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Greenpeace accuses Taiwan of over-fishing on high seas
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 11 - 08 - 2011


Global environmental group Greenpeace has charged
Taiwan's fishing industry with depleting sensitive species on the
high seas, prompting a stiff rebuttal on Thursday from the
government's Fisheries Agency, according to dpa.
Taiwanese fishing boats are fewer but larger today, Greenpeace
found in a study from 2002 though this year, and their owners are
putting pressure on big eye tuna and albacore. Other marine life,
such as sea turtles, are also getting stuck in their nets, the group
said.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists big eye
tuna and one type of albacore on its "Red List," which categorizes
populations that need to be monitored.
Greenpeace advocates strengthening enforcement of marine
protection laws and cutting Taiwan's catches in half to ease
over-fishing, oceans campaigner Kao Su-fen said on Wednesday night.
"We know that the time these fish have is getting shorter, and
then what will these fishing enterprises do?" Kao said. "We want them
to be sustainable."
Greenpeace calls the Taiwanese industry, aided by the government,
the biggest in the Pacific Ocean, with 1,953 ships.
The government Fisheries Agency has spent 11.6 billion Taiwanese
dollars (400 million US dollars) on high seas fishing since 2002: 75
per cent of that on "fisheries capacity" and just 3 per cent on
"resource management," the environmental group alleges.
Environmentalists take further issue with Taiwan's
40-billion-per-year high sea fishery industry because the boats use a
method that nets all forms of marine life, including many not meant
for consumption, Kao said.
The Fisheries Agency has spent billions of Taiwanese dollars since
2002 to cut fleets by recalling boats and enforcing laws on those
still in business, it said in a statement. Taiwan's main catches of
tuna and mackerel pike are hardly endangered, it added.
"Our country's high sea fishery staples of tuna and mackerel pike
belong to healthy resource categories," the statement says. "To
expand capacity does not go against preservation."


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