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Tag archives for fisheries

The Coral Triangle: Amazon of the Oceans

Home to over three quarters of the world’s coral species, The Coral Triangle is the underwater equivalent of the Amazon. It encompasses an area half the size of the United States and harbours more marine species than anywhere else on the planet. From Borneo down to the edge of the South Pacific, the Coral Triangle has some of the most breathtaking underwater landscapes, but the majority are buckling under the pressures of overfishing, resource extraction and climate change. Text and Photos by iLCP Fellow James Morgan.

Transforming Indonesia’s Manta Fisheries

Indonesia announced the creation of the world’s largest manta sanctuary in February 2014. It encompasses a massive 6 million square kilometers of ocean, affording full protection for Oceanic and Reef Manta Rays. This was a bold move, especially considering that Indonesia historically has been the world’s largest fisher of manta rays and sharks. But this new declaration raises an obvious question – how will Indonesia make such a regulation effective? Text and photos by iLCP Fellow Shawn Heinrichs.

The Global Status of Sharks

Hunter S. Thompson once wrote “It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.” While he was talking about piracy and salvage in the Florida Keys, there is an ecological attractiveness in this statement that…

Climate Change Already Having Profound Impacts on Lakes in Europe

For perspective on how climate change is affecting lakes, those of us here in the U.S. can just look across the pond, where scientists and the agencies involved in meeting the European Union’s Water Framework Directive have amassed an impressive body of research on the topic. Not only are extreme weather events such as droughts…

Local Leaders Restoring Fishing Economy and Ocean Health

By: Michael Bell, Oceans Program Director, The Nature Conservancy in California The best way to protect our oceans is by empowering local communities and fishermen that have the most to gain from sustainable fisheries.  The Nature Conservancy and its partners have tested this theory by partnering with local fishing communities to take charge of the waters…

To Save Coral Reefs, Start With Parrotfish

  Coral reefs are very complex ecosystems, but luckily managing them sustainably is not. Simply don’t catch fish faster than they reproduce, don’t damage the corals or pollute the water, reduce atmospheric CO2, and protect some areas as marine reserves. That’s easier said than done, and it’s not news. What is new is that an…

Healthy Seas and Healthy Communities: The People of Honduras’ Mesoamerican Reef

International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) Fellow Karen Kasmauski travels to the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras with partners from the Centro de Estudios Marinos Honduras (CEM). The region is part of the Mesoamerican Reef, a marine region extending along the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. Ecological pressures to the area, including population, overfishing, pollution and climate change have affected the reef. These pressures have stressed fishing communities all along the coast of these Central American countries. Fishermen have to stay out longer and travel farther to match the number of fish caught in previous years.

Recognizing World Fish Migration Day in the Amazon’s Waters

The Amazon basin—with its vast rainforests and river systems—is the most bio-diverse place on earth and, not surprisingly, a region rich in discovery. Newly described plant and animal species are a frequent occurrence. The recent video documentation of a newly discovered fish migration is a much rarer event and particularly noteworthy this weekend as we celebrate World Fish Migration Day, a one-day global initiative to boost awareness of the importance of open rivers and migratory fish.

Overfishing Remains Biggest Threat to Mediterranean, Study Confirms

Marine Ecologist Enric Sala says a new study produced by a dozen researchers confirms that the Mediterranean is on a trajectory to become a sea dominated by small tropical species that no one likes to eat. “Fishes will not be abundant, and the native species that the Greeks and Romans started to fish commercially will be rare — and most fisheries and the jobs they support will collapse,” he says. But this could change “if we stop all the irrational overfishing,” Sala adds, “including both legal and illegal fishing, and protect a large chunk of the Mediterranean. Without these radical changes, we’re just going to reduce the Mediterranean Sea to a soup of microbes and jellyfish.”

Catastrophic Landslides on Antipodes Island

This recent Austral (southern hemisphere) summer a team of researchers continued their annual Antipodean albatross monitoring. The Antipodean wandering albatross (Diomedea antipodensis) is only found on Antipodes Island, and is a close relative of the Gibson’s wandering albatross found on nearby Adams Island. This monitoring work has been going on for 20 years and has…

Financing Sustainable Fisheries With Impact Investments

Impact IQ — What’s good for the fish is good for the fishing communities — and for impact investors. That’s the thesis of three new vehicles for investing in sustainable fisheries that will be tested in the Philippines, Chile, and Brazil over the next two years and then offered to investors more broadly. Former New York City…

European Union Fisheries Ban Ignores Belize Conservation Success Story

In its coastal fisheries, Belize is leading the way in innovative management strategies designed to preserve biodiversity in a manner that keeps fishermen on the water and focused on the long-term sustainability of fish stocks. Future generations of Belizeans will be able to carry on their rich fishing traditions thanks to the decisions, at times quite difficult, being made right now.

Can Behavioral Economics Help Save Coral Reefs and Fisheries?

It’s not that people don’t care about the environment; it’s that more pressing needs like feeding their families and paying their bills trump environmental concerns. As a marine biologist, I worry about how poverty can hinder the sustainability of fishing, and therefore endanger the future of fishing communities. The “teach a man to fish” adage can only hold…

Tackling Overfishing on Many Fronts

As the World Ocean Summit winds down in Half Moon Bay, California, this evening, much discussion among the hundreds of gathered delegates has turned to overfishing.  There were perhaps as many thoughts on the subject as members in attendance from the fishing industry, academia, conservation organizations, and the media. But, several solutions emerged that received…

Can World Leaders Tame the Wild West of the High Seas?

Earlier this month, Indonesia announced the world’s largest sanctuary for manta rays. At the World Ocean Summit Tuesday, Peter Seligmann, the CEO of Conservation International, said the sanctuary “was not done out of good will, it was done out of enlightened self interest.” Seligmann said Indonesia had made careful calculations about how much manta rays…