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 user 2008-06-04 at 12:29:17 pm Views: 61
  • #20220

    Cypriot Channel, Turkey

    Three Turkish tuna fishing vessels surrounded the Greenpeace ship
    Arctic Sunrise in the Cypriot Channel, with crew from one vessel
    attacking the ship with lead weights. Greenpeace is in the area to call
    for an end to unsustainable fishing and to call for the establishment
    of a marine reserve between Cyprus and Turkey.

    We flew over the ships early this morning to document the activities of tuna fishing vessels.

    Three Turkish vessels then surrounded the Greenpeace ship — one
    colliding with the Arctic Sunrise and causing superficial damage
    midships on the starboard side. The tuna ship’s crews then started
    hurling  lead fishing weights of around four centimetres at the
    Greenpeace ship.  Gunfire was heard. Amazingly, no one was injured but
    the Greenpeace helicopter was damaged and is now inoperable.

    The Greenpeace ships Captain notified the Turkish Iskenderun Port Authority  and reported the damage.

    “This unprovoked attack against the Arctic Sunrise, a peaceful
    protest ship, endangered the safety of our crew and ship and is
    completely unacceptable, we urge the ships owners to instruct their
    crews to return to port for an immediate investigation,” said
    Greenpeace International Oceans campaigner Karli Thomas, on board the
    Arctic Sunrise.

    The real bad guys: governments

    “We understand that these guys are angry — we’re angry too. But the
    real problem has been caused by the refusal of governments to take
    action to regulate an industry that is fishing itself to death,” Said
    Banu Dokmecibasi, Greenpeace Mediterranean Oceans Campaigner.

    Scientists from the international body which regulates tuna fishing,
    ICCAT, recommended a maximum sustainable catch of 15,000 tons of
    bluefin tuna, to be divided among all the countries licensed to fish in
    the Mediterranean. The Turkish fleet comprises more than 200 purse
    seiners in total, with enough catch capacity to fish the entire 15,000
    tons. Turkey has an allocated quota of less than 900 tons.

    We’re calling on the Turkish government to support the protection of
    the Cypriot Channel, one of the most productive tuna breeding areas in
    the Eastern Mediterranean, as a marine reserve. The Turkish government
    should immediately revoke all permits for domestic fleets to fish in
    the channel.


    “Marine reserves are urgently needed to protect the future of
    marine life, including tuna. The population of tuna is close to
    extinction – if we don’t protect the breeding and spawning grounds now
    there will be no fish for the future. By protecting tuna, fishermen can
    protect their own future.” Said Banu Dokmecibasi, Greenpeace
    Mediterranean Oceans Campaigner.

    Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of fully protected
    marine reserves covering 40 percent of our oceans as an essential way
    to protect our seas from the ravages of climate change, to restore the
    health of fish stocks, and protect ocean life from habitat destruction
    and collapse.  As part of this campaign, the Arctic Sunrise is
    currently in the Mediterranean documenting threats to the sea and
    promoting the designation of marine reserves. 

    At the same time, our vessel Esperanza is calling for marine reserves in the Pacific.  You can add your voice to our efforts without risking seasickness or getting anything thrown at you.