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Long Live the Mangroves!
USA - The Blue Green Hand Society (BGHS) is a college-based club that started out in the year 2011. Our main goal revolves around environmental and community service. We began with a total of six members and all were the officers. After recruiting a handful of members, we began planning out volunteer activities. We searched for causes that we were most passionate about. Before we knew it, we went from planning campus cleanups to having an entire week devoted to the Mangrove Action Project (MAP). BGHS hosted MAP week during Earth Week this year and raised a hundred and forty dollars for the project. Most students did not even know what mangroves were but after a brief introduction, students were coming back with comments such as, “I asked the people at the restaurant if my shrimp was imported. I told them that I was concerned about the mangroves.” After a week of fundraising and raising awareness, students and professors felt more informed about the current status and the of mangroves. These were some of the thoughts compiled from students after learning about why we need to save the mangroves . . . READ MORE
New Mangrove Training Course Launch
KENYA - A new short mangrove ecology training course (10 days) is being offered in Kenya in Dec. 2013 for candidates from Western Indian Ocean and East African region which is modeled on the course which has been held at Annamalai University, India since 2004. The course is run by the United Nations University's (UNU) Institute for Water, Environment & Health (INWEH). Deadline is Sept.15, 2013 CLICK FOR MORE INFO
Task force to counter US shrimp duty
Editors note – The following story highlights some of the issues surrounding the complexity of farmed shrimp and commerce – please see our LAST WORD below for comments from one of those effected by the actions.
MALAYSIA - The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) together with Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), and industry association have formed a special taskforce to tackle the recently announced 54.5% that the US is imposing on shrimp imports from Malaysia, the highest among five exporter countries affected by Washington's move. "The special taskforce will counter the allegations made by the petitioner and provide appropriate responses to the questionnaire provided by the US Department of Commerce (US DOC)," the anti dumping division of MITI said in an email reply to SunBiz. According to MITI, the Ministry of Agriculture is the lead agency for the case. MOA comments were not available as at press time. The US announced last Tuesday that it was imposing anti-subsidy duties on shrimps from Malaysia and four other countries following the completion of an investigation into seven exporter countries. The investigation was launched following complaints made by a grouping US shrimp producers and packagers grouping, the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries. READ MORE
Indonesian shrimp production predicted to rise
INDONESIA – The Maritime and Fishery Ministry has set the country`s shrimp production target at 608,000 tons this year, a sharp increase from 415,703 tons in 2012. The country`s shrimp production has continued to climb, fish breeding director general Slamet Soebjakto has said. In 2012, the production rose 4 percent from the previous year, Slamet said in a shrimp production acceleration meeting here on Tuesday. He said the target was based on production which already reached 320,000 tons in the first half of the year. Producers would be boosted by the rise in prices as a result of growing demand in the world market, he said. He said Indonesia has greater potential to increase production compared with other rivals especially in southeast Asia. The country has 1.2 million hectares of potential areas for shrimp breeding with effective potency of 773,000 hectares, he said. The potentials could make the country the world`s largest shrimp producer and exporter, he added. The opportunity is wider with the outbreak of EMS (Early Mortality Syndrome) in a number of other producers in Asia such as Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, he said. The pilot project of shrimp ponds developed since 2012 in six regencies in northern coast of West Java, and Banten, would be expanded this year to 28 regencies in 6 provinces -- Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara and Lampung. READ MORE
Baltimore researchers turn carnivorous fish into vegetarians
USA - Cobia is a sleek and powerful fish that devours flesh and doesn’t apologize for it. Open its belly and anything might pop out — crab, squid, smaller fish, you name it. Recently, three Baltimore researchers — Aaron Watson, Frederic Barrows and Allen Place — set out to tame this wild and hungry fish sometimes called black salmon. They didn’t want to simply domesticate it; hundreds of fish farmers have already done that. They sought to turn one of the ocean’s greediest carnivores into a vegetarian. The researchers announced that they pulled off the feat at a laboratory in the Columbus Center in downtown Baltimore. Over the course of a four-year study, Watson said, they dabbled with mixtures of plant-based proteins, fatty acids and a powerful amino acid-like substance found in energy drinks until they came up with a combination that cobia and another popular farm fish, gilt-head bream, gobbled down. The conversion of these carnivorous fish to a completely vegetarian diet is a first, according to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and a key to breaking a cycle in which the ocean’s stocks of small fish — menhaden, anchovies and sardines — are plundered by industrial fishing partly to provide fish feed to aquaculture, one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in the world. READ MORE
US certifies Mexican shrimp imports
MEXICO - The U.S. government has certified that the programs implemented by Mexico's shrimp industry to protect sea turtles are acceptable, opening the way for shrimp fishermen to continue exporting their catch to the United States, the Mexican Agriculture Secretariat said. Mexico's shrimp industry exported 26,182 tons of the crustaceans, including both shrimp caught in the wild and shrimp grown on farms, to the United States in 2012, generating $251 million in revenues, the secretariat said. The U.S. State Department announced on July 26 that Mexico had taken the necessary measures to reduce the incidental capture of sea turtles by fishing boats. READ MORE
Brazil's artisanal fishers denounce privatization of public waters for aquaculture
BRAZIL – The Movement of Brazilian Artisanal Men and Women Fishworkers (MPP) has denounced the privatization by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA) of public water bodies for aquaculture. Reports from Brazil inform that the MPA has opened a bidding process for interested parties to apply for aquaculture concessions in areas of water in Pernambuco Bay, Parana State and the States of Goias and Rio de Janeiro (Public Tenders Nos 11/2013- 12/2013-13/2013-14/2013). The MPP accuse the MPA of ignoring and undermining artisanal fisheries. In an open letter the MPP states that the prospects for traditional fishing communities have been set back by the lack of development policies for regenerating artisanal fisheries, whilst men and women fishers have been criminalized. The entire thrust of the MPA say the MPP has been towards promoting aqua-business, initially for the cultivation of shrimp, and now for the transfer of waters to develop mariculture and aquaculture projects for the intensive cultivation mainly of tilapia and beijupira (cobia or Rachycentrom canadum). READ MORE
Seattle Against Slavery hosts human rights talk
USA – Tuesday, August 13th we were privileged to talk to a panel of great people about ways we can fight slavery simply with our buying decisions. We heard from Lisa Pau of the Mangrove Action Project. She spoke to us about shrimp. Chances are slaves were involved in the capture and shipping of the shrimp being sold in most grocery stores or restaurants. People are routinely kidnapped from their homes or coerced into working on shrimping boats for little or no pay. They are tortured, abused and sometimes even murdered. As a consumer you should ask where your shrimp came from. Ask your waiter before ordering shrimp or ask your fishmonger at the grocery store. READ MORE
Aquaculture cause rapid local sea-level rise
Note from MAP's Exec Dir: Whether you are involved in salmon, shellfish or shrimp farm issues, we have yet another important issue to shine a light on- land subsidence. Twenty years ago, I remember land subsidence was mentioned in articles as a major problem in Taiwan, where an overzealous shrimp farm industry self-imploded in the late 1980's because of rampant pollution, shrimp diseases and land subsidence. Since then, this issue of subsidence has gone incognito, but it is now coming back to the surface tied to climate change and sea level rise. This is really something needing further publicizing as further proof that open-system, industrial aquaculture should truly become a thing of the past, retired forever as the antiquated and dilapidated system it surely has become!
USA - Groundwater extraction for fish farms can cause land to sink at rates of a quarter-meter a year, according to a study of China’s Yellow River delta. The subsidence is causing local sea levels to rise nearly 100 times faster than the global average. Global sea levels are rising at about 3 millimeters a year owing to warming waters and melting ice. But some places are seeing a much faster rise — mainly because of sinking land. Bangkok dropped by as much as 12 centimeters a year in the 1980s thanks to groundwater pumping. The researchers found that parts of the Yellow River delta are dropping by up to 25 centimeters a year, probably because of groundwater extraction for onshore fish tanks. The link between aquaculture and subsidence has attracted little international notice. “This is a new one on me,” says Stephen Brown, a fisheries scientist at the US National Marine Fisheries Service in Silver Spring, Maryland. “We are concerned about the effect of sea-level rise on fish; not the other way around,” he says. Subsidence was not mentioned in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2012 report on the state of world aquaculture, says Stephanie Higgins, a PhD geology student at the University of Colorado Boulder who led the study. “This is not yet on the industry’s radar, but it should be,” she says. READ MORE
The rights of nature following the end of the petroleum moratorium in Amazonia
ECUADOR - One of the most original environmental initiatives in recent years, coming from Ecuador, sought to leave oil in the ground to preserve the Amazonia and its indigenous peoples. It was an idea emerging from civil society that took on concrete form in 2007, under the first government of Rafael Correa, and was centred on protecting the Yasuní National Park and its adjacent areas (known by the abbreviation ITT). These efforts ended a few days ago, when the government announced the cancellation of this initiative and opened the way for petroleum exploitation. The idea of a petroleum moratorium in Yasuní-ITT grew to maturity over many years, but was founded on an exceptional framework in the system of rights approved in the new Constitution of 2008. This Constitution envisaged a better organization of the rights to quality of life of persons, the regulation of the use of natural resources and safeguards for indigenous peoples. In parallel with these features, for the first time the rights of Nature or of the Pachamama were recognized. In this way a constitutional ecological mandate was established, which if complied with, would not allow activities with such impacts as oil exploitation in Yasuní-ITT. READ MORE
Fishworkers' journal features Mangroves and Markets project
NETHERLANDS - The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) published an article on the SNV Stichting Nederlandse Vrijwilligers (Foundation of Netherlands Volunteers) Mangroves and Markets project (MAM) in its triannual journal SAMUDRA. The article is entitled "Depending on Mangroves: Integrated shrimp-mangrove farming systems offer a solution for protecting mangroves and improving livelihoods in Vietnam". The SNV Mangroves and Markets project is a BMU/IUCN funded inititative conducted in Ca Mau province, located in the Mekong Delta. The SNV Mangroves and Markets project (MAM) aims to reduce the pressure on the mangrove areas by working with local authorities, companies and farmers to introduce economic incentives for sustainable use and stronger protection. The project will work the Nhung Mien Forest Management Area. READ MORE
UN set to predict drowning of coastal cities by 2100
SWEDEN – A leaden cloak of responsibility lies on the shoulders of UN scientists as they put the final touches to the first volume of a massive report that will give the world the most detailed picture yet of climate change. Due to be unveiled in Stockholm on September 27, the document will be scrutinized word by word by green groups, fossil-fuel lobbies and governments to see if it will yank climate change out of prolonged political limbo. The report will kick off the fifth assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an expert body set up in 1988 to provide neutral advice on global warming and its impacts. Six years ago, the IPCC's fourth assessment report unleashed a megawatt jolt of awareness. It declared that the planet was warming, that this was already starting to affect Earth's climate system and biosphere, and that there was overwhelming evidence that humans, especially by burning coal, gas and oil, were the cause. It earned the IPCC a share in the Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice president Al Gore and stoked momentum that led to the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen, the biggest summit in UN history. READ MORE
Please see the latest news article regarding the US imposing shrimp duty and Malaysia's counteraction. Towards the end of the article is stated the approved and ongoing large shrimp farming projects, which we have been fighting. As for the one proposal in Penaga, Penang posed by me a couple of weeks ago, the State denies that there is such a proposal. We will compile information on this and let you know if an online petition to the government would be appropriate.
Thank you and regards from us in Malaysia.
(Consumers' Association of Penang & Sahabat Alam (FoE) Malaysia)
~ WE WELOCME YOUR LETTERS - If you’d like to have the last word on this or any other mangrove related topic, please send us your submission for upcoming newsletters. We’ll choose one per issue to have “the last word”. While we can’t promise to publish everyone’s letter, we do encourage anyone to post comments on our Blog at www. mangroveactionproject.blogspot.com
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|Mangrove Action Project|
Saturday, August 31, 2013
MAP News Issue 322, August 31, 2013
Posted by BlogAdmin at 11:08 AM