The Parliament of the Cook Islands: We call on you to ban purse seine fishing in Cook Islands waters
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This petition has been created by Ipukarea S. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
The large majority of Cook Islanders want a ban on purse seine fishing because of the impacts on tuna stocks in our waters.
Environmentalists have asked The Ministry of Marine Resources to ban Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs) in association with purse seine fishing in the Cook Islands, because the level of bycatch of bigeye tuna when fishing around FADs is unacceptable. Scientists tell us bigeye tuna are already overfished, and are now at only 16% of their unfished stock. They tell us catch levels of bigeye tuna need to be reduced by about 50% from current levels. But the Cook Islands continues to sell fishing rights to foreign purse seine fleets that use FADs, with an average catch of 4 to 5 tons of juvenile bigeye tuna caught by every purse seine vessel for each set of the net around a FAD.
We have heard that the European Union is sending
a delegation very soon to Rarotonga to negotiate for the Spanish Purse seine
fleet to fish here. These are the
worst of the purse seine fleets, as they have the biggest boats and fish almost
all the time using Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs). This expansion of the purse seine fishery is despite wide spread
objections throughout the Cook Islands.
Because they refuse to compromise and ban FADs, we have joined others in the Cook Islands who want them to ban purse seining altogether.
The Cook Islands Government has declared a marine park of more than 1 million sq.km. The main purse seining ground in the Cook Islands is immediately adjacent to the proposed park boundary. The continuation of a purse seine fishery based on unsustainable methods (FADs) is clearly not consistent with marine conservation objectives of the marine park.
We are using a hard copy petition in the Cook Islands, and this online version, to send a message to the Cook Islands Parliament that this is not acceptable.
This online version is primarily aimed at Cook Islanders living overseas, who have asked for a voice. But we welcome all signatures on the online version, as it shows the Cook Islands Government that the world is watching what they are doing. Please, if you live in the Cook Islands, you must also sign the hard copy version. Locations are on our No Fish No Future facebook page.
To quote the Lorax, by Dr Seuss, 'Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.'
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