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Fiji Islanders Lead Saving Pacific Expedition

Fiji Islanders Lead Saving Pacific Ocean Expedition

Lagi Toribau and
Josephine Prasad face the media in Cebu, Phillipines  PHOTO:
GREENPEACE
Click to enlarge

Lagi Toribau and Josephine Prasad face the media in Cebu, Phillipines PHOTO: GREENPEACE

MEDIA RELEASE September 3, 2006


Fiji Islanders Lead Saving Pacific Ocean Expedition.

“Pacific Islanders say the ocean is not what divides us but joins us. So join us on this incredible journey as there will be a story to tell everyday by logging on to http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en,” Josephine Prasad.

Manilla, September 3, 2006. Fiji Islanders Lagi Toribau, Josephine Prasad and Nilesh Goundar are the frontliners in the Pacific leg of the Defending Our Oceans (DOO) [More details of DOO can be found on our website http://oceans.greenpeace.org] tour.

Mr Toribau is is the lead campaigner onboard the M.Y Esperanza [Attached is the fact sheet of the M.Y Esperanza.] as it sails through the Pacific, highlighting unsustainable and unfair issues surrounding tuna fisheries in the Pacific region.

Mr Goundar is the DOO Project Coordinator and Miss Prasad the DOO Communications Coordinator for the tour.

Mr Toribau, a Greenpeace Australia Pacific Oceans campaigner said the purpose of this tour is to ensure the people of the Pacific, whose very livelihoods depend upon fish, receive a fair deal from regional fisheries.

“Fisheries in the Pacific has to continue to exist – in a sustainable and equitable manner,” said Mr Toribau.

Mr Toribau, Miss Prasad and Mr Goundar are representing the voices of the Pacific people.

Mr Goundar said this means adressing :

- Overfishing as it is the greatest threat to our oceans and its ecosystems;

- Overcapacity as subsidies contribute to bigger and bigger fishing boats being built. For example, Taiwan is in the process of building super-super-seiners for use in the Pacific that can take up to 3,000 tonnes of fish at a time;

- Capacity migration as industrial fishers fish out one area they simply move onto the next. This is not sustainable and the world is running out of healthy fisheries. The number of fishing boats worldwide needs to be reduced;

- Illegal Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) or Pirate Fishing as legal and pirate fishers will take as much fish as they can get away with, with is a little concern for the needs of local people or the health of the fishery;

- Strict conservation guidelines need to be established as a condition for foreign investment in fisheries infrastructure like canneries to ensure marine food supply is protected for coastal dwellers;

- Tuna quotas as this will promote effort reduction measures for key tuna species such as Big Eye and Yellow Fin to prevent their extinction.

- Corruption and Good Governance which is a big problem facing fisheries in the region. A privileged few are taking a short-term gain for themselves and creating long term pain for the region. Governments must ensure open and transparent management and negotiate allocation for the benefit of the wider community.

Miss Prasad said the DOO expedition is highlighting the beauty of and the environmental threats to the world's oceans. Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of marine reserves covering 40 % of the world's oceans.

Miss Prasad said the tour which starts today sails through the Pacific on a two month expedition and is part of Greenpeace’s 15-month global DOO expedition .

“The DOO voyage is the single largest expedition that Greenpeace has ever undertaken. This incredible year-long journey will tell the story of the crisis facing our oceans from the Southern Ocean to the North Sea and takes you to places few humans have been, confront the villains and promote solutions,” she said.

“Pacific Islanders say the oceans is not what divides us but joins us. So join us on this incredible journey as there will be a story to tell everyday by logging on to http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en,” she said.

Miss Prasad said the M.Y Esperanza’s sister ship M.Y Arctic Sunrise is also exposing the hidden face of pirate fishing of the North and Baltic Seas.

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation, which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems and to force solutions essential to a green and peaceful future.

--

For more background information read facts sheets:http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/resources/reports

ENDS

See... MY Esperanza Fact Sheet

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