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Sunday Round Up #1

March 27, 2011

Major Stories

  • Dominating the headlines is the nuclear crisis in Japan.  No one is sure how bad it will get.  Frighteningly, Japanese scientists have detected radioactive waters 30km off the coast.  They say there is no cause for alarm, but so far the Japanese have consistently low-balled the problem.  I wonder what a crack in the reactor core will mean for containment and sea life.  10,000 people have now been declared dead with many more missing.
  • Word is that the events in Japan have shut down much of the Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna fleet.  Here’s an article supporting that rumor.
  • The IOTC met last week.  The EU was disappointed for the lack of progress on IUU fishing.  The conservation community was also disappointed by the lack of progress on sharks.
  • Attempts to cut NOAA’s budget continue.  This would be very bad.
  • Pacific island states are stepping up their pressure on the USA as they try to renegotiate a 23-year-old fisheries treaty giving U.S. fleets access to the world’s biggest tuna grounds.  Here are a few choice passages from the above link:

“The treaty was the best deal we could have asked for at one point but today it is the worst deal in terms of revenue return,” said Eugene Pangelinan, the deputy director of fisheries for the Federated States of Micronesia.

According to calculations made by the interested parties, taking out the direct aid of US$18 million, the US industry pays effectively only US$3 million dollar for the 10.000 days it is entitled to within the existing vessel day scheme. That comes down to US$300 a day, where as some Asian flagged tuna seiners pay from a minimum US$3000 up to US$6000 a day for fishing tuna in the Pacific EEZ’s.

Other Stories

  • China has declared that it is joining the race for deep-sea minerals.  Lovely, yet another way to damage the delicate and highly biodiverse deep sea.
  • The EU has announced that the CFP reform package due for May will be late.  It will now be released for “later in 2011”.   Separately, Maria Damanaki gave her support for decentralized decision-making in the new CFP.   Some say this would be a very helpful reform.   Damanaki also mentioned recently that no EU subsidies should go to fishing operators found to be involved in IUU fishing (what a novel idea!).

Smart Stuff

  • There is an excellent review of U.S. fisheries policy and new challenges over at Climate Progress.  I mark this as a “must read”.
  • Nicolas Stern tells us that we need a new industrial revolution.
  • Spring comes to the ocean over at Brave Blue Words.
  • Mark Powell brings together good links on sperm whales and a new paper suggesting that they may use names for each other.
  • Deep-sea bottom trawling threatens all sorts of marine life.
  • NatGeo has a guest post on the very positive role Pacific countries are taking in shark conservation.

Other Good Stuff

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