Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sharks swim closer to extinction

{PARA}22 May 2008

By Richard Black

More than half of the world’s ocean-going sharks are at risk of extinction, a new analysis concludes.

Specialists with IUCN (formerly the World Conservation Union) found that 11 species are on the high-risk list, with five more showing signs of decline.

Sharks are particularly affected by over-fishing as they reproduce slowly.

The scientists are calling for global catch limits, an end to the practice of removing fins, and measures to minimise incidental catches (bycatch).

“There’s this idea that because these are widely ranging species, they’re more resilient to fishing pressure,” said Sonja Fordham, deputy chair of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG) and policy director for the Shark Alliance conservation group.

“In fact they’re becoming species of serious concern because there are no international catch limits for sharks. There are intense fisheries on the oceans, and they remain pretty much unprotected.”

New threats

The SSG assessed data on the 21 species of sharks and their close cousins, the rays, that swim in upper portions of the open ocean where they are exposed to fishing fleets.

Of the 21, one – the giant devilray – is assessed as Endangered, and 10 are Vulnerable.

A further five are listed as Near Threatened, which means the signs of decline are not serious enough yet to merit a full listing.

The classifications are based on a range of criteria that look at past or forecast declines in population size. For example, a population shrinking by 50% in 10 years would usually qualify as Endangered.

Some of these species have been assessed before; but for others, including the three species of thresher sharks with their spectacularly long tails, the dangerlisting is new.

Fin cuts

The main threat to sharks is fishing, both accidental and targeted.

“They used to be taken as bycatch by boats targeting tuna and swordfish,” said Ms Fordham. “But now as those species are declining we’re seeing more fishermen targeting sharks.

“Porbeagle and shortfin mako are targeted for fins and meat; species like blue shark are likely to be finned, but particularly in Europe we’re seeing more blue shark being landed.”

Several of the bodies that regulate fisheries in international waters – the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) – have set up measures to curb shark finning, but there are different standards in place, a situation that enables fishermen to work around the regulations.

As East Asian economies boom, conservation groups say the market for fins is increasing.

“Fishery managers and regional, national and international officials have a real obligation to improve this situation,” commented Nicholas Dulvy from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, the report’s lead author.

“But it doesn’t have to be like this. With sufficient public support and resulting political will, we can turn the tide.”

The report was released at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Bonn, and will be published in the journal Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.

The new risk assessments will be included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species when it is published later this year.

Source: BBC NEWS

Do Your Own Mangrove Project

Do Your Own MAP

Do your own Mangrove Action Project manual is intended for use by students currently engaged in tropical coastal studies, fisherfolk organizations, and more specifically participants of MAP’s In the Hands of the Fishers (IHOF) workshops.

From Observation to Action

The manual provides a detailed methodology to enable people to:

  • move beyond making observations and taking measurements;
  • define observed problems (environmental, social, economic, etc.); and
  • take action to resolve specific issues.


  • Background and a descrip­tion of action-taking
  • Series of activities for moving through the action-taking process
  • Case studies of mangrove action projects

3 primary steps in an action-taking process

  1. To move from observations and measurements to interpretation of the data and definition of the problem;
  2. To explore solutions to the problem using a visioning process, without initially becoming concerned about potential barriers; and
  3. To take action and assess whether the desired outcome is being reached
  4. Download Do your own Mangrove Action Project (pdf 2.75 MB)

MAP and Partner CCRCs

MAP and Partner CCRCs

19 Coastal Community Resource Centers (CCRCs) or Community Resource Centers (CRCs) are located in the following countries:

Andaman Islands
India (3)
Indonesia (8)
Sri Lanka (4)
Timor Leste


The CCRC concept originated in 2000 in South Asia with MAP’s partner, Small Fishers Federation of Sri Lanka (SFFL), and the establishment of the MAP-South Asian Resource Center, based in Pambala. A stone marker (photo) dedicates the CCRC partnership, located near Chilaw, Sri Lanka.

Since the first CCRC, MAP has established a network of affiliations with research scientists, NGOs, and community leaders to successfully implement more CCRCs.

Andaman Islands

Name: Mangrove Resource Center
Location: Point Ward No.1, Sathya Nagar, Shore Point, South Andaman
Managing organization/partner:
Coastal Poor Development Action Network (COPDANET)
No.85, Vivekananda School Street,
Sakthivel Nagar
Chennai 600 082


e-mail: [email protected]
Date of establishment: 2004
Supported by: Seacology

Focus/Highlights: Awareness programs on mangroves, supporting people’s management in environmental restoration, revitalizing traditional livelihoods, and using people’s knowledge to mitigate coastal disasters.
The center previously carried out post-tsunami relief work. Current focus is on cooperating on environmental awareness campaigns in schools, colleges, and tribal reserves through popular theater, leaflets, posters, picture competitions, celebrating Mangrove Action Day, and holding consultations for like-minded Andaman Islanders on important conservation issues in which people’s decisions and actions are badly needed.


Andaman Islands CCRC Report (pdf 65 KB)


Name: Tonle Sap CRC
Location: Chhnok Tru Commune, Baribour District, Kg Chhnang Province
Managing organization/partner:
Development and Appropriate Technology (DATe)
Village: Kdey Thnoat (in Kampong Chhnang Town)
Commune: Srei Thmey
District: Rolea B’íer
Province: Kampong Chhnang
e-mail: [email protected]
Date of establishment: 2005

Supported by: McKnight Foundation and Global Greengrants Fund


First resource center in MAP’s network to be constructed in freshwater habitat. Unique, as it floats on bamboo and moves with the community as Tonle Sap, the Great Lake, recedes and expands.

The floating center is used to mobilize the community in natural resources management with the following objectives:

  • reduce fuelwood use, sustainable management of forest resources;
  • promote awareness of flooded forest conservation;
  • integrate into the Chhnok Tru community, providing a focus for sustainable community development.


Improved Cookstove Dissemination and Flooded Forest Progress Report (pdf 664 KB)


Name: Centro de Educación y Capacitación Ambiental (Environmental Training and Education Center)
Location: San Lorenzo, Valle
Managing organization/partner: CODDEFFAGOLF
Jorge Varela
e-mail: [email protected], [email protected]
Date of establishment: 2000
Focus/Highlights: Provides a meeting place and dormitories for small gatherings. Focus is on fisherfolk issues, including mangroves.

Supported by: CODDEFFAGOLF prizes and savings, HIVOS, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), and others.


The CCRC concept originated in 2000 in South Asia with MAP’s partner, Small Fishers Federation of Sri Lanka (SFFL), and the establishment of the MAP-South Asian Resource Center, based in Pambala. A stone marker (photo) dedicates the CCRC partnership, located near Chilaw, Sri Lanka.

Since the first CCRC, MAP has established a network of affiliations with research scientists, NGOs, and community leaders to successfully implement more CCRCs.

In 2003, the MAP-SFFL CCRC served as the setting of the 9th In the Hands of the Fishers workshop.

Mr. Anuradha Wickramasinghe, Director of SFFL, and Alfredo Quarto, MAP Executive Director, welcome participants to IHOF 9.

Guidelines for news submissions to MAP

Guidelines for news submissions to MAP

MAP depends on our network members to supply us with regional and updated news for our newsletter, the MAP News, and for posting to our website. If you have relevant news to share with us, please send it our way, but also please follow the guidelines listed below.

Suggested format for submissions to the MAP News
Be sure to include:
  • Title of news item
  • Date published or date of submission
  • Author of news item (if available)
  • Source – Where you came across the item. If being submitted by an organization, include the organization’s name.
  • Source url (website)
  • Original Source – This is for items that have been published from other sources. Try to find out where the news item was originally published, if you can.
  • Original url – copy the url from the original source
  • Your name and e-mail

Please do not send items via the “e-mail this article to a friend” link. These tend to come across rather messy, with incomplete info. Rather, click on “printer-friendly version” and copy everything into the body of the e-mail message, or into a Word doc. But note that frequently the printer-friendly version does not include the source url, so be sure to copy that as well.

What we are requesting will take perhaps 1 or 2 extra minutes of your time, but in the end will provide readers of the MAP News and visitors to our website with more complete information, as well as saving MAP countless hours of editing. Thanks!

Still have questions? Contact MAP