The Taiwanese government failed to push for sustainable fishing at
the recently concluded Western and Central Pacific Fisheries
Commissions’ meeting, the local branch of Greenpeace East Asia said
As one of the world’s major fishing powers, Taiwan did
not exercise as much influence as it should have to block new measures
that could destroy fish populations, the group said.
Greenpeace, instead of stepping up efforts to protect marine life, the
meeting, which was held in Guam from Monday to Friday last week,
unraveled existing measures to preserve the region’s fisheries resources
by reopening certain high-seas fishing grounds to destructive fishing
Although Taiwan voted against the initiative, which was
mainly pushed through by South Korea and the US, its reluctance to come
up with a rescue plan showed its weakness on the issue, Greenpeace said.
by the meeting’s decisions, Greenpeace East Asia senior ocean
campaigner Kao Yu-fen (高于棻),who attended the meeting this year as an
observer, said: “Due to the short-term economic considerations of a few
members, the decision was a major setback in ocean conservation,
sounding a death knell for fish resources in the area.”
member owning the most fishing vessels in the area, Taiwan’s Fisheries
Agency should take a leading role to actively guide the commission
toward applying sustainable methods, instead of passively waiting for
the decisions,” she said.
Greenpeace said Taiwan has more than
1,600 fishing vessels in the Western and Central Pacific, while a large
proportion of Taiwan’s long-distance fish production comes from tuna.
Greenpeace oceans campaigner Yen Ning (顏寧) said seine fishing had been
banned in two high-seas pockets that were closed in 2008, while the use
of fish aggregating devices was limited to less than three months per
year, to allow tuna populations in the area to recover to the same level
Reopening these areas will likely cause further fish depletion, she said.
The Fisheries Agency, which represented Taiwan at the meeting, disagreed, describing the meeting’s results as constructive.
don’t see it as a partial reopening of the Pacific Commons. It’s more
about different methods of fishing management,” said Lin Ding-rong (S),
deputy director of the agency’s Deep Sea Fisheries Division.