Mundus maris newsletter: October 2020
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Dear <<First Name>>

Some 160 civil society organisations, including by , have by now joined the alliance calling on the 164 member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to phase out harmful fisheries subsidies by end 2020 and thus fulfil the commitment 14.6 of the Sustainable Development Goals unanimously adopted in 2015. Indeed, these difficult negotiations have been going on for the last 20 years, so the time is now to conclude them successfully.

The top five subsidising political entities (China, European Union, USA, Republic of Korea and Japan) contribute 58% (USD 20.5 billion) of the total estimated subsidy of about USD 35.4 billion in 2018. These are the latest estimates by Rashid Sumaila, an authority on the topic based at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and collaborators. The team puts the harmful subsidies at USD 22.2 billion, because they enhance already existing overcapacity. These public moneys effectively finance overfishing. 85 percent of the global subsidies go to industrial and long- distance fleets, primarily in the form of fuel support, thus also spelling bad news for the climate objectives.

These industrial fleets often compete for the same resources as local small-scale fleets in coastal countries. Thus the artisans of the sea find themselves at a serious disadvantage. This is all the more disturbing as the greatest losers are developing countries and their populations, marine biodiversity, and consumers in subsidy paying countries who effectively pay twice: once through the public purse needing those resources for other social and productive objectives and through increasing fish prices as resources get overexploited and decline as a result of fleet overcapacity. It's a unique opportunity to do as promised, create a level playing field, redirect resources from harm to doing good. The negotiations will be shortly into the crucial last stretch. A decision is expected end November.

Another decision is expected even earlier in November to be taken by the members of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). A large group of almost 40 civil society organisations, including Mundus maris, is campaigning to seek a decision prohibiting retention of endangered northern Make sharks according to a proposal by Canada and do everything possible to release specimens caught as by-catch alive. The northern Mako shark population is in such bad shape that the species was put into Annex II of CITES and thus requiring special protection. Southern Mako shark is going in the same direction unless counter measures are taken. The species is slow growing and can attain an age of 150 years maturing only around 30 years of age and producing few offspring. The EU and the US have counter proposals which will delay any recovery by decades, if at all. Are they willing to condemn the species into further decline to allow a small fraction of their fishers to make a quick Dollar or Euro by keeping and marketing this commercially valuable but immensely vulnerable species? ICCAT's scientific committee has already recommended non-retention and release of Mako sharks. What is the EU waiting for in the light of its own legislation that prohibits overfishing? Follow scientific advice and rescue Mako sharks from the brink!

See other activities in October below. Become a supporting member or regular donor of Mundus maris to make even bigger waves. Connect to the ocean and help us protect our common home.

Mundus maris asbl, Belfius Bank, Rue de Linthout 224, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
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Cornelia E. Nauen and the entire Mundus maris team
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Activities around the world

Interview with Mónica Edwards Schachter

Scientist, innovator, educator – the interview with Mónica Edwards Schachter focuses on her most recent educational project MonValu with its series of children's books about empathy, responsibility for the environment and for one another. The first, “guardians of the sea”, is about discovering the ocean world through the eyes of the curious little triton Kai on an island belonging to a tribe of mermaids in Valu. It's a modern fairy tale to help navigate the treacherous waters of ocean pollution and find solutions together. The book is already available in English and Spanish. Find out more here.
Find out more

10th anniversary celebration with Marianne Braun in Spain...

Join the online concert on 14 November

The pandemic is forcing additional restrictions on cultural life in Belgium, but the concert is ON. The musicians will take us on a sound trip 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. Taste the rhythms of the Caribbean, melodies from North America, Brazil and finally reach Argentina with its tango. Listen to the two gifted young artists, Sara Fontan Ferreira, cello, and Kristina Kebet, pianoforte through streaming and on YouTube.
Join the event

...and with Chukwudi Innocent in Nigeria!

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