The smell of fish is all around the Greenpeace Esperanza. We’ve been docked in Diego Suarez in Madagascar, getting ready to take on the tuna giant Thai Union—the largest canned tuna company in the world and owner of Chicken of the Sea canned tuna in the U.S.
Fittingly, there’s a fish processing factory right next to our ship. The symbolism gets even better. As we sail out, there’s a rainbow in the sky.
Tackling the Issues of Unsustainable Tuna Fishing
Greenpeace has been tackling overfishing for years and last fall we appealed to Thai Union and the brands it owns to switch to fish caught sustainably and under humane working conditions. More than 300,000 of you joined that call, making sure Thai Union heard it loud and clear. Now, the Esperanza is riding that incredible wave of support into the Indian Ocean.
Thai Union has tried to fix the dents in its reputation, but the limited steps the company has taken simply aren’t enough. So now we’re back for round two and we need you on board with us once again.
Come On Board as We Sail Off
We’ll be sailing the East African part of the Indian Ocean. This is where the enormous French and Spanish fishing vessels try to catch as much fish as they can in the least amount of time. Many of these vessels supply Thai Union—with that tuna ending up on shelves around the world.
The unsustainable fishing methods of these vessels puts more and more pressure on tuna stocks. They also catch all kinds of other marine life—like sharks—and throw them back into the ocean dead or dying. They call it “bycatch." To make matters worse, they pollute the ocean with ghost nets and a growing number of decoy debris called FADs (fish aggregation devices) meant to lure tuna.
A Daring Change of Tactics
This time we’re taking a different approach. After all, bearing witness doesn't mean we simply document. We’ll be peacefully opposing the destructive practices of these fishing vessels to prevent the indiscriminate harm caused to marine life. We are sailing out to find the fishing boats, expose their fishing methods and clean the Indian Ocean of the FADs we find.
You can join us! Sign up to receive exclusive updates from the ship and a chance to get in on the action.
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They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
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