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Sea Around Us project newsletter, issue 31, September/October 2005 Forrest, Robyn; Sea Around Us Project Sep 30, 2005

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SSSS Seeee e aaaa a     AAAA Arrrr r ouououou ounnnn ndddd d     UUUU Ussss sThe Sea Around Us Project NewsletterIssue 31 – September/October 2005On solutions to the globalfisheries crisisby Daniel PaulyThis is a report of myparticipation in theinaugural celebrationof the Nicolas Institute forEnvironmental PolicySolutions (good name!) atDuke University (look it up,it’s in the southeasternU.S.) on September  20-21,2005.One attraction was JaredDiamond, author of therecently released Collapse(2005), and a man whocaptivates his audience,perhaps because he doesnot use PowerPoint.The price I had to pay inreturn was participating ina panel discussion on‘Oceans’. In line with anemphasis on solution, I wasasked to diagnose themarine fisheries in threeminutes, and to proposesolutions in three minutesas well.  I did, and here arethe pertinent bullet points(no PowerPoint either!),pre-tested for a six-minutepresentation.Five aspects of theproblem:1) Although not knownprecisely, the world marinefisheries catch is mostprobably declining;recorded landings havebeen declining since thelate 1980s;2) The existing fishingfleets are three to fourtimes too large;3) The biomass of thelarge fish traditionallytargeted by fisheries isone tenth or less thatbefore the onset ofindustrial fishing;4) About half of theworld’s fish is consumedin a country differentfrom that which has thefishing ground where thefish was caught;5) An increasing fractionof the world’s forage(small pelagic) fishes,normally the food oflarge fish, seabirds andmarine mammals, isbeing diverted to feedingcarnivorous farmed fish(salmons,  tunas,groupers).Five aspects of thesolution:1) Marine protected areasare increasingly seen aspart of any scheme witha chance of success inputting fisheries on asustainable basis.Unfortunately, theypresently cover acumulative area of lessthan 1% of the world’socean, and their annualrate of increase – about 5%- is not high enough forminimum conservationobjectives to be reached(e.g., 10% coverage in2010);2) Fishers should havepredictable access to theresources, throughequitable allocationagreements.  Manyfisheries economists,strangely, describe this as‘rights-based fishing’, andthus turn a straightforwardproposition (that fishersand fishing firms must beable to plan theiroperation) into anideological argument (thatpublic resources must beprivatized before they canbe managed properly);3) Eco-labeling can involvethe public in preferentiallypurchasing fish fromsustainable fisheries. TheLondon-based MarineContinued on page 2 - SolutionsPage 2Sea Around Us – September/October 2005The Sea Around Us project newsletter ispublished by the  Fisheries Centre at the Uni-versity of British Columbia. Included with theFisheries Centre’s newsletterFishBytes,six issues ofthis newsletter arepublished annually.Subscriptions arefree of charge.Our mailing ad-dress is: UBC Fisher-ies Centre, AquaticEcosystems ResearchLaboratory, 2202 Main Mall,Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z4.Our fax number is (604) 822-8934, and ouremail address is SeaNotes@fisheries.ubc.ca.All queries (including reprint requests), sub-scription requests, and address changes shouldbe addressed to Robyn Forrest, Sea AroundUs Newsletter Editor.The Sea Around Us website may be foundat saup.fisheries.ubc.ca and contains up-to-date information on the project.The Sea Around Us project is a Fisheries Centre partner-ship with the Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia,USA. The Trusts support nonprofit activities in the areasof culture, education, the environment, health and human serv-ices, public policy and religion. Based in Philadelphia, theTrusts make strategic investments to help organisations andcitizens develop practical solutions to difficult problems. In2000, with approximately $4.8 billion in assets, the Trustscommitted over $235 million to 302 nonprofit organisations. ISSN 1713-5214   Sea Around Us (ONLINE)Stewardship Council is themost prominent initiative ofthis sort, along with the creditcard-sized advisories which, inthe U.S., tell customerswhether the species offeredin restaurants are ‘good’ or‘bad’ in terms of thesustainability of the fisheriesthey support;4) Subsidies, which areresponsible for most of theovercapacity of manyfisheries, are also theirAchilles’ heel: they areequivalent to at least 20% ofthe ex-vessel value of thecatch. Hence, the overcapacityproblem could be addressedsubstantially by the WTO,whose mandate covers theeventual abolition of allsubsidies;5) However, the solution to theovercapacity problem, andperhaps even to some forms ofdestructive fishing (e.g., deepsea trawling), is likely to comefrom two aspects of theiroperation connected to theirsource of energy, diesel fuel:i) The profits gainedfrom deploying large trawlersare very sensitive to fuel prices,and these are likely to increasesubstantially in the future;ii) Also, fishing fleets arelikely to be affected whencarbon taxes (or  theirequivalent) are introduced toreduce emission ofgreenhouse gases, as willinevitably have to occur in thenear future.ConclusionsPublications by Sea Around Usproject members  documentthe claims made here, but Iwon’t cite them, except for ourprescient linking of theexcessive capacity of globalfishing fleets to fuel prices thatwere, until very recently,extremely low (Pauly et al.2003).There were numerous energyexperts at the Duke meeting,including the CEOs of majorcorporations. Theyacknowledged that theirgovernment’s energy policy ismisguided at best, andprobably will provecatastrophic. These experts, andother participants, were verySolutions - Continued from page 1 surprised by our estimate ofthe contribution of fishingfleets to greenhouse gasemission (1.2 %, much morethan they guessed), which willhave to be considered when,in the near future, suchemission will have to becontrolled. Thus, ourforthcoming paper on this(Tyedmers et al. 2005) maybecome influential.One last observation: Duke canreally be described by “Trees,trees, trees and PhDees”!AcknowledgmentsI wish to thank Dr. M. Orbachfor arranging for me to beinvited to this event, andgiving me a slot in the ‘OceansPanel’ that he chaired, andSandra Pauly for the ‘Dukemotto’, which my colleagues atDuke liked, though apparentlythey had never heard of it.ReferencesDiamond, J. 2005. Collapse :how societies choose to failor succeed. Viking Books,New York, 592 pp.Pauly, D., J. Alder, E. Bennett, V.Christensen, P. Tyedmersand R. Watson. 2003. Thefuture for fisheries. Science302: 1359-1361.Tyedmers, P., R. Watson and D.Pauly. Fuelling global fishingfleets. AMBIO: a Journal ofthe Human Environment. [inpress].There werenumerousenergyexperts[who]acknowledgedthat theirgovernment’senergypolicy ismisguided atbest, andprobably willprovecatastrophicPage 3 Sea Around Us – September/October 2005Policy, advocacy, NGOs and theSea Around Us projectby Jackie Alder and Daniel PaulyA highly successful workshop, EvaluatingMarine and FisheriesInformation Needs of NGOs,held with representatives fromvarious NGOs (see Box)occurred on October 5-6, 2005,in the lecture hall of our newAquatic Ecosystems ResearchLaboratory (AERL) building. Itwas sponsored by the LenfestOceans Program(www.lenfestocean.org) andwas devoted to identifying thedata needs of NGOs for theirpolicy and advocacy work, aswell as to assessing how wellthe Sea Around Us projecthelps to meet these needs andwhat can be done jointly in thefuture.   Twenty-sixrepresentatives from large tomedium sized NGOs, whichspan Africa, the Pacific, theCaribbean, Asia, Europe andNorth America, spent two dayssharing ideas and providingconstructive feedback on thecurrent and planned databasesthat are behind the Sea AroundUs website (seewww.seaaroundus.org), andwhich have been featured inprevious newsletters.The workshop allowed theproject to showcase the last sixyears worth of work, and togive greater exposure to ourweb products. Someparticipants were not aware ofour work until they receivedthe invitation to the workshop,but left enthused and full ofideas about how theinformation contained in thewebsite can help them in theircampaigns for betterfisheries management andmarine conservation. Theworkshop also providedNGOs with opportunities toincrease their awareness ofthe breadth and depth ofthe work of the Sea AroundUs project. Many ideas forfuture projects werehatched between the SeaAround Us staff and NGOrepresentatives.The workshop ended with around table between studentsand NGO representatives (seeFishBytes Issue 11-5, p. 2),followed by cocktails, givingstudents and workshopparticipants ample opportunityto network.Non-governmental organizationsrepresented at theNGO-Sea Around Us Workshop.October 5-6, 20051.  American Bird Conservancy2.  Caribbean Conservation Association3.  David Suzuki Foundation4.  Environment and Conservation Organizations of Aotearoa     (New Zealand)5.  Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International6.  Greenpeace Australia Pacific (Fiji)7.  Greenpeace International8.  Humane Society International9.  Island Press (Washington, DC)10. IUCN Netherlands Committee11. Lenfest Oceans Program12. Lewis and Clark Law School13. Marine Conservation Biology Institute14. Marine Fish Conservation Network15. National Environmental Trust16. National Research Defense Council17. Oceana18. Regional Marine Conservation Project19. Sea Turtle Restoration Project20. State of the Salmon - Ecotrust21. State of the Salmon - Wild Salmon Centre22. The Ocean Conservancy23. WWF - Eastern Africa Region24. WWF - Latin America and Caribbean Regional Program25. WWF - US26. WWF Sulu-Sulawesi RegionContinued on page 4 - NGOsSomeparticipantswere notaware ofour workuntil theyreceivedtheinvitationto theworkshop,but leftenthusedand full ofideasPage 4Sea Around Us – September/October 2005One of the most significantoutcomes from the two-dayworkshop was participants’confirmation that the Sea AroundUs project is meeting its missionof providing useful scientificNGOs - Continued from page 3Africa meets on fishby Ussif Rashid SumailaAbuja, Nigeria, was thevenue of the NewPartnership for Africa’sDevelopment(NEPAD) Fish for All Summit,which took place from August22 – 25, 2005. The Summit hadstrong political backing fromthe Nigerian government, withPresident Olusegun Obansanjoserving as the chief host of themeeting. In fact, the Presidentchaired the morning session ofthe meeting on August 25 tothe delight of most participants.Sponsors of the meetingincluded the FederalGovernment of Nigeria, NEPAD,the WorldFish Centre, the FAO,the World Bank, World VisionInternational, and the NasarawaState Government of Nigeria.The objectives of the Summitwere (i) to establish a sharedunderstanding among keystakeholders of the currentstatus and likely future trends ofAfrican fisheries andaquaculture; (ii) to identifypriorities for the development offisheries and aquaculture; and(iii) to agree on future directionsfor research and capacitybuilding in support of thesedevelopment priorities. Keyoutputs of the Summit were: (i)the Abuja Declaration onSustainable Fisheries andAquaculture in Africa(www.nepad.org/2005/fishforall/Abuja_Declaration_En.pdf);and (ii) A NEPAD Action Plan forthe Development of AfricanFisheries and Aquaculture(www.fishforall.org/ffa-summit/ActionPlanDraft.pdf).While efforts were made by allparticipants at the Summit tomeet the above objectives, inmy view, the Summit, by its verynature, was not capable of givingconcrete guidance on theobjectives above. The Summitwas essentially a high profilepolitical meeting whose mainachievement was to bring to theattention of the continent and itsinternational partners theimportant role that well-managed fisheries can play inthe continent’s development.But the real work of charting aviable, sustainable fisheriessector in Africa that benefits thecontinent’s coastal communitiescan only begin after the Summit.The starting point will be at thenational and/or regional levels.This is where each country andContinued on page 5 - AfricaPhotographs from Evaluating Marine and Fisheries Information Needs of NGOs.  Left: Daniel Pauly addresses representativesfrom 26 Non-Governmental Organizations. Right: Participants during discussions.     Photos by Sherman  Lai.information for assessing theimpacts of fisheries, i.e.,information  that advocacygroups can use.  Our consistentfocus on creating global datasetsfrom reliable sources andexpressing the informationthrough our mapping system hasensured that we are on the righttrack, and no doubt we willcontinue to improve and expandour data and associated research.We thank the Lenfest OceansProgram for initiating andfunding this activity.Ourconsistentfocus oncreatingglobaldatasetsfromreliablesources andexpressingtheinformationthroughourmappingsystem hasensuredthat we areon the righttrackPage 5 Sea Around Us – September/October 2005region needs to seriouslyevaluate the challenges andopportunities it faces in theareas of capture fisheries, inlandfisheries and aquaculture. It isonly at these levels thatconcrete plans and programmescan be identified to ensureresponsible management forachieving the goals of viable andsustainable fisheries that cancontribute to Africa’sdevelopment.In the case of capture fisheries,for example, each country andregion will need to make anhonest assessment of thecurrent state of the resources.Where the resources have beenoverexploited, for instance,feasible restoration plans willneed to be put in place. Eachcountry and region needs toassess the total values from itsfisheries and how the values aredistributed to variousstakeholders. Are the countriesand regions adding maximumvalue to their fish landings? Arethe coastal fishing communitiescapturing a good portion of thebenefits from their fisheries?Answers to these questions willhelp guide the shaping ofeconomically, socially andecologically sustainable capturefisheries in Africa.With respect to aquaculture,each country will have to look atits prospects in this regard verycarefully and dispassionately.Listening to many speakers atthe Summit, it appears to methat aquaculture is seen as a kindof panacea that will help solveAfrica’s animal protein needsand poverty problems.  Thisoptimism is yet to be justified.Apart from Eqypt, aquacultureproduction in the continent iscurrently pretty insignificant.And this is not because of a lackAfrica - Continued from page 4Participants at the NEPAD Fish for All Summit.of trying. Countriessuch as Ghana haveput quite a bit ofeffort into developingaquacultureproduction withoutmuch success so far.Before plunging intohuge investments inaquaculture farms, it isprudent to explorevery carefully whythe continent has notyet been successful in this area.Also, each country will need tocarefully determine what kind ofspecies to farm, as this will havehuge environmental andeconomic implications for thesector and the country at large.There is the need to explorewhat the consequences ofexpansion in aquacultureoperations means for a givencountry’s capture and inlandfisheries. Is it likely tocomplement these sectorseconomically andenvironmentally or is it likely tosubstitute them?With regards to inland fisheries,countries and regions will haveto assess their current state. Ifthey are declining, as theliterature seems to suggest, thencountries and regions will needto find the causes of thedeclines. Is it because the riversare drying up, for example?Alhaji Muktar Shagari, the Hon.Minister of Water Resources ofNigeria, made, in my view, oneof the best speeches at theSummit – and it wasunprepared!  In a few minutes,he managed to make convincingscience-based argumentsconnecting the state of waterresources in Africa to the fate ofinland fisheries in the continent,made statements about Nigerianhospitality, and provided reasonswhy he thinks Nigeria isqualified to be a permanentmember of the United NationsSecurity Council. A key pointAlhaji Shagari made was thatLake Chad is now only about10% of its former length, whichby implication means that,everything being equal, theinland fisheries of Lake Chadshould have shrunk by about90% too. Hence, without healthyrivers and water resources, therecannot be sustainable inlandfisheries.  This is an importantpoint for the continent’s inlandfisheries managers to note.On a lighter note, Nigeria got theopportunity at the Summit todemonstrate the hospitable andfriendly nature of its people.Participants also got theopportunity to see howNigerians can overdo somethings (like providing twoSummit bags to each participant– the first time most would haveexperienced this) and ‘underdo’some (more important) thingslike starting functions on time.Finally, it was great for me toreturn to Abuja for the first timesince 21 years ago, when Ivisited what was then thebiggest construction site in thecontinent, as an undergraduatestudent on an excursion. Forthose who do not know, Abuja isthe new federal capital ofNigeria, which was built virtuallyfrom scratch, right at the centreof the country, partly tomake the capital moreaccessible to its citizens.Withouthealthyrivers andwaterresources,there cannotbesustainableinlandfisheriesPage 6Sea Around Us – September/October 2005Publications Mail Agreement No: 41104508Rebuilding Aceh’s fishing fleets:anecdotal field observations ofan ill-conceived concept gonepredictably astrayby Mark ErdmannSenior Advisor,Conservation International Indonesia Marine ProgramAs governments, NGOs,and relief agenciesbegan to turn theirattention from the urgent rescueand relief efforts forcommunities in Aceh, innorthern Sumatra, Indonesia -decimated by the December2004 Asian tsunami - towardsthe broader and more long-termissues of rebuilding localeconomies and restoringlivelihoods, many focused uponplans to rebuild the fisheriessector. Despite strong argumentsto the contrary1, well-meaninggroups carry forth with variousprograms aimed at “rebuildingfisheries” – ranging fromsupplying new and used foreignfishing vessels (some ironicallygained from fisheries buyoutsdesigned to reduce overcapacityin other countries) to buildingnew boats locally for fishermen,to supplying grants-in-aid tofishers to replace boats andfishing gear lost in the tsunami(see also RatanaChuengpagdee’s article on thesituation in Thailand:Sea AroundUs Issue 30, pp. 1-3).In a previous issue of thisnewsletter (Sea Around Us Issue26, pp. 1-2), Daniel Pauly arguedthat such efforts were largelymisplaced, and that relieffunding would in fact be muchbetter directed towardseducation and assisting fishingfamilies to reinvest in othereconomic sectors with abrighter, more sustainable future.Unfortunately, even if we setaside these arguments about thelong-term (un)sustainability ofthe small-scale coastal fisheriessector throughout SoutheastAsia, anecdotal observations thatI made during the course of atwo-week post-tsunami coralreef assessment in Aceh wouldsuggest that these fisheriesrebuilding efforts have goneastray in many instances. Inspeaking with dozens of coastalinhabitants (fishers andotherwise) and simply observingboats around Aceh, severalrecurrent issues were raised.Firstly, several people, previouslyfarmers or tradesmen, informedme that they had now becomefishers – drawn by the fishergrants-in-aid being administeredby various NGOs. Though Icannot comment on howwidespread this phenomenon is,it is clear that at least one smallnet effect of these programs hasactually been to draw ‘newrecruits’ to an already overfishedcoastal fishery.The second major misfire thatwe observed was a significantnumber of beached vesselswhich had recently beendonated by various relief groups.Enquiries about why thesevessels were not being usedwere met with sarcastic laughsfrom local fishers – a number ofthe vessels, donated fromforeign sources, were neitherappropriate for local seaconditions nor locally-usedfishing gear types. Moreover, weobserved several brightly-painted wooden vessels, roughlythe same design as local vessels,sitting on the beach and in somecases being used as temporaryshelters. It seems that theseboats, though constructed locallywith relief funds, were poorlymade and local fishers did notconsider them seaworthy (theymoreover expressed annoyanceat the “corruption” involved inbuilding useless boats with relieffunds).Though I have no doubt that allof these efforts were well-meaning and that undoubtedlythere are other successfulexamples of fisheries reliefprograms in Aceh, it is perhapstelling that the few anecdotalobservations that I made duringa two week survey there wereindicative of what is perhapsbest summarized as an ill-conceived concept gone –predictably – astray.Footnote1. Pauly, D.2005.  Rebuildingfisheries will add to Asia’sproblems. Correspondenceto Nature 433:457.It seemsthat theseboats,thoughconstructedlocally withrelief funds,werepoorlymade andlocal fishersdid notconsiderthemseaworthy


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