that one embarrassing uncle. You know, the one that hosts a family function and then proceeds to argue with everyone. The one that brings up all the embarrassing stories, such as the moment when you peed your pants when you were ten.  Well, at this year’s G20 summit hosted in Brisbane, Tony Abbott was Australia’s embarrassing uncle. Here’s a list of Abbott’s top four ‘face-palm’ moments.

unnamed(5)

He said that?

Abbott did his best to keep climate change off the G20 agenda on the basis that the meeting was just ‘about business‘. Luckily the other leaders  insisted the final communiqué call for a legally binding climate change agreement to be reached by 2015. (more…)

Monsters of the oceans: 7 criminal super trawlers that threaten our waters

Posted on November 19, 2014 at 16:05 by Holly Dove

Monster boats. The name says it all. But they’re not the kind of monsters that hide under your bed. They are big, bad and could be floating our way soon – unless we stop them!

Olive Ridley Turtle in China
Did you know that even though only around 2% of all fishing vessels are industrial vessels over 24 metre long, the catching power of this minority overwhelms that of the much greater number of smaller vessels?  The European Union bears the greatest responsibility for the destruction of the oceans and many of its boats travel all over the world seeking access to distant waters – like Australia’s. We’ve identified some of the vessels that may be heading our way if the super trawler ban is lifted. They are examples of the largest and most destructive European super trawlers plying our seas. Able to process, package, and freeze thousands of tonnes of fish and keep trawling for weeks at a time, these enormous boats – up to 144 metres in length – really are of the monster kind. (more…)

Super seiners vs fishermen: How a nation dependant on fishing is being devastated by boats

Posted on November 14, 2014 at 13:25 by Nathaniel Pelle

We usually refer to them as Pacific Island nations, but calling places like Kiribati ocean nations is more accurate. The people of Kiribati are not just surrounded by oceans – they depend on healthy oceans for survival.

Aerial View of Kiribati Island (more…)

The Great Barrier Reef belongs to all of us.

Posted on November 11, 2014 at 11:30 by Alex Harris

Could the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area become one of the largest coal ports in the world?

The Australian Government has approved construction of the devastating Carmichael mega-mine. This coal mine would be the largest Australia has ever seen. Its coal would produce a shocking 130 million tonnes of deadly carbon dioxide emissions every year.

And this coal would be transported straight through our Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area — which could be a potential disaster for its already fragile coral, and the animals and people who depend on the Reef for survival.

But if you and I act now, we can still stop this environmental disaster from going ahead.

Save The Reef

The Reef is one of the most remarkable places on earth and it belongs to all of us. We have an opportunity to stop the Reef from becoming a coal shipping superhighway – and if you and I don’t take a stand, who will?

The true cost of cheap prawns

Posted on November 04, 2014 at 13:11 by Jess Macleod

Like to throw a prawn on the barbecue?

If we give a moment’s thought to where it came from, we might imagine a sunburnt Australian fisher skillfully casting his net into coastal waters and hauling in his humble catch.

Nothing, I’m afraid, could be further from the truth.

Prawns in supermarket

Over 60 per cent of prawns sold to Australians are imported from Asia.

Every aspect of the imported prawn trade is stomach turning; from the reckless bottom trawling of the ocean floor to the putrid factories that process the catch into feed for prawns.

According to the Australian prawn farming industry, some retailers are mislabelling imported prawns as Australian.

The bloated appetite for prawns in the West drives the demand for cheap, abundant prawns. In Thailand for example, farmed in humid lagoons, millions of prawns are fed on what the industry calls ‘trash fish’.

To find this trash fish, trawler boats use weighted nets to dredge the sea floor for anything and everything they can find. The practice is hugely destructive and entire tracts of marine life are effectively wiped out and ecosystems that might have been there for centuries are destroyed – all to be ground up into fish meal, to satiate the multiplying prawns back at the lagoon.

Documentation on Overfishing in Hong Kong

The true cost of cheap prawns is incredibly damaging to the environment. Even in Australia, prawn trawling can result in damaging levels of bycatch. Australian farmed prawns, on the other hand, have a relatively low impact on the environment.

As consumers, we have the power to dismantle this destructive supply chain. If our labels tell us more about what our seafood is, where it comes from and how it was caught – we can make better decisions that help to conserve our oceans, marine life and local jobs.

Let’s stand together with fishers, chefs, and ocean lovers to demand new labelling laws that tell us, whenever we buy seafood:

1. What species it is.

2. Where it was caught.

3. The method used to catch or farm it.

Sign the petition today to tell key Government ministers we need better seafood labelling laws now.

MY-NAME

Clear labeling protects us all – it’s a simple change, but one that can start a ripple effect across the entire industry, creating an open, transparent system where we can preserve and protect our oceans for years to come.

PS. Want to more about how Australia’s obsession with seafood affects our oceans? Check out What’s the Catch? on SBS.

x