Sitting concurrently as chairman of Land Bank of the Philippines and Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation (Quedancor), Lorenzo vowed to steer the policy decisions of the two major sources of agricultural financing toward providing greater support for the agriculture and fisheries development initiatives of local government units in Central Visayas. PNA
RP granted observer status by
international tuna body
Fely Lim, executive director of the Soccsksargen Federation of Fishing Associations and Allied Industries Inc., said the Philippines cannot expect to be a member of the WCPFC unless the Senate endorses Multilateral High-Level Convention on Migratory Fish (MHLC).
As observer, the Philippines has no voting rights in any agreement or decision that would be made by the tuna commission.
The MHLC sets the conservation and management of tuna resources along the Pacific fishing grounds, which covers Philippine waters.
The Philippines was among the primary signatories to the MHLC’s Convention on Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Species in the Western and Central Pacific, which was forged by at least 29 nations in September 2000 to address concerns that tuna resources in the Pacific seas are declining because of overfishing of the various tuna species, especially the bigeye and yellowfin. .The MHLC convention specifically provides for the establishment of the WCPFC, which would determine the total allowable catch of tuna species and allocate catch among its member-countries.
In last month’s meeting, the commission agreed to regulate fishing on the high seas beyond the Pacific Island’s 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone.
Tuna catches in the Pacific have risen from 400,000 tons in the 1960s to over two million tons at present.
The surge in tuna catch was also caused by the increase of tuna fishing nations, from just eight then to the present 26. RS Sarmiento, Today Correspondent. Full story
Tuna firms urge gov't to negotiate
fishing access with Malaysia
Marfenio Tan, board member of the Socsksargen Federation of Fishing Associations and Allied Industries, said a formal linkage between the two countries will enhance the ongoing trade exchanges, especially between Mindanao and the neighboring Sabah state of Malaysia.
He said they are specifically eyeing the forging of a fishing access with Malaysia and joint ventures on tuna processing.
But Rayner Datuk Stuel Galid, director of fisheries of Sabah, pointed out that a fishing access agreement is currently not allowed in Malaysia, citing its laws that provide that "only 100 percent Malaysian companies could be issued with fishing licenses."
Galid instead offered local businessmen to invest on the processing of tuna as the area could offer lower-priced tuna due to the current surplus in its markets. AV Estabillo, Mindanews, 12.30.04. Full story
The Philippine government plans to propose an exchange of technical assistance to enhance the development of the fishing industries of both countries.
Palau and the Philippines are signatories to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea, the Fish Stocks Agreement and the Western and Central Pacific Convention on the Conservation of Highly Migratory Species. EG Espejo, Sun.Star. 01.24.05
White shark fishing now banned
Section 97 of the Philippine Fisheries Code makes it unlawful to take rare, threatened or endangered species listed in the CITES.
Regional Director Arlene B. Pantanosas of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said the prohibition applies to the whole specimens, their parts and derivatives. In the case of the Great White Shark, the prohibition includes its fins, teeth, and jaws.
Violators face a penalty of imprisonment from 12 to 20 years and/or a fine of P120,000, and forfeiture of the aquatic specimens and cancellation of fishing permit. Trends, 01.26.05
Organic, toxic wastes poison Zambales
Remedios Ongtangco, BFAR regional director, said a fish health monitoring team from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) conducted water quality tests in the bay recently and discovered that higher levels of unionized ammonia, often referred to as toxic ammonia, were present in the water.
Citing a DENR status report released in September, Ongtangco said the detected toxic ammonia was much higher in concentration compared to previous monitoring results.
It said 33 fish cage owners are operating in the Masinloc and Oyon bays while 164 circular and rectangular fish cages were built in the area.
"Milkfish is the primary species being cultured with stocking densities reaching as high as 70,000 pieces per cage," the report said.
The water quality monitoring was conducted on Feb. 7 and July 21 in 12 established sampling stations on the proposed mariculture park in this town. A. Macatuno, Inquirer News Service, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 10.25.04
More areas in Davao Provinces
eyed for seaweed production
Production went up to 637 metric tons in 2003, when BFAR-11 provided technical support to seaweed growers. A businessman in Davao City is now exporting seaweeds to China.
Chaneco said production in 2004 may be double the previous year’s output.
The project is expected to generate 6,000 jobs. JMM, SunStar, 10.20.04. Full story
BFAR cracks down on toxic fishing
Tong Ambutong, fishery resources management division chief of BFAR-Central Mindanao, said they are working with the provincial government of Sarangani and the local governments of its six coastal municipalities to intensify monitoring and apprehension of fishermen who use the fish poison.
"Lagtang" is a poisonous wild vine that grows in the coastal areas. Ambutong said the use of "lagtang" originated in the Davao region and was introduced only a few months ago to fishermen operating in the Sarangani Bay.
He explained fishermen use "lagtang" to poison the small fishes, which are then used as bait for the bigger ones. It is said to reduce by half the time fishermen spend at sea to fish.
Although “lagtang” does not seem to pose any health risk to humans, it threatens various tuna species that use Sarangani Bay as spawning ground, said Ambutong.
The use of "lagtang" is prohibited under the Fisheries Code and subject to penalties such as seizure of the fishing boat carrying "lagtang" and a fine of at least P2,500 for the fisherman or boat operator. AV Estabillo, SunStar Davao, 11/01/04
GenSan expects increased tuna
supply with improved port
The $26-million port improvement project will allow bigger vessels to dock at the General Santos Fish Port Complex, double cold storage capacity to 3,000 tons, and create 2,000 jobs. JL Mayuga, Today. 11.27.04
Study detects high phosphate levels
in waters off Pangasinan
Westley Rosario, head of the National Integrated Fisheries Technology and Development Center (NIFTDC) of the BFAR, said phosphate accumulation could trigger fish kill, which has already resulted in losses running up to millions of pesos in the province. Pangasinan was last hit by fish kill in July 2004.
In its study, the NIFTDC detected high levels of phosphate in the waters of at least eight coastal villages of Dagupan, namely, Lucao, Lasip Grande, Salapingao, Pugaro, Bonuan Sabangan, Calamiong, Dawel-Bonuan Catacdang and Mamalingling. Three villages in Binmaley were also affected: Camaley, Manat and Gayaman. BE Otadoy, Sun.Star, 11.30.04. Full story
Fishers oppose plan for Talisay
Results of a survey by the Planning and Development Department and Technical Services Department last September indicated that the volume of fish production of the city is estimated at about seven metric tons, enough for a fish port, said PFDA general Manager Petronilo Buendia.
But this catch is directly unloaded to Pasil Market. G Ocampo, SunStar, 11.15.04
All must help preserve biodiversity
"Biological diversity is one of the pillars of life. It stabilizes the Earth's climate and renews soil fertility. It provides millions of people with livelihoods, helps to ensure food security, and is a rich source of both traditional medicines and modern pharmaceuticals. It is essential to our efforts to relieve suffering, raise standards of living and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," Mr. Annan said.
Under-appreciated as a resource, biodiversity was also under-appreciated as an issue meriting high-level attention, he told 1,000 participants at the opening of the five-day UN International Conference on Biological Diversity, or Biodiversity 2005."
"I… call on those Governments that have not yet done so to ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Biosafety Protocol. These instruments and the processes they have set in motion are crucial for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources," he said.
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) said in its 2004 Global Species Assessment that in the best-known taxonomic groups, 12 per cent of all bird species, 23 per cent of all mammal species, 32 per cent of all amphibians and 34 per cent of all gymnosperms were being threatened with extinction.
Large-scale forces shape local
ocean life, global study shows
Jon Witman, associate professor of biology at Brown, believes that local interactions, such as storms and predators, still exert a strong influence on biodiversity, but he now sees that regional forces are critical to maintaining species variation. These large-scale influences include currents that disperse larvae across hundreds of miles or the creation of new species caused by geological upheaval and biotic isolation millions of years ago. Global warming and pollution are other regional forces that can impact local diversity.
“The work is a wake-up call,” Witman said. “We need to think about regional processes if we want to preserve biodiversity.”
Witman said results from the project, published in the current early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have implications for conservation efforts.
Governments or non-profits interested in maintaining biodiversity in the ocean – or on land – shouldn’t simply create single preserves or parks. Instead, Witman said, they should create as many as possible across a broad area. Of particular importance, he said, is safeguarding “source areas” for high biodiversity that act as wellsprings of eggs, seeds or vital nutrients or that provide important habitat for critical species. While scientists know that tropical coral reefs and the Amazon rainforest act as source areas, Witman said more areas must be identified. “This is particularly true in the marine environment,” he said. “We don’t know much about source pools. We need a lot more research in this area.” Full story
World must act now to forestall
staggering threat from global warming -- UN
"With these facts before us, we need, more than ever before, a concerted and renewed international efforts to combat the climate change problem," Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a statement citing a newly released report by an international team of 300 scientists.
The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), an unprecedented four-year scientific study, confirms earlier worrying research on global warming. Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are projected to contribute to additional warming of 3 to 9 degrees over the next 100 years and developing countries will suffer most.
The ACIA predicts that Arctic vegetation zones and animal species will be affected.
Retreating sea ice is expected to reduce the habitat for polar bears, walrus, ice-inhabiting seals and marine birds, threatening some species with extinction. Such changes will also affect many indigenous communities who depend on such animals, not only for food, but also as the basis for cultural and social identity.
Beyond the region, as Arctic glaciers melt and the permafrost thaws, developing countries with limited means to adapt to environmental change will suffer most.
Global assessment of corals finds
bad news, good news, looming threats
"The news is mixed for the world's coral reefs," said Clive Wilkinson, coordinator of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and lead author of the assessment. "We're happy to report that almost half of the reefs severely damaged by coral bleaching in 1998 are recovering, but other reefs are so badly damaged that they are unrecognizable as coral reefs."
The report found that 20 percent of the world's coral reefs "have been effectively destroyed and show few prospects of recovery." The most damaged reefs are in the Persian Gulf where 65 percent have been destroyed, followed by reefs in South and Southeast Asia where 45 and 38 percent, respectively, are considered destroyed. There are also recent reports that many reefs in the wider Caribbean have lost 80% of their corals.
International Commission adopts
US proposal for shark finning ban
After a week of deliberations, ICCAT adopted the U.S. proposal to ban the wasteful practice of shark finning – slicing the fin off the shark and discarding the carcass to save space on a fishing vessel. The United States has long condemned shark finning, which threatens future food security in many countries as well as the delicate balance of marine ecosystems. The United States banned finning in the Atlantic in 1993, and this binding agreement will require other countries fishing in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean to do the same.
This historic agreement comes just days after the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution urging nations to work together through regional fisheries management organizations to manage sharks. The ICCAT agreement includes adoption of additional shark management practices already in place in the United States, such as data collection on catches of sharks, research on shark nursery areas and a provision to encourage the release of live sharks, especially juveniles. Co-sponsors of the shark proposal included Canada, the European Community, Japan, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.
UN agency draws up guidelines
to avoid killing endangered turtles in fishing
The guidelines will be based on recommendations drawn up by a group of 28 countries and FAO at a technical meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, organized in December 2004 by the agency's Fisheries Department.
The FAO will begin producing bi-annual reports to provide updates on the status of sea turtles stocks as well as on progress in reducing fisheries-related impacts on turtles. It will also assist governments in assessing sea turtle-fisheries interactions and putting appropriate management measures in place – with a special focus on assisting developing countries, which often lack the technical capacity or financial resources needed to undertake this work.
The Bangkok meeting discussed the use new kinds of fishing gear to prevent so-called by-catch. The turtle stocks most affected by long-line fishing are loggerheads in the north and south Pacific, leatherbacks in the eastern Pacific, and loggerhead and green turtles in the Mediterranean. A number of simple measures have already proven helpful, such as replacing traditional j-style hooks with circle hooks, which are not easily swallowed by turtles. More careful selection of bait to avoid those favored by turtles and greater attention to the depth at which hooks are set can also help.
Closer to shore, the group recommended that countries use Turtle Excluder Devices in all bottom trawl shrimp fisheries where significant encounters with endangered sea turtles are known to occur, and that more information be collected on interactions with other types of coastal gear like gillnets, for which information is still very poor.
For purse seine fishing, the group said that practices should be altered where necessary - for example, boats should avoid encircling turtles.
These small changes to accommodate fishing with turtle behaviour can go a long way to reducing by-catch without adversely affecting fishers' livelihoods. FAO estimates that world-wide, some 38 million people receive direct employment or income from fisheries and aquaculture.
Scientists warn of undetected,
unmeasured toxins in world's fish
The problem is that authorities are caught between wanting to inform the public while not damaging consumer confidence in a healthy food source, says Sandrine Blanchemanche, a sociologist with France's prestigious National Institute for Agronomic Studies.
But marine biologists, toxicologists and physicians interviewed by The Associated Press on three continents share an all but unanimous view: better public knowledge is essential.
Jane Hightower, a San Francisco internist whose 2002 study of mercury in her patients brought the issue to wide public attention, said she is still uncovering what she calls shocking new evidence. She called some areas especially troubling because of contamination trapped by ocean currents. "The Mediterranean is a toilet that no one has bothered to flush," Hightower said.
The crisis transcends borders. Three-quarters of fish eaten in America and Europe are imported, often from countries with no controls. Authorities on both sides of the Atlantic make only minimal spot checks.
"Pollution is a worldwide problem, and our fish comes from around the world," said Kate Mahaffey, toxins expert at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "No one is immune."
With contaminants in fish, she warned, "there is a very narrow range between levels with no effects, subtle effects and severe effects." Mort Rosenblum, Associated Press Full story
Study seeks genetic shortcut to
breeding super-healthy salmon
The three-year project is one of several seeking ways to counter amoebic gill disease (AGD), a significant health problem for Tasmania's $150 million Atlantic salmon industry. It is a project within Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Food Futures Flagship initiative and is funded by the Aquafin Cooperative Research Centre and the Australian Government through the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and supported by industry.
Fish infected with AGD are safe to eat, but they lose condition and must be bathed in freshwater to detach the amoeba from their gills. AGD costs the industry an estimated $15 million annually in treatment and lost productivity. James Wynne, a PhD student with CSIRO and the School of Aquaculture, University of Tasmania, last year studied a group of genes known to influence the immune response in Atlantic salmon.
In this project he will further explore these and other genes with the aim of identifying variations in the genes of individual fish that make them more or less resistant to AGD.
CITES announces reduction in 2004
beluga caviar quota
"The Caspian states have agreed to reduce substantially their caviar exports this year. They have achieved these reductions through adjustments to the total harvest of sturgeons and through an increase in the amount of harvested sturgeons devoted to hatchery conservation programs," said Jim Armstrong, CITES deputy secretary general. "The new approach agreed here gives the governments a strong economic stake in tackling illegal fishing. As the illegal trade declines, legal exports - and thus government earnings - will rise accordingly in future years."
However, environmentalists were critical of the announcement, arguing that the reductions were symbolic because the 2004 fishing season had already all but ended, and that they were also based on 2003 quotas which did not take into account the number of sturgeon taken by illegal fishing. Of greater concern to critics, however, was the fact that CITES agreed to allow any export at all, particularly given its previous stand on the issue.
According to Caviar Emptor, a sturgeon conservation coalition that includes SeaWeb, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the University of Miami's Pew Institute for Ocean Science, CITES had announced just one month previously that the 2004 Caspian caviar trade would remain frozen "until the states fulfilled the obligations of an international sturgeon conservation agreement, including taking illegal fishing into account when setting sustainable fishing levels."
"CITES has flip-flopped under the pressure of heavy lobbying by Caspian states and the caviar industry," said Vikki Spruill, president of SeaWeb. "CITES is on the wrong side of the effort to save the beluga sturgeon and is clearly putting trade first and endangered wildlife last."
Caviar Emptor has called for a long-term ban on the international trade of beluga caviar as a way to protect the beluga sturgeon from extinction. In April 2004, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, acting on a petition by Caviar Emptor, declared beluga sturgeon as "threatened with extinction," thus subjecting it to protections under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Commission establishes largest
ever list of protected areas in the EU
The Natura 2000 network is set up under the EU Birds and Habitats Directive. Being part of Natura 2000 means that the selected areas benefit from legal protection as set out in the Directives. Member states must take all necessary measures to guarantee their conservation and avoid their deterioration. Not all economic activity in the sites is excluded, but Member States must ensure that such activities are carried out in a way which is compatible with the conservation of the habitats and species living there. EUCC Coastal Guide
Rehabilitation of tsunami affected
Restoration of damaged mangroves should be undertaken as part of the post-tsunami rehabilitation process, but FAO does not recommend massive planting of mangroves in areas where they would replace other valuable ecosystems, such as turtle nesting grounds and sea grass beds.
According to FAO, rehabilitation and planting efforts should be undertaken within a larger framework of integrated coastal area management. Management of mangroves and other vegetation is only one component of comprehensive coastal management, which also works to ensure appropriate development of fisheries and aquaculture, agriculture, roads and other infrastructure, industry, tourism and residential living areas.
Mangroves cover an area of around 15 million hectares (or 150 000 sq km) worldwide with close to 40 percent of this area found in the countries affected by the tsunami. As would be expected, mangroves and other coastal forests and trees were adversely affected by the recent tsunami.
The extent of the damage is still not clear and it may take some time before the final impacts are known, since the deposit of silt may clog the pores of the aerial roots of mangroves, and thus suffocate them. Changes in topography, soil salinity and freshwater in-flow from upstream may also adversely affect the mangroves and other coastal forests in the longer term.
"What we do know is that the demand for fuelwood, for wood to rebuild houses and infrastructure and for constructing fishing boats is substantial," said Jim Carle, an FAO expert on plantations.
"This is likely to lead to further pressure on the coastal forests, including mangroves," he said.
According to the most recent FAO assessments, more than 22,000 boats were destroyed in Sri Lanka, 5,264 in Thailand, 2,600 in three districts of Somalia and 1,780 canoes in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam and Nicas Island in Indonesia. Whereas most of the boats in Sri Lanka are made of fibreglass, many of the boats and canoes in other countries were made of wood.
"The role of mangroves in providing coastal protection against the actions of waves, wind and water currents is well known," Mette Løyche Wilkie said. "But the extent to which mangrove green belts contribute to saving lives against large tsunamis, such as the recent one in Asia, depends on several factors."
As widely reported, extensive areas of mangroves can reduce the loss of life and damage caused by tsunamis, but narrow mangrove strips can have limited positive effects, and in some cases the effects can even be negative. Narrow strips of mangroves, when uprooted or snapped off at mid-trunk and swept inland, can cause extensive property and life damage. At least in one reported case in Thailand they have also damaged shallow coral reefs.
"The protective effects of mangroves against tsunamis mainly depend on the scale of the tsunami and the width of the forest and, to a lesser extent, the height, density and species composition," Wilkie said.
New York, 21 Jan 2005 – Beyond the horrific loss of human life, the recent Indian Ocean tsunami extensively damaged Indonesia's coastal environment, causing $675 million in losses to natural habitats and important ecosystem functions, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reported today.
In Aceh and North Sumatra, 25,000 hectares (ha) of mangroves, some 32,000 ha of previously existing coral reefs, and 120 ha of seegrass beds have been damaged, according to a new report which features key contributions from UNEP. The economic loss is valued at $118.2 million, $332.4 million and $2.3 million, respectively.
"These latest findings from just one of the affected countries show that there have been significant consequences for the environment and for the livelihoods of local people as a result of the tsunami," said UNEP chief Klaus Toepfer.
While acknowledging that the terrible human toll of the tsunami must be addressed first, he said, "the recovery and reconstruction process underway must also invest in the environmental capital of natural resources, the forests, mangroves and coral reefs that are nature's buffer to such disasters and their consequences."
Bahrain’s fisheries 'facing oblivion'
The disaster will happen even sooner if the Fasht Al Adhm island housing project goes ahead, near Sitra, he said.
"Bahrain's biggest coral reef is found near this island and any reclamation project would certainly affect fishes breeding in the area," said Mr Al Qaseer.
"Many fishermen also depend on the area for fishing and if it gets destroyed then they will lose their source of income, something which will certainly affect their families and eventually Bahrain's economy."
The commission wants a halt to random reclamation and better protection for coral reefs and other fishing areas, he said. Mohammed Al A’Ali Manama, Gulf Daily News. Full story
Scotland: Fisheries fiscals will
protect the industry
Five procurators-fiscal will be located in key fishing communities around Scotland’s coast and will develop a specialist knowledge of the issues involved in fisheries-protection law and also act as the local contacts for investigators from the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA).
According to the latest statistics, Scotland’s sheriff courts dealt with a total of 48 fishery-related crimes between April to September this year. The cases resulted in a total of £159,750 being imposed in fines, which ranged from £1,000 to £3,600. F. Urquhart Full story
Vietnam licenses project to raise
seafood testing capacity
The project will help to upgrade facilities to test for toxic chemicals in seafood at NAFIQUAVED branches: the port city of Hai Phong in the north, Khanh Hoa and Da Nang city in the central region, and Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho and Ca Mau in the south. Vietnam News Agency
Key UK fishing body contests science on fish stocks
Scientists warn of northern Europe’s
cod stocks nearing extinction
In an annual report, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea said hefty cuts in cod catches were not enough to stop overfishing and that fishing grounds should be shut in certain areas.
"There is still no clear sign that cod stocks in the North Sea, Irish Sea and west of Scotland are making a recovery," ICES General Secretary David Griffith said in a statement.
For the third year running, the Copenhagen-based body has called for a ban on cod fishing. The EU has always rejected this idea on the grounds that this would devastate remote coastal areas that depend on fishing for their community livelihood.
Sardines may prevent toxic gas
eruptions off the California and African Coasts
In an article published in the November issue of Ecology Letters, authors Andrew Bakun and Scarla Weeks compared several areas around the world where strong offshore winds cause an upwelling of nutrients in the ocean and thus a population explosion of phytoplankton, the microscopic plant life that drifts through the ocean. Studying the waters off the coast of Namibia, the scientists report how the resulting overproduction of phytoplankton dies and sinks to the bottom, and how the decaying organic matter releases copious amounts of methane and poisonous “rotten egg” smelling hydrogen sulfide gas.
As methane is 21 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere, the resulting climate change may intensify this upwelling process and open the possibility of even larger and more plentiful eruptions.
One action to help keep this situation from worsening, the authors say, is to avoid the overfishing of sardines, which can devour large quantities of phytoplankton.
“The region in question formerly hosted a large population of sardines that have been overfished,” said Bakun, a member of the Pew Institute and professor of marine biology and fisheries at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “It is at least encouraging that a minor resurgence of sardine abundance coincided with a noticeable temporary hiatus in eruption frequency off Namibia in 2002.”
“This study demonstrates that overfishing one species of fish, such as sardines, can profoundly alter an entire marine ecosystem in ways that may be difficult or impossible to reverse,” says Ellen Pikitch, executive director of the Pew Institute for Ocean Sciences and an expert on fishery science and management.
The paper evaluates 16 areas around the world, including four along the Pacific coast of North America, for the risk of developing these gaseous eruptions. To learn more, visit the Ecology Letters website.
Falling catch may cause NT crab
A commercial operator said closing the fishery during the wet season could destroy the livelihoods of crabbers. Chris Calogeros from Sea King Seafoods noted most people eat crabs from October to December.
He said if the Territory cannot catch crabs, clients will look elsewhere for product - possibly overseas. ABC News
Alaska -- New crab fishery management
The proposed rule is available at www.fakr.noaa.gov/prules/fr63200.pdf, Managers hope to have the program, called "crab rationalization," in place for the fall 2005 crab fisheries.
"Clean" fishing threatens
extinctions in Pacific
The report comes at the time when the UN is considering action on destructive fishing techniques and in advance of another UN meeting later this month to reduce the threat to sea turtles by industrial fishing. "Longlining, touted as a benign fishing method, is literally wiping out the lions and tigers of the oceans-sharks, tunas and marine mammals. The problem is no longer limited to just sea turtles," warns Robert Ovetz, PhD, Save the Leatherback Campaign Coordinator. "The UN has said destructive fishing methods should be banned. Now is the time to walk the walk and ban longlining in the Pacific."
Most threatened by industrial longlines is the endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle, which is expected to become extinct within the next 5-30 years if the decline in its adult population is not halted. The population of adult nesting females has declined by about 95 percent since 1980.
In order to prevent the extinction of the 100 million year old leatherback, according to scientist Dr. Larry Crowder of the Duke University in the United States, "wherever fishing occurs, the bycatch of leatherbacks must be reduced to as close as possible to zero."
More than 600 international scientists from 54 countries, including biologist E.O. Wilson and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle, have signed a petition to the UN urging it to impose a moratorium on longline fishing in the Pacific.
For a copy of the report go to: www.seaturtles.org/pdf/Pillaging.5.final.pdf
Using economic incentives to conserve
CITES-listed species: A scoping study on ITQs for sturgeon in the
To order go to http://www.earthprint.com.
Marine Reserves: A Guide to Science,
Design and Use
“Turning the Tide”: British Royal
Commission report sees in huge no-fishing zones only hope to save
fish-stocks from disaster
The report (420 pages) and a summary (30 pages) are available at: http://www.rcep.org.uk/fishreport.htm