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'False' Flags In The 'Wild West' Of Pacific Tuna Fishing

25th October 2015

#Fishing - Overfishing. Pollution. Exploitation. Carelessness. The story of one American fishing captain's experiences onboard a nominally US-flagged boat in the Pacific tuna fleet is an alarming one.

Writing for Matter, science writer Kalee Thompson reports on Doug Pine's near-mutiny on board the tuna boat Majestic Blue, the culmination of a series of disturbing events themselves the end result of dodgy deals involving a Korean conglomerate with a reputation for illegal fishing, and congressional lobbyists pushing for ever more lax regulations in order to preserve a paper presence in the tuna business.

Efforts to save America's dwindling tuna fishing industry in the wake of the dolphin catch scandals of decades past found a solution in outsourcing – and have produced a farcical situation where American 'captains' preside over what for all practical purposes are foreign boats with foreign crews, with no actual control over what happens at sea.

And that's only the half of it when it comes to the so-called 'distant water tuna fleet', operating amid a kind of lawlessness akin to piracy around the poverty-stricken islands of the Western Pacific, at the expense of marginalised crew and vulnerable marine wildlife alike.

Matter has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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