Blog Posts by: Agata Mrowiec

Research expeditions at Oceana are composed of several elements that help collect, identify and document marine communities living on the ocean floor. One method that covers all of these elements is grab sampling which is typically used during Oceana’s expeditions. Although for a non-scientist, grab sampling can give an impression of “playing with the mud,” it is in fact another way of how we study the sea floor. You would be surprised how rich marine life is here; you could find: shells, worms, sponges, brittle stars, sea urchins and many more.

A recent assessment by the EU on its Mediterranean fish stocks has revealed alarming data: 96% of stocks managed exclusively by EU countries are fished over the limits of what is considered by science as sustainable. Some non-migratory species, for example Mediterranean hake, have been overfished up to 14 times more than scientific advice recommends.

A busy week in Malta has just kicked off. On one hand, the town of Saint Julian's will host the world’s premier conference on seafood sustainability: “Seaweb Seafood Summit” and on the other, there will be the “Economic advice in fisheries management” conference, taking place between February 4th and 5th. Oceana in Europe will attend both events, presenting results from the recently launched www.whofishesfar.org  at the latter.

© OCEANA

Recently Oceana, together with its NGO partner organisations, launched a new online database whofishesfar.org showcasing 15,264 EU vessels authorised to fish outside EU waters between 2010 and 2014.

Where did the idea of the website come from and what’s so important about this initiative?

On April 14th, Oceana, together with representatives of the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament, and other stakeholders, participated in a roundtable discussion on the Blue Economy. The meeting revealed the potential provided by the blue economy as well as the future threats it may bring to marine environments. Marine pollution (esp.

Famous as a destination for water activities- such as diving, snorkeling, fishing and kayaking- Mergui Archipelago is a group of 800 deserted islands in the Andaman Sea, in Myanmar’s deep south.   It is also home to the Moken semi-nomadic tribe living on and off the sea.

It is said that the Moken, or “sea gypsies”, have migrated to Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia from China around 4 thousand years ago. Their life is dominated in greater part by fishing and it’s the ocean feeding the Moken people: “Everything happens at sea. The ocean is our universe”.

2015 began in style for Oceana’s campaigners with an OSPAR meeting, hosted by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography in Gijón, the biggest city in the region of Asturias in the northern part of Spain. The Working Group on Protection of Species and Habitats (POSH) gathered for the first time to advance the work of the OSPAR Commission on protecting declining species and habitats in the North-East Atlantic.

On Tuesday night, decisions on fishing quotas in the North East Atlantic for 2015 were set by the EU ministers in Brussels. The conservation organizations, however, strongly denounce the results of which 56 per cent were not in adherence to scientific advice. And so, in the case of North Atlantic cod, the ministers decided to actually increase catches by 5 per cent, whereas scientific organizations recommended a 20 per cent reduction.

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