Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.
The MAP News
Volunteer Needed for Mangrove Ecosystem Monitoring Program READ MORE
Editor’s Note – Chandrika Sharma was known to MAP members for her efforts in support of local fisherfolk – We at MAP are saddened at hearing the loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Fisher’s activist among the passengers lost on Malaysian Flight MH370
MALAYSIA - Chandrika Sharma was on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 from Malaysia to Beijing that reportedly crashed into the sea off the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc last week. Nothing is as yet known about the fate of the 239 persons on board. While her family, husband and daughter, were inconsolable and not available for comment, her colleagues recalled her passion for helping the fishing community and her fantastic work ethic. Ms. Sharma was the executive secretary of the International Collective in Support of Fish Workers, based in Chennai. Ms. Sharma has been part of the ICSF since 1998, and active in the area of women in the fishing industry, her colleagues said. She was an invited delegate at the regional conference of the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Mongolia and was on her way to the event when the accident occurred. READ MORE
Mumbai's mangroves are key to urban resiliency
INDIA - Mumbai has 149 kilometers of coastline — an enormous asset but also one of the city's greatest vulnerabilities. After the 2004 tsunami that caused widespread devastation across Southeast Asia, coastal cities began to reevaluate their resiliency in the face of another major storm. Areas that weathered the tsunami best were those with thriving mangroves, a natural buffer between the land and sea. Mangroves protect the "assault of the sea on land," according to the Soonabai Pirojsha Godrej Marine Ecology Centre, which supported the protection of Mumbai's mangroves. The Centre describes these vibrantly diverse ecosystems as "more dynamic than the sea itself." However, the city's natural coastal protector has been under severe threat in recent decades. "It has been estimated that Mumbai lost about 40 percent of its mangrove between 1995 and 2005," says a recent article on the mangroves. The destruction of the rich forest and estuaries started during the British era when the mangroves were being chopped down and filled in to reclaim land. READ MORE
Thai Human Trafficking In Seafood Industry Continues
THAILAND - The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), the nonprofit group that produced a scathing report last year on human trafficking in the Thai fishing industry, has released a new report saying there has been little progress on the issue. The report, "Slavery at Sea: The Continued Plight of Trafficked Migrants in Thailand's Fishing Industry," follows up on the EJF's June 2013 report, "Sold to the Sea," which featured a number of migrant workers from neighboring nations such as Myanmar who told stories of abuse, violence and even murder aboard Thai fishing boats. The new report claims the victims have seen little to no justice in Thai courts, and said the EJF believes Thailand will get a downgrade in trafficking status from the U.S. State Department this summer, which could lead to sanctions and trade bans. READ MORE
A Study Case of the Shrimp Industry
INDONESIA – This study is an interactive process between the shrimp industry (as the nucleus) and the shrimp farmer (as plasma). In this framework, there will be two argumentations which will be used. The first argumentation is that responsibility of the industry is not only seen through the ability of producing good shrimp for the consumer. Besides, the company should be able to answer environment issue and social fairness of the shrimp farmer. Second, the contract farming is a formal document which represents an actual condition between people who is related to the contract. Therefore, the document should have ability to analyze rights, responsibility and profit for each party. DOWNLOAD PAPER
Local group saves dolphin from stranding
INDIA - A dolphin weighing some 300 kilos and measuring more than 6 feet in length was recently discovered stranded in the freshwater river at Kollidam, near Nagapattinam, Tamilnadu, India. A group of local fishermen, along with officials from the Department of Forestry reacted quickly to safely capture the struggling dolphin which had been trying to find its way upstream. Locals say that this type of stranding is very rare. The group helped the dolphin by taking it to the nearby Port of Palayar, where it was successfully reintroduced to the open sea. VIEW SOURCE
EDITOR’S NOTE - The rise of consumption demand in China will be a factor to seriously consider in our efforts to reduce expansion of unsustainable and destructive shrimp aquaculture in other nations in the Global South. We must strategize on how best to meet this newest challenge, for even as we develop campaigns to reduce consumer demand in N. America and Europe, the rise in demand there in China could easily surpass the decline of demand elsewhere. This represents a new "shrimp front" in our defense of the mangroves and the mangrove communities. We should dialogue soon together on how best to meet this newest challenge in unified and effective global response. What will this rapid rise in consumer demand in China mean for the mangroves and the mangrove communities of those nations exporting the farmed shrimp? These producer nations will undoubtedly be expanding their shrimp farm areas to meet this rising demand, further affecting the coastal wetlands where these shrimp farms are sited. This is a great concern!
China shrimp supply, consumption to benefit Ecuador, India
CHINA - The growing dynamics of rising domestic consumption across Asia and a shortage of land in China will see a growing role for third parties like Ecuador and India in supplying world shrimp demand. “Growth in Chinese domestic consumption of shrimp is out-pacing all other markets,” according to seafood veteran Didier Boon, head of Beijing-based East China Seas. Likewise, he said, the shift of large Thai shrimp producers away from farming into value-added areas will limit supply growth and any significant slip in prices. Speaking to SeafoodSource in Beijing, Boon downplayed any chance for a significant rebound in Chinese shrimp output for export in 2014, as long as anti-dumping measures remain in place in the key U.S. market. China’s leading exporter of shrimp has reported record 160 percent increase in retained profits for 2013. Zhanjiang-based Guolian officially reported revenues of CNY 22.08 billion (USD 3.6 billion, EUR 2.6 billion), up 52 percent year-on-year, due to what the firm called a “reduction in global shrimp production” which, it noted, meant the firm had an “excellent” order book through last year. READ MORE
MAP welcomes newest volunteer
Delphine Gébelin is MAP Asia's newest intern, working out of MAP's office in Trang, Thailand. Presently pursuing a masters degree in "Environmental Politics and Sustainable Development" in France, Delphine wanted to enrich her university education by volunteering in a subject that she is famaliar with : mangrove protection. She served an internship in Madagascar for four months, at the Sahamalaza National Park. "My principal mission is to report on the ecological conditions of the mangrove. I will be working with MAP until the end of July in order to improve my knowledge about mangrove situations and coordination and management of environmental projects. I am delighted to be part of the MAP team and I would be very happy to help you if anything is needed," says Delphine.
Port expansion begins with 110,000 seedlings
FLORIDA - A long-awaited expansion of Broward County's Port Everglades will finally get started, but not in the usual way with hammers, nails and steel. The project instead will start this spring with the planting of 70,000 little mangrove plants. By a unanimous vote Tuesday, commissioners agreed to spend $15.7 million on the plantings and hired southwest Broward developer, road builder and trash hauler Ron Bergeron to do it. Expansion of the seaport, one of Broward's main economic engines, requires destruction of healthy mangroves, and that simple fact has entangled growth plans there in controversy and delay. READ MORE
Shellfishing communities blighted by industrial pollution
BRAZIL - Edinilda de Ponto dos Carvalhos, who is in her early fifties, has been a marisqueira, or shellfish fisherwoman, in Suape since she was young. Recently, she says, her work has become much harder. "There's this chemical product in the water. It has no smell, but it kills everything," she says. She believes the pollution comes from the nearby port complex in the Pernambuco state of Brazil, touted as one of the region's main economic engines. Another marisqueira, Valeria Maria de Alcántara, says: "The mud makes you itch, because of the oil and because of the debris that they throw in the sea. It burns the skin." READ MORE
Culture, tradition and a vital space for coastal peoples
HONDURAS - Communities, people and civil society organizations have worked for years to raise the visibility of the significant benefits of the mangrove ecosystem and the importance of its existence. They have fought for the recognition of mangroves as highly productive systems that provide livelihoods and a space for the practice of the cultures and traditions of coastal peoples. “The mangrove is our natural enterprise, it is our employment, it does not ask us for our qualifications or a CV or identification. As long as we are in good health we can cast our nets and harvest our food,” declared Enrique Bonilla, president of COGMANGLAR and a fisherman from Champerico, Guatemala. Today, the former perception of mangroves as mosquito-infested swamps has changed, but the struggle to defend them has become increasingly difficult in the face of the new and aggressive actors threatening their existence and the survival of the peoples and communities who inhabit them, from Latin America to Asia to Africa. READ MORE
‘Mangrove Zone Ecology’ research opportunity announced
USA – MAP board member Robin Lewis III and Laura Flynn of Lewis Environmental Services, Inc. and Coastal Resources Group, Inc. are pleased to announce that they have completed a contribution to the Oxford Bibliographies in Ecology entitled "Mangrove Zone Ecology." Readers can access all the bibliographies for free for the next three months at www.oxfordbibliographies.com, username Gratisuser303, password Onlineaccess303. Enter the term "mangrove" in the search box reach the paper. The bibliography is intended to serve as an authoritative research guide to the most important literature on mangrove ecology similar to a high-level section of an encyclopedia. Students and new researchers in particular will benefit from exposure to listings and descriptions of the older literature on mangrove ecology. READ MORE
Residents Denounce devastation of mangroves in Playa Venao
PANAMA – Denizens of Pedasi, in the province of Los Santos, are concerned about the devastation of more than one hectare of mangrove area in Playa Venao to make way for a residential and tourist project. Local residents reported the existence of a sign in the devastated area indicating that the environmental impact study was approved by the National Environment Authority. According to these people , mangrove species red, black , white and button were cut. Augusto Lopez , a resident of the area, lamented that the Anam approved the environmental impact study despite the fact that the project threatens the ecosystem. READ MORE (en Espanol)
Meet the Island Country That Turned Itself into a Giant Marine Sanctuary
PALAU - The nation of Palau, made up of 250 tropical islands located in the western Pacific Ocean north of Australia, has decided to ban all commercial fishing, declaring the entire region a “100 percent marine sanctuary.” The country, geographically part of the larger island group of Micronesia and with a population of around 21,000, shares maritime boundaries with Indonesia, the Philippines and Micronesia. Palau earlier created the world’s first shark sanctuary, but now that same protection will be extended to all species. READ MORE
Greetings from New Zealand, Hong Kong & Thailand.
As a 'last word' news item, I would like to report that a Major study entitled Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis of Indochina Mangrove Ecosystems was implemented and completed by Sirindhorn International Environment Park Foundation (SIEPF) from 1 July - 31 March, 2013. The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) provided outstanding and welcome support for this courageous project; a project aimed at seeking solutions to mangrove decline, misuse, overuse and destruction in a bold trans boundary strategy embracing 6 countries (Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand & Vietnam). Collectively, these countries border two huge marine ecosystems; the Gulf of Thailand & South China Sea. The theme was to take a macro-level approach to mangrove wise use and restoration. The Consultant Team was led by Dr Don Macintosh and included mangrove experts from countries as diverse as New Zealand and jurisdictions such as Hong Kong. As a scientist from both New Zealand & Hong Kong with long term connections in SE Asia( especially Thailand) I participated at all workshop generated by this TBDA Project, having been invited by the Dep. Gen Manager of SIEPF, Dr Sonjai Havanond.
In terms of global trends, I have to say that this excellent project stands in contrast to some trends in New Zealand which I feel run counter to the mangrove rehabilitation objectives manifest by the TBDA. Sadly, there has emerged in New Zealand a growing mentality, pushed by a limited perspective on coastal recreational activity typified by marina’s, that seeks to define the sole New Zealand mangrove species, Avicennia marina as something close to a pest and weed! As a New Zealander, who has long researched the positive roles of A.marina ecosystems in coastal protection and fish nursery ecosystem support, I find this mentality to be a surprising contrast to global moves to halt mangrove ecosystem decline and misuse. In essence, this mentality or attitude runs counter to a national 'clean & green' pro-conservation philosophy.
As a 'Kiwi' and loyal New Zealander who has worked on mangrove science for almost 40 years, I feel that this trend to define mangroves in NZ, where these plants reach their southern biogeographic limits, as a sad and unwise trend. A trend which should be brought to the notice of MAP and all those who like the participants at the TBDA project may like to see reversed. In GLOMIS, the electronic Journal by ISME, I have a paper on the nutritional values of mangroves as a dairy cattle sustainable salt and herbage source; one aim of this paper was to underscore the concept that the wise and sustainable use of organic salt sources such as the mangrove foliage, may add weight to the need to apply good ecological science to mangrove management. In the process of all this the eco-economic values of mangroves such as Avicennia marina could be re-established in the minds of those tempted to follow short term mangrove destruction.
Prof Gordon S. Maxwell
Open University of Hong Kong & Director Ecosystem Res Centre, NZ
~ WE WELCOME 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, March 15, 2014
MAP News Issue 334, March 15th, 2014
Posted by BlogAdmin at 10:58 AM