Defending Atolls and Reefs in the Heart of the South Pacific

Operation Tuvalu

Tuvalu Under Threat
Defending Tuvalu's Waters

In a significant expansion of its efforts to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Sea Shepherd Global is proud to announce its new campaign in the waters of Tuvalu, launched in April 2024. With the nation’s only offshore patrol vessel sidelined by cyclone damage in 2023, Sea Shepherd’s vessel, the Allankay, is answering the call to help safeguard the marine biodiversity of this small island country. Tuvalu, a nation of reef islands and atolls in the South Pacific, is home to diverse marine species, but faces severe threats from illegal fishing activities. These operations, primarily targeting tuna and possibly engaging in illegal shark finning, jeopardize not only the marine ecosystem but also the food and economic security of Tuvalu's 12,000 residents.

The Mission
A Partnership for the Ocean

The Allankay has been patrolling the waters of Tuvalu alongside officers from the Tuvalu Police Service to detect, combat and deter illegal fishing activities. Satellite observations and reports from local communities indicate significant 'dark vessel' activity within Tuvalu's territorial waters, suggesting widespread illegal fishing, including potential shark finning by tuna boats. This campaign not only enforces local fishing laws but also seeks to expose the extent of illegal practices threatening Tuvalu's marine life and the broader South Pacific ecosystem.

What's at Stake
Poaching and Climate Change

The people of Tuvalu rely on the ocean for their very existence. The history, culture, economy and food security of Tuvalu is intertwined with their surrounding waters, and all of this is under threat from illegal fishing vessels who come to these waters - primarily to target tuna through longline fishing. While the people of Tuvalu battle poachers, they must also face the very serious issues brought upon them from climate change. The highest point in the country is only 4.6 meters above sea level, so Tuvalu is extremely vulnerable to sea level rise due to climate change. With the nation of Tuvalu already facing a climate catastrophe, industrial fishing operations taking advantage of this crisis and poaching within their waters is tantamount to an ecological and economic disaster.

Simple Responsive Image Transparent Map of Tuvalu
Share this

Thank you. Please consider sharing with your family and friends to help save more marine lives!