Ocean Action Hub

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Africa: How Fishing Subsidies Hurt the Ocean - And Us, Too

8 Apr 2019 - OPINION - Tom Dillon - Ask people what's most important to them and there's a good chance they'll say, "Staying healthy - and keeping my family healthy." But they

8 Apr 2019 - OPINION - Tom Dillon - Ask people what's most important to them and there's a good chance they'll say, "Staying healthy - and keeping my family healthy." But they might not realize that the health, economic well-being, and safety of their families and communities very much depend on the health of our oceans, which cover 70% of the earth and face threats ranging from warming waters and diminishing fish stocks to plastics pollution and dying reefs. Protecting this ecosystem is critical to human health: The ocean filters our air, controls the weather, and provides food for billions of people. Yet, collectively, global leaders have not done nearly enough to ensure the long-term sustainability of the marine environment.

World Health Day, on April 7, is an opportune time to make the health of the oceans a top priority for governments around the world. One achievable first step would be ending the subsidies that enable overfishing and illegal fishing. Today, one-third of all fished stocks are exploited at unsustainable levels and another 60 percent are fished to capacity, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. A significant part of this overfishing is driven by subsidies - most of which go to the owners of large-scale fishing fleets to help pay for fuel, gear, and boat construction.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://allafrica.com/stories/201904040140.html

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Research Key to Boosting Benefits of Large Marine Protected Areas - Pew

24 Mar 2019 - Filling the knowledge gap should improve planning, design and implementation of large MPAs that deliver strong ecological outcomes.

24 Mar 2019 - Filling the knowledge gap should improve planning, design and implementation of large MPAs that deliver strong ecological outcomes.

Although much scientific study and planning is involved at every stage of creating large, remote, offshore marine protected areas (MPAs), even ocean science experts concede they have limited knowledge of these regions.

That’s because most MPA research has focused on small, coastal protected areas, which have existed for longer than their bigger, offshore cousins and are easier to monitor due to their proximity to shore. Some work has been done to extrapolate coastal research findings to remote MPAs, but it doesn’t offer a complete picture of what is happening in the larger regions. Achieving that understanding would require comprehensive research and reporting, which in turn should help governments, scientists, and conservationists design and implement large MPAs that deliver strong ecological outcomes.

To identify the gaps in large MPA research, the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project worked with fisheries scientists Chris Smyth and Quentin Hanich from the University of Wollongong in Australia, who co-authored a paper, Large Scale Marine Protected Areas: Current status and consideration of socio-economic dimension, summarizing the research needed to inform the management and design of large MPAs. The paper examines protected areas from multiple perspectives and addresses concerns from stakeholders and governments in developed and developing states.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2019/03/07/research-key-to-boosting-benefits-of-large-marine-protected-areas

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International Women's Day: Women in Maritime Jobs Face Persistent Challenges—and Opportunity

8 Mar 2019 - PEW - Women make up a significant part of the world’s fisheries workers, but often work in harsh conditions and for pay far below what men receive.

8 Mar 2019 - PEW - In honor of International Women’s Day Friday, The Pew Charitable Trusts is working to draw attention to the vital roles women play in the maritime sector, which includes commercial fishing, shipping, naval engineering, and much more.

Traditionally seen as a man’s space, the sector also employs legions of women who toil every day and are paving the way for other women to thrive in the maritime sphere. Thankfully, these women are beginning to garner the recognition they deserve: “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” is the theme for this year’s World Maritime Day on 26 September 2019.

Women make up a significant part of the world’s fisheries workers, helping to both support the livelihoods of more than 120 million people and provide food for more than 1 billion people worldwide. And yet women often perform these integral roles in harsh conditions and for pay that is far below what men receive for the same jobs.

One persistent threat to safety, security, and livelihoods of women in fisheries is illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which exploits fish stocks, undermines law-abiding fishers, and is particularly detrimental to fish-dependent coastal communities in developing countries. Women often make up most of the fish processors in these locations, and the large-scale loss of fish through IUU activity affects the entire value chain, including the female workforce and their dependents. Taken together, these facts point to the urgent need for updated policies throughout the seafood supply chain; any effort to achieve that should include a gender analysis to ensure the fair treatment of women.

CONTINUE READING FOR 5 FACTS ABOUT WOMEN IN MARITIME: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2019/03/07/women-in-maritime-jobs-face-persistent-challenges-and-growing-opportunity

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Too many boats are chasing too few fish - PEW

30 Jul 2018 - Fishing subsidies are speeding the decline of ocean health, argues PEW's Elizabeth Wilson, calling for "ambitous" WTO agreement on harmful subsidies.

30 Jul 2018 - Fishing Subsidies Are Speeding the Decline of Ocean Health, argues Elizabeth Wilson, Director of international conservation policy for The Pew Charitable Trusts.

More than 1 billion people worldwide depend on seafood as a main source of protein, and about 100 million people rely directly on fishing for their income, yet according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 90 percent of marine fisheries either fully fished or overfished.

Fisheries subsidies are one of the key drivers behind this decline in fish stocks. Governments pay around $20 billion each year in damaging types of fisheries subsidies, primarily to industrial fishers, to offset costs such as fuel, gear, and vessel construction. Although not all subsidies are harmful, many encourage fishing beyond sustainable biological limits by helping vessels go farther and fish for longer periods and with greater capacity than they would without this assistance. Today, in part driven by fisheries subsidies, global fishing capacity—the total capability of the world’s fleets—is estimated at 250 percent of the level that would bring in the maximum sustainable catch.

The resulting overfishing is a threat not only to fish stocks but also to the health of the ocean and, by extension, all who rely on it. Healthy fish stocks are vital to functioning marine ecosystems and to the food security and livelihoods of billions of people and can help the ocean better withstand a range of stresses, including climate change.

Ultimately, there are too many boats on the ocean chasing too few fish. One way to correct that is by curtailing capacity-enhancing subsidies to reduce pressure on fish stocks, thus ensuring a more sustainable future for coastal communities worldwide. With the launch of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ reducing harmful fishing subsidies project, we are working to do just that by encouraging members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to adopt a binding agreement that will limit or eliminate harmful subsidies that cause overfishing.

This is in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal on the ocean, SDG 14, which calls for prohibiting subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing and eliminating subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing by 2020.

That deadline has created a brief window in which a substantial reduction of global fisheries subsidies may be possible. In line with SDG 14, the WTO in December 2017 issued a ministerial declaration indicating its intent to negotiate and adopt an agreement on fisheries subsidies by the end of 2019. 

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2018/07/19/fishing-subsidies-are-speeding-the-decline-of-ocean-health