Saturday, November 8, 2014

MAP News Issue 351, November 8, 2014



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
351st Edition                                November 8, 2014


MAP response to ACS certification of Ecuadoran and Viet Nam Shrimp Farms
Family-owned shrimp exporting company OMARSA, based in Ecuador, is the first shrimp producer to gain Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification.
Editor's Note: Recent news from the Aqualculture Stewardship Council (read story here) has hailed the "first ASC certified shrimp farm in the world" as a momentous turn in the fight against unsustainable shrimp farming practices. But Mangrove Action Project's Executive Director, Alfredo Quarto, looks to his 20 years experiencing studying this practice to come to his own conclusion. The news may not be as delicious as the ASC might want us to believe.
USA - The ASC via its certification of farmed shrimp may ostensibly be attempting to meet "global demand," but more accurately are furthering that unsustainable demand itself by encouraging consumer nations to continue to import farmed shrimp, the majority of which is not sustainable, and in fact is both socially disruptive and environmentally destructive. One farm in a thousand that meets ASC certification does not alter the fact that industrial shrimp farming is creating food insecurity in the global South, while continuing to offer a luxury product to the wealthier nations. 90% export of shrimp product means that only 10% of local food needs met! This is not an encouraging fact, and thus WWF's creation of the ASC is not a positive sign of things to come! READ MORE
WABSA Holds Workshop On Mangrove Regeneration and Coastal Erosion
GAMBIA - The West African Birds Association (WABSA), on Friday 23rd October 2014, at the Banjul City Council Chambers held a day-long workshop on mangroves regeneration and Coastal Erosion. The aim of the workshop is to enlighten the people especially the youth on the importance of Mangroves to the lives of the people and the dangers of coastal erosion as well. The workshop was attended by students from different schools, members of different organizations, representatives from the ministry of Forestry and members of WABSA and media personnel. As the chairperson of the forum, Abdoulie Krubally, a WABSA member, welcomed everyone to the Forum and also urged participants to make the best use of the presentations that would be made during the forum. READ MORE
Sunderbans’ water getting toxic : scientists
BANGLADESH - Climate change is causing toxic metals trapped in the sediment beds of the Hooghly estuary in the Indian Sunderbans to leach out into the water system due to changes in ocean chemistry, say scientists, warning of potential human health hazards. They predict that after about 30 years, increasing ocean acidification – another dark side of spiked atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide – could in fact unlock the entire stock of metals like copper and lead gathered in the sediment layer, and release them into the water system, leading to health issues. READ MORE
Arrest mangrove destruction or prepare for disaster
INDIA – Although mangroves make up less than one percent of all tropical forests worldwide, their contribution to mitigation of climate change is huge. Unfortunately, however, they are facing the fastest ever rate of destruction. Any further delay in corrective action to protect and conserve mangrove ecosystems would not only mean huge loss of livelihood of a large number of coastal communities in the developing world, but also make us more vulnerable to devastations caused by the increasing number of cyclones. A just published report on mangroves by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) titled, “The important of mangroves to people: A call to Action” reinforces this point. READ MORE
Officials to help tackle land disputes involving sea gypsies
THAILAND - The DEPARTMENT of Special Investigation (DSI) will help the Prime Minister's Office team to tackle land conflicts in Satun province, after Moken sea gypsies accused a business group of illegitimately taking their land on Koh Lipe, where they have lived for generations. General Surin Pikulthong - who chairs a PM's Office committee assigned to help the sea-gypsy community get land and housing security - urged Satun officials to set up a panel to review the conflict between the Moken and a business group and a similar problem at Koh Bulon in the same province. He said the committee should also have representatives from the affected people. Surin said they had invited the chief of the DSI Bureau of Consumer Protection and Environment Crime, Pol Lt-Colonel Prayvuth Wongsrinin, to help solve the sea gypsies' woes in Satun, which reportedly include threats and problematic land-survey procedures, and ensure that they get justice. Naval Region 3 would also oversee moves to resolve the problem while Satun authorities would carry out a parallel check. READ MORE
Bangladeshis protest against coal expansion in the Sundarbans
BANGLADESH - Bangladeshis took to the streets of the capital, Dhaka, in a colourful, and popular protest against plans for a dirty coal plant that will demolish and degrade huge parts of the Sundarbans - the world’s most pristine mangrove forest, an important tiger reserve, and a UNESCO world heritage site. People took part in a rally that showcased local artists, singers and other cultural icons - all of whom are calling on the Bangladeshi government to ditch proposed plans to build a coal-fired power plant in Rampal, a site right on the edge of the precious Sundarbans. This was not their first rally, more than 20,000 joined last year, and they will not stop until the dirty power plant plans are overturned. READ MORE
Forest anger runs deep
THAILAND - Amid fast dwindling forest coverage, past governments have been criticised for evicting the landless poor while turning a blind eye to the ever-expanding commercial tree farms and cash crop plantations in forest areas by the agro industry. The military junta had vowed to be different. What has transpired since the power seizure, however, has only been more of the same. Worse, the crackdowns on forest dwellers are getting more severe. This is because officialdom ‑ emboldened by military support ­‑ has successfully pushed for more autocratic power to exploit the forests. It must be noted that forest eviction schemes in the past decade failed to take off on a massive scale due to grassroots resistance and electoral politics. Meanwhile, locals succeeded in proposing community forests and community land ownership as a solution to longstanding land rights conflicts in forest areas. READ MORE
Karachi: a goldmine for land ‘developers’
PAKISTAN -  A land grab of monumental proportions is under way not far from the prime strip of real estate along Gizri Creek that constitutes the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Karachi, Phase 7 (extension) and Phase 8. If all goes according to plan, 490 acres of mangroves across the creek will be incorporated into DHA’s ever-expanding boundaries, following which they will be chopped down, and the area used for the major portion of a lavish waterfront project. Known as Waterfront Developments, the project has been devised to make huge fortunes for a select few, enormously powerful individuals, while giving short shrift to citizens’ rights and further decimating one of Karachi’s most valuable natural assets, its mangrove forests. READ MORE
Stop Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud
USA - A newly released report from Oceana found that 30 percent of shrimp samples tested were misrepresented. In one instance, a banded coral “shrimp,” which is an aquarium pet not intended to be consumed as food, was found packaged with another unidentified species frozen in a bag! Different types of shrimp have different environmental, health and economic impacts. We as consumers need accurate information to make informed decisions for our own sake and the oceans. President Obama’s Task Force on Combatting Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud is developing solutions to these twin problems now. Please join us in calling for seafood traceability to track shrimp from boat or farm to plate, allowing consumers to have more information about where their shrimp comes from. SIGN PETITION
Bid to protect Bimini mangroves goes international
BAHAMAS - International conservation experts are urging the government to fulfill its promise and protect Bimini’s unique ecological heritage and the local industries that have depended upon it for generations. The experts, hosted on a tour of Bimini by fast-growing social and environmental advocacy group Save The Bays (STB), called for the official establishment of the North Bimini Marine Reserve. Among other important natural resources, the NBMR would protect mangrove forests that serve as a nursery for the abundant sea life that has attracted so many visitors to the island over the years in the latest Save The Bay’s release on their YouTube channel ( “From an ecological perspective, its incredibly important to maintain these mangroves in order to maintain the whole marine ecosystem,” said Rachael Silverstein, the Waterkeeper for Biscayne Bay, Florida. READ MORE
Study: Louisiana shrimp safe to eat after BP spill
USA - Louisiana shrimp was safe to eat following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a new study concluded, reaffirming previous federal and state studies. The new research focused on the Vietnamese-American community in eastern New Orleans, and said that even among frequent shrimp eaters, there are "no acute health risks or excess cancer risk." The study was released online on Tuesday (Oct. 21) in Environmental Heath Perspectives, a journal of the National Institutes of Health. Its lead author is Mark Wilson, a Tulane University professor who in part specializes in human health risk assessments, and environmental and genetic toxicology. The authors also included, among others, Daniel Nguyen and Tap Bui, employees of Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization in eastern New Orleans that assisted fishers affected by the oil spill. READ MORE
Mangrove manual now in Spanish
USA – is pleased to announce the release of the Spanish version of their acclaimed "Ecological Mangrove Restoration Manual" which is now available at download #81 at The English version is download #80. An additional 105 papers are on the website are also free to download.’s goal is to ensure the survival of the world’s various mangrove species through preservation and conservation. READ MORE
Brackish Waters and Salted Lands: The social cost of shrimp
USA – What is the real cost of the shrimp we consume? What kinds of social and environmental relations are concealed in those bags brimming with frozen prawns available in supermarkets throughout the Global North? Such questions are timely and pressing. Today, aquaculture is the world’s “fastest growing food production system,” accounting for about half of all seafood consumed worldwide. Shrimp remains a major growth sector of the so-called “blue revolution”: the massive expansion of aquaculture development, particularly in coastal countries of the Global South. Unlike the “green revolution”—which promised increased agricultural productivity using new seed varieties and chemical inputs—the blue revolution is focused on developing export markets for farm-raised fish from places like Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Honduras to supermarkets in Europe, Japan, and the United States. This expansion of shrimp aquaculture—fueling and fueled by booming markets for cheap seafood in the North—has long been recognized as an ecological disaster for producer countries. The massive adoption of shrimp aquaculture has laid waste to ecologically sensitive zones—contributing to the destruction of coastal mangrove forests; the loss of local biodiversity; and rampant pollution through the discharge of shrimp pond effluents into local ecosystems. READ MORE

Dear Colleague,
Today we’re thrilled to announce the launch of, the focal point for all WWD 2015 activities.  The website will be growing in the run-up to 2 February 2015, but you can already take advantage of a wide range of support materials that have been made available to help you organize and event or spread the word. The future of humanity really does depend on wetlands.  They purify and replenish our groundwater, provide fish and crops that feed billions of people, act as a natural shield protecting coastlines against flooding, and help fight climate change.
Unfortunately, these benefits are not widely known.  Often viewed as wasteland, 64% of wetlands have disappeared since 1900.
For World Wetlands Day 2015, we are specifically targeting teens and young people. They have a growing interest in environmental issues, are tech savvy, and have a strong belief in their own ability to make a difference.
Crucially, they also act as “transmitters,” spreading the word about wetlands and their vital importance to their families and friends, causing a ripple effect that reaches the wider public.
Our three-step strategy for approaching them to encourage change is:
  1. Give youth a reason to experience wetlands directly: the Wetlands Youth Photo Contest
  2. Educate them on the benefits and inject a sense of urgency at their disappearance
  3. Provide “next steps” where youth can take action for wetlands
How can you help?
  • Please help publicize WWD and Wetlands Youth  Photo Contest that runs from 2 February to 2 March.
  • Consider acting as local organizer of wetland site visits for youth and/or broader educational events targeting other groups.
  • Suggest local, concrete “next steps” that youth can take on wetlands. Help harness the enthusiasm that results from World Wetlands Day itself, and prolong its effect into a longer term call for action.
Finally, a word of thanks to our sponsors, the Danone Fund for Water.  The Danone group and the evian brand have been partners of the Ramsar Convention since 1998, and World Wetlands Day is made possible by their generosity.
Best wishes,
Sharon Oseku-Frainier
Communications Officer – External Relations
Ramsar Convention Secretariat
28 rue Mauverney, CH-1196 Gland (Switzerland)
Tel. +41 22 999 0269; fax +41 22 999 0169 | Join us:


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Action Alerts:


Mamelo Honko Women's Association Update – your support has helped – VIEW REPORT

Shrimp is the most consumed seafood in America, but how much do we really know about the shrimp we’re eating? Click here to call on the President’s task force to support seafood traceability and other strong measures to fight IUU fishing and seafood fraud – the task force is running out of time so act now!

Development Coordinator Wanted
MAP is seeking a creative, energetic, and environmentally aware development coordinator to support administrative work and the QYS campaign in Seattle, Washington. READ MORE

FREE MAP Mangrove e-cards CLICK HERE
FREE Mangrove E-cards
MAP’s e-Cards offer you a unique way to spread the word about MAP’s good works, while sharing beautiful photographs of the mangroves

Mexican Everglades Threatened
A great threat looms over EVERGLADES NATIONAL largest mangrove area in the Mexican Pacific due to the interest of building the project: Canal Centenary and hydroelectric Las Cruces, in the state of Nayarit. Please spread this open letter to the President of the Mexican United States where we request the cancellation of the project. READ MORE

Information sheds clear light on shrimp-mangrove connection
Question Your Shrimp
CBEMR work on Klang Island, Krabi is Finally Underway – MORE INFO

A fun and exciting Art Contest for children 6 to 16 years old. We invite all primary school children from tropical and sub-tropical nations, and whose schools are located near mangroves, to create art telling us “why mangroves are important to my community and me?”. Selected winners will be published in a 2016 calendar to be distributed internationally to raise awareness of mangrove forest ecology.  READ MORE

CLICK HERE to watch short introductory video. Together we can work "at the roots of the sea". 

Join us in saving our beautiful country!
We hope you have been following the ongoing battle in Bimini, Bahamas.
We are in need of your help more than ever
Click here
Exclusive Interview with Alfredo Quarto, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Mangrove Action Project - See more

Order your 2015 Calendar
Mangrove Calendar 2015 FRONT 2
1-20 calendars, $12 each plus shipping
21-49 calendars, $10 ea plus shipping
50-100 calendars, $8 each plus shipping.
Over 100 $7 each plus shipping

Save the Sundarbans from Rampal power plant – View Sample Letter to Minister
Sign the Petition

Question Your Shrimp- Don't Buy or Sell Imported Tropical Shrimp! Sign the Petition
Donate to MAP via Paypal
Giving could never be easier
It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.
—Mahatma Gandhi

Green Planet Fundraising Assists MAP – LEARN MORE


View New Videos posted by MAP Asia intern, Delphine. CLICK HERE
The importance of restoring mangroves in an effective, long-term manner. Mangrove video - VIEW

Please view our new video for our Question Your Shrimp Consumer/Markets Campaign! It is now on our website under the Question Your Shrimp section heading. WATCH VIDEO

Mangrove Restoration in Asia – Watch Short Video
Mosaic of Life 
READ A MOSAIC OF LIFE” Peek into the underwater world of mangroves, "womb of the sea." By Liz Cunningham Photos By Wes Matweyew and Liz Cunningham

View MAP’s uploaded Videos at MAPmangrover’sChannel

“Education In The Mangroves" can now be seen on the  PhotoPhilanthropy website here!

Marvellous Mangroves – A Curriculum-Based Teachers Guide.
By Martin A. Keeley, Education Director, Mangrove Action Project
Read this 10 page history of the development of MAP’s educational curriculum VIEW DOCUMENT


Education In The Mangroves
Six minute video features discussion of Mangrove Action Project’s Mangrove Curriculum VIEW THE VIDEO
Article in Canada's Green Teacher Magazine -
Read More

"Question Your Shrimp" Campaign

Learn more about the affects of the shrimp industry on mangroves by visiting our blog

Editor’s Note: Mangrove Action Project’s Executive Director, Alfredo Quarto was interviewed about shrimp by Green Acre Radio’s Martha Baskin


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