THE DEATH OF OPEN ACCESS IN LAKE VICTORIA

Lake Victoria, one of the world’s largest freshwater fisheries, supports the livelihoods of millions of East Africans. One of its greatest virtues has been its open access to all who want to fish in – and eat from – its waters.

But that is changing dramatically. The days of open access are coming to a close. Over the past year, the Ugandan army has intervened in the struggling fishery by burning boats and fishing gear. Up to 40 percent of all boats in Ugandan waters have been destroyed, estimates Dr. Anthony Munyaho, Director of the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI). The crackdown escalated in recent weeks with no warning to the fishing communities affected. Reports of brutal beatings – and even killings – are surfacing.

Read more at http://securefisheries.org/blog/death-open-access-lake-victoria

MARITIME SECURITY AND THE IMPORTANCE OF FISHERIES AT #OUROCEAN

On October 5 and 6, the fourth Our Ocean conference will convene in Malta, home of the International Maritime Organization. This conference gathers heads of state, scientists, conservationists, entrepreneurs, students, and visionaries to address marine pollution, sustainable fisheries, climate change, and marine protected areas. In 2016, countries committed $9.2 billion and 9.9 million square kilometers of ocean to these critical areas of action. This year, two new areas of action are on the agenda: maritime security and a sustainable blue economy. The world’s ocean coalition is increasingly recognizing that ocean health and human security are inextricably linked.

Read more at http://securefisheries.org/news/maritime-security-and-importance-fisheries-ourocean

THE FUTURE OF LAKE VICTORIA: A LOOMING CONFLICT OVER FISHERIES

Lake Victoria illustrates one of the quintessential dilemmas of today’s world: how much short-term gain can humans continue to eek out of a system that is being driven to a potential breaking point? Despite pollution from agriculture and mining and sewage, altered water flows from dam building, invasive fishes and plants, and the pressure of millions of people living on its shores, Lake Victoria continues to produce nearly 1 million tons of fish each year that contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the economies of Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.

Nile perch is an important export commodity, while Nile tilapia and dagaa are important sources of local food security.  And then there are the cichlids: small, colorful fish found in hobbyist aquariums around the world, that are incredibly important to the health of Lake Victoria, and whose evolutionary history is as marvelous as Darwin’s finches. But fish catch has stagnated while the human population, and hence the number of people fishing and eating fish around the lake, continues to increase rapidly.

Read more at http://securefisheries.org/blog/future-lake-victoria-part-1

FISH WARS: HOW FISHING CAN START AND STOP CONFLICT

On February 18, the US sent naval ships to the South China Seas, an area of armed tension over rich but dwindling fishing grounds (among other things). The following day, a newspaper headline proclaimed the risk of “global fish wars” sparked by climate change and rising nationalism. 

Is the world on the brink of interstate fish wars? Probably not: a large-scale military dispute is not likely to erupt over tuna, and conflict over fish affected by climate change could occur over a long time horizon. But as fish become more difficult to find, understanding the links between fisheries and violent armed conflict is increasingly important.

Read more at http://securefisheries.org/blog/fish-wars-how-fishing-can-start-and-stop-conflict

FOUR THINGS TO WATCH FOR AT THE 2016 OUR OCEAN CONFERENCE

This week, leaders in ocean conservation from around the world will meet in Washington, DC for the third Our Ocean conference hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry. During the first two conferences in 2014 and 2015, political and business leaders committed $4 billion to new maritime sustainability initiatives and announced 6 million square km of new marine protected areas. This year, the conference will spur new action in four areas: marine protected areas, climate, sustainable fisheries, and marine pollution.

Read more at http://securefisheries.org/blog/four-things-watch-2016-our-ocean-conference

BLOCKADE OF YEMENI PORTS HAS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES ON FOOD SECURITY, SOMALI FISHING INDUSTRY

Hundreds of Yemenis have been killed since Houthi rebels overthrew President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi at the beginning of April. The instability next door has led Saudi Arabia to intervene with a bombing campaign and, most recently, impose a blockade of Yemen’s port cities to cut off what they claim is Iranian resupply of rebels. Besides blocking weapons though, the blockade is also having a major impact on food security and food assistance, and is even affecting livelihoods in Somalia.

Read more at https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2015/04/blockade-yemeni-ports-unintended-consequences-food-security-somali-fishing-industry/