Ministers and senior representatives from governments, the fishing industry, coastal communities, science and civil society are coming together at the Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth (22-25 April) which aims to bring global attention and increased investment into addressing the three key threats to ocean health and food security: overfishing, habitat destruction and pollution. The summit will culminate in a high-level roundtable on Thursday 25 April.
News and Updates
Via Fair Trade USA
"We are excited to invite you to participate in the public comment period for the Fair Trade USA Capture Fisheries Standard that extends through May 30, 2014. We are eager to hear your feedback. To participate, please respond to the following documents:
- Fair Trade USA Public Consultation Questionnaire – this document should be reviewed, filled out and submitted back to fisheries [at] fairtradeusa.org before May 30, 2014.
- FT USA Capture Fisheries Standard
- FT USA Capture Fisheries Compliance Criteria
- FT USA Data-Limited Stock Assessment Decision Tree
We intend to process the feedback that we receive from public stakeholders and expert organizations in the field, as well as input from our Fisheries Advisory Council, to improve on this draft standard. Version 1.0 of the Fair Trade USA Capture Fisheries Standard will be published in September 2014, along with modifications and explanations."
"The Ramsar Convention Secretariat has recognized Con Dao National Park in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province as one of the 2,203 wetlands of international importance. This is the sixth wetland area [of Vietnam to be named a Ramsar site] , and the first marine Ramsar site of Vietnam.
According to naturalengland.org, Ramsar sites are named after the city of Ramsar in Iran. It was here in 1971 that an international treaty on the protection and preservation of wetlands was signed."
An interactive map launched this week by Project AWARE, a global nonprofit organization, visualizes nearly three years of ongoing reporting by an international network of volunteer scuba divers who remove trash they find underwater through the Dive Against Debris program.
Via NPR's The Salt
"For lovers of fatty tuna belly, canned albacore and swordfish kebabs, here's a question: Would you be willing to give them up for several years so that you could eat them perhaps for the rest of your life?
If a new proposal to ban fishing on the open ocean were to fly, that's essentially what we might be faced with. It's an idea that might help restore the populations of several rapidly disappearing fish – like tuna, swordfish and marlin — that we, and future generations, might like to continue to have as a food source."
NOAA's 2014 Social Coast Forum has now archived abstracts and selected presentations from the February event. The program and list of presentations are attached (PDF) below. Please note that the abstract titles link to a downloadable PDF of that abstract, and presentations link to a downloadable PDF as well.
"But it’s not just smart maps that can spread the word about the importance of oceans. Pairing these maps with storytelling, something we’ve relied on for communication for millennia, to create “story maps” is important for delivering the messages all those underlying data are telling us. The visual stories we create with maps help scientists communicate among themselves and with policymakers who have the power to make decisions that affect the entire Earth. Importantly, none of this requires advanced training in cartography or GIS, though it is all done with sophisticated cartographic functionality behind the scenes."
"Overfishing is still the most important threat to Mediterranean underwater ecosystems, “more than pollution, invasive species, or climate change”, says Enric Sala, one of the authors of the most comprehensive study made of the sea, published this week in the science journal PLoS ONE.
The assessment, presented in a paper entitled Large-Scale Assessment of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas Effects on Fish Assemblages, drew on the work of a dozen researchers. A marine ecologist and a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Sala is actively engaged in exploration, research and communications to advance ocean policy and conservation."
"HELCOM work on marine protected areas (MPAs) took a major leap forward as the new Recommendation on coastal and marine Baltic Sea protected areas was adopted earlier this month (Rec 35-1) ... The primary reason for creating the new Recommendation is the need to update selection criteria of marine protected areas. Such improved criteria are now possible due to recent major HELCOM work to define Red-listed species at risk of extinction, as well as biotopes threatened by collapse in the Baltic Sea. Another essential feature is that the network of HELCOM MPAs aims to be ecologically coherent, in other words that the collection of sites protects the full range of biodiversity in the region. Moreover, the contents of management plans for the protected areas require urgent attention."
"A federal judge in Key West sent a Michigan man to prison for five months Monday for illegally buying and selling marine life taken from Florida Keys waters. Joseph Franko, 35, then will spend five months of house arrest and two years on probation.