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Since yesterday, New Zealand has been celebrating a great victory for its oceans and the coastal communities living on the eastern shores of Pacific island. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) refused marine consent to mine phosphorite nodules on the Chatham Rise, an area of ocean floor to the east of New Zealand, forming part of the Zealandia continent. It is also New Zealand’s most productive and important commercial fishing zone.

Recent research on the Baltic Sea salmon demonstrates perfectly why we need to consider entire ecosystems when we develop fisheries management plans, like the coming multiannual plan for Baltic cod, sprat and herring. This study shows how the survival of salmon might be affected by the poor status of the cod stock in the Baltic Sea. Salmon is an important predatory species in the Baltic, and it is also a valuable fish for both commercial and recreational fisheries.

Lately, I have been involved in discussions on the Commission’s proposal for a multi-annual management plan for cod, sprat and herring, and the fisheries exploiting those stocks in the Baltic Sea. This is the first plan of its kind developed under the renewed Common Fisheries Policy. Eagerly awaited by stakeholders and managers, the plan is expected to be groundbreaking in the sense of taking a multi-species approach to fisheries management and therefore, the plan is often referred to as “multi-species plan”.

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.

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