The MAP News, 236th Ed., 30 April 2010
Please enjoy this 236th issue of MAP’s Newsletter. As always, we welcome your story ideas and news articles. Each of the stories below are just a small portion of the news items we’re sent, I hope you’ll follow the links to read the whole story on each of these important issues.
And please continue to make the world better by taking action on the Action Alerts to the left. Your voice can be heard.
Towards a sustainable future,
Mangrove Action Project
Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.
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SHRIMP LESS, THINK MORE campaign has changed it’s name to QUESTION YOUR SHRIMP:
Save the Uran
Even if this battle is lost strong public protest will warn the government that the destruction of important wetland is being watched and in the future the environment must be given a much higher priority. Only when the public voice because so loud that the government can’t ignore it will we see change in government policy. SIGN OUR PETITION
Please call Taco Bell’s Customer Service : at 1-800-TACO-BELL to make your request that they do not serve imported shrimp in their tacos, but serve only shrimp produced in N. America! READ MORE
Kenya Stills Needs Your Support
6,000 families are likely to be displaced by the project but this figure barely scratches the surface of the much larger impact the port is likely to have. Please take action to save the Lamu Archipelago. Send the action letter to the Prime Minister of Kenya expressing your concerns to Stop The Ports
Draft Daryl Hannah as Mangroves Spokesperson
This is a petition needing your supportive signature to ‘draft’ Daryl Hannah into being the voice of the mangroves! Ms. Hannah as the mermaid from the movie “Splash” has that coastal wetland connection making her the ideal candidate to speak for the mangroves.
MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR
With no action being taken despite all our efforts, Uran is going from bad to worse. It may in fact be almost too late to do anything, a month down the line. A visit yesterday showed how the development has assumed a more frenetic pace in the last one month. The NM SEZ wall is almost complete & the JNPT SEZ is beginning to show signs of construction right at the edge of mangroves. We have written to all who matter in the issue & also submitted a draft plan for the restoration. But in the absence of any action, the destruction continues unabashed. We have uploaded all the pics of destruction with detailed maps at the link VIEW IMAGES
Any help in this last-ditch effort will be appreciated
Extinction threat for mangroves warns IUCN
April 21, 2010
New Delhi: As the world observed Earth Day Thursday (April 22), there was not much to cheer for the coastal communities whose primary source of livelihood — mangroves is under threat due to unchecked anthropological pressures and natural calamities. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a network of several conservation groups, has set alarm bells ringing by warning that more than one in six mangrove species worldwide are in danger of extinction due to coastal development and other factors, including climate change, logging and agriculture. READ MORE
MAP’s Indonesian Training Project to Promote Mangroves
MAP Indonesia is facilitating a follow up training on livelihoods to further the training provided for Sahabat Bakau and Global Environmental Centre in Kuala Gula Malaysia. MAP’s partners based in Bali, who also work with community groups in Riau (supported by UNDP) are involved in marketing of Non Traditional Forest Product’s from mangroves. Leaders will play a role in an upcoming project in South Sulawesi as well. If you are interested in supprting this effort, please email MAP at mangroveap at olypen.com
Chaotic climate threatens food security
April 29, 2010
VIET NAM – Worsening impacts of climate change including intense typhoons, salinity intrusion, floods and droughts could threaten food security for both Vietnam and other countries if essential measures are not taken immediately, according to environmental scientists who joined the 2010 Mekong Environment and Climate Symposium. The two-day symposium, which was organized in HCMC by the Mekong River Commission and ended on Tuesday, attracted many scientists from organizations and countries sharing the Mekong basin including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Some scientists told the symposium that more direct negative impacts of a changing environment and climate change due to global warming were damaging fisheries, agricultural production, forestry, human health and water resources of 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.
Wetland Ecosystem Conservation: A Review
April 22, 2010
INDIA – Wetlands are often biodiversity ‘hotspots’ (Reid et al., 2005), as well as functioning as filters for pollutants from both point and non-point sources, and being important for carbon sequestration and emissions (Finlayson et al., 2005). The value of the world’s wetlands are increasingly receiving due attention as they contribute to a healthy environment in many ways. Wetland functions are defined as the normal or characteristic activities that take place in wetland ecosystems or simply the things that wetlands do. Wetlands perform a wide variety of functions in a hierarchy from simple to complex as a result of their physical, chemical, and biological attributes.
Mangrove species may perish in a decade: global study
April 24, 2010?
INDIA Several among the 70 known species of mangroves are at high risk of extinction and may disappear well before the next decade if protective measures are not enforced, warns the first global study by U.S. researchers. Eleven of these have been placed on the red list of threatened species kept by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The study, led by Beth A. Polidoro attached to the Global Marine Species Assessment unit based at Old Dominion University, Virginia, shows that about 80 per cent of the mangrove areas in India and Southeast Asia have been lost over the past 60 years.
Kenya fishermen divided over adoption of ring net
April 16, 2010?
KENYAAs a light aircraft overflies the picturesque Watamu peninsula in Malindi, Kenya, a gang of about 40 fishermen pulls a large net from the sea. Nothing out of the ordinary to the observers on the plane, even after circling the area several times. But these are no ordinary fishermen. They are among the three ring netters operating in Watamu. Despite their seemingly small number, the economic and environmental impact has been enormous, raising a wave of complaints and concerns.
West Africa sets out to protect dying mangroves
March 8, 2010
SIERRA LEONE, (Reuters) – Salt is precious in poverty-stricken coastal West Africa, but conservation experts say efforts to extract it are laying waste to mangrove swamps, causing erosion and ravaging fish stocks. In Sierra Leone, one of Africa’s poorest nations still recovering from a 1991-2002 civil war, lawmakers are preparing a bill to join a seven-nation charter to protect the region’s mangrove forests.
Conservation group Wetlands International says the initiative is essential for West Africa to save the 800,000 hectares (2 million acres) of mangrove swamps it has left, less than a third of the 3 million hectares it started with.The mangroves are falling prey to the artisanal salt industry because they are most readily available source of wood for fires used to boil up seawater and salt dust — the preferred method of making salt.
Destroying mangroves in West Africa detrimental to people, climate, and wildlife
March 25, 2010
WEST AFRICA – The UN has declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. Sadly, many of the ecosystems that harbor such biodiversity, like mangroves, are quickly disappearing due to the effects of human activities. Mangroves are trees and plants that grow in swampy areas of saline water in tropical or subtropical climes, including the coastline of West Africa. They are invaluable for the habitats, protection and resources they provide in addition to their formidable carbon sequestering capacity.
Alternatives to Mangrove Destruction for Women’s Livelihoods in Central Africa
April 27, 2010
In Central Africa, traditional economic activities of women include freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium vollenhovenii) fishing, finfish processing and marketing, which depend heavily on mangrove forests as a source of prawn juveniles and fuel wood for fish smoking. This project will contribute to slowing the rate of mangrove deforestation, reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth by helping the women who rely on mangrove forest ecosystems for their livelihoods to adapt and adopt profitable aquaculture and fish preservation technology that will reduce demand for mangrove wood as fuel for fish smokers (currently accounting for >80% of mangrove forest losses in southern Cameroon) while at the same time decreasing post-harvest losses and increasing revenues by augmenting the supply of prawns and fish supplied to the market. Particular attention will be paid to the activities and strategies that will promote the model developed in this project and ensure its wider uptake.Three immediate outcomes are anticipated.
The huge value of mangroves for communities
WEST AFRICA – Africa is richly endowed with mangroves, which cover over 3.2 million hectares, extending from Mauritania to Angola on the Atlantic coast and from Somalia to South Africa along the Indian Ocean. Mangrove forests have a huge value for coastal communities that derive their livelihoods from them. Although commonly defined as “poor” in official statistics, communities living in healthy mangrove areas have what many urban people lack: diverse and abundant food. Mangroves provide for many of their needs, usually complemented with other productive activities such as farming, poultry, bee-farming and so on. Mangrove wood is a multi-purpose resource for fish stakes, fish traps, boat building, boat paddles, yam stakes, fencing, carvings, building timber, fuel and many other uses.The Rufiji River Delta mangroves provide a good example on the above. Located in southern Tanzania, it is the largest delta in Eastern Africa and contains the largest estuarine mangrove forest on the eastern seaboard of the African continent. The Delta region is home to over thirty thousand people who live, farm and fish in its fertile agricultural lands and rich fishing grounds. The latter produce over 80 per cent of Tanzania’s prawn exports with the entire catch being wild prawns.?
Fish Farming Gets Major Boost in Liberia
April, 27, 2010
After successful activities in the Ivory Coast and Guinea, a Europe-based non-governmental organization (NGO) has introduced a new method of farming in Liberia designed to produce fish and rice on a regular basis. A press release from the NGO said the European Commission (EU) is funding a new food security project based in Gbarnga, Bong County. The project, Development of Sustainable Inland Fish Farming to Achieve Food Security in Rural Liberia, will be implemented by Association for Fish Farming Development in Africa (APDRA-F), a French NGO specialized in fish farming development all over Africa and its local partner NGO, Catalyst Liberia Incorporated. This new project will carry out activities in Bong, Nimba, Lofa and Grand Gedeh counties. It aims at training farmers to develop fish farming activities with their own means in order to improve food security in Liberia in producing fresh fish locally in a sustainable way. READ MORE
Long-Term Effects Feared After Gulf of Mexico Oil Rig Explosion
April 27, 2010?
GULF OF MEXICO – When the Transocean, Ltd. oil drilling rig exploded and sank off the coast of Louisiana last week, it set off a chain of events that could have long-term economic and environmental effects on several southern U.S. states. It also could affect President Barack Obama’s plans to increase off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon drilling platform sat about 70 kilometers off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Last week, for reasons that still are yet to been determined – the rig exploded and sank. Most workers escaped the rig, but 11 are missing and presumed dead.?
Ocean acidification causes negative effects on fisheries
April 20, 2010?
Ocean acidification is a rising problem that could potentially cause negative effects on fisheries in the Bering Sea. “It’s affecting food webs and fisheries,” said Brad Warren, a staff member of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. Warren, who recently spoke about the issue of acidification at Dutch Harbor in March at the Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference, said the rise of carbon dioxide emissions is causing ocean life to face new problems. “It’s severe,” he said. “We have to face the root problem, and the root is rapid growth of CO2. You don’t really have to care about global warming one way or another, this is really an irrefutable face of chemistry.” So far, the most blatant depiction of what higher acid levels is doing to sea life is occurring in Oregon. The levels of corrosiveness cause key plankton species and clams to dissolve.
The Get Out Migration Begins?A people’s movement to protect the fish that built BC – wild salmon
April 22, 2010?
CANADA – After 20 years of expressing concern to governments that won’t listen and have shielded Norwegian salmon farms from the laws of Canada, the public of British Columbia is taking to the streets to get industrial salmon farming out of the ocean and away from their wild salmon. ?The Get Out Migration begins today with an evening send-off from the fishing village of Sointula. Tomorrow morning the Namgis First Nation will perform a ceremony at the Nimpkish River at 10am for the group walking into the mountains. “Get Out for Wild Salmon” released today shows Biologist Alexandra Morton leaving the Meetup River with the young wild salmon and the send off by the Broughton First Nation village Gwa’yasdams Village. “When International companies come in here and lay waste to our territory we have a problem with that,” said elected chief Bob Chamberlin.
NASA Finds Shrimp Beneath Antarctica Ice
March 15, 2010
WASHINGTON – In a surprising discovery about where higher life can thrive, scientists for the first time found a shrimp-like creature and a jellyfish frolicking beneath a massive Antarctic ice sheet. Six hundred feet below the ice where no light shines, scientists had figured nothing much more than a few microbes could exist. That’s why a NASA team was surprised when they lowered a video camera to get the first long look at the underbelly of an ice sheet in Antarctica. A curious shrimp-like creature came swimming by and then parked itself on the camera’s cable. Scientists also pulled up a tentacle they believe came from a foot-long jellyfish.?
Turtle advocates urge halt to shrimping
April 26, 2010?
TEXAS – A group devoted to saving endangered sea turtles Monday asked state and federal officials to halt all shrimp trawling on the upper Texas Gulf Coast because a large number of dead Kemp’s ridley turtles washed ashore this month. Carol Allen, the Sea Turtle Restoration Project’s Gulf Coast director, told the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that shrimp trawlers were responsible for the deaths of more than 20 Kemp’s ridley turtles on the upper Texas Gulf Coast over 11 days, ending on Thursday. Allen said that four or five dead Kemp’s ridley’s were discovered on beaches Saturday, but Donna Shaver, Texas coordinator for the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network said that so far no weekend turtle deaths had been reported. “The best way to stop this is to stop the shrimping,” Allen said.?
Assessment of the Ecological Impacts of Two Shrimp Farms in Southern Belize
April 20, 2010
This study assessed the ecological impacts of the Belize Aquaculture Ltd (BAL) and Aquamar shrimp farms in southern Belize. Water and in situ periphyton samples (measuring nitrogen content, carbon/nitrogen ratios, and growth) indicated that shrimp farm effluent was influencing receiving waterways. At BAL, periphyton sampling showed significant elevation of nitrogen content, and growth within the group of sites below the effluent release creeks. Compared to other BAL sampling sites, nitrate, phosphate, and TSS were the highest and DO the lowest at sample sites in Santa Maria Creek, the major effluent release point at BAL. Seagrass distribution decreased significantly in the middle portion of Placencia Lagoon between 2003 and 2007, coinciding with increased nutrient loading from BAL and adjacent development in the area.
Please Save the Endangered Bimini Island Boa
Edgar Fortune, President and CEO of GICS has entered into a partnership with Dr. Samuel Gruber, Lead Scientist and Owner of the Bimini Biological Field Station to conduct a field based research project aimed at benefiting the endangered Bimini Boa (Epicrates striatus fosteri). The planned date for the project is 2010. The destruction of the native mangrove forests and sea grass in the name of development has catastrophic potential for the future of many species of animals; sharks, shell fish, birds, reptiles etc. that rely on these forests (both above and below the water) for their survival and very existence. A short film documenting the threats to the sawfish, native to the waters off of Bimini does an excellent job of summing up the impacts and threats to this ecosystem – we encourage you to watch it on youtube.