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Sea Around Us project newsletter, issue 46, March/April 2008 Forrest, Robyn; Sea Around Us Project Mar 31, 2008

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SSSS Seeee eaaaa a     AAAA Arrrr r ouououou ounnnn ndddd d     UUUU Ussss sThe Sea Around Us Project NewsletterIssue 46 – March/April 2008Around the fisheries worldin 90 daysby Ussif Rashid SumailaJanuary14,2008marked theend of myquiet daysin the firstquarter ofthe year,when Itook off toNha Trang,Viet Namto attend atrainingworkshoporganizedby theWorld Bankand the WorldFish Center.Other trips in January wereto Penang, Malaysia, to givea lecture, and Washington,D.C. to participate in aworkshop on corruption infisheries at the World Bank.February came with its ownlist of places to visit. My firststop was in Boston, USA,where I attended the 2008American Association forthe Advancement ofScience Meeting; then toKiel, Germany to participatein the final SteeringCommittee Meeting of theEuropean funded Incofishproject (www.incofish.org/index.php). Next, I went toDakar, Senegal, toparticipate in adocumentary on fisheries inWest Africa, and, finally forthe month, I travelled toOttawa, Canada to serve asan expert witness onfisheries subsidies and theWorld Trade Organization, atthe February Meeting of theStanding Committee onFisheries and Oceans in theCanadian Parliament. Marchtook me first to Monaco,where I was invited to chaira session at an internationalseminar on governance ofhigh seas biodiversity (thePrince of Monaco was in theaudience).  Second I wentto Lima, Peru, where I wasasked to give a talk atIMARPE, Peru’s NationalFisheries Research Institute,on the need to establish asocioeconomics researchunit at the institute. My finalvisit of the month was toRio Grande, southernBrazil, where I contributedto the design of a newproject on climate changeand fisheries, based at theFederal University of RioGrande(www.labmon.io.usp.br/projects/sacc-CRN2/SACC_CRN2.html).In the next fewparagraphs, I select a fewof the activitiesundertaken during my 90days around the fisheriesworld, and provide somedetails.The goal of the Nha Trangtraining workshop was to equipWorld Bank task managers andprogram officers from partnerdevelopment agencies to makeinformed judgments about howto address fisheries andaquaculture concerns in ‘pro-poor projects’ and policyinterventions. As part of theworkshop, three innovativeparallel sessions (denoted‘clinics’) were organized so thatparticipants could offer peer-critique and suggestionsaddressing fisheries project orpolicy reform efforts, underwayor under preparation in differentparts of the world. I participatedin a session on a currentinitiative of the VietnameseMinistry of Fisheries, which hasthe goal of reducing the currentParticipants at the Peruvian Marine Institute meeting (L-R):Renato Guevara-Carrasco (FAO), Rashid Sumaila, Astrid Jarre(University of Cape Town), Rafael Rey Rey (Minister of Production,Peru), Gerd Winter (University of Bremen, Germany), ClaudiaWosnitza-Mendo (Peruvian Marine Institute, IMARPE) and CarlosBenites (Peruvian Marine Institute, IMARPE.   Photo by Unidadde Comunicaciones e Imagen Institucional del IMARPE.Continued on page 2Page 2Sea Around Us – March/April 2008The Sea Around Us project is a Fisheries Centre partner-ship with the Pew Charitable Trusts of Phi ladelphia,USA. The Trusts support nonprofit activities in the areas of culture,education, the environment, health and human services, public policyand religion. Based in Philadelphia, the Trusts make strategic invest-ments to help organisations and citizens develop practical solutions todifficult problems. In 2000, with approximately $4.8 billion in assets,the Trusts committed over $235 million to 302 nonprofit organisations. ISSN 1713-5214   Sea Around Us (ONLINE)The Sea Around Us project newsletter ispublished by the  Fisheries Centre at theUniversity of British Columbia. Included withthe Fisheries Centre’s newsletter FishBytes,sixissues of this newsletter arepublished annually.Subscriptions are freeof charge.Our mailingaddress is: SeaAround Us project,Aquatic EcosystemsResearch Laboratory,2202 Main Mall,Vancouver, BritishColumbia, Canada, V6T 1Z4. Our fax numberis (604) 822-8934, and our email address isSeaNotes@fisheries.ubc.ca. All queries(including reprint requests), subscriptionrequests, and address changes should beaddressed to Robyn Forrest, Sea Around UsNewsletter Editor.The Sea Around Us website may be foundat www.seaaroundus.org and contains up-to-date information on the project.overcapacity in the country’s inshore fisheries. Itwas revealed during this clinic that subsidies givenby the Vietnamese government to the inshorefishing sector decades ago, to spur development,are a key reason for the current overcapacity inthe country’s inshore fisheries.  Ironically, thegovernment is currently giving subsidies to theoffshore fishing sector in the country - repeatingthe mistakes of previous decades. In my opinion,the single most important policy action that VietNam can take immediately is to stop subsidizingthe offshore fisheries and to use the savings tohelp fishers move on to other activities (Teh et al.2008) – otherwise, a few years from now, anothergroup of experts will have to be convened toadvise Viet Nam on how to reduce overcapacity inthe country’s offshore fisheries - when it may wellbe too late!My contribution at the corruption in fisheriesworkshop was based on a report I co-authoredwith Jennifer Jacquet (cms.iucn.org/search.cfm?uNewsID=202) for the InternationalUnion for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  Myintervention briefly highlighted the main stages inthe fish chain where corruption can take place.Basically, we concluded that corruption happensboth on and off the water – i.e., it occursthroughout the entire fish chain. Iended my intervention by callingfor high priority to be given todrastic reduction of corruption infisheries by all interested parties.Tackling corruption is absolutelynecessary if our goal is to usefishery resources sustainably intothe long, distant future.In Boston, I attended the 2008American Association for theAdvancement of ScienceMeeting (see also www.ubc.ca/aaas/). I participated in twosessions, one of which I co-organized with Kate Newman ofWWF-USA.  The other wasorganized by the FisheriesCentre’s Mimi Lam, entitled‘Privilege or Right to Fish’ (seeFishBytes  Vol. 14 Issue 2). Thegoal of the session I co-organizedwas to explore how we can learnfrom the collapse of northern codoff Newfoundland to help protecttuna stocks, currently facingpressure from overfishing.Session contributors were BarbaraBlock (Stanford), Jose Ingles(WWF), Mark Kurlansky (BallantineBooks), Daniel Pauly (UBC), AndyRosenberg (University of NewHampshire), Renne Subido(Growth with Equity in Mindanao,Philippines) and Kate Newman(WWF). Together, we made thecase that continuedmismanagement could forcesome tuna populations to quicklygo the way of northern cod - ahighly threatened fishery thatonce helped shape economies ofwhole nations. It seems our call isalready being heeded - on June16, eight Pacific nations bannedtuna boats from an area of oceanalmost the size of Alaska “to savethe fish from a repeat of thecollapse of Atlantic cod fisheries inthe 1980s” (www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=aqOdnFHygH1k&refer=japan).My briefing and the discussion thatfollowed on fisheries subsidies atthe Canadian parliament brought tothe fore the key reason we stillhave problems managing ourenvironmental and naturalresources sustainably: i.e., the ever-present pressure to trade off futureenvironmental and naturalresources in order to  minimizecurrent socioeconomic pressures(see www.seaaroundus.org/NewspapersF.htm). This behaviouris now being played out with thecurrent increase in fuel prices(Sumaila et al. in press) and the callfor fuel subsidies to the fishingsector, to which many governmentsare succumbing. Until we find asolution to the problem of how tobalance the flow of present versusfuture benefits from our naturalenvironment, we will continue todegrade the environment, withpotentially significant impact onthe wellbeing of not only futuregenerations but also youngmembers of the currentgeneration.ReferencesTeh, L., et al. 2008. A Survey ofAlternative Livelihood Options forHong Kong’s Fishers. InternationalJournal of Social Economics 35(5),380-395.Sumaila, U.R., et al. (in press). Fuelprice increase, subsidies,overcapacity and resourcesustainability. ICES Journal ofMarine Science.Continued from page 1


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