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An Open Invitation

When we founded the Environmental Stakeholder Committee, we had a clear list of people and organizations we hoped would take part, including tuna campaigners at Greenpeace. So an ISSF Board Member invited each of them personally to attend the first meeting. While many experts took the opportunity to share their passion and ideas and learn about ours, Greenpeace declined to participate.

After the second meeting of our Committee, we extended another written invitation to Greenpeace campaigners asking them to attend the next meeting either as a member or an observer, their choice. The answer remained no, but this time we received a two-pager outlining their reasoning.

Still, there are a host of issues that we agree need immediate attention, and the list is exhaustive – all vessels should have unique vessel identifiers, a ban on at-sea transshipments, strengthening compliance with conservation and management measures, enhancing catch documentation, improving communication between regional management bodies and national compliance authorities, 100% observer coverage on vessels and reducing fishing capacity.

Constructive criticism is fair and we find being the recipient of it helps to improve our coalition’s efforts. But part of what slows progress is an unwillingness to work together, in spite of our differences.

There’s a lot of work to be done and it makes practical sense to join forces on some issues, rather than going at it alone. Our invitation to Greenpeace remains open.

Posted on 19 October 2011