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Mundus maris newsletter: November 2020
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Dear <<First Name>>,

Mundus maris is among the 174 civil society organisations of the alliance calling on the 164 member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to phase out harmful fisheries subsidies by the end of 2020. During the 25 days of negotiations up to December 5, we posted a good reason for delivering on the promise contained in universally agreed Sustainable Development Goal 14 and its target 6. The up to USD 22.2 billion of global subsidies fund primarily long distance fleets, often connected to flagrant illegal fishing practices and corruption, even human trafficking and arms and drug crimes.

Furthermore, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Spain account for 80% of fishing outside territorial waters, while all other countries combined catch the rest, if at all. Researchers estimate that China alone with what is the biggest fishing fleet in the world was responsible for 21% of high seas fishing in 2014 and nearly 19% of global fish catch averaged between 2014 and 2016. They also estimate that without the subsidies perhaps as much as 50% of the fleets would not be economically viable. If taken out of service and not being transferred to developing countries under murky arrangements or flying flags of convenience, that would reduce the overcapacity significantly and help remaining fleets operate legally and viably.

The EU claims to be a world leader in sustainability and multilateral cooperation. By adopting the European Council conclusions on the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 last month, its member states agreed to combat overfishing and the involuntary (or not) capture of sensitive and threatened species. That includes the WTO negotiations on a global agreement to ban subsidies that are directly harmful to the sustainability of fish stocks. The Council conclusions followed on the heels of the European Parliament calling in June for the EU to respect the “do no harm” principle and stop financially supporting activities that work against their climate, environment, and biodiversity goals. Since harmful fishing subsidies are a key driver of overfishing, they clearly violate this principle. So, it's high time the EU makes good on its claim and moves its position towards bringing the negotiation to a successful conclusion.

The message is loud and clear, altogether, WTO members have the mandate and the power to make the deal and get us all started on a positive note into the new year.

We seize the opportunity to thank all followers who have responded to our questionnaire and especially those expressing an interest is supporting our work more concretely in the future. That's an excellent encouragement for the planning of 2021 activities, many of which will also have to be in virtual spaces again. It is crucial to keep up research, awareness raising and solidarity so that we come out of the pandemic with fresh ideas and determination for changed attitudes and practices. We all want the ocean environment to be healthy and teaming with biodiversity and the relationships with one another to be fair, respectful and mutually supportive. All other specific activities in November took place in zoomlandia or some other virtual space.

Special thanks go to a private donor contributing 1000€ towards our activities. That augurs well for keeping it all up and planning for more. Be inspired by this great example and become a supporting member or regular donor of Mundus maris to make even bigger waves. Connect to the ocean and collaborate to protect our common home.

Mundus maris asbl
Belfius Bank, Rue de Linthout 224, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
IBAN: BE54 0688 9178 6297
BIC: GKCCBEBB

Contact us any time at info@mundusmaris.org .

Cornelia E. Nauen and the entire Mundus maris team

Support our work with a donation

Activities around the world

Webinar addresses many contemporary fishing issues

What is the ocean in distress telling us? How can we study its many facets to understand better its role in the global climate system, its ecosystems and the people drawing food, air to breath, recreation, jobs and more from it? The University Belgrano, Buenos Aires, and Mundus maris joined forces for a day-long webinar on 6 November to explore at least some of these facets. Orchestrated by Dr. Marcelo L. Morales Yokobori, researcher in ecology, conservation and marine resources, the webinar was both a preparation for World Fisheries Day, 21 November.

Watch it now

10th anniversary celebration with Camila Condomiña ....

Memory lane – Video of the International German School in Brussels with the CEM Kayar, Senegal

Online concert on 14 November reaches listeners on all continents

The musicians, Sara Fontan Ferreira, cello, and Kristina Kebet, pianoforte took the audience on a musical journey around the globe starting in Belgium, HQ of Mundus maris, Germany, Spain and other European countries into Africa through Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa and on to several Asian countries. Listeners were swinging to the rhythms of the Caribbean, melodies from North America, Brazil and reached the final destination of the trip in Argentina with its tango. We are happy that many people told us how touched they were afterwards, feeling connected despite the local social distancing during the corona pandemic. A wonderful experience to be repeated.

Watch it now

.... and with Mónica Edwards Schachter

... and with our friends of Eco-Ethics Kenya about World Ocean Day in Kilifi

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