Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing has direct ties to human trafficking, drug smuggling, slavery, and even gang activity. Oh, and of course it directly affects the economic and food security of billions.For example, West Africa, a region where more than 50% get the majority of their protein intake from fisheries and over 3 million are directly employed in the industry, loses 2.3 billion dollars annually to illegal fishing. Foreign IUU fishing is even an issue in the Pacific Northwest. In 2013, it was estimated that Alaskan crabbers lost over 560 million to IUU fishing to Russia.
OpenChannels has a team of dedicated bloggers addressing targeted aspects of ocean planning and management, including communication, technology, ocean uses, and more. Our bloggers are experts in the field, drawing from their own knowledge and experience.
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The OpenChannels Team
By Sarah Poon
What if anyone in the world could access expert help and advice on fisheries management with just the click of button?
Overfishing is a global problem that can only be overcome by a global effort to address it. But there is no one-size-sits-all approach. Fisheries managers need access to tools and methods that can be effective on a local scale.
EDF's Virtual Fisheries Academy is a new resource for fisheries management professionals all over the world. Getting strong fisheries management in place around the world relies on an empowered network of fishery managers, fishermen, scientists and other practitioners who have the knowledge and skills to develop fishery management solutions that work for their fisheries.
Hi everyone! It was a pleasure to attend IMPAC4 in the beautiful beachfront town of La Serena, Chile. Joining me were 1100 attendees from 59 countries — a good turnout.
Below are the highlights of the conference, giving you the main news and outcomes from the week. If I’ve missed anything, please let me know at jdavis [at] marineaffairs.org and I’ll add it. Thanks! (And if you'd like a more detailed, blow-by-blow account of the conference, please see my live-blog of it.)
Golfo Dulce, a tropical fjord located on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, exemplifies the need for conservation action in areas that provide critical ecosystem services to migratory species. In the marine realm, few point endemic or severely range restricted species exist and it is rarely possible to secure protection for the entire range of a species within a single Marine Protected Area. This exacerbates the need to prioritize sites with the greatest conservation potential for the establishment of MPAs. Protection is needed most in breeding, feeding, spawning, resting, and nursery grounds, where aggregations occur and migratory species visit seasonally.
By Joseph Ierna, Jr.
Each year along the hurricane corridor, it happens like clockwork. Massive storm systems spawn and are born off the coast of Africa, in the warm Atlantic Ocean currents. They march along the Ocean, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. We know they are brewing and we know they are coming. And each year, the chatter starts in the community about the storm details. Here on Long Island in the Bahamas, Hurricane Joaquin, a major storm system that demolished the island in 2015, was used as a comparison to the storm that came though this week, Hurricane Irma. Joaquin was a storm that everyone on Long Island, Bahamas was touched by, with some stories holding very tragic details.
What’s the deal with overfishing? What’s at stake? And what can we do about it? We teamed up with the good folks at TEDEd on this animated short to explain.
Punchline: Wild fish simply can’t reproduce as fast as 8 billion people can eat them. So we need better management of fishing. Our ecosystems, food security, jobs, economies, and coastal cultures all depend on it.
It’s been three months since the March for Science, when over a million people, in over 600 cities, with almost 300 partner organizations took to the streets to champion science for the common good. It was an incredible day. From the stage at the DC march, I looked out on the crowd – well over 100,000 people were standing there in the rain. It blew my mind.
Coming off the heels of the Hawai‘i Conservation Conference, I am left with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was even more devastated than usual by the evidence experts laid bare about the seemingly insurmountable problems facing our natural world, our oceans in particular. On the other hand, I encountered some of the most passionate, optimistic and – this is what makes all the difference – radical thinkers, that I slowly began to feel a small stirring of hope. But still, I feel that it is going to take more than that to help lift me out of my state-of-the-environment depression. I have become quite jaded over the years, and I have been all too aware that I was becoming frighteningly despondent, nearly giving in and giving up. Just like much of the world.
To create a strategic, ecosystem-based marine spatial plan, the Swedish government has developed the Symphony analytical tools using an integrated cumulative impacts framework. Modeling cumulative impacts allows them to better understand how multiple stressors affect a mosaic of ecosystems with varying vulnerability across space, and thus plan strategically to reduce impacts. Bridging the gap from synthesis science to informed decision-making requires the novel analysis to be incorporated into a planning conversation. By embedding the Symphony analysis in the SeaSketch platform, we are able to give a broad set of participants the ability to sketch zoning plans, evaluate the cumulative impacts, compare hypothetical zoning scenarios to a baseline of impacts, and co-develop a marine spatial plan informed by sophisticated science.
The Ocean Tipping Points collaborative launches new science-based guide, tools and resources to support management of a changing ocean
From the coral reefs of Hawaii to the kelp-strewn coasts of British Columbia, scientists and ocean managers have been working together for the past several years to understand ecosystem tipping points in an effort to learn how to prevent or reverse them. The Ocean Tipping Points team is excited to launch a new web portal of practical tools, resources and in-depth research to help marine managers and stakeholders predict, prevent or recover from dramatic ecosystem changes. (continued after video)