Monthly Archives: February 2012

Live from Singapore: World Bank Announces Global Partnership for Oceans

There is palpable excitement in Singapore as government, industry, and NGO leaders from around the world are gathered for The Economist’s World Oceans Summit. We’ve spent decades diagnosing the many challenges facing the oceans and testing new solutions, and now a growing chorus of voices are calling for global action.  With leadership we can–and will–recover global fisheries in our lifetimes.

Today’s announcement by Robert Zoellick, president of The World Bank, of a Global Partnership for Oceans is a critical signal and significant step toward that goal.  EDF is proud to be a founding member of this “growing alliance of governments, international organizations, civil society groups, and private sector interests that will mobilize knowledge and financial resources to address threats to ocean health, resilience and productivity.”

Mr. Zoellick made clear that we “need coordinated global action to restore our oceans to health.  Together we’ll build on the excellent work already being done to address the threats to oceans, identify workable solutions, and scale them up.”  We couldn’t agree more. Read More »

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President’s Budget Includes $28 Million for Catch Shares

President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2013 budget earlier today, and we are pleased to see that it includes $174 million for sustainable fisheries work by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The appropriation will fund the science and management needed to support the commercial fishing industry that’s responsible for 1 million jobs and yields more than $32 billion in income every year.

The president’s budget includes $28 million for the National Catch Share Program, a critical part of the nation’s strategy to return its fisheries to abundance and keep fishermen on the water.  It is the same level adopted by the Congress last year.  We applaud the president and Congress for their support of catch share programs and we look forward to working with Congress to ensure that important fishery management functions have adequate funding and fishermen have all the tools they need, including catch shares.

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HRH the Prince of Wales launches his Marine Programme with a Message of Hope

In  a speech marking the launch of his International Sustainability Unit (ISU) Marine Programme, HRH the Prince of Wales struck an optimistic note.  His message was clear and simple “if managed properly our seas could still provide us with profitable harvest for years to come.  However, if we are not careful we may end up breaking the bank.”

Good practice can translate into bigger catches of fish, higher earnings and more secure jobs.

In the two years leading up to Friday’ s official launch in London, the ISU has lead both in-depth research and a multi-stakeholder consultation process.  This has resulted in their report Towards Global Sustainable Fisheries.  The Opportunity for Transition.  ISU identified three tools for rebuilding global fish stocks:

  • Smart economics, including access rights and addressing perverse subsidies
  •  An ecosystem approach, including focus on a/o  data collection and reduction of by-catch
  •  Robust management including monitoring and enforcement

“That some organizations have experimented successfully with innovative market incentives to achieve more sustainable fisheries is very encourgaing. It is the ISU’s intention to build a consensus on how some of these mechanisms might be scaled up and how transitional finance might be best deployed,” said the Prince. Read More »

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MD Blue Crab Design Team Exhibits at Recent Watermen Expo, Shares Plans for Pilot Accountability System

Every year, the Maryland Watermen’s Association hosts a commercial fishermen and aquaculture trade expo attracting hundreds of fishermen and watermen from along the east coast. This year’s recent 38th annual Expo in Ocean City, MD included an exhibit from the Maryland Blue Crab Design Team.  The Design Team, an industry-led task force EDF helped organize, participated in the expo for the opportunity to keep the larger watermen community informed and gain feedback on the collective process to develop long-term solutions for Maryland’s blue crab industry.

Twenty-four Design Team members spoke with over 100 interested watermen and other stakeholders about the Design Team’s vision and goals.  Most recently the Team has been developing a pilot program to test electronic reporting technologies to advance watermen accountability in the fishery and promote the health of the blue crab resource and the businesses that depend on it.  This pilot aims to improve the timing and accuracy of harvest data to fisheries managers. It will mark a major step forward in building a more sustainable fishery leading to a more viable future for the blue crab industry.  The pilot project is expected to be up and running by midyear. Read More »

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