Today, it was announced in the budget that the British government intends to create the world's largest marine reserve around Pitcairn in the Pacific. BLUE has released a report to provide us with a deeper insight into the fight behind creating this unique marine reserve.
Gordon McGlone's insight:
Good News for the seas around the Pitcairn Islands. Healthy Oceans will need more large areas where marine biodiversity can flourish.
As the oceans absorb anthropogenic CO2 they become more acidic, a problem termed ocean acidification (OA). Since this increase in CO2 is occurring rapidly, OA may have profound implications for marine ecosystems. In the temperate northeast Pacific, fisheries play key economic and cultural roles and provide significant employment, especially in rural areas. In British Columbia (BC), sport (recreational) fishing generates more income than commercial fishing (including the expanding aquaculture industry). Salmon (fished recreationally and farmed) and Pacific Halibut are responsible for the majority of fishery-related income. This region naturally has relatively acidic (low pH) waters due to ocean circulation, and so may be particularly vulnerable to OA. We have analyzed available data to provide a current description of the marine ecosystem, focusing on vertical distributions of commercially harvested groups in BC in the context of local carbon and pH conditions. We then evaluated the potential impact of OA on this temperate marine system using currently available studies. Our results highlight significant knowledge gaps. Above trophic levels 2–3 (where most local fishery-income is generated), little is known about the direct impact of OA, and more importantly about the combined impact of multi-stressors, like temperature, that are also changing as our climate changes. There is evidence that OA may have indirect negative impacts on finfish through changes at lower trophic levels and in habitats. In particular, OA may lead to increased fish-killing algal blooms that can affect the lucrative salmon aquaculture industry. On the other hand, some species of locally farmed shellfish have been well-studied and exhibit significant negative direct impacts associated with OA, especially at the larval stage. We summarize the direct and indirect impacts of OA on all groups of marine organisms in this region and provide conclusions, ordered by immediacy and certainty.
About the Authors
Rowan Haigh, Carrie A. Holt, Holly E. Neate, Andrew M. Edwards - Pacific Biological Station, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 3190 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, British Columbia, V9T 6N7, Canada
Debby Ianson - Institute of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 9860 West Saanich Road, Sidney, British Columbia, V8L 4B2, Canada
Holly E. Neate, Andrew M. Edwards - Department of Biology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 1700, Station CSC, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 2Y2, Canada
The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Conceived and designed the experiments: DI RH CH AE. Performed the experiments: RH CH DI AE HN. Analyzed the data: DI RH CH AE. Wrote the paper: DI RH CH AE.
The world's first lumpfish fishery achieves MSC certification in Iceland.
Iceland’s lumpfish fishery has been MSC certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery. The 330 small boats are the first MSC certified lumpfish fishery in the world.
Lumpfish has been harvested for centuries inside the Icelandic Exclusive Economic Zone. Male and female lumpfish are easily distinguished both in colour and size, where females are larger.
The big mesh size gillnets fishery mainly targets the females for their roe, which is exported as a luxury caviar mainly to European countries. There is also a growing Chinese market for the female fish while male lumpfish is less frequently caught, mostly for traditional local consumption.
The lumpfish distributed between Iceland and Norway is one of three genetically distinct stocks of lumpfish in the North Atlantic. Although some other lumpfish stocks have faced challenges, the Icelandic lumpfish fisheries have been relatively stable since 1990.
The lumpfish fishery is controlled by various measures that include restrictions regarding the number of licenses and nets, a fishing season of three months only as well as limitations on vessel and mesh sizes.
Icelandic waters contain a wide range of delicate ecosystems, mostly in deep water. The static bottom-set gillnets used in the lumpfish fishery have minimal contact with these ecosystems as the fishery mainly takes place on a rocky sea bed in shallow waters.
The fishery’s main bycatch is the MSC certified cod (Gadus morhua), representing around five per cent of the total catch. All bycatches are landed as discarding is prohibited in Iceland.
A world first
The client, Vignir G. Jónsson hf., was a family run business founded in 1970 but is now a subsidiary of the seafood company HBGrandi. The headquarters and main processing site of Vignir are in the town of Akranes, with a staff of about 40, but they also operate in east coast of Iceland. Vignir CEO, Mr. Eíríkur Vignisson says: “I’m happy that this assessment is now completed.
All lumpfish fisheries in N-Atlantic were last year listed as red by many of the eNGO traffic light systems. That was a huge disappointment for the industry but I hope this certification will contribute to the Icelandic lumpfish products falling under the green category. It is important for the industry to be able to demonstrate to overseas buyers that our products originate from a truly sustainable fishery.”
Gisli Gislason, MSC Manager for the North Atlantic said: “Lumpfish roe is an important product for European markets and this is the first lumpfish fishery in the world to get MSC certified. This is the only traditional fishery in Iceland exclusively performed by small vessels.
Close cooperation between the authorities and the small boats association is vital to protect the marine environment and ensure lumpfish stocks are stable for the future. MSC certification provides independent reassurance for consumers around the world that the lumpfish roe comes from a sustainable fishery. We hope that this certification will in return incentivise other lumpfish fisheries to enter the MSC program.”
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Gordon McGlone's insight:
Well managed independently certified fisheries are critical to the future of marine food supply for this crowded planet. Lumpfish is a niche luxury food but the principles of this fishery stock management show that it can work over the long time frame that sustainability requires.
If you had a savings account that yielded a 10 per cent return, you’d presumably keep adding to that account as much as you could. Our oceans are worth a staggering $24 trillion, yielding a huge $2.5 trillion a year in goods and services, according to our new report published today - and that’s a conservative estimate. Yet we are not restoring or protecting them nearly enough. Put another way, we’re not investing in the growth and security of this asset.
Gordon McGlone's insight:
The wrecking of the oceans is a global scale slow motion train crash. The inevitability of system collapse is inevitable at this rate of human marine pillage.
The UK can not hold its head high in this matter, the Whitehall government claims marine conservation success but overlooks the shambles of the Marine Conservation Zone initiative.
A multinational team surveys the status of all Arctic marine mammals, including whales, walruses, seals and polar bears. The report is a first effort to assess the status of 78 subpopulations and recommend measures to protect these species under climate change.
The number of fisheries exploited by the European Union at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels is increasing in the East Atlantic, North Sea and Baltic Sea.
In 2014 there were 27 fisheries, while the projection for 2015 would add 9 more if fishing quotas decided by the Agriculture and Fisheries Council last December are respected.
This improvement is the result of strong efforts by the European fishing industry, the TACs agreed by Member States in line with the scientific advice, better controls, more dialogue and trust among stakeholders.
With the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in 2014, this number is expected to increase further, in particular with the entry into force of the new landing obligations and multiannual management plans.
Sardines, anchovies and mackerels play a crucial role in marine ecosystems, as well as having a high commercial value. However, the warming of waters makes them vanish from their usual seas and migrate north, as confirmed by a pioneering study analysing 57,000 fish censuses from 40 years. The researchers warn that coastal towns dependent on these fishery resources must adapt their economies.
This technical paper provides an inventory of, and describes trends in, legal, administrative and management frameworks in place for managing marine capture fisheries in the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC) area.
This review includes 16 countries and overseas territories and is part of an ongoing process initiated by FAO to report on the state of world marine capture fisheries management. The review identifies a number of challenges in fisheries management, including: inadequate legislation; ad hoc management processes and plans; uncoordinated monitoring and enforcement; non-management-driven scientific information; insufficient stakeholder identification and participation, conflict resolution and fishing capacity measurements; limited incorporation of issues pertaining to the operation of multispecies fisheries and use of the ecosystem approach; unequal application of management tools and measures across fisheries subsectors; and rising fisheries management costs coupled with stagnant budgets for governments.
Actions are listed to address the challenges, and specific recommendations are made to address legislative issues, apply participatory approaches and implement a successful fisheries management process.
The fifteenth session of WECAFC (March 2014) endorsed the review outcomes and adopted recommendation WECAFC/15/2014/4 “on strengthening fisheries management planning in the WECAFC area”. This technical paper aims to inform fishery policy decision-makers, fishery managers and other stakeholders with interest in fisheries in the Wider Caribbean Region.
Year of publication: 2015 Document Type: Book Pages: 293 p. Job Number: I4255 Office: Fisheries and Aquaculture Department Author: Singh-Renton, S. Download: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4255e.pdf ;
A new report from WorldFish shows that resource-poor Bangladeshis can participate in commercial aquaculture, challenging conventional assumptions that this was not possible. The report also highlights that more of the very poor in Bangladesh are profiting from commercial aquaculture than was previously thought.
Aquaculture, employment, poverty, food security and well-being in Bangladesh: A comparative study (http://www.worldfishcenter.org/resource_centre/AAS-2014-39.pdf), finds that where a critical mass of aquaculture producers had formed in a particular region, the development of related infrastructure reduced costs and lowered barriers to entry for other producers. In those areas, the potential of aquaculture to generate significant returns was sufficiently attractive to make the risks of investing in it appear acceptable to resource-poor households. In the study, more small landowners and resource-poor farmers were shown to practice commercial aquaculture than semi-subsistence forms, for example from household ponds. The study found greater social and economic benefits in small and medium sized aquaculture enterprises as opposed to smaller scale or household operations. Commercially-oriented aquaculture producers, the report also found, derived nutritional benefit by consuming larger quantities of fish from their own farms than households operating backyard operations. Stephen Hall, Director General, WorldFish: “By identifying the modes of aquaculture that most benefits the poor we can best direct efforts to bolster this sector. While we have seen the detrimental effects of large scale aquaculture for communities it is now clearer that the benefits of smaller scale commercial operations are potentially great in increasing food security and employment.” Authored by WorldFish’s Ben Belton, Nasib Ahmed and Murshed-e-Jahan the study also found that employment generated by aquaculture is generally higher than for other forms of agriculture, particularly those that are more seasonal, such as rice production. Commercial smallholder operations were found to create the highest levels of direct employment and in a wide range of supporting occupations, for example pond diggers and providers of transport. The study was conducted via an integrated quantative/qualitative survey in six communities with contrasting patterns of aquaculture development. Aquaculture, employment, poverty, food security and well-being in Bangladesh: A comparative study is a product of the CGIAR Research Programs (CRP) on Aquatic Agricultural Systems in which WorldFish participates as well as an output of the EU funded Aquaculture for food security, poverty alleviation and nutrition project. For more information or to request an interview:Contact: Toby Johnson, Senior Media Relations ManagerMobile Tel: +60 (0) 175 124 606Email: email@example.comWeb: worldfishcenter.orgPhotography: flickr.com/photos/theworldfishcenter/ About WorldFishWorldFish is an international, nonprofit research organization that harnesses the potential of fisheries and aquaculture to reduce hunger and poverty. Globally, more than one billion poor people obtain most of their animal protein from fish and 800 million depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. WorldFish is a member of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. About CGIAR
CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partners.
Key players from across the maritime sector will come together in Porto on 20th January to share ideas and unlock funding for projects under the Atlantic Maritime Strategy Action Plan.
This first annual Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference, jointly organised by the European Commission and the Directorate-General for Maritime Policy of the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture and Sea, will act as a catalyst for getting joint projects in Atlantic Ocean area off the ground to start delivering the jobs and growth the region needs.
Over 400 participants will take part in twenty stakeholder-led workshops on topics covering the entire spectrum of the maritime sector including aquaculture, marine biotech, marine litter, maritime safety, coastal tourism and territorial cooperation in the Atlantic. All of themes reflect the priorities agreed under the Atlantic Action Plan to drive the 'blue economy' forward.
The marine and maritime sectors that make up the 'blue economy' have the potential to provide more jobs by 2020. These jobs will be found not only in emerging sectors, such as offshore renewable energy, but also through revitalising traditional maritime industries. The Atlantic area can make a significant contribution to this 'blue growth'.
This Action Plan, part of the Commission's Atlantic Strategy, sets out priorities for research and investment to drive the ‘blue economy’ forwards in the Atlantic area. The EU's Atlantic countries will draw on the plan to help create sustainable and inclusive growth in coastal areas.
The event will be opened by Mr. Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto who will speak alongside Hon. Manuel Pinto de Abreu, Secretary of State for the Sea of the Portuguese Government, Ms Lowri Evans, Director General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the European Commission, Mr Emídio Gomes, President of the Regional Development and Coordination Commission of the North Region, and Mr Ricardo Serrão Santos, Member of the European Parliament.
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