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Tag archives for overfishing

Reframing Ocean Conservation in this Post-Election Era

Given the election, it seems wise to relinquish expectations of US federal leadership on ocean or climate policy. Our anti-science (among other deeply concerning antis) president-elect and his appointees have sent clear signals about their disregard for our environment and the ethos of sustainability. Yet, a healthy ocean is critical to food security, a stable…

Ross Sea MPA creation means the last pristine place in the ocean is finally protected

The pursuit to establish a marine protected area in Antarctica brought me to the Ross Sea four times. It brought my wife, and eventually my daughter, whom we named after a penguin. – John Weller

Spectacularity—While it lasts

The high Arctic is—well, it’s cold. It’s the Arctic after all. And we are very far north. Far north of Iceland, way up at 78º N and way north of Norway, in the waters around an astonishing group of rock-and-ice islands known as Svalbard. Greenpeace has invited me to join them for a while on…

High in the Arctic up-close with a mega-fishing trawler

I’m in the high Arctic in the waters of Svalbard, north of Norway, at 78º North Latitude in early July. For a few days I’m a guest aboard Greenpeace’s ship Arctic Sunrise. Bundled in clothes that I hope will keep me dry and maybe even warm, I’m at a doorway that opens straight to the…

Ascension: Halfway to the Atlantic’s largest marine reserve

    By Charles Clover, Executive Director, Blue Marine Foundation     On the morning of Sunday 3 January 2016, the world woke to the news that the British government was proposing to create a “marine reserve nearly the size of the United Kingdom” in the tropical Atlantic around the island of Ascension. It was a…

Can Congress Deliver Happy Days for Fish, Fishermen?

To give you a break from the onslaught of 2015 year-in-review stories, let’s test your memory of a bygone era. Can you pinpoint the year that: “Happy Days” was the most popular television show? A gallon of gas cost 59 cents? “Rocky” won the Oscar for best film? The U.S. Navy tested the Tomahawk cruise…

Top 15 Ocean Conservation Wins of 2015

Overfishing, climate change, habitat destruction, and pollution remain major threats to the world’s ocean. But amidst all that there is some seriously good ocean conservation news worth celebrating. So, to continue the tradition started last year with listing 14 Ocean Conservation Wins of 2014, here’s a rundown for 2015 that will hopefully fill you with…

6 Lessons for Effective Science-based Ocean Conservation

Ocean conservation is hard. You fight the challenges of “out of sight, out of mind,” of largely unregulated high seas, and of waters so vast people find it hard to believe humans could actually overfish it (or as the saying goes in Jamaica, “fish can’t done”). The ocean is indeed in deep deep trouble due…

How Hosting an Edit-A-Thon Made Me Trust Wikipedia

The academic community has been wary of Wikipedia since it first came on the scene. Teachers have spent a decade warning their students not trust the online encyclopedia, concerned that because anyone can edit it, it might not be reliable. I’ll admit I first approached Wikipedia with caution, using it for quick reference but steering…

Healthy Oceans Require Healthy Policy

By Sylvia Earle Alliance / Mission Blue Our country has been making serious strides in rebuilding some of our most threatened fish species, but key members of Congress are now threatening to undo that progress and take us in the other direction. Luckily, we all have the opportunity to fight back. Over the last several…

What’s happened to all the striped bass?

Some people jump out of airplanes or go rock climbing for an exhilarating time. For me, it’s chasing striped bass—big, powerful, and beautiful. I always feel a rush of excitement as my fishing line goes screaming off the reel once a large bass takes my lure, knowing that while adult bass in the ocean typically…

Protected No Longer? Desperate Fisheries Managers Want to Open Closed Areas.

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown By the early 1990’s, decades of heavy fishing had depleted several of New England’s important fish species, including cod, haddock, pollock and flounders (collectively referred to as ‘groundfish’). Fishermen had been catching fish faster than they could reproduce and had degraded fish habitats by dragging nets. To help rebuild New…

Saving our Coral Reefs From the Bottom Up

From Jensi Sartin of the Reef Check Foundation: The beauty of the Caribbean reefs have been a tourist attraction for decades, if not centuries. They teem with life, holding an amazing variety of fantastical fish and other sea creatures. But at the current rate, Caribbean reefs will be lost within 20 years. Worse, the damage is largely the result of our own actions.

This dire news comes from the Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, an extensive report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The report explains that the direct threats from overfishing and land-based pollution are combining dramatically with the longer term effects of climate change to destroy a vital natural resource that lies just a short flight from the United States.

Busting Indonesia’s Manta Gill Trade

Worth up to US$30 million a year, the global trade in manta ray gills depends on the industry traders for its survival. The recent arrest of a major Indonesian trader in manta ray gills marks the first time in the country’s history that anyone has been brought to justice in a case of marine conservation. It’s also proof of the determination of Indonesian authorities to stamp out the killing of one of the country’s most serene and majestic species; one that attracts US$ 140 million dollars every year in global tourism. Text and photos by Paul Hilton.

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.