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Islands Urged To Develop Plan On Illegal Fishing

GREENPEACE MEDIA RELEASE

Suva, Fiji Islands. Monday October 9, 2006. The Pacific Island Governments have been encouraged by Greenpeace to develop a national plan of action that implements the latest international laws against pirate fishing to stop foreign vessels fishing illegally in their Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ).

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Oceans Teams leader Nilesh Goundar said pirate fishers were becoming courageous by the day as last week saw a American pirate vessel fined by the Cook Islands High Court(1) and a suspected pirate vessel fleeing from Kiribati officials in a joint surveillance exercise with Greenpeace(2).

“This tells us the Pacific people are having their fish stolen from their plates as it is a major source of protein and an economic resource in most Pacific Island countries,” he said.

“Even where foreign fishing fleets pay in return for access to a Pacific country’s fishing grounds. The financial returns from these access fees and licenses are worth a pittance of the total value of fish caught often a mere 5 per cent of the US $2billion that the fish is worth when it reaches the international market,” he said.

Mr Goundar said Pacific Islands Governments must be united and stand firm in fisheries conservation and management.

“The Pacific Island Governments must not allow foreign industrial fishing nations to hoodwink them, into accepting unfair fisheries partnership agreements,” he said.

Greenpeace is currently on a Defending Our Oceans (DOO) expedition in the Pacific 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.

The tour is part of Greenpeace’s 15-month global DOO expedition(3).

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.

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NOTE TO EDITORS

1.http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=27306

2.http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=27307

3.http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en

ENDS

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