[Coral-List] tuna caging in RMI

Silvia Pinca milviapin at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 17 05:45:22 EDT 2004

Dear all, 

once again we have a serious and sad attempt to 
start a new enterprise in RMI that is not at all 
attentive to the waters and corals around this 
still semi-pristine country. Shark fishing picked up 
2 years ago and is still running, but now they 
want to start tuna caging in one of the most 
pristine atolls in the country. As researchers attached 
to the College of the Marshall Islands (CMI) we 
visited the place twice during our researches for 
resource assessments and conservation. Three 
years ago the government approached CMI and the 
related biologists asking help for analyzing the coral 
reefs of the un-inhabited atoll of Rongelap in 
order to  find good areas to protect and to use as 
spots for what was to be developed as an 
eco-tourism activity. Now, after two years of research 
and reports suggesting the ideal location for MPAs 
and sanctuaries, the atoll government just signed 
a contract to start growing yellofin tuna in 
cages, feeding it with African sardines, and 
fattening it 
for the sashimi market. No information on the 
location for these cages, but even the passes could 
be a dangerous spot, since the incoming current 
would transport the feed and excreta around the 
lagoon and on its corals - as a model from E. 
Peterson recently presented at Okinawa suggests. 

Any ideas or strong tools we can receive to try 
to convince these people they are playing with a 
dangerous weapon? On the side, the local 
government will receive 25% of the income produced by the 
US tuna caging enterprise.  

 Thank you all, feel free to forward this message 
to appropriate lists and people,


Silvia Pinca, Ph.D.
Marine Science Program Coordinator
College of the Marshall Islands
P.O. Box 1258, Majuro, MH 96960
ph. (692)-625-5903
ph. in Italy until March 12th: 333 597 8963
spinca at nras-conservation.org
milviapin at yahoo.com
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