Marine Reserves

A fishy 'heads up' to France over tuna

Posted by jossc — 19 November 2008 at 4:11pm - Comments

Heads will roll: Tuna  piled up outside the French Fisheries Ministry in protest against continued over fishing

OK so I'm a day or two off the pace with this story (courtesy of a long weekend - well even we need a day or two off once in a while), and didn't find out about Monday's tuna direct action in Paris until I showed up at the office again today. So what did I miss? Well, our French colleagues took the opportunity to protest against France's leading role in decimating Mediterranean bluefin tuna stocks by dumping five tonnes of tuna fish heads outside the door of the French Fisheries Ministry.

Timed to coincide with coincide with the opening of the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), in Marrakech, the action targetted France (as opposed to Italy or Spain, the two other worst offenders) in this instance because French Premier Nicholas Sarkozy currently holds the EU presidency. He has been using it to shape the EU position in favour of the short-term interests of his fishing industry above the need to save the Mediterranean bluefin tuna stock from collapse.

Marine reserves can save our seas

Posted by jossc — 17 October 2008 at 2:07pm - Comments
Apo Island Marine Sanctuary, Philippines Apo Island Marine Sanctuary, Philippines

Latest updates from the impressive ProtectPlanetOcean web site provide convincing support for Greenpeace's long-held contention that marine reserves provide the best long-term solution to the problems of overfishing and pollution which threaten the world's marine ecosystems. In case you've forgotten marine reserves are protected areas, national parks at sea where no fishing or other extractive industries (such as oil, gas or gravel extraction) are permitted.

The site has pulled together studies of 124 marine reserves around the world - scientific peer-reviewed research published in academic journals - to provide a clear picture of what has happened where reserves have been established.

Stocks crash – massive reserves desperately needed

Posted by jossc — 10 October 2008 at 5:24pm - Comments

Wasted lives? Bycatch from a beam trawler

Our oceans are the last global commons, and as such are about as effectively regulated as Dodge City when the West was at it's wildest. As recently as 40 years ago they were considered to be an inexhaustible resource. No amount of fishing could possibly make a dent, it seemed, in the teeming mass of ocean life which constantly replenished itself. It was a one-sided arms race, with increasingly advanced fishing techniques maximizing catches: GPS; sonar; trawl nets big enough to catch a jumbo jet; bottom trawling; fish aggregating devices and open-water 'ranching' are just some of the methods employed to extract maximum profit from the seas.

It's official: EU fishing policy is crazy

Posted by jossc — 14 August 2008 at 3:01pm - Comments

Norwegian coastguard video of the Shetland trawler Prolific dumping its catch in the North Sea

The crew of the Prolific discarding their catch

So at last the sheer waste involved in modern trawling has been captured on camera. Last week a Norwegian coastguard cutter filmed the crew of a Shetland trawler, the Prolific, openly dumping over 5,000 kg of cod and other dead white fish in UK waters. Now this footage is rightly causing a wave of revulsion in the media at the scale of unnecessary waste at a time of rapidly rising food prices and, ironically, when our own Prime Minister is telling us not to waste food.

Esperanza confronts world's biggest tuna ship

Posted by jossc — 27 May 2008 at 4:42pm - Comments

The crew of Esperanza taking action against the world's biggest purse seiner, the  Albatun Tres

Our 25 metre long 'No Fish No Future' banner looks tiny alongside the giant Albatun Tres

After last week's good news about Pacific Island nations banding together to stop foreign fishing fleets decimating their tuna stocks, the crew of Esperanza yesterday took action against the biggest and most devastatingly efficient tuna catching vessel in the world, the Spanish owned purse seiner Albatun Tres.

Tide turns for Pacific tuna

Posted by jossc — 23 May 2008 at 12:32pm - Comments

Is the tide turning for Pacific tuna?

Hurrah! At last some good news for threatened Pacific tuna. Eight Pacific Island nations have signed an agreement to stop foreign fishing fleets taking their tuna. Our ship the Esperanza has been in the Pacific for the last seven weeks confronting unscrupulous foreign fleets that take 90 per cent of the fish, and even more of the profit.

Bering fruit - our expedition discovers a new species

Posted by jossc — 29 April 2008 at 11:13am - Comments

Video: the discovery of Aaptos kanuux

Fascinating news just in - our two month research expedition to the Bering Sea last summer led to the discovery of a new species. Using manned submarines and a Remote Operated Vehicle, the crew of the Esperanza explored two of the world's deepest underwater canyons and took samples of never before seen life on the sea floor. Now, careful analysis has revealed one of them to be an entirely new species of sponge. Discovered in Pribilof Canyon, the new discovery is to be named Aaptos kanuux.

Can the Marine Bill save our seas?

Posted by jossc — 3 April 2008 at 2:58pm - Comments

Will the Marine Bill ensure that the North Sea gets the marine reserves it needs?

Today sees the long overdue publication of the Draft Marine Bill. The Bill presents a key opportunity not just to improve the management of our national waters, but to begin the concerted action that is needed to protect marine biodiversity and reverse the decline in our fish stocks.

But the Marine Bill is only a tool, not the finished product.

Dead seas: human activities are killing off the oceans

Posted by jossc — 15 February 2008 at 3:14pm - Comments

AAAS map of impacts on the N Sea

It's official; mankind is killing off our oceans far faster than previously thought. The first global-scale study of human impacts on marine ecosystems, published today in the flagship US journal Science, reveals a picture of widespread destruction with few if any areas remaining untouched.

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