Scientists long ago warned that if we keep overfishing, as we have been doing for many years, economically – valuable fish species will disappear totally.

Scientists long ago warned that if we keep overfishing, as we have been doing for many years, economically – valuable fish species will disappear totally.

© Alex Hofford / Greenpeace

Strategies for Saving our Seas

Dear Greenpeace supporter :

Hello! I’m Yu-fen Kao, an oceans campaigner in our Taipei office. I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you some our campaign strategies to defend our oceans.

Protecting our marine resources from being exhausted involves everything from policy to consumption. Therefore, we are still running a strong public education campaign, for example our guide to sustainable sushi, which points out that five favorite varieties of seafood -- tuna, salmon, eel, swordfish and shrimp – are relatively scarce and so we should avoid eating them.

Meanwhile, our ships are patrolling the world’s oceans, keeping a close eye on illegal and overfishing incidents and staging actions as necessary to combat abusive practices.

I helped expose how the Taiwan authorities have not properly regulate illegal fishing activities of a vessel called the Long Yun and took park in our peaceful action against that ship. The owner of the ship then accused me of libel and sought damages, but we firmly believe that we must face down greed and corruption, and work for the public interest. The Kaohsiung law courts eventually found us not guilty.

Whenever we come across behavior which we think is wrong we have the courage to speak out. However, the most important thing is that we have your support and love for our oceans, because only with this can we make our campaigns work. Thank you once again for being part of Greenpeace.

I wish you much happiness! Let’s work harder for our beautiful and previous oceans!

Oceans Defender

Yu Fen


Fishing Industry Scandal, Pushing Policy Change

Hong Kongers are partial to seafood – every year the average person consumes more than 70 kg of seafood, ranking the world’s tenth. The bulk of our seafood is imported, and it is very possible that a good proportion is obtained through illegal or destructive fishing methods.

South Korea has a sizeable fleet of long-distance fishing vessels that operate in all the world’s oceans. But in recent years they’ve been caught out in more and more scandals. This April, in Port Louis, Mauritius, Greenpeace ship, Esperanza, caught up with the Premier, a South Korean purse seiner that had been illegally fishing for tuna. We stage a peaceful action against the ship – we spray painted the word “illegal” on its hull in both English and Korean – urging Seoul to immediately recall the vessel and launch an investigation.

In the same month, we released a report in Seoul which detailed 34 cases in which South Korean fishing companies had engaged in illegal fishing, non-compliance with international fishing standards and human rights abuses. This was seriously harming South Korea’s international image. We warned Seoul that unless they took action there would be a backlash from other countries and consumers, who would boycott their products.

Out sustained campaign attracted public attention and the notice of the government – the government significantly tightened up penalties on illegal fishing, set up a specialized investigation unit and improved transparency. They also started patrolling the Pacific Ocean. This bodes well for achieving a sustainable fishing industry and protecting the future of our oceans.