fishing tagged posts

Traditional Fishers—The Unsung Heroes Of Ocean Conservation

Ocean conservation has too long marginalized the very people best placed to lead the most powerful change: traditional fishing communities. Alasdair Harris, founder of Blue Ventures, talks to Ashoka’s Pip Wheaton, about how empowering the people who know the ecosystems best provides a myriad of benefits – to their communities, to food systems, and to our fight against climate change.

Philippa Wheaton: What role do traditional fishers play in climate adaptation and mitigation?

Alasdair Harris: If we look at the issue of climate break down and mass extinction, we quickly see that we’re changing our environment, on land and in the water, in ways that our species have never experienced...

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Discarded Fishing Gear is a Major Source of Ocean Pollution

plastic fishing gear is the scourge of our oceans

Discarded nets, lines and other fishing gear make up a significant portion of plastics polluting the world’s oceans, according to a new report from Greenpeace. The report on so-called “ghost gear” says such debris makes up about 10% of all plastic pollution in oceans, and in some areas accounts for the majority of large plastic waste at sea.

The fishing industry has turned to using more gear made of plastic in recent decades because it is lighter and cheaper, according to the report.

“The impact of abandoned or lost fishing gear has increased dramatically as the industry has switched from natural fibers, ceramic pots and wood buoys to plastic,” John Hocevar, Oceans Campaign Director for Greenpeace USA, said in an article on the organization’s website...

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Little fish, big worry

Menhaden fish

A big decision about the future of a little fish is attracting the attention of ocean conservation groups who say they are concerned about whether menhaden fishing can be considered sustainable. Industry players are petitioning the London-based Marine Stewardship Council to offer its well-known sustainability certification to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico fisheries for menhaden, a small schooling fish that plays a vital role in the ocean food web.

But menhaden is a little different than many of the species verified by the council, which mostly certifies food fish that are well-known to consumers, such as tuna and sole. Menhaden isn’t served in restaurants or seafood counters — it’s used for products such as fish oil, pet food, aquaculture feed and bait.

It’s also the subject...

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Fisher folk key to marine conservation

Fisherman in the Phillippines

Conserving the country’s precious marine resources begins with showing fisher folk that protecting natural habitats will redound to more money for them, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines).

“Local communities are the delivery systems of conservation,” WWF-Philippines vice chair and chief executive officer Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan said at the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Philippines Forum in Makati City on Wednesday.

He stressed the importance not only of promoting sustainable livelihood for coastline communities but of showing fisher folk that they can earn good profits through sound business practices.

“By delivering bottom-line results that not only provide livelihood but create wealth, we exert a profound influence on sustainably transforming systems an...

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Landmark ruling to reallocate fishing rights

Fishing Boat

Small-scale fishermen celebrated a landmark victory over industrial scale fishing on Wednedsay, when the high court in London ruled that fishing quotas could be redistributed by the government in favour of smaller vessels. This leaves the government free to reallocate valuable fishing rights, that have been unused or under-used by the big trawling vessels to which they were originally assigned, to smaller boats. Small scale fishermen argue that their fishing efforts are more environmentally friendly than those of larger industrial scale vessels, and support more jobs at hard-pressed UK ports.

The judgement, following a lengthy legal battle, is the first time this principle has been established in English law...

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