When Worlds Collide #66: Indian Ocean: Wild West of the 21st Century?

When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 12 May 2013

Tuna Wars are hotting up in the Indian Ocean.

At stake are the jobs of tens of thousands of fishermen, and nutrition of hundreds of millions of people living in Indian Ocean rim countries.

Last week, as government officials, scientists and fisheries managers from these countries converged in Mauritius for the annual meeting of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), environmental groups again cautioned that overfishing is driving these fish stocks close to a collapse point.

Greenpeace, the most vocal among them, claimed that IOTC was not doing enough to control fishing fleets and prevent illegal fishing. The activist group reiterated the need for stricter controls to protect remaining tuna stocks.

IOTC, an inter-governmental body, covers the catch of 16 tuna and tuna-like fish species in the Indian Ocean. Their annual…

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