Tuna Wars: Madagascar

Tuna is being fished to extinction. Despite this, efforts to protect fish stocks are being undermined as legal loopholes in the southern Indian Ocean have created a multi-million dollar trade in illegal catches. Huge ships are trawling the high seas, catching tuna in bulk and threatening the traditional livelihood of local fishermen like the Vezos in Madagascar.

This documentary takes us on-board a Greenpeace vessel to find out more about the multi-million dollar international trade.

“There is no chain of custody. As soon as the fish is inside the freezing vessel, it’s impossible to know from which vessel it is coming”, Francois Chartier of Greenpeace says of the controversial ‘transshipment law’.

It’s one of the biggest loopholes in fishing legislation, which allows small vessels to transfer their catch to big freezing vessels. It means that out in the middle of the ocean, the lines are blurred over legal and illegal catches, with no way of tracking the fish passed between ships registered in several different countries. So while tuna numbers reach worryingly low levels, their stocks are not being protected.”

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