UN moves towards recognising human right to a healthy environment

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Formal recognition would help protect those who increasingly risk their lives to defend the land, water, forests and wildlife, says the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment Jonathan Watts The Guardian It is time for the United Nations to formally recognise the right to a healthy environment, according to the world body’s chief investigator of murders, beatings and intimidation of environmental defenders. John Knox, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said the momentum for such ... Read More »

To Help Save Our Oceans, Include Women In The Conversation

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Every other breath we take comes from our oceans ― and our oceans are dying. Climate change is warming their waters, leading to a disruption in migration patterns and increasing acidification. Farah Obaidullah HuffPost Overfishing is irreversibly altering marine ecosystems, with an estimated 60 to 90 percent of oceanic predators like tuna and swordfish already gone. Forecasts predict we may lose 90 percent of our glorious coral reefs by 2050, along with the vital nursery grounds and coastal protections they ... Read More »

We’ve officially found the world’s best prawns

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It’s official: the Aussie prawn – ethical, sustainable and delicious – is the best in the world. Specifically, the Spencer Gulf King Prawn. Anthony Huckstep takes to the high seas with chef Neil Perry to seek them out. Some swear it’s the mighty meat pie and sauce. Others point to the veritable Vegemite (or should it be avo?) on toast, but is there truly a more iconic, quintessentially Australian act than throwing a prawn on the barbie? In the ’80s, ... Read More »

Small-scale fisheries are throwing away fish that could feed those in poverty

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At least 7.3m tons of fish (usually dead or dying) are thought to be discarded each year from marine fisheries around the world. Benjamin L. Jones Leanne Cullen-Unsworth Richard K.F. Unsworth The Conversation But these estimates come mostly from observations of large-scale industrial fisheries. Limited attention has been paid to small-scale fisheries, which are assumed to have low discard rates – some estimate as little as 3.7% total catch, compared to more than 60% for some large-scale shrimp trawlers. Small-scale ... Read More »

How lasers and robo-feeders are transforming fish farming

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Fish farming is big business – the industry now produces about 100 million tonnes a year – and with salmon prices soaring, producers are turning to lasers, automation and artificial intelligence to boost production and cut costs. By Chris Baraniuk, Technology of Business reporter BBC How do you know if farmed salmon have had enough to eat? Well, according to Lingalaks fish farms in Norway, which produce nearly three million salmon each year, the fish make less noise once the feeding ... Read More »

A ghostly oil spill menaces Asia’s richest fisheries

Smoke is seen from the Panama-registered Sanchi tanker carrying Iranian oil, which went ablaze after a collision with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea, in this January 9, 2018 handout picture released by China's Ministry of Transport January 10, 2018. China's Ministry of Transport/Handout via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

ZHOUSHAN, China — A fiery collision that sank an Iranian tanker in the East China Sea a month ago has resulted in an environmental threat that experts say is unlike any before: an almost invisible type of petroleum has begun to contaminate some of the most important fishing grounds in Asia, from China to Japan and beyond. By STEVEN LEE MYERS and JAVIER C. HERNNDEZ Today It is the largest oil spill in decades, but the disaster has unfolded outside the ... Read More »

Panel: Navy and Coast Guard Operating More in a Maritime ‘Grey Zone’

GULF OF ADEN (Dec. 19, 2011) A visit, board, search and seizure team from the guided missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) approaches a suspected pirate vessel after the Motor Vessel Nordic Apollo reported being under attack and fired upon by pirates.  Pinckney is assigned to Combined Task Force 151, a multinational, mission-based task force working under Combined Maritime Forces to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Between war and peace is the grey zone – a legal status where the rules of engagement aren’t always clear for the Navy and Coast Guard forces increasingly operating there, according to top commanders from the services. By: Ben Werner USNI News The Navy and Coast Guard are tasked with protecting the trade and sovereign interests of both the U.S. friends and allies. But, without a clearly identified mission and clearly articulated and supporting rules of ... Read More »

Cultural change at sea

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A proactive approach to building relationships and collaborative research are part of Kyri Toumazos’s style in improving respect for the commercial seafood sector and enhancing its prospects Kyri Toumazos Fishing is a longstanding tradition in the Mediterranean nation of Cyprus, from which Kyri Toumazos and his family hail. And although they were not fishers before emigrating in the mid-1980s, the seafood culture from which they came, combined with Australia’s seemingly endless waters offered them new opportunities. However, Kyri Toumazos initially ... Read More »

Was Your Seafood Caught With Slave Labor?

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New Database Helps Retailers Combat Abuse The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, known best for its red, yellow and green sustainable seafood-rating scheme, is unveiling its first Seafood Slavery Risk Tool on Thursday. npr It’s a database designed to help corporate seafood buyers assess the risk of forced labor, human trafficking and hazardous child labor in the seafood they purchase. The tool’s release comes on the heels of a new report that confirms forced labor and human rights abuses ... Read More »

Japan to step up patrol of N. Korean illegal fishing

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Japan’s fisheries ministry says it is going to step up a crackdown on illegal fishing by boats from North Korea and other countries. NHK World There have been an increasing number of cases of foreign boats including many from North Korea fishing illegally in Japan’s exclusive economic zone in the Yamatotai fishing grounds off the Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan. Ministry officials say they will set up a taskforce led by the Fisheries Agency chief to strengthen the ... Read More »

With Oceans Under Greatest Threat Ever, Trump Administration Urges Even Less Protection for Marine Life

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“It shouldn’t be too much to ask to protect two percent of the U.S.’s exclusive economic zone off the Atlantic coast for future generations.” Julia Conley Common Dreams With the world’s oceans more severely threatened than ever before, President Donald Trump’s Interior Department is recommending even less protection for the fraction of ocean life the U.S. has guarded from commercial fishing and other activities in recent years. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed that three ocean monuments in the Pacific ... Read More »

The Danger to the South China Sea Fishery

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For years, sovereign rights in the South China Sea have been an object of fierce contention among the states that border it: the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Vietnam, all members of the 10-nation ASEAN group, China, their giant neighbor to the north, and Taiwan as… David Brown Asia Sentinel But while the bordering states jockey for advantage, with China now clearly the dominant local power, scientists have been warning that the sea is fast becoming the site of an ... Read More »

UN poised to move ahead with landmark treaty to protect high seas

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Waters outside national boundaries are currently unregulated, devastated by overfishing and pollution. 140 countries back the motion to establish a treaty Jonathan Watts The Guardian The world’s oceans are set for a long overdue boost in the coming days as the United Nations votes for the first time on a planned treaty to protect and regulate the high seas. The waters outside national maritime boundaries – which cover half of the planet’s surface – are currently a free-for-all that has led to ... Read More »

Footage released of battle to rid EEZ of N. Korean fishing boats

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The Japan Coast Guard wages a constant battle to chase North Korean fishing boats from Japan’s exclusive economic zone. YOSHITAKA ITO The Asahi Shimbun From July, it began using water cannons on a regular basis to warn such boats to leave, but those efforts seem to have had little effect. Instead, the number of boats operating in Japanese waters has increased, as well as those washing ashore, sometimes with dead crew members. On Dec. 15, the coast guard released photos ... Read More »

UNGA Adopts Resolutions on Oceans

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6 December 2017: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted two resolutions that aim to advance implementation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and support the conservation and management of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks and marine life in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). Catherine Benson Wahlén SDG Knowledge Hub | IISD Member States also discussed an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS, and other documents related to the law of the sea.   A ... Read More »

Expansion of Gaza fishing zone ‘pointless PR stunt’

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For the 4,000 registered fishermen in the besieged Gaza Strip, a proposed Israeli plan to let them temporarily fish farther out from shore is “far from enough”. Farah Najjar Al Jazeera Fishermen told Al Jazeera that Israel’s move to slightly expand the fishing zone limit from six to nine nautical miles, implemented this week, will have little effect in reality. “It makes no difference whatsoever to us,” Nizar Ayash, head of Gaza’s fishermen’s union, told Al Jazeera. “It’s economically pointless, and this is ... Read More »