Friday, October 31, 2014

International Ocean Roundup XIV

Happy Halloween!  To get your news updated started, here are 8 Amazing Animals Scarier Than Sharks.  And here's the rest of the news:

Americas: Greenpeace alleges Bumble Bee illegal fishing links amid reported sale process
U.S. – 30 October 2014 –
Greenpeace is warning potential Bumble Bee Foods suitors about what it says are risks associated with the company, including alleged links to illegal fishing. In an alert Greenpeace said it sent to companies reported to be bidding for Bumble Bee, the environmental group cited a $125,000 out-of-court settlement by a vessel from Bumble Bee supplier South Pacific Tuna Corporation (SPTC). The vessel had been charged with illegal fishing in the Marshall Islands, Greenpeace said.
See also - Greenpeace warns investors about Bumble Bee links to IUU

Bumble Bee CEO blasts Greenpeace ‘financial advice’ after its $5m currency loss
U.S. – 31 October 2014 –
Chris Lischewski, president and CEO of Bumble Bee Foods, blasted Greenpeace for a note sent to the media and potential purchasers of the company.

Bahamas tackles IUU fishing as crawfish yields are down up to 30%
Bahamas – 28 October 2014 –
Bahamas authorities are tackling iIlegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, as crawfish yields are down by up to 30%, reports Tribune Business. On Oct. 26, two Dominican registered vessels and a group of Dominican fishermen were reportedly apprehended for fisheries violations in southern Bahamian waters.

30% of shrimp products misrepresented, study says
U.S. – 30 October 2014 –
Ocean conservation group Oceana released a study today showing that 30% of sold shrimp products are misrepresented, with 15% of the tested shrimp being straight-up mislabeled in production method (wild-caught vs. farm-raised) or species type.

Tracing shrimp fraud — President's task force can feed America information
U.S. – 31 October 2014 – the
Shrimp may be small, but they are a big business and a popular food for many Americans. In fact, America's most popular seafood is shrimp, and it is the most highly traded seafood item by value, both in the U.S. as well as around the world. In 2012, 89 percent of the shrimp consumed in the U.S. was imported. With a product that is so heavily traded comes a high risk of misrepresentation that cheats consumers, honest fishermen and others.

NOAA removes 57 tons of marine debris from northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Hawaii – 29 October 2014 – GSN
A team of 17 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) divers sailing aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette recently returned from a 33-day mission to remove marine debris from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, a World Heritage Site and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world.

Seafood Deception: What's Wrong With Your Shrimp
U.S. – 30 October 2014 –
Bogus Kobe beef. Bad sushi. Poseur parmesan. Bastardized olive oil. Tainted honey. Horsemeat swapped for beef. Fake fish on menus and in stores nationwide. If you love good food, there’s always another scary scandal around the corner, another shoe waiting to drop. It just did.

Asia-Pacific: Tuna firm's bungled IPO exposes China's flouting of global fishing rules
China – 27 October 2014 – The Guardian
A Chinese tuna company’s draft IPO has offered an unusually candid view of how China defies international agreements seeking to regulate catches and preserve fish stocks.

Pacific Andes in talks to raise more debt as share price drops on high trading
Hong Kong - 28 October 2014 –
Hong Kong-listed Pacific Andes International Holdings said it is in talks to raise more debt as it said it could not account for the “unusual” fluctuation in its share price and trading volume seen on Monday, Oct. 27.

Philippines to amend fishing law to prevent EU fish ban
Philippines – 27 October 2014 – Europe Online Magazine
The Philippine Senate approved a bill Monday to strengthen laws against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, to prevent the European Union from blacklisting its products. The amendment to the Fisheries Act will impose stiffer fines and more administrative penalties.

All aboard ocean warrior ship
New Zealand – 29 October 2014 –
Environmental group Sea Shepherd is heading to the Southern Ocean to combat toothfish piracy.

Fisheries minister promises to eradicate illegal fishing in Indonesia
Indonesia – 29 October 2014 –Antara News
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The newly-appointed Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti said she would eliminate illegal fishing activities rampant in Indonesian waters for the past several years.

President meets Representatives of Fishermen Associations
Sri Lanka – 31 October 2014 –
President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday (30) instructed the Sri Lanka Navy to assist in stopping illegal fishermen entering into the Sri Lankan seas and also to curb using illegal equipment for the fishing.

No Overfishing Reported in Australia’s Latest Fisheries Reports
Australia – 30 October 2014 –
ABARES has released the Fishery status reports 2013–14, which include the most up-to-date assessment of fish stocks that are solely or jointly managed by the Australian Government.

The maritime axis: An opportunity for eastern Indonesia
Indonesia – 27 October 2014 – the Jakarta Post
The inauguration of Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla as President and Vice President marked a start to their efforts to realize their platforms, which include the much heralded “maritime axis”. Such a vision is quite reasonable due to the maritime culture that has been in place for centuries, as evident in the old song lyric “Our ancestors were sailors”.

Five illegal fishing boats seized
Philippines – 31 October 2014 – Philippines
Combined efforts of government operatives led to the apprehension of five trawl fishing boats in the municipal waters Manapla. nThe operation took place in Barangay Punta Mesa, Manapla town amidst heavy downpour as five trawl fishing boats were spotted violating Republic Act 8550 particularly the prohibition on the use of Active Fishing Gear within Municipal Waters and Bays and other Fishery Management Areas.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa instructs the Navy to assist in stopping illegal fishermen into the Sri Lankan sea
Sri Lanka – 30 October 2014 – Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation
President Mahinda Rajapaksa instructs the Navy to assist in stopping illegal fishermen into the Sri Lankan sea. He has also asked them to curb using illegal equipment for the fishing.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
Philippines – 31 October 2014 – Philippine Daily Inquirer
By December, the European Union will decide on the status of the Philippines as a noncooperating third party in its campaign against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF). Last June, the Philippines received a “yellow card” from the European Union; the sanction was only a warning and did not entail trade measures. The formalization of this dialogue process served to strengthen the cooperation between the European Commission and the Philippines to address all problems within a logical time frame of six months.

9 Indian fishermen held in Bay, trawler seized
Bangladesh – 29 October 2014 – The Daily Star
Bangladesh Navy personnel on Monday arrested nine Indian fishermen along with a fishing trawler for their illegal entry into Bangladesh maritime boundary.

Fishing In Banned Water
Sri Lanka – 27 October 2014 – The Sunday Leader
With the European Union (EU) deciding to impose a sanction on Sri Lankan fisheries products, there is lot of agitation created especially among the fisher folks. Some fisher groups who will be affected by this decision recently protested in front of the Ministry of Fisheries who received them with hostility.

Europe – MENA Illegal swordfish fishing
E.U. – 30 October 2014 –
Oceana says that despite overfishing, the EU is still “refusing” to take action to protect stocks of Mediterranean swordfish. It has uncovered a report that reveals how the Italian fleet “blatantly violates” current international fisheries measures in place to protect the species. This comes shortly before the issue is due to be discussed at next month's International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) meeting in Brussels.

European Commission Documents Prove Illegal Fishing of Swordfish
E.U. – 29 October 2014 –
As EU Member State representatives met in Brussels to discuss the EU position on the management of highly migratory species such as bluefin tuna and swordfish, Oceana has unveiled a report by the European Commission that proves how the Italian fleet violates current international fisheries measures in force for Mediterranean swordfish.

Spanish crew sanctioned for illegal foreign fishing vessel
Spain – 29 October 2014 –
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) imposed pecuniary penalties and inability to conduct fishing activities on Spanish crew registered on a foreign vessel included in the blacklist of the Convention for the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCRVMA) for illegal fishing in Antarctica.

Africa: Gambia unveils national platform for sustainability fisheries
Gambia – 28 October 2014 –
Gambia’s National Platform for Sustainability Fisheries was launched on Oct. 21 with the aim to promote governance management while reducing poverty, reports The Point. bThe platform is intended to apply sustainable measures for socio-economic development of the West Africa Marine Eco-Region (WAMER) member countries.

Dar to act tough on illegal fishing gears
Tanzania – 30 October 2014 – Daily News
The government has vowed to enforce stiff penalties on offenders using illegal fishing gears in search of quick wealth, as they create irreparable destruction of marine ecology.

Patrol vessel to stop illegal fishing in Indian Ocean
Kenya – 29 October 2014 – The Star
THE government is constructing an offshore patrol vessel to survey the Indian Ocean exclusive economic zone. Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei said the vessel will strengthen the country’s capacity to patrol the EEZ.

Fisheries and the blue economy
Seychelles – 30 October 2014 -
After 1984, when the first purse seiners converge on Port Victoria to make it the main tuna transshipment centre, we are now seeing the arrival of dozens of long liners.

Global: Reeling in illegal fishing
Global – Q4 2014 – IHS Quarterly
More people are giving thought to where their food comes from, and there is perhaps no better example than seafood. With the power of global logistics, it is possible to enjoy fresh lobster, fish, shrimp, and other delicacies of the deep in a restaurant thousands of miles from the nearest coast. However, eco-conscious consumers increasingly want to know where their food originated and whether it was harvested in an environmentally sustainable fashion.

Pacific Andes’ Damanzaihao on draft IUU list
Peru – 30 October 2014 –
Damanzaihao, the flagship mothership of Pacific Andes formerly known as Lafayette, has been included on the draft list of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing drawn up by the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization, Undercurrent News has learnt.

Super-fishing boat declared a 'pirate ship'
Global – 31 October 2014 –
A shadowy Chinese super-fishing boat that changes flags and names routinely as it illegally plunders the South Pacific is to be declared a pirate ship by a Wellington based international control agency. Damanzaihao, flying the Peruvian flag, it is the world's largest fishing vessel at 49,367 tons but no one knows what it does in the waters between New Zealand and South America.

Fighting against IUU - Successes from ACP countries
Belgium – 28 October 2014 – Islands Business
Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) is a major challenge and concern for ACP countries, a number of which have faced sanctions under the European Union’s IUU Regulation.

Heard the One About the Chinese Ship That Sailed on Land? No Joke
Global – 28 October 2014 – Bloomberg
People aren't the only ones affected by identity theft. Tankers, cargo freighters and other ships sailing in the Central Pacific and off the coast of West Africa are increasingly pretending to be vessels that they're not, according to a startup.

Environmentalists want 10 year Arctic shipping moratorium
Arctic – 24 October 2014 – IHS Maritime 360
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has called for a 10 year moratorium on Arctic shipping according to a report released on 21 October. The group, an established UK group that works with local NGOs, film, and television to reveal environmental crimes through undercover methods, believes it will take this amount of time for the IMO's Polar Code to be approved and written into national legislations.

Every fish you eat is an environmental mystery, but would you pay more to know the truth?
Global – 29 October 2014 – The Guardian
Once you’ve seen what comes up in the net after a trawling expedition, you can never take the identity of the seafood on your plate for granted again.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celebrating Shark Protections in Pohnpei

Officials attend airport ceremony unveiling new welcome sign which celebrates state shark protection
Governor Ehsa and Micronesia Leaders Call for Swift Passage of National Shark Sanctuary

On October 20, 2014, Pohnpei Governor John Ehsa, Chief of Staff Falcam on behalf of FSM President Emanuel Mori, and other state leaders attended a ceremony at Pohnpei International Airport unveiling a new welcome sign which celebrates the state’s shark protections. With the passage of Chuuk’s law in May, all four states now fully protect sharks in their waters. A draft bill is currently being reviewed by the FSM National Government which would create a shark sanctuary in FSM’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

In 2011 at the Micronesia Chief Executive Summit, the Presidents and Governors of Micronesia, committed to create the Micronesia Shark Sanctuary. The administration and its NGO and private partners have been working with members of the FSM National Congress to have this draft legislation passed to fulfill its regional commitment and to secure the nations ocean resources for future generations.

“We are immensely proud of our shark protections here in Pohnpei State and this new sign will share with visitors and citizens alike that Pohnpei is committed to passing on our natural resources to our next generations,” said Governor Ehsa. “We look forward to the day when sharks are protected throughout FSM’s EEZ.”

The sign features an iconic Pohnpei image—Sokehs Rock—as well as images of sharks found in our waters. It reads, “Welcome to Pohnpei where sharks are protected.”

The unveiling comes on the heels of a recent resolution by Pohnpei’s traditional leaders who called on the Congress to pass legislation for the creation of a shark sanctuary in FSM’s national waters. More than 8,000 Micronesian students have signed a petition in support of an FSM shark sanctuary. The signers come from all four states of FSM, Palau, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Guam.

“I’m delighted to see Pohnpei taking the lead in this effort,” said Willy Kostka, Executive Director of the Micronesia Conservation Trust. “Sharks are critical to the health of our oceans, and when FSM passes our national shark sanctuary we will have joined Palau, Guam, CNMI, and Marshall Islands to create the largest shark sanctuary in the world.”

Approximately 100 million sharks are killed each year and the latest science finds that nearly 30% of known shark species fully assessed by scientists are threatened with extinction. Sharks are currently unprotected in FSM’s EEZ with the exception of oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks, which are protected by regional agreements under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A New Shark Stanley is Coming

We have exciting news!  We are a few short months from launching a new Shark Stanley book with a new campaign.  There will be a new story with new adventures, as well as more than a dozen new characters.

We are grateful to the dozens of partners and thousands of supporters who helped us protect sharks at CITES last year, but the time has come to archive the old campaign to make way for the new.  Pasted below is our post-CITES campaign landing page for, and it will soon be replace with the new materials.  We want to recognize our partners in perpetuity, so those links will live on here.

Thank you again for your untiring support.

Download our book!
Thank you for participating in our first Shark Stanley campaign! On March 14, 2013, member countries approved listing five species of shark and two species of manta ray on Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. Thank you again to the thousands of supporters who participated and sent in photos!

In July 2013, Leah Meth, manager of the Shark Stanley campaign and contributing editor at Shark Defenders, was a finalist for Oceana's Ocean Hero Awards.

The following organizations partnered with Shark Defenders to build worldwide public support for the protections at CITES.

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