Iridium satellites enabling overfishing

Petition calls for tech company to stop driving mass extinction

The Iridium satellite network is used by Spain's industrial tuna fishing boats for communications.

These boats use ecologically destructive fishing gear in the Indian Ocean to overfish yellowfin tuna, whilst decimating shark, cetacean and turtle populations.

Spain's unsustainable, harmful and indiscriminate fishing gear includes solar-powered Iridium satellite location buoys which fishers attach to Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) that drift hundreds of miles across the ocean attracting all kinds of marine life like a giant magnet.

Iridium transponders in the buoys ping the location of the overfished tuna and sharks through their satellite network to fishing boats. This makes Iridium complicit in the unsustainable and out-of-control biodiversity destruction of our ocean.

That's because the Spanish fishing industry is secretly decimating at least 100,000 juvenile silky sharks in the Indian Ocean each year in their crazy, profit-driven pursuit of tuna for processing into supermarket canned tuna.

And Iridium is helping them do it!

In addition to giving away the location of large schools of fish and sharks, Iridium satellite beacons also contain toxic plastics and e-waste such as:

  • printed circuit boards containing persistent organic pollutants (POP)
  • dioxins and heavy metals like cadmium
  • Nickel MH and alkaline batteries
  • eventual microplastics and nanoplastics

Over time, Iridium satellite buoys are destroyed by a combination of sun, sea and wave action, or they become abandoned, lost or discarded by the Spanish fishing boats.

As their satellite buoys break apart and sink, poisonous marine pollution leaks into the sea, down to the seabed, and on to pristine coral reefs and beaches – all of which is illegal under international law.

Also, the polypropylene ropes and ghost nets that Iridium buoys are tethered to entangle vast quantities of marine wildlife such as sharks, whales and turtles.

That's why we are calling on Iridium to immediately STOP cashing in on overfishing by pulling the plug on their dirty satellite services to the Spanish fishing industry!

Please sign the petition!