An industrial project is about to release 72 tuna vessels and 5 factory ships in the Marquesan waters, to the great fury of the local ecologists and fishermen.
An industrial exploitation project for bigeye tuna, supported by the Marquesas community of municipalities, is beginning to cause a wave of anger among local fishermen and ocean protectors. “Where is the profit for the Marquesans with these industrial tuna vessels coming from Tahiti, paid in large part with the money of the defiscalisation, and the other party we do not know from where? And even if they hire a few Marquesans for the photo, the profit may be of short duration, because the last stocks of bigeye will quickly disappear at this pace! Everything is said by Joseph, an angry Marquisian.
The Marquesas Fisheries Project, presented by the community of municipalities on 7 April, starts from the observation that unemployment is close to 30% in the Marquesas Islands, while the waters abound in large bluefin tuna. However, small-scale fishers who supply their families or the local market do not have the means to invest in a large fishing fleet or have the desire to do so. It is thus the company Degage that responds to the call of the community of communes. As of next September, it plans to send a dozen tuna boats to the Polynesian waters. The first step was to build two factory boats, plus some 60 additional tuna vessels, and five 50-meter boats within two to three years.
Ultimately, up to 12,000 tons of tuna will be flown to Hawaii and Japan to be converted into sashimi. The small concern raised by the opponents of the project is that, as a victim of overfishing, bigeye tuna is already in a very delicate situation in the world. According to the FAO, its population collapsed by 84% in the South Pacific. The Federation of Environmental Protection Associations of French Polynesia expressed its concern in a statement: “The WCPFC International Tuna Commission, which regulates the sustainable management of resources in the South and Central Pacific, recently called for a reduction Of 36% of the fishing effort of this species to regain a sustainable level of harvesting of the stock. ”
A petition opposing the project has already collected 2,500 signatures in a few days. Some small fishermen say they are willing to cut the lines of industrial vessels to protect their fish. A certain Kaikahi summarizes the situation on the Tahiti-info site: “We Marquesans, our sea feeds us, we all have fish to eat on our plates and our children grow up well, they will bathe in a clean sea. We do not want to trade our pantry for money to buy tuna or canned mackerel at the store when there’s nothing left. We do not want to go swimming in a dead sea, polluted, and catch diseases. Whoever wants to go fishing, he catches fish easily, the one who does not go fishing, he buys tuna to 500 pc , per kilo and keeps the local fisherman alive. Our children still have the chance to see, learn, know the richness of our sea, tuna, mackerel, manta ray, ature, shark, turtle, etc. Why do we want to destroy our unique environment in the world, a bearer of wealth for future generations! Moni moni moni. ”
In his grave one can hear the great Jacques eruct: “Industrial fishermen are like pigs, the older they become, the more stupid they become. Industrial fishermen, it’s like pigs, the older it gets, the more it becomes con. “