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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Greenpeace stages tuna protest at Brussels show
Greenpeace protesters today chained themselves to stands at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, in a spectacular protest against alleged over-fishing of tuna.
The protest is said to involve 80 activisits and centred on five tuna suppliers' stands, including those operated by Azzopardi Fisheries Malta and Spain's Ricardo Fuentes e Hijos.
Activists covered the stands with fishing nets, chained themselves to the stands with bike locks and put up banners in 13 languages saying 'Time and Tuna running out'. A large banner with the same message was hung from the front of the building. A message was also broadcast through the exhibition halls' public address systems urging traders to buy only sustainably-caught seafood.
Speaking to FISHupdate at the scene of the protest, Greenpeace campaigner Stephen Baker said the protest is targeting companies who Greenpeace has accused of overfishing tuna.
Despite being some of the most powerful tuna processors in the world, these companies have inadequate traceability systems in place, he claimed.
"It's important that companies have a policy for traceability," he added.
Greenpeace is calling on the companies to "stop trading in threatened bluefin, yellowfin and bigeye tuna and other unsustainably-caught tuna until stocks recover".
"These companies are major players in the tuna industry and are jointly destroying tuna stocks by overfishing and using destructive fishing methods", said Sebastian Losada, Greenpeace Spain Oceans Campaigner. "Blatant overfishing will lead to commercial extinction of many tuna stocks in the near future unless urgent action is taken."
"Tuna stocks are at a critically low level with too many vessels fishing for too few fish. High levels of bycatch of other marine life is a serious problem," said Losada. "If the industry doesn't shift towards sustainable seafood there will simply be no fish left to trade, and their businesses will be closed forever."
Last year, Greenpeace attended the Brussels show and called on companies to trade in sustainable seafood only. Since then, Greenpeace has been contacting leading retailers and bulk users of seafood to ask them to ensure what they sell is legal, sustainable and fair. Nina Thuellen, Greenpeace International Seafood Markets Campaigner, said: "Greenpeace is disappointed to see that while some retailers are now in the process of implementing sustainable seafood policies there remains a very high volume of unsustainable seafood on offer at this important trade show."
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