Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How Much Fishing Goes On in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area?

This is page 7 of Kiribati's 2012 report to WCPFC
According to Radio New Zealand, the director of Kiribati’s huge Phoenix Islands Protected Area, or PIPA, has denied reports that most of the marine reserve is being fished by foreign fishing vessels.  In the last few weeks several news outlets have reported that 97% of PIPA is being fished.

Every year member countries of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, or WCPFC, the international body that manages fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, submit reports on the fishing going on in their countries.  As a member, Kiribati is required to submit one of these reports.  All of the reports can be found online.  Here is the report from 2012.

Each of the circles on the map represents an area that is being fished.  The color shows the species being caught.  The larger the circle, the more fish are being caught.

Page 5 shows that there was considerable amounts of longline fishing going on in the Phoenix Islands.  Page 7 shows that purse seiners heavily fished the area 2009-2011.  The reports that PIPA is fished are true.
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