• Shark Guardian

Shark Guardian Activists Protest at InfoFish Tuna Conference in Bangkok

Shark Guardian Activists Protest Destructive Tuna Industry Practices

Sending Sharks to Extinction at InfoFish Tuna Conference in Bangkok



Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday 11 October 2022 – Marine conservation and animal welfare activists from Shark Guardian assembled outside the 17th InfoFish World Tuna Trade Conference and Exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand, to protest the extremely unsustainable fishing practices of an out-of-control global tuna fishing industry that is perpetuating the large-scale slaughter of endangered, threatened, and protected sharks. The global tuna industry is the number one supplier of cruel and unsustainable shark fin to Chinese markets in Asia, as well as shark meat markets in western countries. Around a third of all shark species are threatened with extinction[1], caused in large part by overfishing chaos in the global tuna industry. The industrial tuna sector also steals fish from coastal communities in the global south which affects their food security.

Alex Hofford, Marine Wildlife Campaigner and Trustee of Shark Guardian said, “We need to put an end to rampant industrial tuna fishing by the European Union, and by default Spain, by completely banning the use of highly destructive drifting Fish Aggregating Devices (dFADs), which are decimating shark, turtle and juvenile yellowfin populations around the world, especially in the Indian Ocean.” Drifting FADs are also highly polluting as they spread large quantities of toxic plastics across vast areas of pristine beaches, coral reefs, and seabeds as they become lost, discarded or abandoned at sea.


What are dFADS? Download the following information document:

Transparent-Tuna-Fisheries-Paper
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.23MB

Brendon Sing, Co-Founder of Shark Guardian said “We are calling on Bangkok-based Thai Union, parent company of John West Foods Limited in the United Kingdom to immediately stop sourcing tuna from destructive purse seine fishing boats that use harmful drifting FADs. We also call on Mitsubishi, the Japanese parent group of Princes Limited in the United Kingdom to also clean up their extinction-tainted supply chain.”

In August Shark Guardian sent letters to John West[2] and Princes[3] calling for tough action to save sharks, however only Princes have replied, and their response raised more questions than it answered.

Unless meaningful action is taken to clean up their supply chains, Shark Guardian will launch petitions calling on John West Foods Limited and Princes Limited to stop selling tuna tainted with harmful drifting FADs and will call on consumers around the world to avoid buying Princes and John West branded tuna that are hammering endangered, threatened and protected shark species to extinction.

Earlier this year, petitions were launched against UK supermarket chains Tesco and Sainsbury's calling on them to stop selling John West and Princes tuna until their supply chains were cleaned up. To date, no responsible action by these retailers has been taken.

Shark Guardian is also concerned about the high levels of greenwashing rife in the global tuna business, and urges NGOs, the media and academia to be on the lookout for industry-paid science that supports unethical business goals that result in the decimation of sharks.

Finally, Shark Guardian is calling on the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to close its waters to drifting FADs for at least three months a year in order to give overfished yellowfin tuna the breathing space they need to recover from overfishing, as is common practice in other large ocean areas of the globe such as the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.

According to event organizer, InfoFish “Tuna 2022 is the premier convention of the world tuna industry and this year’s ironic theme will be ‘Strengthening Resilience, Adaptability and Sustainable Growth in the Global Tuna Industry’. The event hosts a wide range of global tuna industry actors from fishing companies to retailers to high tech fishing gear manufacturers and runs from 11 October to 13 October 2022.




 

Shark_Guardian_Press_Release_TunaConferenceBangkok2022
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.74MB

Media contact: Alex Hofford, Marine Wildlife Campaigner, Shark Guardian

Tel: +44 7366 200761 / Email: alex.hofford@sharkguardian.org

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/06/third-of-shark-and-ray-species-face-extinction-warns-study [2] https://06cb1a73-e04f-4016-af0b-25cf996d1360.usrfiles.com/ugd/06cb1a_e1520c24de7a43539cd04092eed1dc1b.pdf [3] https://06cb1a73-e04f-4016-af0b-25cf996d1360.usrfiles.com/ugd/06cb1a_0ad43a22c13646d18b164b2458477c93.pdf