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.
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Cornelia E. Nauen and the entire Mundus maris team