President Obama recently announced momentous changes in the United States policy toward Cuba. The implications of this sea-change are wide-ranging, including the potential for enhanced scientific collaborations, and more effective and cooperative environmental management. EDF has a long and diverse history of productive partnerships in Cuba, which have shown us quite clearly this potential.
A recent example involved a delegation of seven Cuban fishery managers, scientists and industry leaders joining four EDF staff and two partners from the Mexican organization COBI at the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) in Provincetown, Massachusetts, at the very end of Cape Cod. There, the group had wide-ranging discussions of experiences, challenges and successes in improving management of marine resources. The workshop had a particular focus on better use and integration of spatially-explicit science and management tools. These include protected areas, area-based allocation systems (e.g., territorial user rights for fishing, or TURFs), and multi-use planning zones. We also paid close attention to the governance structures needed to ensure effective, responsive and participatory management. Read More
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America and is one of the most biologically productive areas on the East Coast. Part of EDF’s work in the Northeast is focused on the incredible Chesapeake Bay and its once prosperous fisheries, some of which are now in serious trouble.
But we see some encouraging news for the Chesapeake Bay – and for its iconic blue crabs – with the appointment of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to the Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council. Read More
Photo by Corey Arnold
Followers of this blog have already heard about major milestones that West Coast groundfish trawl fishermen achieved during 2014. In June, the Marine Stewardship Council recognized the remarkable progress made in this catch share fishery over the last decade, and certified 13 trawl-caught species as sustainable. In October, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program upgraded 21 trawl species to sustainable status, helping to change perceptions and opening up potential new market opportunities for West Coast trawlers.
While supply-chain and consumer perceptions gradually adjust to recognize those positive realities, many groundfish fishermen are still struggling to hang on and make a living. Helping reduce their operating costs so that fishing can become more profitable has been a primary focus of our West Coast team, and now we can celebrate a win on that front with the passage of S. 1275, the Revitalizing the Economy of Fisheries in the Pacific Act, also known as the REFI Pacific Act. Read More
Blue Swimming Crab. Photo: Alexis Rife
Indonesia is a nation of over 17,000 islands where fishing contributes significantly to local livelihoods, food security and culture:
- Two million fishers + millions more people rely on the coast for their food and livelihoods
- At least 50% of Indonesians’ animal protein comes from seafood
Indonesia is the second largest producer of wild capture seafood in the world, feeding Indonesians, but also exporting much to other countries. During a recent site visit to Indonesia, I was excited to learn about a local, small-scale fishery that plays a part in a big international seafood market: blue swimming crab. Read More
Photo credit: Carlos Aguilera
In an inspired and welcome choice, the Department of State just named Jane Lubchenco as the first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean.
The move reflects both the growing priority of oceans in the Obama Administration and the kind of collaborative approach it takes to restore jobs, communities and biodiversity worldwide.
This huge step comes just in time.
Globally, 40 percent of fisheries are in deep trouble with overfishing being the single biggest cause. Yet, Jane has shown how we can replenish life in the oceans through smart approaches that include better science, more marine protected areas, and stewardship incentives for fishermen. Read More
Photo credit: Melanie Siggs
Guest Author: Erik Lindebo, Brussels
The autumn started with a splash. Business resumed in the European Parliament and a new Commission was elected. Scotland and my beloved Sweden settled down after a summer of high political emotions. Meanwhile Europe’s fishermen move closer to the reality of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) implementation and its associated challenges – including adapting to the landings obligation, i.e. the phasing out of the common practice of returning unwanted catches back to the sea. It seems we must leave it to Member States, producer organisations, fishermen, and those directly engaged in the fisheries to find their own workable and demonstrable solutions. This should be underpinned by a simplified technical measures framework which encourages non-prescriptive results-based approaches at the regional level. Read More