Japan Plundering the Oceans of Tuna

The Japanese fishing industry has been caught in yet another criminal activity. As we prepare to tackle their illegal whaling operations their unlawful theft of tuna is exposed by the Australians.

According to Australian Fisheries Management Authority managing director Richard McLoughlin, the Japanese fishing industry has been catching three times their tuna quota each year and deliberately and falsely under reporting the catch figures.

McLoughlin also accused the Japanese of killing off the Southern bluefin tuna populations. The allegations are detailed in a confidential report prepared for the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna. They are to be considered by the commission's board in October.

Mr. McLoughlin told a private forum at the Australian National University on August 1 that the report's findings showed that "on a 6,000-tonne national quota, Japan's been catching anything between 12,000 and 20,000 tonnes for the last 20 years, and hiding it."

It is understood that Mr. McLoughlin was unaware his comments were being recorded until they appeared on the ANU website. "Essentially the Japanese have stolen $2 billion worth of fish from the international community and have been sitting in meetings for 15 years saying they are as pure as the driven snow. And it's outrageous."

Mr. McLoughlin said there were "many thousands" of Southern bluefin tuna that were being caught each year by Taiwanese or Thai fishermen and were being sold to Japanese business houses but not reported.

Indonesian, Korean, and Taiwanese vessels catch 4,000 tonnes of tuna a year while the Australian quota is 5,265 tons, New Zealand's quota is 420 tons, and the Japanese quota is 6,065 tons. But Mr. McLoughlin said the Japanese were recording the Taiwanese and Thai fish as Northern bluefin tuna or big eye tuna.

He said talk about the "enormous international fraud" had reached all levels of government.

This revelation gives credibility to the position long held by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society that the Japanese and Taiwanese fishing industries are plundering the world's tuna populations.

"There is a complete and total contempt for international conservation law," said Captain Paul Watson founder and president of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He added, "We have seen Japanese ships everywhere taking anything and everything they wish without observers, without enforcement, and without any restrictions. They are plundering the ocean of fish in an insane quest for profits now and a complete lack of concern for the consequences that will occur in the near future. They are criminals, and they should and must be stopped."

The bluefin tuna is a large warm-blooded fish noted for being the fastest swimming fish in the oceans. One bluefin tuna can sell for as much as USD$250,000 in the Japanese fish market.

"With that kind of price on its head, the bluefin will be exterminated by these Japanese pirates unless they are stopped," said Captain Watson.

Massive Japanese Oil Spill in the Indian Ocean

A Japanese tanker spilled 1.4 million gallons of crude oil into the Eastern Indian following a collision with a cargo ship on Tuesday. This is the largest ever Japanese oil spill. It took place 300 miles west of India's Nicobar islands.

The tanker was carrying 77.6 million gallons (250,000 tons) of crude from Oman.