Over three weeks before the referendum deciding if the UK remains in the European Union (EU), th...
IN BRIEF - Official says Taiwan hopes to ink new fishery deal soon
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Taiwan hopes to sign an agreement with Japan on fishery rights as soon as possible, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday in the wake of a report that Japan hopes to ink the deal in the first half of this year.
“We hope to have it [the agreement] signed as soon as possible,” ministry spokesman Steve Hsia said.
He made the remarks in response to a report published on Wednesday that said Japan’s representative to Taiwan, Sumio Tarui, expressed hope in a speech in Taipei that Taiwan and Japan can ink a fishery agreement no later than the first half of this year.
Taiwan and Japan held a preparatory meeting in November to discuss a resumption of formal fishery talks to address the issue of fishing rights in the waters surrounding the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea, Hsia said.
No timetable has been set for the next meeting, although Taiwan and Japan have a common goal of resuming talks as soon as possible, he said.
The previous 16 rounds of talks, dating back to 1996, failed to deliver concrete results, but Taiwanese officials have expressed hope that progress will be achieved when talks resume.
Taiwan and Japan last held talks on fishing rights in their overlapping territories in 2009, but discussions have been stalled since then.
Taiwanese fishermen consider the waters near the Diaoyutais as their traditional fishing grounds, but are routinely chased away by Japanese authorities when venturing too close to what Japan sees as its territorial waters.
WASHINGTONN- On June the 23rd of 2016, Oceana announced that Asha de Vos, a pioneering Sri Lankan marine biologist, has joined the organization as a senior advisor.
de Vos is the first and only Sri Lankan to earn a Ph.D. in marine-mammal-related research and has dedicated her studies to the Northern Indian Ocean blue whales found off the coast of Sri Lanka. As a senior advisor, de Vos will lend her background studying blue whales, marine expertise and research experience to help guide Oceana's global campaigns to protect and restore the oceans.
"I have long admired Oceana's ability to win policy victories for the oceans," said de Vos. "I'm thrilled to join this organization, which has the proven experience and ability to help protect marine wildlife, including the blue whales I have studied for so long."
de Vos identified that the blue whales found off the Sri Lankan coast – dubbed the "unorthodox whales" – are non-migratory after witnessing them feeding in the country's warm tropical waters. Blue whales typically migrate to cold water feeding areas from the warm water regions they use for breeding and calving. The Northern Indian Ocean blue whales remain year-round in Sri Lankan waters, primarily in a region that overlaps the country's shipping lane – one of the busiest marine shipping routes in the world. After her discovery, de Vos dedicated her post-doctoral research at the University of California, Santa Cruz's Long Marine Laboratory to finding science-based solutions for mitigating ship-strike which she is now using to formulate the policy recommendations necessary to protect the unorthodox whales from the threats they face.
A food processing facility in the south-central Vietnamese province of Binh Thuan was discovered to have been releasing wastewater into the ocean, following the death of nearly 4,000 farm-raised fish on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The deaths began Tuesday morning at Nguyen Van Sau’s coastal farm in Tan Thanh Commune, Ham Thuan Nam District, with around 3,000 dead fish recorded by Wednesday 22nd of June 2016 afternoon.
Similar incidents occurred at a nearby farming ground operated by Nguyen Duc Loc, accounting for an additional 700 deceased fish.
“I have never seen such a large number of fish deaths,” Sau stated, adding that the epidemic has cost him billions of dong (VND1 billion = USD 44,850).
Belgium - Responding to the result of the British referendum on EU membership, Geneviève Pons, Director of WWF European Policy Office said: “We much regret this decision by the British public to leave the European Union, as this brings risks and uncertainties for the UK’s environment, and also risks weakening the EU’s position in tackling international environmental and climate challenges. All evidence shows that EU membership has brought many environmental benefits for citizens and nature in the UK and across Europe, resulting in cleaner air and water, helping preserve habitats and species, accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and cutting carbon emissions. It is now important that the UK government commits to retaining the high environmental standards set by EU legislation. Neither the environmental decline we are experiencing nor climate change stop at borders, and they need to be tackled urgently, whether as a member of the EU or not.
Hawaii - Coral reefs are subject to multiple stressors and are known to be at risk of extinction; one of these stressors is now recognized as pollution arising from personal care products such as sunscreen, shampoo, soap, conditioner and body lotion.
Presenting findings at the ICRS 2016, Dr. Craig Downs of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory and a member of the IPSO scientific working group on Personnel Care Product (PCP) pollution, reported that chemicals such as oxybenzone are eroding the health of reefs i the face of climate change with impacts ranging from sterility to death.
Earlier this year the International Program for the State of the Ocean (IPSO), the IUCN and World Parks Congress held a workshop on the threats posed to marine habitats and ecosystems from PCP pollution. This led to an agreement to undertake a peer review of the risk posed to the marine environment by PCPs and the development of a code of conduct for use by scientists and individuals to reduce their own impact while in the water, but which can also be adopted by tourism industries, government and others to begin tackling this problem.
The working group is now identifying the chemicals about which there is sufficient scientific evidence to determine that they are hazardous in the marine environment.
“The result of the referendum brings both opportunities and challenges for the fishing industry and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation will be doing everything in its power to ensure that the best possible deal is achieved for fishing during the exit negotiations.
“To aid this process, it is vital that we have clarity from both the UK and Scottish Governments on their future intentions for fishing. Our national governments must work closely with the industry over the coming months and years to ensure that the right framework is put in place to deliver a prosperous future.”
A decision on the controversial Last In First Out policy for northern shrimp is coming soon. That is the message Dominic Leblanc, federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, gave in a teleconference with media on June 22 2016.
Leblanc’s predecessor, Member of Parliament Hunter Tootoo, had struck an independent advisory panel earlier this year to look at the policy and talk to stakeholders. They held meetings across Newfoundland and Labrador and in Nova Scotia, asking what changes people wanted to see. Those meetings wrapped up on June 10 in Halifax and Leblanc said now they are waiting on a report.
“I expect we will receive it in literally the next day or so,” he said. “I recognize the urgency and I talked to my Atlantic colleagues and Quebec colleague, we had an informal lunch last week. We talked about the importance of the northern shrimp fishery, the economic benefit it has brought to Canada, some of the challenges around sustainability and managing that stock in a way that is responsible and proper. I look forward to seeing the results of the LIFO panel report.”
Myanmar's growing fish farming industry is helping increase wages and improve diets, but without strict regulation farmed fish pose a huge threat to wild species, say environmental experts.
One type of farmed fish, with the common name tilapia, is now breeding abundantly in rivers and creeks, putting wild species at risk, U Aung Myo Chit, founder of a local NGO Grow Back for Posterity, told The Myanmar Times.
Myanmar is subject to regular flooding, which leads to farmed fish escaping into the wild. The tilapia are often caught in the Ayeyarwady River, U Aung Myo Chit said.
The residue of chemicals and foods used in fish farming are also harmful to wild species, he added.
Tilapia’s proliferation comes at the expense of wild fish, who find food sources depleted. Farmed fish species can also infect wild species with diseases against which they have no defence, he said.
KOKKILAI - Seven years after the end of the war the fishermen of Kokkilai in the Tamil-majority Mullaitivu district of North-East Sri Lanka are yet to enjoy the fruits of peace.
If fighting on land and sea disrupted their livelihood during the 30 year war, illegal fishing by Sinhalese and Muslims from outside the area; forcible occupation of lands by outsiders with state-backing; and grabbing of private lands to build an army-backed Buddhist temple, are troubling the Tamil fisher folk after the war.
In the context of a past when the nearby Weli Oya (Manal Aru) area was systematically colonized by the Sinhalese in 1985, the fishermen of Kokkilai are apprehensive about a future of economic and political marginalization and even displacement.
MANILA - China is using its fishing fleets with armed escorts to bolster maritime claims in disputed territory, a senior US State Department official warned Wednesday 22nd of June 2016, calling China's behaviour "disturbing".
The comments came after Indonesian warships fired warning shots and detained a Chinese-flagged fishing boat and seven crew near the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea last week, in actions slammed by Beijing.
"I think it's a disturbing trend to see Chinese fishing vessels accompanied by coast guard vessels, used in a way that appears to be an attempt to exert a claim that may not be legitimate," said the US official via conference call to journalists in Southeast Asia.
WASHINGTON - The planet’s coral reefs are likely facing warmer than normal water for an unprecedented third year in a row, extending what is already the longest coral bleaching event on record, US observers have said.
The global bleaching event began in mid-2014 with global warming and a particularly intense El Nino phenomenon resulting in higher than normal ocean temperatures, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday.
NOAA presented its grim outlook for the world’s coral reefs at an international symposium being held this week in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Good shrimp landings in May but with low prices United States
The latest statistics on shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico published by NOAA indicate that in May 10.3 million pounds of the crustacean were landed, 26.9 per cent below the prior fourteen-year historical average.