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Sea Around Us project newsletter, issue 30, July/August 2005 Forrest, Robyn; Sea Around Us Project Jul 31, 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 30 – July/August 2005Thailand was one ofseveral countries in Asiaheavily hit by thetsunami of December 26,2004. A disaster of thismagnitude was a newexperience to the country,which had until then beenlargely spared from majornatural disasters andhazardous events. Comparedto India, Indonesia and SriLanka, the tsunami damageson Thai coastal areas andcoastal communities weresmall. Nonetheless, Thailandattracted exceptional mediaattention, largely due to thefact that about half of thelives taken by the tsunamiwere those of foreigners.Emergency responses,humanitarian aid and otherimmediate relief efforts werevery effective and there wereno disease outbreaks orhealth, water or sanitationproblems. Temporary shelterswere quickly built andchildren were well cared for.Help came from severaldirections includingvolunteer organizations,religious and student groupsfrom all parts of Thailand,several major internationalorganizations and fromindividuals who were able todonate money or volunteertheir time. Responses fromthe Thaigovernment werealso rapid.  An ‘Ad-hoc Task Force onTidal Wave Disaster’was formed tocoordinate foreignand nationalassistance. It was notlong before focuswas shifted fromemergencyresponses andrecovery torehabilitation andreconstruction.Reports on the damagesshowed the death of 5,395people, with between100,000 to 120,000 peoplein 490 fishing villagesaffected, destruction of about7,500 fishing boats, damagesto 225 hectares ofagricultural farm lands anddeath of 54,000 livestock.Scientists from severaluniversities in Thailand alsoworked collaboratively inassessing damages to marineresources and ecosystems,such as coral reefs, seagrass,marine mammals and waterquality. They found that thedamages were generally lesssevere than anticipated.Physical alterations of land-and seascape were evident,however, with collapsedhouses and damagedbuildings, large areas withfallen trees and a widening ofchannels and bays. Cleaningup of debris was most intensein tourist hot spots, like inPatong Beach in PhuketProvince (see map above). Inother areas, like Khao Lak inPhangnga Province, a newtourist development,reconstruction faceschallenges as many of thedamaged properties wereeither newly opened or aboutto be opened for business,and there seemed to besome uncertainty whether ornot to continue with theinvestment. While evidenceof the damages can still beseen eight months after thedisaster in many fishingContinued on page 2 - TsunamiBusiness as usual fortsunami-affectedcommunities in Thailand?by Ratana Chuenpagdee1Page 2Sea Around Us – July/August 2005The Sea Around Us project newsletter ispublished by the  Fisheries Centre at theUniversity of British Co-lumbia. Includedwith the FisheriesCentre’s newsletterFishBytes,six is-sues of this news-letter are pub-lished annually.Subscriptions arefree of charge.Our mailing address is: UBC Fisheries Cen-tre, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory,2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Colum-bia, Canada, V6T 1Z4. Our fax number is(604) 822-8934, and our email address isSeaNotes@fisheries.ubc.ca. All queries (in-cluding reprint requests), subscription re-quests, and address changes should be ad-dressed to Robyn Forrest, Sea Around UsNewsletter 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)villages in Phangnga and RanongProvinces, rehabilitation efforts areactive, as seen in the numeroussigns announcing permanenthousing and boat replacementprograms.Visitors to these fishing villagestoday will witness rows of identical,small one or two-story houses, builton land often adjacent tomangrove forests, with a blue wallplate indicating the name of thedonors. The only image thatresembles the pre-tsunami periodis the people working on theirfishing gears near their houses (seeFigure opposite). These newhouses were built quickly by theThai military with external fundingchannelled by the Thaigovernment to the tsunami-affected people, who werebasically offered either a house ora sum of cash as compensation.There was no consultation with thepeople about the kind of housingthey preferred and someexpressed discontent with thestructure and design of the newhouses, but accepted them in fearof not receiving the promisedcash. However, the few whoaccepted the cash benefitedmore, since other independentvolunteer groups arrived in thevillages soon after and asked themwhat they needed. Soon, newhouses were built for them, as theowners wanted them and on landbought with the cash receivedfrom the government. It is likelythat the government-built housesare owned by the inhabitants, butit is less clear whether they ownthe land.Another striking image in thesefishing villages is the number ofbeautiful wooden boats that arebeing built (see Figure opposite).Many aid organizations, includingthe Food and AgricultureOrganization of the UnitedNations (FAO) supported boatreplacement programs. Afterconducting the rapid needassessment, FAO allotted a sum ofmoney to buy materials to buildboats and fishing gears and to buyboat engines. The distribution ofthese materials was based largelyon a list of tsunami-affectedfishers compiled by the villageheads and through consultationwith government officials and FAOrepresentatives. However, therewere some challenges with thisprocess (K. Juntarashote, pers.comm.). Firstly, it was difficult toverify whether those on the listwere really those who wereaffected. Secondly, by the time thematerials were ready to bedelivered to the villages, manyfishers had already received newboats from other sources and manyfishers are now in possession ofmore than one boat. The newboats, including about 400 trawlers,are generally larger in size than theones they replaced, just aspredicted (see Sea Around Us,Issue 26, p1-2). Similar drawbacksaffect the fishing rehabilitation andlivelihood restoration programsfunded by other agencies anddonor organizations.Lots of aid rapidly arrived inThailand from around the worlddue to the accessibility of thetsunami-affected areas. Thecoordination of the aid andassistance was, however, neithersufficiently effective to meet theneeds of the affected communitiesnor were direct inputs from thecommunities sought about theirneeds and preferences in theprocess. As a result, the post-tsunami situation in Thailand leavesone wondering whether peoplewill be able to resume theirlivelihoods, despite numerousefforts such as a religiousceremony held one hundred daysafter the disaster to help people tomove on. Although some touristsfrom Europe and Australia havestarted to come back to Phuket,those from China and Korea arestill reluctant. It is thus difficult togauge the overall impacts of theTsunami - Continued from page 1Continued on page 3 - TsunamiThe newboats,includingabout 400trawlers, aregenerallylarger in sizethan theones theyreplacedPage 3 Sea Around Us – July/August 2005tsunami on the tourism industryand consequently on the socio-economics of the people. Withfishing beginning again in thefishing communities after aboutsix months of disruption, can oneexpect that business will be asusual? Given the increase in vesselsize and number, fishing effort willincrease. Furthermore, given thelack of knowledge about theimpacts of the tsunami on thehealth of fisheries and marineecosystems, there may be long-term changes to the resource.Questions such as sustainabilityand ecosystem health need to beraised. On another note, manyresidents of the fishingcommunities seem to have a newappreciation for the mangroveforests, after seeing that shabbyhuts built behind the forests weresaved while the sturdy ones in thefront were destroyed. Yet, thechallenge is how to provide abalance between protection anduses of these coastal resources,given the current demands. Manyof these questions remainunanswered and it requires mid-term and long-term researchprograms to provide informationneeded for sustainability of thecoastal areas and for buildingresilience within coastalcommunities of Thailand.At an international workshophosted by the EuropeanCommission in Brussels on25-26 May 2005, scientistsand researchers involved inpost-tsunami efforts puttogether recommendationsfor research programsrelated to human health,land use and socio-economic implications ofthe tsunami and othernatural disasters. This isencouraging, as several long-term research programs willlikely be initiated as a result.At the People and the Sea IIIConference in Amsterdam, aspecial tsunami roundtablediscussion was organized on 9July 2005 to discuss the state ofaffairs, implications and researchagenda. It was interesting to hearstories from Sri Lanka whereconcerns about the fisheriessimilar to those of Thailand wereraised, in addition to thecompetition between tourismand fisheries in the reconstructionplan. Most striking, however, wasthe story about Indonesia wherethe rehabilitation andreconstruction process is muchslower than in the othercountries. Some of the people inBanda Aceh actually have aunique opportunity to ‘custom-make’ their new houses to theirown liking. The story wasremarkable and uplifting, despitethe dire state they are in.What lessons can be learned fromthese experiences? Surely,donations, aid and restorationefforts from international aidagencies, government and NGOs,private and public associations,scientific communities andindividuals are to be stronglycommended. Thailand rapidlyrecovered because of thegenerosity of the people aroundthe world. Internally, Thai peopleneed to recognise, however, that itis also their responsibility to helpthemselves. There is certainlysufficient local knowledge andscientific expertise that cancontribute to enhancing ourunderstanding about the roles ofmangrove forests, for example, inmitigating the tsunami damages. Inthe understanding of ‘social capital’,which is the degree to which acommunity or society collaboratesand cooperates (through suchmechanisms as networks, sharedtrust, norms and values) to achievemutual benefits2, the capacity oflocal scientists also needs to beexamined. As much as localcommunities should not be seen assimply waiting to receive externalaid, local scientists need also to turntheir expertise into knowledge andtake an active role in settingresearch agendas and conductingresearch to deal with such events.By the same token, researchprojects initiated and funded byinternational agencies shoulddirectly involve and engage localexperts in the exchange and sharingof knowledge to build overallresearch capacity at local andinternational levels.Footnotes1 Ratana Chuenpagdee(ratana.chuenpagdee@dal.ca) is anadjunct professor at the Fisheries Centre;senior research fellow at the InternationalOcean Institute – Canada, in Halifax; andco-director of Coastal DevelopmentCentre in Thailand. Together with JackieAlder and Colette Wabnitz of SAUP, she isinvolved in a project that examines theroles of ecosystems and human systemsin mitigating tsunami damage (SeeFishBytes (Issue 11-4), p1). The project isled by Dr Stephanie Chang of UBC, andDr Phil Berke of University of NorthCarolina and is funded by the NationalScience Foundation.  The opinionsexpressed in this article are based on theauthor ’s personal observations. AlidaBundy and Daniel Pauly provided helpfulcomments on this article.2 See more definitions in Putnam (2000)‘Bowling Alone: The Collapse andRevival of American Community’ ,Simon & Schuster Publishing.Above: Fishers making traps in front of theirnew houses;  Below: New wooden fishing boats.... localscientistsneed also toturn theirexpertise intoknowledgeand take anactive role insettingresearchagendas ...Page 4Sea Around Us – July/August 2005Publications Mail Agreement No: 41104508Mapping the global biomass ofmesopelagic fishesby Vicky W.Y. Lam and Daniel PaulyMesopelagic fish, mostbelonging to thelanternfish family(Myctophidae) live, duringdaytime, at depths between200m and 1000 m, performing adiel migration to between 200mand the water surface at night.They are largely quiescent duringday, but feed actively at night,mostly on crustaceans (copepods,amphipods and euphausiids).Their oceanic distribution rangesfrom the Arctic to the Antarctic,but their annual production ishighest in subtropical and tropicalseas.Mesopelagic fishes are generallynot exploited by fisheries, owingto their extreme dispersion (about1 g·m-3), but are an important preyitem to a number of speciestargeted by fisheries, as well as tomarine mammals and seabirds. Assuch, they must be included inecosystem models, which is whythe Sea Around Us projectincludes them as a ‘layer’ in itscoverage of the world ocean (seewww.seaaroundus.org).Gjøsaeter and Kawaguchi (1980;henceforth: G&K), who alsoreviewed the biology ofmesopelagic fishes, are the onlyauthors to have attempted todescribe their distribution globally.Combining the surface areascovered with estimates of density(in g·m-2), G&K estimated a globalbiomass of 945 million tonnes.This was done by summing up thebiomass estimates (i.e., theproducts of density x surface area)from 15 Large FAO Areas, (Table1), themselves composed ofbetween 2 and 8 strata.We noted, however, someobvioustypographicalerrors, as wellas smallinconsistenciesbetweendifferent partsof G&K’sreport, whichthenprompted averification ofthe entire work. We recomputedthe surface area of each stratum,checked that they added up tothe larger FAO area (using ArcGIS9.0, a tool not available in 1980),and verified that the densityestimates for each stratum wereconsistent with the text of G&K’sreport and with each other.Table 1 summarizes the resultsby FAO Area.  As can be seen,the sum of products calculateddirectly from the tables in G&K(which give densities andsurface area for the differentstrata) for all 15FAO Areas add to797 million t(column A inTable 1), whilethe sum of thebiomass for eachFAO Area,mentioned inthe text of G&K,is 945 million t(column B). Ourrevised estimate,finally, with alldensityestimateschecked forinternalconsistency, andthe surface areaof all strataFAO Area A  B    CNorthwest Atlantic (21) 14.9  14.8   22.0Northeast Atlantic (27) 14.7  14.7   15.9Western Central Atlantic (31)   1.9  19.4     2.3Eastern Central Atlantic (34) 77.5  77.0   80.7Mediterranean Sea (37)   2.5     2.5     3.0Southwest Atlantic (41) 33.0  39.0   33.4Southeast Atlantic (47) 17.8  18.0   20.4Western Indian Ocean (51)           133.0    257.0   263.2Eastern Indian Ocean (57) 92.9  94.0   02.3Northwest Pacific (61) 48.6  49.0   52.5Northeast Pacific (67) 26.8  27.0   27.8Western Central Pacific (71) 51.3  52.0   85.4Eastern Central Pacific (77)           129.0    129.0   35.0Southwest Pacific (81)           101.0  01.0   99.9Southeast Pacific (87) 52.1  51.0   54.9Total           797.0    945.0 999.0recomputed, is 999 million tonnes(column C) -  very nearly onebillion tonnes. The resulting map(Figure 1) can be downloadedfrom www.seaaroundus.org, as agraph and as a shapefile, under theWORLD OCEAN menu item. This isnew, incidentally, and featuresthose of our web products that areglobal in nature.ReferenceGjøsaeter, J. and Kawaguchi, K. 1980.A review of the world resources ofmesopelagic fish. FAO FisheriesTechnical Paper, 193, 151 pp.Figure 1. Density of mesopelagic fishes (in g·m-2) by strata of theworld ocean. Shades of grey represent different FAO Areas.Table 1. Biomass (in million t) estimated in various FAO AreasColumns A, B, and C are defined in the text).Mesopelagicfishes aregenerallynotexploited byfisheries ...but are animportantprey item toa number ofspeciestargeted byfisheries


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