Call To End Use of FADs! Tuna Whistleblower Shows All!

Greenpeace provides this video footage from a commercial tuna operation’s helicopter pilot, calling it

“The Video the Global Tuna Industry Doesn’t Want You To See.” (WARNING: The video shows violence!)

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse than the Faroe Islands, Pacific tuna hunt companies up the stakes.

image of a FAD (Fish Aggregation Device)

This pinger gathers all manner of marine life to it, not just adult tuna.

 

Using Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs,) which are floating sonic beacons, in conjunction with purse nets, the boats are netting all manner of marine life other than the tuna they’re supposed to be taking. According to the whistle-blower chopper pilot, before they started using FADs, the catch was adult tuna. Since, the catch is greater, but includes immature tuna as well as dolphins, manta rays, whales, marlins, sharks, turtles… all manner of creatures, which are then brutally slaughtered. The immature tuna are even wasted as they’re too small to be taken legally, but already dead.

Purse “seine” nets being used in conjunction with FADs is akin to baiting an area and then firing a thousand automatic SHOTGUNS at the area after all manner of creatures have arrived at the bait site. Baiting is illegal for hunting as it interferes with the regular activities of wildlife, and it should be illegal for fishing as well. Our oceans cannot afford, cannot sustain, the by-kill of this device. Whales, dolphins, sharks, rays… all being viciously slaughtered because they came up in the nets, too? The video shows a manta ray on its back, still alive when these hunters slice long lines down its body time after time after time. Can there possibly be any excuse for that?

Cetacean By-kill of a purse net using a FAD

Cetaceans are amongst those killed by FADs & purse nets.

Whale on deck, dead, caught in a purse net that was using a FAD.

This whale lost its life to a FAD and purse netting.

We join Greenpeace in demanding that the use of FADs be prohibited and discontinued. There are links to action at the end of the video. Please, use them.

Japan Suspends Whaling Season

Whale conservation groups have a victory for now. Japan has announced that they will temporarily suspend the annual whale hunt in the seas of the Antarctic this season, citing the anti-whaling group Sea Shepard as one of the reasons.

Hirosh Kawamura, an official at the Japanese Ministry of Fisheries said, “We have experienced the dangerous attacks from them, it might take the life of crews,” he said. “Considering the safety as the first priority, we decided to halt the whaling temporarily.”

Japan continues to annually hunt whales in the Antarctic, despite the worldwide moratorium on whaling. Japan harvests whales for human consumption using a loophole that states a country may whale legally if its for the purpose of scientific research.

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Whaling Moratorium Stands, But Where’s John Wayne When We Need Him?

The IWC meeting in Agadir has ended in a bittersweet success.  The proposed end to the moratorium on killing whales was defeated.  But only for this year.   That several small nations were disqualified from the vote for various reasons (ranging from unpaid dues to being bought off by Japan for the price of a hooker,) had a lot to do with our success in preserving the whaling ban.  But the battle isn’t even close to over.

Truth is, lifting the ban was intended to eventually put an end to all whaling — supposedly within a decade.  But the best of intentions would not have held water.  Japan will not stop when the agreement says to.  They would just have dropped out of the IWC when the rules no longer suited them.  In many ways, they’ve been doing precisely as they please all along, disregarding the intent of the Moratorium, sidestepping it with that thinly veiled Research guise.   Next year, they can come back with their ducks in a row, and the IWC vote may go differently, giving them a license to kill a thousand minke whales a year, for so long as they remain in the IWC.  This would put Paul Watson and the rest of the Sea Shepherd crew at a major disadvantage, because then they couldn’t claim to be enforcing the valid intent of the IWC agreement.  If the lift of the moratorium passes, then Sea Shepherd becomes a “terrorist” organization.  No matter how ridiculous the killing itself may be, Watson and company would be at rist of being arrested for interfering with a lawful hunt. [Read more...]