8 years old Tokabwebwe Teinaura from the village Te O Ni Beeki, helping the fishermen carrying a yellowfin tuna to the shore on Tarawa Island, Kiribati. Just like his father and grandfather, he wants to become a fisherman when he grows up. Kiribati is considered one of the least developed and poorest countries in the world with people whose livelihoods depend on the fish. Since the arrival of foreign fishing vessels in Kiribati waters the catches for the local fishermen has been reduced. Kiribati is a nation of ocean stretching 3.5 million km2 across the Pacific Ocean, consisting of 33 coral atolls and reef islands. It forms one of the biggest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world and boasts one of the most productive tuna fisheries. Fish are essential to Kiribati for income, food security, and employment. The average catch of tuna in Kiribati waters is over 250,000 metric tonnes per year – making it the second largest tuna fishery in the Pacific. The vast majority of that tuna is taken by foreign vessels. In contrast to local fishermen, fleets of foreign purse-seiners come from across the globe to fish tuna in huge nets for sale in lucrative overseas markets.
Christian Aslund: Photos