[Coral-List] tuna caging in RMI

John Naughton john.naughton at noaa.gov
Tue Aug 17 12:55:28 EDT 2004


I've been reviewing several recent proposals for offshore tuna cage
growout facilities here in the Hawaiian Islands.  Also, in the past
we've done considerable work in the RMI, including a survey of coral
reefs and reef resources throughout the Northern Marshall Islands for
possible MPA protective designation.  Please pass on any additional info
on the proposed Rongelap facility and we can provide information for
your possible use in reviewing the operation from an environmental


John Naughton
NOAA Fisheries

Silvia Pinca wrote:

> 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
> 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
> www.nras-conservation.org
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