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

what a year! It started with several major activities, such as our participation together with Quantitative Aquatics' fish sound quiz and many others at the “love your ocean” space at BOOT, in Düsseldorf, the biggest water sports fair in the world. This was followed immediately by our active participation in the Ocean Action Conference in Brussels, organised by Seas at Risk, and culminating in the promotion of the Blue Manifesto, am implementation plan for Agenda 2030 in Europe. The Blue Manifesto is supported by numerous organisations, including Mundus maris. Preparations for another training of the Small-Scale Fisheries Academy were well advanced when the pandemic led to lockdowns in most countries around the globe in early March. This and many other projects and conferences were put on hold or progressively shifted into virtual spaces to the extent possible. The documentary by Thomas Grand and Moussa Diop about artisanal fisheries in Senegal “Golden fish, African fish”, which Mundus maris has co-sponsored, reaped more than 50 prizes at international film festivals around the globe! An extra-ordinary exploit.
World Ocean Day 2020 was kept on, but celebrations took on mostly the form of solidarity activities with schools providing face masks and hand washing facilities and cleaning-ups with the traditional quiz addressing covid-19 issues. Many closed schools for extended periods of time led to adjusting the invitation to young people and their classes or groups for compiling together the book of the marine world. The submissions were still welcome until November around World Fisheries Day and have been complemented with interesting works selected by international juries in previous years to get a richer picture. Work is still on-going on selecting and preparing the contributions for the book, which will be available in several languages and in both electronic and printed form. We hope you will like the book. Watch this space for more!

Throughout the year as much as possible activities were transformed and shifted into various virtual formats, including our General Assembly end May with the election of a new board. We would have loved to celebrate our 10th anniversary with a big ocean party, but that needs to wait for better circumstances. At least, the concert for the ocean in November bound many people from across the world together in a musical journey.

Much of the awareness raising for ocean protection and advocacy work took place in collaboration with other civil society organisations. True to the motto that acting together makes strong, e.g. on making the Marine Stewardship Council certification more reliable, protecting endangered sharks in the ICCAT tuna fisheries and, most importantly, phasing out harmful fisheries subsidies in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had to be pursued through social media, in webinars and other virtual spaces. The WTO missed the deadline, but it will be reminded in 2021 by the large coalition supporting the campaign that the commitment of target 6 of Sustainable Development Goal 14 still stands and it is expected to deliver the end of funding overfishing.

The New Year will mark the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Research for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). We have participated in a number of preparatory meetings and will certainly contribute to its activities. The international collaboration in the research project “From Vulnerability to Viability” (V2V) coordinated by the University of Waterloo in Canada will contribute a focus on artisanal fisheries.
Explaining the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development
Obviously, we shall continue working on the Small-Scale Fisheries Academy as a contribution towards implementing the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries and V2V, meet again at BOOT 2021, celebrate World Ocean Day in June and participate actively in some activities of the Ocean Summit in Kiel in August to mention but a few highlights.
This end-year newsletter is the appropriate space to thank all members, supporters, followers and friends of the ocean and ocean cultures for their continued engagement and support. The ocean is hugely important for our lives, for stabilising the climate, for food, jobs, recreation and much else. The ocean needs our help more than ever.

Following in the footsteps of unprecedented cooperation in research and searching for solutions in the pandemic, let's work towards a similar collective effort in 2021 and beyond for the ocean, for ocean life, for the climate and for social and environmental justice. 2022 has been declared the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture. It's a fantastic opportunity to highlight and support the artisans of the sea and of inland waters as guarantors of sustainable futures of healthy fish food and vibrant associated cultures and economies. Much work lies ahead. Together we can make it.

To make it happen, become a supporting member or regular donor of Mundus maris. Connect to the ocean and collaborate to protect our common home. In addition, the good news is, donations up to 1000€ received in January will be matched by an anonymous donor. So, whatever you can spare to help us implement activities in 2021, will have double effect.

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

Contact us any time at
Cornelia E. Nauen and the entire Mundus maris team
Support our work with a donation

Activities around the world

First of several book chapters out this month

Bringing scientific research results about the ocean and ocean cultures within the reach of a larger number of people through storytelling was the objective of a series of public lectures organised by the University of Kiel under the serial title “Humans and the Sea” (Der Mensch und das Meer) in 2019/20. Many of these lectures have been turned into book chapters of the homonymous book that came out in December. Cornelia E Nauen of Mundus maris portrays small-scale fisheries illustrated with images of the prize-winning documentary “Golden fish, African fish”.
Find out more

Mundus maris 10th anniversary celebration with Paula de los Hoyos...

WTO: phase out harmful fisheries subsidies

Phasing out harmful fisheries subsidies has been on the agenda of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 20 years. Doing so at long last by 2020 is target 6 of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 "Life under Water" adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015. It's urgent as harmful subsidies are fuelling overfishing and all kinds of illicit practices and affecting other SDGs negatively. The top five in dishing out harmful subsidies are China, the European Union, the US, Korea and Japan.
Read on

 .... and with a statement by Livia Bottoni

“Like many young people, I feel frustrated and disenfranchised when I see politicians and companies continuing with the status quo of exploiting our planet and natural resources. I want to see the long-term interests of the many and the health of our planet take precedence over the short-term interests of few companies. I want to be able to still eat fish and enjoy the ocean when I'm old, and not have to wonder whether the fisher was exploited, the ocean floor destroyed, and the fish driven to extinction. At the rate we are going, it's not looking likely. That's why I support Mundus maris and their work.”

Selection of activities during the year

World Ocean Day in Kribi, Cameroon

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