Save Yellowfin Tuna From Entrapment and Extinction

Target: Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency

Goal: Prohibit devices contributing to endangerment of yellowfin tuna within Indian Ocean.

One of the top predators of the Indian Ocean is quickly disappearing because of human plundering. While Africa, Asia, and Australia border the ocean, another continent has raced past them in its damaging yellowfin tuna overfishing expeditions: Europe. The situation has become so dire for these beautiful fish that an emergency meeting of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission took place in March, and several major retail chains joined in urgent calls for reform. Multiple proposals have been put forth, yet main perpetrator Europe’s solutions to curb overfishing fall woefully short of other regions that have more to lose. Worse, almost none of the proposals seriously address the main culprit behind rapidly dwindling populations.

Both retailers and conservationists have condemned the widespread use—especially among the European Union (EU)—of fish-aggregating devices (FADs). Large industrial EU fishing fleets utilize a particularly destructive version, drifting FADs, to draw large fish schools to an area. The entrapped animals are then vulnerable to wholesale capture via nearby nets and eventual slaughter. Since the shadows cast by these buoys attract all the fish in a school (including juveniles), the reproduction rates of the fish have dropped drastically, endangering the overall population even more. Worse yet, other unsuspecting marine animals like turtles and sharks often become “bycatch” collateral damage.

Sign the petition below to urge a ban on these instruments of what critics call “neocolonial plundering.”


Dear Mr. Bruyninckx,

You have likely studied and perhaps offered input into the plight of  the Indian Ocean’s yellowfin tuna population. You are also probably aware of the intense criticism the EU has received for its lack of goodwill in helping correct a crisis it largely fueled. The EU Distant Water Fleet has a 97 percent capture rate for juvenile yellowfins: the very fish desperately needed to facilitate the species’ growth. This troubling rate distinguishes the EU from other regions, as does the dangerous method that makes this plunder possible.

Drifting fish-aggregating devices are in widespread use by the EU fleet, yet proposals by the union for cutting back on overfishing remain silent on the very instrument that is causing the problem. You better than anyone have knowledge of why these devices are responsible for so much damage. Please promote this expertise to help facilitate real and meaningful reform.

Advocate for a ban on drifting FADs immediately. Protect this vital marine population from a preventable bleak fate.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Andy Nabreski



  1. Dear Mr. Bruyninckx,
    Human greed and ignorance are destroying the planet … besides there are neither laws establishing a season when fishing is allowed nor punishment for the violators who get away with murder.

  2. Jackie Pflucker says:

    Dear Mr. Bruyninckx,
    We beg of you to PLEASE advocate for a ban on drifting FADs immediately. Protect this vital marine population from a preventable bleak fate.
    Thank you!

  3. Victoria Salter says:

    Isn’t it hypocritical how so many “animal lovers” come on here to sign petitions and get so disgusted and upset over the thought of someone abusing or killing a dog, but then go and eat turkey, a beef-burger, bacon, pork chops, chicken nuggets, roast dinners with meat, salmon on toast, pate, pork pies, ham sandwiches, mutton, lamb, pork, gammon or whatever other kind of meat? You may sign petitions in protest of animal cruelty but, by buying meat, dairy, eggs and fish, you support the very thing you would claim to be very against; animal cruelty. Don’t you think it is moral hypocrisy to claim to be an animal lover and to be against animal cruelty and then support animal cruelty and slaughter by paying for meat, fish, dairy and eggs, only to eat these things three times a day? You can make a bigger impact for animals by simply refusing to eat them or their products…

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