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Sunday Round Up #3

April 10, 2011

Things are moving along, though behind the scenes.  I’ve been immersing myself in the world of IUU fishing and talking to a lot of experts.  All of this is to crank out a good series on the topic.  I’ve got several posts written, but want to hold off publishing them until I find a few more bits of info.  The series posts should start coming early next week.

In the meantime, the Sunday Round Up (after a fairly slow week):

Stories

  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released a report about criminal activities in the fishing industry. The report describes examples of smuggling of migrants, illicit traffic in drugs and other forms of crime that take place within the fishing industry to the detriment of law-abiding fishers and the legitimate fishing industry.
  • The depletion of the ozone layer over the Arctic region “has reached an unprecedented level,” a loss of 40% from the beginning of the winter to late March, the U.N. weather agency said Tuesday.
  • A new study found that fish farm waste can drift to distant shores, raising once again the issue of fish farms causing environmental damage.
  • In the first week of the Norwegian whaling season, three animal welfare groups, the World Society for the Protection of Animals, NOAH-for dyrs rettigheter and Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge, released a new economic study on Norwegian whaling, revealing the Norwegian public’s appetite for whale meat is at an all time low and the whaling industry is unlikely to survive without substantial financial support at taxpayers’ expense.  The report is here
  • In a World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting last week, a group of countries took a firm position against fisheries subsidies.  ICTSD reports that New Zealand’s ambassador, speaking on behalf of Argentina, Australia, Chile, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway and the US, said these countries expect ambitious rules limiting fisheries subsidy payments to be a key result of the negotiations of WTO’s Negotiations Group on Rules. The ambassador’s statement called for a strong prohibition and strong disciplines on fisheries subsidies, after weeks of attempts by countries such as China, Brazil, Korea, and Japan to introduce various exceptions.

Worth Reading/Watching

  • CNN reports on how Japanese fishermen have taken the offensive in their fight against the owner of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant, angrily calling the utility’s actions insulting, incompetent and “unforgivable” over the course of the weeks-long nuclear crisis.
  • More than 34 million sockeye returned to the Fraser River in 2010, making it the biggest return in nearly a century. It prompted some observers to ask the uncomfortable question: is this iconic fish really on the verge of collapse? The short answer is yes.
  • CNN’s Dan Rivers explores the story of brothers Pheum Dina and Pheum Bolin, who were lured from Cambodia to work on the fishing boats three years ago. They say they were imprisoned on a Thai trawler for 3 months – with no pay and no chance to escape. They were slaves at sea.

Interesting Stuff

  • Billionaire Richard Branson announced he plans to travel to the deepest parts of the world’s five oceans in a single-person submarine, the Virgin Oceanic.
  • Hooks to protect bluefin required by May 5 in Gulf of Mexico.
  • Japan’s tsunami topped 37 meters.
  • Only 10 countries account for 90 percent of marine gene patents.


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