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Fisherfolk on the beach, The Gambia. Photo: Angus Kirk via Flickr.

Ocean grabbing: a new wave of 21st century enclosures

Nick Buxton, Carsten Pedersen & Mads Christian Barbesgaard

20th October 2014

Small-scale fishing communities are key to any transition towards an ecologically and socially just food regime. But backed by the World Bank, powerful corporate interests are seizing their fish, seas and shores in the name of 'sustainability'. A revolution of the poor is needed to rebuild food sovereignty - and restore the oceans to the global commons. more...
Coarse fishing on Filby Broad, Norfolk, UK. Photo: Colin via Flickr.

In defence of 'In Defence of Life'

Lesley Docksey

21st September 2014

Can you be a committed nature and animal lover, and enjoy shooting and angling? Only after extraordinary mental contortions, writes Lesley Docksey - who is only mildly surprised to find out that a Facebook critic is a PR man for 'country sports and associated technologies'. more...
Stranded whales in the 2014 'grind' on the Faroe Islands reduced to butchered meat. Photo: Sea Shepherd.

Danish Navy helps Faroe Islanders kill 33 pilot whales

Oliver Tickell

1st September 2014

The Danish Navy has just supported the annual 'grind' cetacean slaughter on the Faroe Islands, seizing three boats used by Sea Shepherd to obstruct the hunt, and detaining their crew. The move enabled whale hunters to slaughter an entire pod of 33 pilot whales. more...
The Black Sea was awash with jellyfish - and very little else. Photo: Lewis Pugh.

We must protect our seas!

Lewis Pugh

30th August 2014

Lewis Pugh has completed long-distance swims in the 'seven seas' to promote his dream of a peaceful world of well-managed Marine Protected Areas, abundant oceans teeming with fish, turtles, whales, sea-birds and sharks. His shocking experiences in the water make that dream more urgent and compelling than ever. more...
The Hawaiian cleaner wrasse works full time, keeping reefs from parasite loading. They die in 30 days of captivity but ship out daily - as many as the aquarium collectors can catch. Photo: Rober Wintner.

The dark side of Hawaii's aquarium trade

Elizabeth Claire Alberts

20th August 2014

Hawaii's salt-water aquarium trade is lucrative - but depends on the constant, scarcely regulated collection of wild fish, writes Elizabeth Claire Alberts. With 98% of fish in the trade taken from the wild, and high mortality rates from the moment of collection, Hawaii's coral reefs are experiencing a daily massacre. more...
The beautiful nudibrach Trinchesia caerulea, photographed in Scottish waters by Jim Anderson / savescottishseas.org/ .

Victory - 30 new marine reserves for Scotland

The Ecologist

25th July 2014

Scotland's network of marine reserves doubled in area today with the designation of 30 new marine reserves. The move has been welcomed by green groups who have long campaigned on the issue - but they warn: this is where the real work begins. more...
Artisanal fishing nets at the Cobb, Lyme Regis, Lyme Bay. Photo: geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons.

Simplifying the sea - ecocide in the English Channel

Horatio Morpurgo

25th July 2014

A new report on the Channel's fisheries is a timely reminder of the ecological trend to 'simplification' as whole trophic levels are stripped away by over-exploitation, writes Horatio Morpurgo. Yet the government's profit-focused vision of 'sustainability' is missing the essential element - allowing the recovery of marine ecosystems. more...
A dragnet that captures too much marine life. Joachim Müllerchen, CC BY-SA.

Protect our inshore seabeds to allow fish stocks to recover!

Jason Hall-Spencer

18th July 2014

The UK's coastal waters are producing little but tiddlers and scallops, writes Jason Hall-Spencer - and to blame is the endless gouging of the seabed by trawlers and dredgers - even in 'marine reserves'. We must allow our marine ecosystems to rebuild! more...
Image: 'New Fish' by Elena Caldera.

Stop fishing the high seas, say scientists, for climate and ecology

Climate News Network

21st June 2014

Fish from the high seas are too valuable to be eaten, as they lessen climate change through the carbon they carry down to the ocean depths. The carbon benefits are worth $150 billion every year - almost ten times the value of high seas fish landings. more...
In Scotland's Hebridean Isles most 'fishing communities' have long since lost all their rights to fish, and are reduced to trapping shellfish for a living. Photo: Florian Seiffert via Flickr.

Selling the silver: the enclosure of the UK's fisheries

Emma Cardwell.

7th July 2014

Fishing quotas were meant to conserve stocks and support fishing communities, writes Emma Cardwell. But they have achieved the reverse - rewarding the most rapacious fishing enterprises and leaving small scale fisherfolk with nothing. more...
Sea Lion entangled in fishing gear. Photo: Kanna Jones / Marine Photo Bank via Lauren Packard / Flickr.com.

The decline and fall of America's last great fishery

Jeffrey St. Clair

13th May 2014

The Bering Sea is America's biggest fishery - but factory trawlers are ripping the guts out of the ecosystem, writes Jeffrey St.Clair, as they have already devastated fishing communities. Mix in nuclear bomb test fallout - an unlikely savior? more...
Deep sea fishing off Rockall is causing trouble down below. Photo: Irish Defence Forces, CC BY-SA.

Our deep sea wonderlands must be valued - and protected

J. Murray Roberts

1st May 2014

For just 8% of the fish landed, extraordinary, beautiful, ancient, diverse deep sea habitats are routinely destroyed by fishing gear. And as J. Murray Roberts writes, it's all for a one-off hit as the fish are so slow to grow and reproduce. If the same damage happened on land, there would be uproar. more...

fishing: 1/25 of 80
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A humpback whale fresh from Antarctica in the Rurutu warm water mating grounds. Photo: Pierre Lesage via Fliuckr.com.

Japan must end 'scientific whaling' in the Antarctic

The Ecologist

31st March 2014

The International Court of Justice has ordered Japan to revoke its 'scientific whaling' permits in the Antarctic and cease to issue new ones as they are not for scientific purposes. Next, the North Pacific ... more...
A Hornbill turtle photographed at Grant Turk Island, TCI. Photo: Ron Brugger via Flickr.com.

Turks & Caicos Islands protect breeding turtles

The Ecologist

19th March 2014

The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands has adopted a new conservation plan for its sea turtles that will protect mature adults so they can breed, and so reverse population declines. more...
An under-size tiger shark is released, bleeding. Photo: Andy Corbe.

Australia's shark baiting - cruel, dangerous, ineffective

Elizabeth Claire Alberts

20th February 2014

New figures show that three quarters of the sharks caught by Western Australia's shark baiting were undersize. All the more reason to halt the program, writes Elizabeth Claire Alberts - and to end similar programs elsewhere in Australia more...
Whale shark butcher at work. Photo: Wildlife Risk.

World's largest whale shark slaughterhouse uncovered in China

Sophie Morlin-Yron

3rd February 2014

The world's biggest slaughterhouse for endangered whale sharks has been uncovered in southeast China, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron. It's products are being traded across the world in health and cosmetic products. more...
Salmon leaping at the Falls of Shinn, Scotland. Salmon need to be in good condition to return to their up-river spawning grounds. Photo: Gary Henderson via Flickr.com.

Wild salmon starve at sea as North Atlantic warms

Chris Todd

8th February 2014

The migrations of wild salmon over thousands of kilometres are an enduring mystery, writes Chris Todd - as are the reasons for a steep and alarming decline in salmon weight, fat and overall condition. more...
Along the tide-swept crest of a low limestone ledge larger filter-feeding organisms flourish. Lyme Bay Reefs, Southwest England. Colin Munro Photography.

Taking the 'conservation' out of Marine Conservation Zones

Horatio Morpurgo

10th December 2013

The UK Government has recently expanded its network of marine protected areas. But as Horatio Morpurgo discovers, the focus on protecting only specific 'features' from intensive fishing is leaving entire ecosystems at risk. more...

Bluefin tuna protected - but what about the sharks?

The Ecologist

25th November 2013

ICCAT, the Atlantic tuna commission, sets science-based bluefin tuna catch quotas in the Mediterranean - but fails to protect for vulnerable sharks, or clamp down on rule breakers. more...
Turtle in 'ghost net'. Photo: NOAA News.

Killer 'ghost nets' to carpet tiles

Roisin Woolnough

24th November 2013

Ghost nets - nylon fishing nets abandoned in the ocean - are the sea life killers that keep on killing. Roisin Woolnough reports on the Healthy Seas initiative to transform the ghost nets into useful products from socks and swimwear to carpet tiles. more...

New conservation zones for UK seas

The Ecologist

21st November 2013

The UK Government has announced 27 new Marine Conservation Zones covering an areas three times the size of Wiltshire. more...

Revealed: brutal reality of world's 'biggest dolphin hunt'

Jim Wickens

17th October 2013

Undercover filming by the UK investigative agency Ecostorm has exposed - for the first time - the brutal hunting and killing of dolphins for use as shark bait off Peru's Pacific coast. Jim Wickens reports more...
Tuna catch

Are captive tuna farms a viable alternative to overfishing?

Tom Edathikunnel

22nd August, 2012

The Kindai tuna, bred by scientists at Kinki University, may lead the way for future large-scale tuna farms. Tom Edathikunnel investigates whether the idea really is preferable to overfishing more...
Fish on a fishing boat

New EU fish reforms anger artisan fishermen

Victor Paul Borg

31 July, 2012

More than seven out of ten edible marine species in the EU are over-fished and coastal communities are dying. So you might think new draft reforms would help reverse this trend. Not so, says Victor Paul Borg, who investigates the impact of changes that the community fishermen themselves do not want more...
Monty Halls: ‘I will defend fishermen to my dying day’

Monty Halls: ‘I will defend fishermen to my dying day’

Ruth Styles

16th April, 2012

A marine biologist by trade and a conservationist by nature, Monty Halls is an unlikely champion for the fishing industry. A classic case of gamekeeper turned poacher? Not so says Halls. As he explains to Ruth Styles, nothing is simple when it comes to sustainable fish more...

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