Late Friday News, 82nd Ed., 12 June 2001
This is the 82nd Edition of the Late Friday News.
Mangrove Action Project
Contents for LATE FRIDAY NEWS, 82nd Edition, 12 June 2001
ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE MANGROVE MANAGEMENT / GULF OF FONSECA
Troubles Mount for Canadian Titanium Mine in Kenya
Shell Tries to Repair Reputation With Nigeria Loans Liquified Gas Pipeline Threat to Niger Delta Area
Mangrove Poacher nabbed Bulldozers to help reclaim prawn farms--Director talks tough in mangrove drive Thai ban on inland shrimp farming eased Thai doctor breaking new ground over shrimp disease
Mangrove Forest-Frontier by the sea
THE OPERATION WAS A SUCCESS, BUT THE PATIENT DIED: THE ADB Fishermen and Shrimp --Fishermen Complain about Low Wages
Move to replenish shrimp seed stock in sea
Destruction of Sundarbans continues Small fry? Shrimp production and child labour in Bangladesh
Polluted Hong Kong offers haven for birds-Mai Po Reserve
Virus scares spark boost to imported prawn regulations Pollution killing Australia's Barrier Reef - report
Wetlands Protection Project in Esmeraldas .
GM gives $10 million for endangered Brazil forest
Turtles safe from shrimp trawl in 43 countries
Global Ecosystem Study Launched on World Environment Day World Crisis for Wild Atlantic Salmon Preserving salmon biodiversity--the number of Pacific salmon has declined drastically Satellite Paints Smoggy Portrait of the Planet
Voluntary Blackout as Protest--***ACTION ALERT***!!! South American Wetland Assessment
The Current State of Philippine Aquaculture
CALL FOR PAPERS
(none this issue)
WTO/ GLOBALIZATION UPDATE
Shell/IFC in Niger Delta--***ACTION ALERT!!!***
Cubans have no qualms eating GM tilapia Farmed tilapia threaten indigenous species Fish farms threaten the world's wild salmon Salmon farm agreement bodes well for the future Fears growing of GM escapees Salmon firm admits link to deadly virus
ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE MANGROVE MANAGEMENT/ GULF OF FONSECA - HONDURAS & EL SALVADOR.(+SP)
AUTHOR: Sarah Gammage et al., 12 June 2001
DESCRIPTION: A coalition of community groups, researchers, non-governmental, private sector, and governmental agencies in Honduras and El Salvador has developed a platform for action for the sustainable management of the mangroves in the Gulf of Fonseca (unesco.org). This platform for action represents the outcome of more than eight years of collaborative activities to explore the competing interests for mangrove resources of community groups, aquaculturists, farmers, salt producers and fisher people. The platform advocates for legislative, institutional and procedural changes to be set in motion to begin to harmonize the diverse interests of these multiple stakeholders in the ecosystem. The recommendations provide guidelines for a process that must be set in motion if these unique resources are to be preserved. It is essential that policies and programmes are devised that can simultaneously meet development goals and guarantee the health and well-being of the ecosystem. Without such efforts, the mangroves will be degraded and a wealth of resources that they secure will be lost.
STATUS: The platform for action has been developed as an advocacy tool for activists, NGOs and community groups to allow these organizations to engage in dialogue with both the government and the private sector. We are currently seeking funding to continue this advocacy campaign and hope to develop a series of popular education materials, radio and television advertisements that address the concerns raised in the platform for action and provide targeted information to a range of parliamentarians and municipal officials in coastal districts.
LONG-TERM BENEFIT: The environmental goods and services provided by the mangroves in the Gulf of Fonseca are being used unsustainably by a range of actors who consume or transform the environment without regard to the external costs that their actions impose upon the ecosystem and upon others who also depend upon this ecosystem. For resource use to be modified, the economic and socio-cultural interests of all parties must be taken into account. The incentives to change or modify behaviour must be carefully configured. A variety of instruments are available to modify resource use through changes in property rights regimes, the levying of environmental taxes, the application of quotas and subsidies. In addition to fine-tuning existing policy instruments to minimize environmental damage, specific measures will need to be undertaken to address the particular constraints that poor resource-users face. Attempts to change resource use and promote sustainable mangrove management must also confront the development needs of those communities that depend on these resources for their livelihood and survival needs. Measures must be implemented to alleviate poverty and reduce environmental dependence simultaneously.
Part of the research estimated the "total economic value" of a mangrove ecosystem in the Gulf of Fonseca in El Salvador using a cost-benefit analysis to compare the sustainable management of the forest with alternative use scenarios. Three different management strategies were considered: partial conversion to semi-intensive shrimp farming and salt production; the do-nothing strategy of deforestation, land clearance and degradation; and the sustainable management option. A variety of different valuation techniques were used to assess the contribution of different products and services of the mangrove ecosystem. The sustainable management strategy enables more timber and fisheries benefits to be captured over a longer time-frame than do the other management options. Both the current management strategy and the partial conversion strategy yield net benefits of approximately US$7,500 per hectare whereas the sustainable management strategy generates a little over US$10,000 per hectare in ecosystem goods and services. The benefits from sustainable mangrove management can only be captured if existing patterns of resource use are modified. This requires fundamental changes in existing policy and legislation and in the institutions that administer and enforce these laws.
In order to work towards more sustainable mangrove management in the Gulf of Fonseca, key gaps in data collection need to be addressed. Data need to be collected on key biological and human-environment indicators that will guide policy and set parameters for sustainable resource use. There is a dearth of data on the current status of the mangroves: their coverage, density, age structure, and growth patterns. Similarly, almost no data exist on fuel wood and timber requirements, siltation, pollution, and chemical runoff into rivers and water bodies that drain into the mangroves. The data that exist are scattered and inconclusive and do not provide sufficient detail for the development of parameters to guide and monitor the sustainable extraction of mangrove resources.
PARTICIPATORY PROCESS: The need to harmonize diverse stakeholder concerns and find shared interests that can be built upon to achieve environmentally sustainable mangrove management is of primary importance. One clear directive that emerged from the consultations and research findings is that the governments should form multi-sectoral commissions with representatives of all primary stakeholders. These commissions should work collaboratively to develop an operational definition ofsustainable mangrove management that will guide the design of policy and its implementation.
CONSENSUS BUILDING: A diverse group of stakeholders depends on the mangrove ecosystem in the Gulf of Fonseca. These include coastal communities and artisanal fishers who rely on the mangroves to provide a breeding ground and nursery for a variety of fish, molluscs, and crustaceans; the offshore industrial fishers who depend on the health of the mangrove ecosystem to ensure that the shrimp harvest is abundant; aquaculturists, because these ecosystems provide the shrimp larvae that they require to supplement laboratory varieties and stock the ponds and tanks where the shrimp will be cultivated; farmers and livestock producers depend upon the buffer zones, windbreaks, and filtration services provided by the mangroves to prevent salt-water intrusion and protect their investments from damage by hurricanes or flooding. Without efforts to bring these stakeholders together, any policy to promote sustainable mangrove management will be stymied and circumvented.
CAPACITY BUILDING AND INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING: To effectively apply environmental legislation, national governments need to invest in building local capacity for resource management. Women need to be drawn into this process. Governments need to specifically target the following sets of actions:
- Heighten awareness of national environmental legislation, including local governments' responsibilities in managing forestry resources. Information about national legislation should be disseminated to both men and women, using popular education formats, radio, and television.
- Promote the organization of community resource management groups, which can work with local and national governments to define regulations, restrictions, and enforcement strategies.
- Set gender targets and quotas to ensure that women are actively included in the community representation and that their use rights are considered when designing and implementing community level management plans.
GENDER AND/OR SENSITIVITY ISSUES: Successful policy initiatives to promote sustainable resource use will also take account of the gender of resource users in the community and the nature of their relationship to the resource base. Men and women have different roles and responsibilities as caregivers and providers and have a very different relationship to the resource base. Men fish primarily in the open waters offshore, whereas women fish and gather shellfish in the estuaries. Although both women and men gather fuel wood, women do so more frequently and gather smaller amounts than do men. Consequently, men and women face different incentives to use, conserve or transform mangrove resources. Ensuring that the interests of both men and women are fully represented in the multi-sectoral commissions and at the community level is vital if we are to promote effective and inclusive sustainable resource management in the mangroves.
LEGAL NATIONAL POLICY: There is a real need to strengthen those institutions that define the rules and regulations governing the extraction and use of the mangroves at the national and local level. This requires the effective and full participation of communities and local actors as well as public and private sector institutions. The research findings drew attention to significant deficiencies in existing legislation and in the design and operation of policy. The recommendations highlight the need for concrete directives that establish parameters for the management of coastal resources and the use and conservation of the mangroves
REGIONAL DIMENSION: The mangroves in the Gulf of Fonseca are a shared resource that cross national boundaries. Efforts must be made to promote national and international collaboration in the pursuit of sustainable resource management for the entire Gulf area. A regional forum should be constituted with the purpose of developing and implementing coordinated regulations to ensure the sustainable use and management of these coastal resources.
GENERAL DISCUSSION: Currently there are no national policies that link biodiversity to habitats in El Salvador or Honduras. What national legislation exists focuses almost exclusively on habitats without establishing parameters for the preservation or conservation of species or recognizing the interdependence of species. It is important that the multi-sectoral commissions work with the government to define and evaluate the implementation of national policies and strategies on biodiversity and on the sustainable use of coastal marine resources.
We are very keen to set this advocacy campaign in motion. We would like to hear from other groups and coalitions that have successfully changed policy and modified unsustainable resource use. We would welcome the opportunity to learn from these examples.
Ms. Sarah Gammage, Manuel Ben�tez, Melany Machado, Maritza Erazo, Julio Aguilar, Amilda Campos, Guadalupe Dur�n, Claudia Aburto, Reinaldo Chanchan.
Center for Environmental and Social Studies on Sustainable Development (CEASDES), Washington, DC, U.S.A.
Troubles Mount for Canadian Titanium Mine in Kenya
By Tom Osanjo NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31, 3001 (ENS) - A Canadian mining company may lose its operating license to mine titanium if Kenyan members of parliament pass a motion seeking to establish whether it is operating according to international and local environmental standards. If passed, this would be yet another obstacle on the path of Tiomin Kenya Limited since it was awarded a license to mine titanium at the Kenyan Coast. Tiomin Kenya is a wholly owned local subsidiary of Canadian mining firm, Tiomin Resources Inc.
Now the company will have to submit to an environmental impact assessment in addition to the one it completed for the Kenyan government last November. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has announced it will fund the assessment, after local groups raised concerns that Tiomin Kenya's proposed ship loading facility could threaten the marine habitat of Shimoni, the site of the new facility, and a recognized marine reserve.
Tiomin Kenya has run into trouble mainly from environmentalist and community welfare groups seeking to stop it from prospecting and mining for titanium. A local community group Coast Watch says that Tiomin Kenya was economical with the truth when it went public with the amount of metric tonnes of titanium to be mined and its value.....
� Environment News Service (ENS) 2001. All Rights Reserved.
From: Paula Palmer email@example.com
Shell Tries to Repair Reputation With Nigeria Loans
Bloomberg News Washington, May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch/Shell Group, the second-largest publicly traded oil company, will team up with the World Bank to spread the benefits of its oil projects to Nigeria's people, in a bid to repair Shell's image in the country. Shell's plans to join with the lender in setting up a $30 million fund to finance oil service contractors is drawing fire from human rights and environmental groups, which say the bank is encouraging what they call Shell's abuses in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
`They're just putting more fuel on the fire,'' said Carol Welch, an analyst at the environmental group Friends of the Earth. Even the World Bank unit that's helping finance the fund acknowledged in an internal report obtained by Bloomberg News that it faces a risk to its own reputation in associating with Shell, which pumps almost half Nigeria's daily oil output of 2 million barrels.
Shell is facing a lawsuit in the U.S. by the relatives of playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was hung by Nigeria's then-military government in 1995 for protesting Shell's work in the delta. The suit accuses Shell of recruiting police to attack villages to suppress opposition to its work, a charge Shell denies. Shell also abandoned an oil well in one area, Ogoni land, eight years ago after local people demanded a greater share of oil wealth. Early this month the abandoned well sprang a leak, and Shell had to dispatch firefighters to the scene.
The World Bank says that long-term lending to oil service companies will help them tap into $1.5 billion a year contracts from Shell and develop the delta, one of Nigeria's poorest and most violent regions. The project aims to alleviate ``unemployment and poverty in a difficult area, and increases the benefits of oil production to the economy,'' said Shawn Miller, a spokesman for the bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corp. The fund, which the bank's executive board is likely to approve next week, is set to be financed equally by the IFC, Shell and an unnamed local bank. It will be administered by the local bank to companies that contract with Shell....
...Many groups have criticized the company for its more than 60 years of work in Nigeria and perceived close association with corrupt, military regimes of the past. Despite the emergence of a democratic government in Nigeria two years ago, the situation in the region continues to deteriorate, according to the U.S. State Department most recent human rights report. Last year, 250 foreign oil workers in the Niger Delta were the targets of kidnapping by local youths, who have demanded only oil industry jobs as ransom, the report said.
Oil spills dumped more than 2.5 million barrels of oil -- the equivalent of 10 Exxon Valdez spills -- in the Niger Delta in the two decades to 1996, according to a CIA report. Shell's ``record is pretty atrocious,'' said Daphne Wysham, a critic of the World Bank's oil projects from the Institute of Policy Studies, a research group. Wysham said she visited the Niger Delta in recent years to study local conditions. ``The people who are most impoverished are those that live right on top of the oil,'' she said.
Other critics questioned why Shell should need money from the World Bank in the first place.
`If one of the richest companies in the world can't get funding from the private sector, then that's a pretty good indication that this is not a sound investment,'' said Ian Vasquez, who wrote a book for the Cato Institute, a research group, saying the World Bank perpetuates poverty. `What this amounts to is a gross form of corporate welfare,'' he said....
--Mark Drajem in Washington (202) 624-1964 or firstname.lastname@example.org /mm
From: "ianbaird" email@example.com
Note: The followeing is a brief excerpt.
Liquified Gas Pipeline Threat to Niger Delta Area
Press Release, June 5, 2001
ILLEGAL BURYING OF WASTE IN BONNY SOIL CONTRARY TO THE APPROVED ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (E.I.A) REPORT FOR CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATIONS OF THE NIGERIA LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS COMPANY BY T.S.K.J CONSORTIUM
Today the 5th of June 2001, is World Environment day and our society is therefore using the day to bring to National and international attention of the consistent pollution of Bonny environment by Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) and TSKJ.
The Federal Government of Nigeria acting through the then Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) now Federal Ministry of Environment (F.M.E) approved the E.I.A report for the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas project, and one of the key elements of the E.I.A. Report is the non-dumping of any waste on Bonny island and the reason for this is the fact that Bonny island is at sea level which means that whatever is dumped on the sea would be brought back to the island by sea waves and also the Nature of waste generated would be a threat to human lives in the pollution of the underground water levels if the waste is also buried on land.....
From: Akie Hart, MANGROVE FOREST CONSERVATION SOCIETY OF NIGERIA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bangkok Post, May 25, 2001
Mangrove Poacher nabbed
Phuket -- A suspected mangrove forest poacher has been arrested for masterminding the murder of a conservationist in Thalang district on June 30. Somsak Wongsawanond, the suspect, was nabbed early yesterday at his shrimp farm in tambon Pa Khlok, Thalang district.
Jurin Ratchapol, a member of the conservationist group of tambon Pa Klok, was gunned down on Jan.30. Police earlier arrested Bancha Noppawong, a suspected gunman. Somsak denied any involvement.
From Jim Enright, YADFON ASSOCIATION E-MAIL: email@example.com
Bangkok Post 9.3.2001
Bulldozers to help reclaim prawn farms--Director talks tough in mangrove drive
Kultida Samabuddhi and Ploenpote Atthakor More than 100 rai of illegal prawn farms in Thalang district, Phuket, will be restored to mangrove, the Forestry Department chief said yesterday. Launching what he called a nationwide drive against mangrove encroachment, Plodprasop Suraswadi said bulldozers will breach walls to let the sea back in if operators resist. "They will also be prosecuted," he said.
Mr Plodprasop said the tough action, to begin early next month, was inspired by the murder of Jurin Ratchpol, a Phuket environmentalist killed by a gunman in January. Mr Jurin's death was linked with his relentless efforts to protect community mangrove forest in tambon Pa Klok, Thalang district, from prawn farming.
All the farms in the 100-rai target area had already yielded profits to the owners, Mr Plodprasop said. "I won't wait for a court order because that will take too long," he said.
In some cases, farmers would be given time to sell their prawns, but afterward they would have to move out and pave the way for regeneration of mangrove. Mr Plodprasop said Phuket was the start. Similar action would be taken across the country. "Every prawn farm that encroaches upon mangrove forest must be stopped. They have already made a fortune from the public land," he said.
From YADFON ASSOCIATION firstname.lastname@example.org
Thai ban on inland shrimp farming eased
Asian Aquaculture Magazine Nov/Dec 2000.
A ban on black tiger prawn farming in Thailand's Central Plain is likely to be eased in a bid to help shrimp farmers resume the activity legally, with minimal impacts to the environment. The spread of diseases along coastal areas prompted shrimp farmers to move inland and grow the marine shrimp in low saline water.
The proliferation of inland black tiger prawn farming in the Central Plain drew strong opposition from rice and fruit farmers for fear that their cultivated land would be affected from seepage of saline water in the pond. Despite the closed system being widely applied in farming shrimp inland, the government ruled in favour of rice and fruit growers and consequently banned the activity in the Central Plain in the middle of 1998, immediately affecting about 1,800 shrimp farms.
Regardless of the ban, the growers resumed inland shrimp farming again this year as the shrimp price drastically rose from about 150-200 baht last year to 300-350 baht. The rising price resulted from shortages of supplies as shrimp farms in South America, the second largest shrimp exporter after Asia, was hit by the whitespot disease virus.
The inland shrimp farmers are joining forces in calling for the authorities to allow growing shrimps in the disputed area, especially for farms that have the closed system in place. An association of inland shrimp farmers reported that all inland shrimp farms have a combined pond area of about 22,400ha and would be able to produce about 100,000 tonnes if the ban is relaxed.
It claimed that most shrimp farmers have improved their production system in order to reduce impacts to the environment. Therefore, allowing its members to resume raising shrimps would enable Thailand to fill the shortage of supply in the world market without posing threats to the environment. The ban has yet to be revoked so far, but the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning (OEPP) has said that black tiger prawn farms locate in the prohibited area would be allowed to run the activity if they are accessible to brine through natural water ways. In addition, they have to adopt the zero discharge system.
The farms that are located on the area further inland would be granted approval to grow the marine shrimp if a study jointly conducted by the OEPP, Fisheries and Land departments revealed that they do not pose impacts to nearby paddy fields and orchard plantations. The Central Plain, which is prohibited from black tiger prawn farming, covers, Suphanburi, Nakhon Pathom, Ayutthaya, Angthong, Prachinburi, Nakhon Nayok, and some districts in Chachoengsao. The area is renown as Thailand's biggest rice and fruit production base.
The Nation April 17, 2001 Page F8
Thai doctor breaking new ground over shrimp disease
By Laurena Cahill DR Paisarn Sithigorngul is breaking new ground. Although he is anxious to play down his success to date, he could be on the way to helping develop the first vaccine against disease in shrimp. Surviving on a shoe-string budget for many years, he is in many respects a modern-day Louis Pasteur. But the understated Paisarn's dedication has already created its own milestone.
The associate professor at Srinakharinwirot University has already devised a laboratory means of early detection of a serious disease in shrimps known as yellow-head virus (YHV). The disease as the name implies causes a characteristic yellowing of the shrimp head. But the time the symptom shows - it is always too late - the crop is already destroyed as the shrimp die off quickly.
The laboratory test identifying YHV in shrimp stocks is highly accurate but it is expensive and time consuming and out of reach of the fish farmers. It does help farmers by providing a reassurance that their stocks are not infected. The next step is to allow farmers to regularly monitor for yellow head virus themselves.
Shrimps are a top export in Thailand. In 1999, 25,000 shrimp farms produced Bt 87 billion worth (over 2 billion USD) of Black Tiger Shrimp. As a result the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) is helping farmers develop ways of fighting viral infections in shrimps.
Paisarn's immediate goal is to devise a do-it-yourself kit for farm use. The kit would help farmers fend off YHV - a virus that has sprung up in the last decade. "The kits will work like pregnancy tests. They will be simple and easy to read and farmers will be able to react quickly if infections is present"
Getting to the first milestone of developing a laboratory test took Paisarn about a year. He modestly points out that equipment and adequate team of research assistants have been limiting factors to his overall work which stretches back 13 years in Thailand. He has been rescued to a great extent by a two year BIOTEC grant that has given new life to his work.
The initial blood test Paisarn explains is based on a tried and tested approach first achieved by German researchers - Kolher and Milstein in 1976. Paisarn first triggered the immune system of laboratory mice by injecting them with YHV. Mice are unaffected by YHV injections. Crucially however, they react against it. Their spleens produce antibodies as a reaction to the YHV. There antibody are isolated and grown in the laboratory - where the volume is boosted by growing the cells with a mix of cancer cells.
Through laborious mixing and matching Paisarn succeeded in identifying the specific antibody that binds to the YHV. The process called monoclonal antibody production, makes the work stand out from previous research work done in Australia, Hawaii and South America. Once the specific antibody is isolated, then a sensitive blood test can be developed... The key to adopting this to an easy to read kit for farmers lies some way in the future. It could take a few years of hard work and further refining.
"As for the vaccine. That's a long way off. Our work to date has just started."
Mangrove Forest-Frontier by the sea
Where the Land meets the Sea, there is this band of land mass which lies at the border. Flooded with sea water twice a day . The amount of dry land flooded depends on the flatness and also the day of the month. During Spring tide, the sea water level is higher and covers the higher land further away from the sea.
The soil condition is soggy, waterlogged, coated with slit and extreme salinity with high pH. The group of vegetations that has adapted itself in various ways to this harsh enviroment are classified as "Mangroves" What goes on in these Forests?
Malaysian Mangrove Forest
Mangrove vegetation in this region is believed to have reached its optimal development. With over 50 species identified here, this land could be considered to be the geographical representive for several of its genus. There is one endemic species and that is the Avicennia Lanata found in the east coast.
On the Peninsula, most mangrove forest are located in the West Coast, while about half of the country's total area of the over 500,000 ha. are in the Sabah State.
This little known forest are of great social economic importance to us, from protecting the shoreline to providing employment . Human are competing with nature and wildlife for land! Large stetches of Forest land are cleared for agriculture purposes, aqua-culture while unsustainable exploitation of wood from the forest continued!
Conservation of Mangrove Forest
Malaysia's first and still an example of the best managed forest is in Matang, Perak. Started in1902 , the forest area is 51.5 kilometers between extreme ends and 13 kilometers at its widest. About 95% tidal swamp with 5 different inundation classes.
From: "PIFWA PIFWA" email@example.com
Note: The following is excerpted from a report found in the May issue of Focus on Trade (#63)
THE OPERATION WAS A SUCCESS, BUT THE PATIENT DIED: THE ADB IN INDONESIA
By Stephanie Fried* Indonesia is, by far, the Asian Development Bank's largest client country. In 1969, the ADB made its first loan to Indonesia for an irrigation project. By 2000, Indonesia owed the Bank over $16 billion. This paper represents an attempt to assess the ADB's record in Indonesia, based entirely on the Bank's own documents. It includes assessments and summaries in the Bank's own words of over half a billion dollars worth of ADB loans to Indonesia. The shocking conclusion is that if we utilize the standard of project success as defined by the 2000 bipartisan Congressional International Financial Advisory Commission (the Meltzer Commission) "project sustainability" it appears that at least 70% of Indonesia's ADB projects are not likely to produce lasting economic or social benefits for the country -- a disaster for heavily indebted Indonesia.
From: "Isabel de la Torre" firstname.lastname@example.org ISA NET
Fishermen and Shrimp In Indonesia--Fishermen Complain about Low Wages
by Ruddy Gustave I.T, SKEPHI Perhaps every fisherman agrees that his current wage is very low. It seems that the wage they receive is not equal to their daily effort. This issue actually is a direct statement from various fishermen (tekong helpers) in Airhitamlaut village, Kecamatan Sadu, Jambi Province. Not many fishermen can resolve this problem because they are laborers.
Fishermen are only useful for their strength, because to manage a modern boat and fishing equipment requires more than one person (the tekong). Usually a medium size boat (pongpong, by local name) requires at least 2 fishermen. Their main task during sailing is to spread and lift the net from sea. Another additional task after sailing is to clean the net and boat.
Currently, the number of boats in Airhitamlaut village are 200. This means that it requires 400 person as fishermen labor. To fill fishermen vacancies, young people from other villages are recruited by the tekongs, or they come and seek the job at Airhitamlaut village. Requirements to become a fishermen are easy, mainly endure big waves and hard work. Yet there are many fishermen that don�t fulfil this requirement. Thus, they choose to return to their village or find another job.
Generally, the fishermen originate from outside Airhitamlaut vilage. They live plainly. When not sailing, sometimes they sleep on the tekong's pongpong (boat) or stay at the tekong's house. Their average education is only elementary school, but there are few whom have reached senior high school. These fishermen hope to own a pong-pong, or at the least become a tekong.
It seems impossible for every fishermen to fulfil their dreams because the price of a pongpong and its fishing equipment is very expensive. The price of a new pongpong complete with fishing equipment amounts to around Rp.30 million. Meanwhile, the average wage of s fishermen based on catching agogo shrimp (Penaeus merguiensis), one kilogram of agogo shrimp is priced at Rp.3.000. Viewed from the fishermen income, it seems impossible to directly purchase a new pongpong, because the price equals 10 thousand tons of agogo shrimp.
In the mean time, the pongpong boat does not always come back with agogo shrimp catches. Sometimes, when the north wind is blowing, between January and April, a pongpong can catch an average of 20 kilograms agogo shrimps. That means, a fishermen will receive a wage of Rp 60,000 for one time sailing (two to three days). When entering another season, agogo shrimps caught averages under ten kilograms, even sometimes nil. Thus, the fishermen does not receive any income.
Usually a fishermen complains about low wages when experiencing agogo shrimp scarcity period. Thus, many of them are forced to borrow from the tekongs. Fishermen are forced to borrow from tekongs to survive. There is no guarantee they will be able to return the loan. But they hope to return it when they bring catches back from sailing. Meanwhile, other supplement incomes are unavailable.
Obstacles for fishermen to resolve their problem is caused by limits such as finance, work experience, and information about alternative jobs. Currently, the fishermen's welfare depends upon tekongs. Although unfair, there are no other alternatives. Many of the fishermen then quit or become tekongs, but that does not mean that the pongpong or nets cease catching shrimps at sea. The pongpong continues to operate in catching agogo shrimps. This just means that the vacancy in pongpong will be filled by a new fisherman and so on. Thus, fishermen position in the pongpong boat will never end. (RGIT/SKEPHI-JAMBI).
From: "Ruddy Gustave, SKEPHI email@example.com
Move to replenish shrimp seed stock in sea
VISAKHAPATNAM, THE HINDU March 27, 2001 The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) is considering a proposal for enlisting the help of shrimp hatcheries in replenishing the stock of shrimp seed in the sea, according to Dr.K. Haribabu, MPEDA member.
Inaugurating a training programme on 'Health management in shrimp culture' organised by the Ocean Science and Technology Cell (OSTC) in Andhra University on Monday, he said that traditional fishermen were expressing concern over the practice of capturing shrimp seed from the wild and gravid shrimp from the sea for the aquaculture sector as they feared that it would deplete the stocks of prawns and affect their catches.
Given the six-month lean season experienced by the prawn hatcheries every year when their production did not fetch a remunerative price, the MPEDA was examining the proposal of releasing the seed from the hatchery sector into the sea by offering subsidy to hatchery operators, he pointed out. Dr. Haribabu said that the MPEDA was seized of the problem of quality of seed supplied to the acquaculture sector and that it had initiated the process of registration of all hatcheries to enforce regulatory measures in the infrastructure set-up and the production of seeds to prevent outbreak of viral diseases in the ponds.....
....The OSTC is organising a three-day training programme in the light of the outbreak of diseases in shrimp farms, which is mainly attributed to poor management practices and environmental stress. The OSTC, which has been set up with the assistance of the Department of Ocean Development, finds prevention to be the best method in dealing with diseases in shrimp farming which could be achieved by proper management practices like control of phytoplankton bloom, regulation of feeding at an appropriate level, monitoring of water quality and regular cleaning of pond bottom. It also advises farmers on the correct dosage of antibiotics to facilitate growth of shrimp to attain marketable sizes and preventing building up of drug resistance....
Mike Hagler, Oceans & Fisheries Campaigner Greenpeace firstname.lastname@example.org
Destruction of Sundarbans continues
Inter Press Service
GIANT MANGROVE FOREST IN GREAT DANGER
By Tabibul Islam KHULNA, Bangladesh, Apr. 24, 2001 The destruction of the world's largest mangrove forest continues even as environmental experts and state officials warn against the dire consequences of its loss. The Sundarbans, found in Bangladesh's southwest Greater Khulna District bordering the Indian state of West Bengal, is under threat partly because of rising sea levels that have increased salinity and siltation in the area. But experts also point out that activities such as logging, draining of marshes, human settlement, and construction of embankments for shrimp cultivation have contributed to the destruction of the ecological equilibrium of the Sundarbans, which means "beautiful forest."
"With indiscriminate felling of trees by settlers and outsiders, smuggling of timber, logs and other resources, Sundarbans is now faced with a physical malady never witnessed before," said a forestry official of Bangladesh. A retired public official who has just returned from a recent visit to the famous forest echoed this view. He said poachers, smugglers, dacoits, forest personnel and even law enforcers are plundering the Sundarbans, which constitutes about 44 percent of the total forest area of Bangladesh. Covering 1,400 square kilometers, the Sundarbans shields the millions of people of Greater Khulna District from cyclones and supplies Bangladesh with as much as 45 percent of the country's timber and firewood needs.
The forest is also home to a wide array of plants and at least 20,000 kinds of animals, including tigers, monkeys and spotted deer. Experts have even counted some 315 species of birds, 400 species of fish, 53 species of reptiles and eight species of amphibians among its residents. The Sundarbans was declared a World Heritage site in 1997 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO). At the unveiling of theWorld Heritage plaque two years later, Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina described the forest as a gift from God. She also called upon the people to help protect it, saying, "It is the duty and obligation of all of us to save it from gradual extinction."
Yet today, the state-owned Khulna Newsprint Mills that is adjacent to the Khulna Divisional Headquarters is among those contributing to the Sundarbans' demise with its disposal of untreated effluents upstream of the forest, as well as through its non-sustainable use of a key mangrove species for its newsprint. Experts have also noted the threat posed to the Sundarbans by the effluents of Calcutta, capital of India's West Bengal, and its surrounding areas. Untreated urban wastes containing assimilable nitrogen and phosphates being discharged by factories on the banks of the Hoogly and other rivers flow down the Bay of Bengal and through the Sundarbans. In addition, scientists say an oil slick over a wide area around the Sundarbans and oil spills from ships and tankers passing by the forest have the potential to trigger an "unmanageable disaster."
As it is, experts say, mature and submature Sundari trees, which make up more than 70 percent of the forest, have died in the last three decades. More than 20 percent of these Sundaris -- whose timber is used extensively in house-building and boat-making -- are now also affected by a unique disease that causes the trees to start dying from the top down. Experts do not rule out the eventual demise of the Sundarbans itself unless the destructive human activities are stopped and the increasing salinity in the area is checked. They say siltation has led to the raising of the riverbank that in turn has caused water to be trapped in the forest. In the past, the water used to burst over the banks. Today, however, stagnant water submerges the respiratory roots of the mangrove trees, and hampers the seed germination process that used to guarantee the regeneration of trees.
Forest officials worry that the changes in the mangrove will not only mean Greater Khulna will be more vulnerable to cyclones, it will also destroy many species of flora and fauna there. They add that diminishing plantlife would mean less food for many of the animals. As a result, there are fears of the tigers becoming man-eaters as the number of deer and other natural prey dwindle. Of the two dozen species of mammals that used to be abundant in the Sundarbans, five -- rhinoceros, wild buffalo, hog deer, gaur and swamp deer -- have all but disappeared. The population of crocodiles, frogs and snakes has also shrunk considerably, mainly because of poaching and the destruction of their habitat.
But experts say the number of reptiles is likely to increase as the environment within the Sundarbans becomes more suitable to their kind. At a national conference on the Sundarbans last month, President Shahabuddin Ahmed reiterated the call for the protection of the forest. He also emphasized the importance of making government policies and programs on forest preservation "people-oriented" and integrating the activities of non- government organizations and researchers with those of the state. Observers, however, say that another kind of "collaboration" dominates in the Sundarbans. While 60,000 people, including 10,000 fishermen, earn their living from the forest, the majority are involved in illegal activities that have the tacit participation of some forest officials and staff.
Many experts, however, are hoping that the Sundarbans Biodiversity Conservation Project that was launched last year would soon begin reversing the negative trend in the forest. The six-year project aims to improve the conservation management of the Sundarbans, update the institutional capacity of the management of the reserved forest and alleviate the poverty of the 3.5 million people living in the sub- districts surrounding the Sundarbans. It also aims to formulate policy for enhancing the market value of the forest resources. Government revenue from the Sundarbans is now about $ 6 million, but officials believe this could easily be raised to as much as $ 80 million with proper management. The total project cost is $ 77 million, of which 45 percent will be financed by the Asian Development Bank. The Global Environment Facility has also pledged to take on 15 percent of the project's expenditure.
Small fry? Shrimp production and child labour in Bangladesh
The shrimp industry in Bangladesh is vital to the economy and provides a major source of export earnings. Many children work in the Bangladeshi shrimp industry - how does this work affect them? Is banning child workers, as US legislation proposes, the answer?
In Bangladesh alone there are 21 million child workers and many work in 'hidden' occupations in the non-formal sector that is so poorly understood by policy makers. Evidence from research by Save the Children (UK) suggests that a significant number of children are involved in three sectors of Bangladesh's shrimp industry; shrimp fry catching, shrimp farming, and shrimp processing in depots. Much of this work threatens a number of childrights including the right to education, to health, to recreation and the right to freedom from harmful child work.
Very little is known, however, about the nature of children's shrimp work or how important their income from this industry is to poor households. Children's work in the shrimp industry is threatened by possible US legislation banning the important of goods made by children, and by changes in methods of shrimp production encouraged by EU regulations. Past experience within the garments sector in Bangladesh suggests that the removal of children from one profession will not necessarily improve their lives and may instead push them into more harmful occupations.
A deeper understanding of the dynamics of poverty and children's shrimp work is needed to help prevent well-meaning policy initiatives from having an unintended negative effect on children. Findings from this study include:
The nature and effects of children's child work varies greatly in different sections of the shrimp industry, suggesting that it is important to differentiate when discussing child work. Some child shrimp workers work long hours, with depot workers working the longest hours in often unhygienic conditions; fry catching work can involve long hours in cold water, which can be detrimental to children's health; shrimp farm work is strenuous. Many girls work in processing depots where sexual abuse is prevalent. This can ruin their reputations, destroy marriage prospects and damage vital inter-household networks which are facilitated by marriage, as well as harming girls psychologically.
Not all children work in the shrimp industry because of poverty, but it does offer employment to girls who have very limited income opportunities in rural areas. The pay, although poor, is comparatively better than in other jobs. Child shrimp work does add significantly to household income through cash and in-kind payments which are often used to buy essential food items and to pay for the schooling of non-working children. The relationship between school and shrimp work is by no means straightforward: most child shrimp workers do not have time to go to school. However, the work can often pay for schooling.
A variety of interventions are needed that target children working in different sections of the industry, and that target girls and boys separately. Unless compensation for the loss of benefits is provided, and attempts made to prevent children from being pushed into worse kinds of employment, banning children from shrimp work through trade sanctions is not the answer
Further policy implications include:
Mitigating the negative consequences of children's work, for example, by reducing working hours or offering schooling at times that are convenient for child shrimp workers. Programmes should be tailored to meet the needs of different children working in different occupations.
The need to consider interconnecting factors including poverty and the climate of violence caused by shrimp cultivation, which puts all community members at risk.
Consulting child workers - children have their own criteria for assessing their work and a failure to do so could lead to poor policy responses that do not truly reflect their needs.
Considering a range of factors to improve children's education, including potential income loss to families, direct costs of schooling, working hours, household poverty, and whether the family supports and value education.
Contributor(s): Emily Delap and Rosemary Lugg
Source(s): 'Not Small Fry. Children's work in Bangladesh's shrimp industry', report by E. Delap and R. Lugg, Save The Children (UK) Bangladesh Programme in partnership with Uttaran NGO Bangladesh (1999)
Funded by: Save the Children (UK) Bangladesh Programme Date: 4 April 2001
Further Information: Save the Children (UK), Email: email@example.com
Copyright � 2001 id21. All rights reserved.
From: "Industrial FishFarming" firstname.lastname@example.org
Polluted Hong Kong offers haven for birds--Mai Po Reserve
May 30, 2001 HONG KONG - Close to the gleaming tower blocks of Hong Kong and the urban sprawl of mainland China's booming South lies an unlikely haven for tens of thousands of migratory birds. Hong Kong's lush Mai Po wetlands are a key rest stop for many birds on their exhausting 16,000 km (10,000 mile) migration from summer breeding grounds in Siberia and northeast China to wintering areas as far south as Australia. The 380 hectare (940 acre) reserve in the territory's rural northwest, managed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), is also a model for efforts to save diminishing wetlands on the mainland and elsewhere in Asia.
Mai Po stands out as a veritable oasis of calm in China's economically burgeoning Pearl River Delta region, which sits at the confluence of the South China Sea and several polluted rivers. The mangroves, ponds and mudflats dotted with birds are incongruously situated opposite the towering buildings of Shenzhen, one of modern China's major boom towns. Prawns are reared in some of the ponds and sold in local markets to help fund conservation efforts.
ENVIRONMENTAL THREAT But Mai Po itself is under threat - from increasing pollution in the bay separating it from the mainland and relentless urban development. "Sewage is the main threat to the reserve. The work to eliminate (water) pollution is never-ending as water in the bay doesn't get flushed out," said Mai Po Reserve manager Lew Young.
In 1996, organic waste killed off the main food source for birds in the bay, significantly lowering the number of birds wintering in Hong Kong that year. Young said there were already plans to upgrade sewage treatment plants in Hong Kong and Shenzhen and that cross-border collaboration was improving. Municipal waste water constitutes the fastest and most serious source of water pollution in the Pearl River Delta area, according to a recent report sponsored by some of Hong Kong's major companies. In 1997 alone, some 2.7 billion tonnes of wastewater were discharged into the Delta's rivers, of which around 70 percent was traceable to domestic sources. Only about nine percent of this effluent was being treated compared to 85 percent of industrial outflows, it added.
Despite growing environmental pressures on Asia's bird population, Mai Po hosted a record number of critically endangered black-faced spoonbills last winter, according to the WWF.The spoonbills are one of the world's most endangered species of wading birds. Some 252 of the East Asian birds - whose only known breeding ground is off the west coast of the Korean peninsula - wintered in Hong Kong out of a total world population of just 600.
CHINA CONSERVATION HOPES TAKE FLIGHT While environmental awareness has grown since the Hong Kong government passed key legislation in 1997, there is still a long way to go.
"Replacing marsh that is filled by construction of a road or a railway is almost routine now, but the point is do most people think that this is absurd?" said environmental consultant Gary Grant. "The work done at Mai Po and elsewhere will mould young people who think that environmental protection is a normal part of life," he told Reuters.
The Hong Kong government made a landmark decision last October effectively blocking the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp from laying tracks through the territory's largest remaining fresh water wetland. The company is now appealing to go ahead with the project. Mainland China itself was slowly measuring up to other countries in terms of wetland conservation though there were bound to be teething problems, according to Young.
"China produced a document last year which was a very positive move for conserving wetlands and they are following through with action," said Young. Mainland officials make trips to Mai Po around 12 times a year to learn more The nearby former Portuguese colony of Macau, which returned to China in1999, recently announced plans to create two man-made wetlands for rare birds. Last year, China implemented its China National Wetlands Conservation Action Plan to conserve wetlands threatened by human activities. Some 50 percent of coastal wetlands have been lost in China while nearly1,000 lakes have disappeared, according to China's State Forestry Administration.
"China is getting serious about conservation. Eco-tourism will take off one day," said Young.
Story by Tamora Vidaillet REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
From Planet Ark News Service
Virus scares spark boost to imported prawn regulations
Recent scares involving the white spot virus in imported prawns has prompted the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service to strengthen import regulations on the product.
The interim measures came into place yesterday and will continue until an impact risk assessment is carried out on the importation of uncooked prawns.
Biosecurity Australia spokesman Simon Brady says a recent incident where infected prawns were fed to aquaculture stock in Darwin prompted a review of import regulations.
"What we've come up with is a new testing regime that will detect, with 95 per cent confidence, a very low prevalence of the disease in any consignment that comes into Australia," he said.
"There are also other measures such as the maximum size, and importers must also declare that the prawn products that come in are not sold as bait."
Fishy Tales for 6-6-01 Vern Veitch email@example.com
From: "Graham J Jones" firstname.lastname@example.org
Pollution killing Australia's Barrier Reef - report
June 6, 2001 SYDNEY - The Great Barrier Reef's inshore coral and seagrass meadows are choking under a blanket of mud laced with toxic pesticides being washed off farmlands and many reefs are unlikely to survive the next five to 10 years. A World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) report on Australia's Great Barrier Reef released yesterday says increasing land-based pollution, coupled with bleaching due to global warming, was seriously threatening the world's largest coral reef formation.
"That spells catastrophe for the reef," said the report, released on World Environment Day. "There is now serious cause for concern about the survival of the inshore reefs from Hinchinbrook Island to Port Douglas. Many inshore reefs are now either highly degraded or dead. They have collapsed from the effects of sediment and nutrients pouring out of our rivers," WWF said.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living reef formation stretching 2,000 km (1,300 miles) north to south along Australia's northeast coast. WWF said 28 million tonnes of sediment flowed into the waters of the Great Barrier Reef each year, the equivalent of 3.5 million dump trucks emptying soil onto the reef.
"Land clearing and overgrazing is responsible for the vast majority of this sediment pollution," said the report, adding 76.9 percent of the reef's catchment was now grazing land compared with 10.8 percent pristine environment. Farms with some 4.9 million cattle were depositing 18 million tonnes of sediment a year. Sugar cane farms which dot the coast resulted in another 1.3 million tonnes.
"The water is often thick and brown, like a muddy milkshake, along many parts of the coastline. Murky water is not good for reefs and seagrass which need sunlight to survive."
PESTICIDES POISON REEF
WWF said thousands of tonnes of nitrogen and phosphorous from fertilisers, used on cane, banana and cotton farms, were being washed into the sea and poisoning marine life. In 1994 an estimated 8,800 tonnes of nitrogen and 1,300 tonnes of phosphorous was washed into the sea around the reef. Pesticides diuron, atrazine and ametryn, used to fight weeds, rats and diseases, were also found in coastal sugar cane areas.
But at the same time up to 80 percent of freshwater wetlands, which act as filters protecting the reef from pollution run-off, have been lost due to cane growing and coastal development. Excessive nutrient from run-off has ledto massive growth of unwanted organism, like blue-green algae, and nitrate fertiliser are causing reproduction problems for coral larvae.
"The view amongst the experts is that high concentrations of nitrate runoff from cane and other intensive cropping is the greatest chronic pollutant source to the reef," said WWF. Toxic dioxin was also found in sediment and estuaries from Cardwell south to Brisbane and in some endangered dugongs. But it was unclear the source of the dioxin.
"The levels detected were higher than levels found in high polluted waterways adjacent to urban areas in Europe and the United States," said WWF. WWF called for a stop to land clearing of the Great Barrier Reef catchment and for farming practices to change. "If we spend the next five to 10 years monitoring the decline and discussing the problem then it may be too late to rescue them," it said.
Story by Michael Perry REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
From Planet Ark
Wetlands Protection Project in Esmeraldas .
PROJECT DESCRIPTION HUMID SELVA CABO SAN FRANCISCO FONNDATION
The impact of the commercial clear cut has been large in Esmeraldas Zone. Due to exploitation, the timber industry is responsible for between 7 %- 33 % of deforestation in Ecuador during the 1980's. However, the export oriented shrimp farming industry is the major factor causing destruction of the mangrove coastal forest. During the last 20 years, Ecuador had lost more than half of its mangroves. Esmeraldas Province is where the mangroves are best conserved and where the tallest mangroves in the world can still be found.
One of the impacts of mangrove deforestation is the loss of the vital hydrological functions which are an important resource provided by mangroves. Other negative effects include loss of important biodiversity, soil erosion with the consequent desertification of vital wetlands, and therefore the impoverishment of the life quality of the majority of people living along the mangrove coasts.
We are making a proposal for a project in relation to the conservation of the mangrove wetland forest. We plan to first initiate a survey of plant species and animals, aiming to restore the habitat for those species in the zone-- some of which are endangered, like the armadillo. This active survey will take place with the support and participation of all the communities that are themselves organized via different committees , cooperatives .etc .
The project involves the participation of the Technical Agriculture School, "San Francisco de Cabo," with 40 students and 7 teachers and local schools performing the species survey, to the health committee integrated only for women of San Francisco del Cabo and the Conchera Association of Bunches who are participating in this process. The first group of women from San Francisco del Cabo will be involved in the awareness raising efforts, and the second group, Conchera Association of Bunches, will be involved in the actual work in restoring the mangrove swamps.
They will be the leaders of the project from the womb of the community--coordinating ,managing activities with the different commitees including parents and families and the two fishermen cooperatives.
We call on other organizations and individuals that can support the executation of this project for further information please contact : email@example.com
From Joseph Torres firstname.lastname@example.org
GM gives $10 million for endangered Brazil forest
USA: May 18, 2001
WASHINGTON - General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, will donate $10 million to restore and protect an endangered tract of Atlantic Coast rain forest in Brazil, an environmental group said yesterday. The Nature Conservancy said it was the largest ever contribution to preserving forests by a major industrial corporation.
"This is a recognition of the economic value that the protection of nature can provide, as a credit down the road," said Douglas Meyer, a spokesman for the environmental group. The funds will be used to buy 30,000 acres (12,000 hectares) of coastal rain forest in southern Brazil to protect wildlife and ensure it continues absorbing carbon dioxide. International experts are looking at the role forests play in climate change, and reserves such as the one funded by GM in Brazil are likely to be considered as pollution credit" for their carbon benefit in any future international agreement.
The land, which was cleared decades ago for farming and raising Asian water buffalo, is part of the Guaraquecaba environmental protection area, 774,000 acres (313,000 hectares) of mountains, lowlands, estuaries, islands and mangroves. Brazil's Atlantic forest, stretching from eastern Paraguay to northeastern Brazil, is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, but only 7 percent remains today.
It is home to 171 of Brazil's 202 endangered animal species, including the jaguar, yellow-throated caiman, tapir, red-tailed parrot and the black-faced lion tamarin. New species are still being discovered there, including an unknown monkey and a tiny marsh antbird spotted four years ago. The land will be owned and managed by a Brazilian group, the Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem e Educacao Ambiental (SPVS), based in Curitiba.
GM is very pleased to partner with the Nature Conservancy, SPVS and the surrounding communities to restore and protect this important part of Brazil's natural heritage," said Dennis Minano, GM vice president for environmental matters. The Nature Conservancy, which owns the largest private system of nature sanctuaries in the world, said the Atlantic rain forest preservation project in Brazil will be a model for responding to global climate change concerns.
Story by Anthony Boadle REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
From Planet Ark www.planetark.org
Turtles safe from shrimp trawl in 43 countries
USA: May 4, 2001 WASHINGTON - The United States has added Honduras and Pakistan to a list of states allowed to export shrimp to the United States because they had taken steps to protect sea turtles, the State Department said this week. The others listed thanks to their use of devices that prevent the turtles accidentally getting drowned in shrimp trawls were Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.
A further 25 nations plus Hong Kong were listed as having fishing environments that did not pose a danger to sea turtles, either because their fishing techniques were not dangerous to the animals or because they fish for shrimp only in cold waters, where there is little risk of snagging turtles.
Consignments of shrimp from other countries need to have special documentation certifying that they were harvested in a way that does not threaten sea turtles.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
From Planet Ark www.planetark.org
Bush tours Everglades, polishes green credentials
USA: June 6, 2001
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. - In a display of environmental commitment, President George W. Bush toured the Everglades this week and trumpeted his $219 million budget request for restoration of Florida's watery wilderness. For the second time in a week, Bush traveled to one of the country's premier natural settings to polish conservation credentials critics say have been tarnished by decisions to abandon an international treaty on global warming, reverse a campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide emissions and propose drilling in an Alaskan wildlife refuge.
In place of the giant redwoods that provided the presidential backdrop in California's Sequoia National Park last Wednesday were the sawgrass prairies, mangrove swamps and silent, shallow waters of the Florida Everglades Bush called "a beautiful slice of heaven." A subtropical wilderness covering 1.5 million acres (610,000 hectares), it is home to threatened and endangered species, including the swallowtail butterfly, the red-cockaded woodpecker, and the Florida panther....
...Bush's efforts to build a conservationist image in the state failed to impress Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, who complained the president had not made a commitment to banning oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida's west coast. Floridians fear an oil spill would damage the state's key tourism attraction - its beaches.
"Sixteen million Floridians don't want offshore oil drilling, and this administration appears to be committed to that ... We will fight that to the death here," he said.
Story by Steve Holland REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
From Planet Ark www.planetark.org
NOTE: It is very important for our network to learn more about this crucial assessment, the significance of which could be vital in tracking the problems most affecting our planet's beleagured coastal regions, including the natural resources and associated ecosystems.
Global Ecosystem Study Launched on World Environment Day
TORINO, Italy, June 5, 2001 (ENS) - Scientists, governments and environmental groups from around the world are planning a cooperative assessment of all the planet's wildlife habitats and ecosystems. The United Nations Environment Programme unveiled the plans at World Environment Day 2001 celebrations in New York, Tokyo and Torino, Italy this week.
The goal of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is to determine the true health of habitats everywhere in the world and whether they are functioning for the benefit of humans as well as plants and animals....The four-year, $21 million study will examine the impacts that humans are having on the planet. It will provide remedies and chart ways in which the Earth's ecosystems can be saved and restored.
"If we are to rescue the Earth's life support systems, we need hard facts," said Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which is playing a major role in the project. "We already know a great deal. We have sufficient knowledge to turn fine words into actions. But important questions remain, which is why I welcome this scientific undertaking."
The first task will be to find a common approach to the ecosystem assessment that can work for the wide variety of scientific and other organizations involved. The study starts off with a unique asset - a set of 16,000 Landsat satellite images donated to UNEP earlier this month by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA). The images contain vital information on the changes which have occurred to coastal areas, countryside, mountains, wetlands, agriculture and urban sprawl since the Earth Summit in 1992.
Based on the satellite images, UNEP reported May 18 that the once fertile crescent created by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is rapidly drying up. Drainage and damming has destroyed close to 90 percent of these Mesopotamian marshlands. Dan Claasen of UNEP's Division of Early Warning and Assessment said, "One of the most difficult challenges will be the assessment of inaccessible coastal and deep ocean areas including coral reefs, mangrove swamps and the continental shelves. We hope the satellite data will play an important role in mapping the location and extent of such sites. This will allow us to identify areas where direct scientific assessments by people on the ground are urgently needed."
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment will build on the Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems published in 2000 and produced by the World Resources Institute in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, UNEP and the World Bank. Assessment co-chair Cropper said, "The pilot analysis shows that the driving forces behind rapid deterioration of the world's ecosystems are rapid population growth and increased consumption. We now want to expand this analysis and go deeper."
Support for the start-up period of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has been provided by the Avina Group, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the government of Norway, the Swedish Agency for Development Cooperation, the Summit Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Wallace Global Fund and the World Bank.
From Environment News Service (ENS) 2001. www.ens.lycos.com
===== A message from the 'fishfarm' discussion list =====
World Crisis for Wild Atlantic Salmon
Stocks of wild Atlantic Salmon stand at the lowest known level in history and urgent action is needed to prevent further irretrievable damage to the species warns WWF, the global environment network, in a study published today. "The Status of Wild Atlantic Salmon � A River by River Assessment" reveals that wild Salmon have been completely eliminated from over 300 out of over 2000 river systems in their original range and stocks hang by a thread in many other locations. Salmon catches have fallen by more than 80 per cent between 1970 and the end of the 20th century. WWF and the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) are calling on countries participating in the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) conference in Spain from 4 to 8 June, 2001, to take vital steps to ensure the salmon's survival.
To address the threats both at sea and in rivers, WWF is calling for a range of actions including a moratorium on certain types of fishing and more effective management of river basins. The impacts of industrially-farmed salmon on wild salmon populations are among the issues to be discussed by member nations of NASCO.
"When a river loses its salmon, that locally specialised population is lost forever. The fate of the species is increasingly becoming a sad story of extinction peppered across Europe. To save wild Atlantic Salmon in the long term, governments must restore rivers where it is threatened or has disappeared and take action to protect those rivers still hosting healthy populations," said Elizabeth Leighton, WWF Senior Policy Officer.
The report reveals that the wild fish have virtually disappeared in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The species is on the brink of extinction in Estonia, Portugal, Poland, the United States and parts of Canada, with nearly 90% of the known healthy populations existing in only four countries: Norway, Republic of Ireland, Iceland and Scotland. However, the species....
WWF Press Release, May 31, 2001 www.wwf.no
From: Don Staniford email@example.com
===== A message from the 'fishfarm' discussion list =====
American Scientist (Vol 89), May-June 2001
Preserving salmon biodiversity--the number of Pacific salmon has declined dramatically. But the loss of genetic diversity may be a bigger problem
Phillip S Levin and Michael H Schiewe "Hatcheries: Hatecheris (where fry are raised from eggs) have become the foundation of efforts to preserve the salmon fishing industry - and in some cases the species themselves. Each year, North American facilities release more than five billion juvenile salmon; on the Columbia River alone, hatcheries produce about 200 million fish. But the benefits of all this work have yet to be demonstrated. Indeed, this program may well be a contributing factor in the long term decline of salmon. How so?
To answer that question, one needs to understand how the system operates. The raising of Pacific salmon is sometimes called "sea ranching". Fish remain in hatcheries until they are juveniles, when they are released into the adjoining river or stream. They soon swim to the Pacific to feed on the "ocean pasture". The salmon that survice typically return to the hatchery in which they were raised although some do stray and spawn in the wild. The risk of changing the salmonid gene pool as a result of such practices was once thought to be minimal, because these fish typically experience natural conditions for most of their lives. Recent research, however, suggests that the artificial propagation of salmon can permanently alter genetic make-up and ultimately reduce the viability of wild populations.
A 1999 reivew by Reginald Reisenbichler and Steve Rubin of the US Geological Survey dramatically highlights this notion. They found that the survival of hatchery-raised steelhead released into a river in Oregon was about 20 percent lower than that of their wild counterparts. In a separate study, Ian Fleming and Mart Gross of the University of Toronto determined that coho bred in hatcheries tend to be less aggressive than wild coho and thus have less spawning success. The ability to avoid predators, the timing of reproduction and their degree of territoriality also vary bewteen hatchery and wild salmon. When hatchery-raised fish stray, they can pass on their genes to others. And although the hypothesis is still the subject of much research, many studies suggest that such interbreeding between hatchery and wild fish results in offspring that are less fit to survive.
Clearly, conservation managers need to rethink the traditional role of hatcheries. We anticipate that there will be a place for them. But the people who run hatcheries must focus their attention on the production of salmon that are more like their wild counterparts, and they must find other ways to minimize adverse effects on wild populations."
From: Don Staniford firstname.lastname@example.org
31 May 2001
Satellite Paints Smoggy Portrait of the Planet
(CNN, May 30) -- Watching colossal plumes of smog drift across continents and oceans, a NASA satellite has produced the most comprehensive view ever of air pollution on the planet. Monitoring carbon monoxide levels in the atmosphere over time, the Terra orbiter demonstrates that pollutants respect no national boundaries. Forest fires in Africa and South America hurl heavy concentrations of smoke as far as Australia. Factories and fires in Southeast Asia do the same to North America.
"With these new observations you clearly see that air pollution is much more than a local problem. It's a global issue," said John Gille, a Terra researcher with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Gille and colleagues unveiled the new Terra images at an American Geophysical Union meeting on Wednesday in Boston. Terra measures carbon monoxide in the troposphere, the layer of the atmosphere between two and three miles above the Earth's surface. There, the pollutant interacts with other gases to form smog, which can move higher in the atmosphere and travel great distances or waft downward to the surface, where it can settle into the lungs of humans and animals.
In Terra's color-coded images, bright red areas depict the highest concentrations of carbon monoxide. The red zones wax and wane in hot spots like central Africa, the Amazon, Southeast Asia, and occasionally North America and Europe. In those regions, industries and fires, both natural and manmade, spawn plumes of carbon monoxide that stretch over entire oceans. Much of the Northern Hemisphere seems gripped with a permanent greenish fog, evidence of a persistent if slightly weaker case of carbon monoxide poisoning.
In North America, the changing blobs of color document the summer smoke of forest fires in the West and the winter trail of fossil fuel emissions in the East. While Terra cannot discern individual pollution sources, the spacecraft can distinguish air pollution from particular metropolitan areas and forests. About 50 percent of world carbon monoxide emissions come from human activities, NASA researchers said.
By tracking carbon monoxide, a byproduct of the burning of fossil fuels or organic matter such as wood, scientists can indirectly track the movements of related pollutants such as nitrogen oxides. The flagship of NASA's Earth Observing System, Terra launched in December and began collecting science data in late February.
From: John Wilner email@example.com
Voluntary Blackout as Protest--***ACTION ALERT***!!!
ROLL YOUR OWN BLACK OUT:--PASS IT ON IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A STATEMENT
THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER JUNE 21, 2001 THURSDAY EVE, 7-10pm worldwide,all time zones In protest of George W. Bush's energy policies and lack of emphasis on efficiency, conservation and alternative fuels, there will be a voluntary rolling blackout on the first day of summer, June 21 at 7pm -10pm in any time zone (this will roll it across the planet).
Its a simple protest and a symbolic act. Turn out your lights from 7pm-10pm on June 21. Unplug whatever you can unplug in your house. Light a candle ...tell ghost stories, do something instead of watching television, have fun in the dark.
Forward this email as widely as possible, to your government representatives and environmental contacts. Let them know we want global education, participation and funding in conservation, efficiency and alternative fuel efforts -- and an end to over exploitation and misuse of the earth's resources.
From: Pat Herron firstname.lastname@example.org
South American Wetland Assessment
You may be interested in a new website developed and hosted by Wetlands International about:
Los Humedales de Am�rica Del Sur - Una Agenda para la Conservaci�n de la Biodiversidad y las Pol�ticas de Desarrollo
Wetlands of South America - An Agenda for Biodiversity Conservation and Policies Development
From: "Frazier, S." Frazier@Wetlands.agro.nl
The Current State of Philippine Aquaculture
With the continued degradation of our coastal ecosystems, and the decline in municipal fishing production, The Philippine government is placing more and more emphasis on developing the aquaculture sector. This policy direction, if not carefully pursued in a sustainable development context, is certain to have social, economic and environmental repercussions similar to the Blue Revolution fiasco in the 70s, when hundreds of thousands of hectares of mangroves were converted to fishponds.
To address this concern, Tambuyog will be holding a round table discussion on "the Current State of Philippine Aquaculture", on June 18, 2001, at the DA NAFC conference room, Elliptical Rd., Q. C., from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This activity will be a good opportunity to acquaint participants, coming from the civil society, with Dept. of Agriculture Sec. Leonardo Montemayor's plans for the aquaculture sector, on current problems and issues related to aquaculture, and identify general areas for possible policy reform advocacy. From TAMBUYOG DEVELOPMENT CENTER email@example.com
Shell/IFC in Niger Delta--
PLEASE CIRCULATE The Shell/IFC project for the Niger Delta will be voted on by the World Bank board of directors on June 14, unless we get another delay, so there's still time to write the World Bank ED with your letters of protest (see biousa.org for addresses, fax, e-mail etc.)
See seen.org for further info on the project.
Intrafish, 29th May
Cubans have no qualms eating GM tilapia
Per Torbj�rn Jystad
"Fidel Castro has accelerated the production of genetically modified (GM) fish. In Cuba, GM-tilapia production is in full swing and the Cubans are "voluntarily" dining on Castro's new menu," says a Norwegian scientist. "Cuba has thereby taken the furthest steps of any nation in approving genetically modified fish. However, Cuban research technicians and tilapia producers haven't been totally accepting of popping the genetically modified tilapia into the pots. Cuban research technicians have also indicated there might be a possibility of a co-operation with Norwegian research technicians to find out more about the effects of the genetically modified fish as human food," Professor �shild Krogdahl of the Norwegian Institute of Vetrinary Studies recently told IntraFish.
For human consumption "Castro's intention is that genetic modification shall be used for production and now genetically modified tilapia is in fact sold in that country," continued Krogdahl. She has personally initiated projects where the focus is on the effects of genetic modification. Via her contacts in Cuba she is now working on obtaining some of the genetically modified fish for testing. By allowing consumption of GMO-fish, Cuba has thereby positioned itself as the principal motivator for the acceptance of GMO-fish.
China not so pro-GM fish While Cuba is welcoming genetic modification with open arms, the opposite appears to be the case with China, the world's largest farmed fish producer. During the conference entitled 'Research for the Fisheries Industry' held last last week, the principal of the Norwegian Institute of Fisheries Studies, Kjell Kr. Olsen, said that Chinese scepticism was widespread. He went on to say that during a meeting with representatives from a State-funded Chinese research institute, the distinct impression obtained was that China would not proceed further with GM-fish research.
From: Don Staniford firstname.lastname@example.org
Intrafish, 28th May
Farmed tilapia threaten indigenous species
Two Norwegian-owned companies in Nicaragua - Nicanor and Nicafish - are threatening stocks of other fish species in Nicaragua, through their plans to start with farming of tilapia. Jeffrey McCrary, biologist and research technician at the Central American University of Managua, pointed out that the release of wild tilapia in the Nicaraguan lakes has halved the total stock of fish.
Herbivorous tilapia squeeze out other species by taking over grazing and spawning locations reported the magazine X. McCrary fears aquaculture will threaten the natural species in the country's lakes. He maintains that an introduction of this kind would have been totally prohibited in a country like Norway. He contended that Norwegian-owned Nicanor is committing a typical example of double standard, or putting into practice something they would not have been allowed to in the home country.
Reidar Sundet of Nicafish believes financial interests must be prioritised before environmental interests in a poor country such as Nicaragua. Sundet says that profits on tilapia production are excellent, and expects an advance of more than100 per cent once the aquacultural plans are realised, according to X.
Nicafish hopes to employ up to 100 persons in the planned future aquaculture investment. Sundet maintains tilapia farming will be a positive contribution to Nicaragua's economy. The country is currently struggling with low revenue from the traditionally vital coffee export, and has a finance sector that is facing belly up. Despite having far less fresh water resources than Nicaragua, tilapia farming is big business for neighbouring Costa Rica. From Nicaragua it is still only wild tilapia that is sold in much less volume and profit.
From: Don Staniford email@example.com
Daily Telegraph, 1st June
Fish farms threaten the world's wild salmon
Charles Clover (Environment editor)
The Atlantic salmon is in trouble in half of the rivers in Britain and endangered in more than a third, a report by WWF said yesterday. The report, The Status of Wild Atlantic Salmon - A River by River Assessment, argues that Britain, particularly Scotland, bears a heavy responsibility for the survival of the species, which has been completely extirpated from much of its original range and hangs by a thread elsewhere.
After two centuries of slow decline that coincided with industrial development, wild salmon catches have plummeted by more than 80 per cent over the past three decades and stand at the lowest levels in history, according to the report. Wild salmon have virtually disappeared from Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Slovakia and are on the brink of extinction in Estonia, Portugal, Poland, the United States and parts of Canada. Nearly 90 per cent of the known healthy populations exist in only four countries: Norway, Ireland, Iceland and Scotland, according to the report, released to coincide with a meeting of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation in Spain....
...The principal threat to stocks in the north and west of Scotland is fish farming, which, with its escapees, parasites and diseases, may now be the principal threat to wild stocks everywhere.....To save wild salmon in the long term, governments must restore rivers where it is threatened or has disappeared and take action to protect those rivers still hosting healthy populations."
From: Don Staniford firstname.lastname@example.org
Salmon farm agreement bodes well for the future
Thursday, May 31, 2001 Portland Press Herald editorial portland.com
Contrary to the doom-and-gloom predictions of opponents, listing Gulf of Maine Atlantic salmon as an endangered species needn't endanger local economies. The best evidence is today's announcement of a major agreement between Maine's salmon aquaculture industry and mainstream environmental groups that have fought the fish farms in the past. The two sides have devised a plan that should help reduce, and in a long-term scenario, eliminate escapes by farmed salmon into Down East rivers, where they could compete with wild salmon and threaten native stocks through interbreeding or disease.
The threat is real. In December, for example, a winter storm with wind gusts up to 120 m.p.h. wrecked a steel cage owned by Atlantic Salmon of Maine, freeing 100,000 salmon into Machias Bay. The accident wasn't made public until February, however, and the reporting delay rightly drew harsh criticism from environmental groups. Better containment was a logical place to start when the two sides finally began talking to each other about compliance with an ESA listing.
According to Jeff Kaelin of Heritage Atlantic, a fish farm based in Winterport, the plan requires aquaculture companies to make public their containment strategies, go through a third-party audit, and address any deficiencies the audit uncovers. What's notable about the pact is that it does not prescribe the kind of technology or containment strategy that a company must use, but rather focuses on outcomes. What's right for a fish farm in Eastport may not be appropriate for one near Machias.
The plan, Kaelin adds, will not hurt the competitive position of Maine aquaculture companies on the global market.
The agreement also calls for a public database to categorize escapes by a number of factors, including containment technology and site. The data should show how and why escapes occur and provide lessons for other sites. Farms with frequent escapes would be subject to intensified scrutiny, while those with good track records could be certified to receive streamlined regulatory review.
This is no minor breakthrough. Salmon farms are competitors and have been loathe to share such data with other companies - or with regulators and environmentalists. Conservation groups including Trout Unlimited and the Atlantic Salmon Federation back the plan because it makes escape reporting mandatory and will provide crucial information about the actual risk escaped salmon pose to their wild cousins.....
....Andrew Goode, U.S. program director for the ASF, believes the agreement will one day be adopted by other countries. "This will be an international model," he says. "Aquaculture in Maine could well be the greenest aquaculture in the world." If that's the case, Maine farms could gain a competitive advantage in the seafood business, where consumers have demonstrated - through certification programs for turtle-safe shrimp and dolphin-friendly tuna - that they want environmentally friendly products.....
From SeaWeb Aquaculture Clearinghouse email@example.com
The Scotsman, 21st May
Fears growing of GM escapees
From: "Bioinvasions" firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday Times, 7th November 1999
Salmon firm admits link to deadly virus
The world's largest salmon farming company has been linked to the spread of a deadly fish flu virus in Scotland. Eight out of 11 salmon farms confirmed by government scientists to have infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) are owned by Hydro Seafood. A further two farms were infected after introducing young salmon from a Hydro Seafood farm. The virus, a notifiable disease that has led to the slaughter of millions of farmed salmon, costing the industry an estimated �38m, was first recorded in Scotland in May 1998 at a Hydro farm in Loch Nevis, near Mallaig. Hydro Seafood, which is owned by the Norwegian multi-national Norsk Hydro, admits there are clear links between this first discovery of ISA and all but one of the later cases. Last week government scientists alarmed environmentalists by revealing they had found ISA in wild fish, including salmon, trout and eels, for the first time.
David Rackham, director of Hydro Seafood's Scottish operation, said: "There is clearly a link between the point source in Nevis, which is where the outbreak first occurred in 1998 and our own farms in other areas...There's no doubt at all that we have inadvertently spread it from our own operations. We sold smolts on to Marine Harvest McConnell and then they transferred this up to Shetland from their operation on Skye..."
...The argument over the original source of ISA shows no signs of being resolved. The virus, which causes haemorrhaging in the fish's kidneys and liver if it develops to full-blown disease, was first recorded in Norway in 1984. It was reported in Canada in 1996 and was discovered in Scotland last year....Twenty-four Scottish farms have been designated as "suspected" of harbouring ISA. They are subject to a quarantine but are not required to kill stock. Hydro has launched legal action against the government for about �20m compensation for compulsory destruction of fish on farms where the virus has been confirmed.
From: Don Staniford email@example.com