On 8 April, Mongabay carried an article – the first of a 2-part series about the effect European tuna fishing has on the economy and marine environment of the Seychelles. It says that the Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna stock is teetering on the verge of collapse and that EU-controlled ships, including those flagged to smaller coastal states like Seychelles, catch the lion’s share of Indian Ocean tuna, supplying a market worth billions of dollars. It refers toallegations of a “neo-colonial” plunder of resources that many developing nations depend on. Tuna fisheries are lucrative, feeding a market worth billions of dollars. Seychellois waters are a prime spot for tuna fishing, with yellowfin, bigeye (Thunnus obesus) and skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) being the major catches there. As tuna fisheries’ profitability in the Atlantic Ocean declined, European nations like Spain and France sought new fishing grounds. On paper, Seychelles has a purse seine fleet operating in the Indian Ocean that rivals that of Spain, the EU’s biggest fishing nation. But the entire fleet of 13 vessels that fly Seychelles’ flag is effectively in European hands. The article also says that a recent analysis showed that, in violation of international law, most of the Spanish-controlled tuna purse seine vessels did not continuously transmit their locations via the automatic identification system (AIS).
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