Hands off all sharks?

Putting ocean life under the microscope

At CITES’ CoP-18 the assembled NGOs made sharks their iconic species of choice, knocking elephants off their number one spot. The question is, why did an ugly predator displace photogenic and speciously friendly elephants as the primary campaign pillar of animal rights activists? Animal activist NGOs leapt for joy, stamped their feet and banged their… Continue reading Hands off all sharks?

Reflections on the UN’s World Oceans Day

Today (June 8, 2021) is United Nations World Oceans Day. This year’s official theme ‘The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods’ is most welcome. IWMC campaigns everyday of every year in defense of the livelihoods that depend upon making responsible commercial use of the oceans. But it strikes IWMC that this year’s worthy theme contradicts last year’s ‘Innovation for… Continue reading Reflections on the UN’s World Oceans Day

Indigenous whalers bring joy to beleaguered islanders

International Whaling Commission. Whale's capture draws excited crowds on Bequia in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

When are tens of tonnes of humpback whale meat most welcome? After a volcano erupts, then rainfall turns ash slurry into mudslides, destroying crops, cutting electricity and water connections, closing airports and ports, forcing 20 000 of a country’s 100 000 population from their homes, that’s when. On 9th April La Soufriere volcano on St… Continue reading Indigenous whalers bring joy to beleaguered islanders

The Dawn of the New Whaling

A minke whale caught in Japanese coastal waters as part of Japan’s research program is hauled ashore at Kushiro port in Hokkaido. KYODO/NEWSCOM

Towards the Sustainable Use of Aquatic Living Resources Prologue On 1 July 2019, five small-type whaling vessels left the port of Kushiro and one factory-ship whaling fleet left the port of Shimonoseki. It was the resumption of commercial whaling after the suspension for practically 32 years. In the case of the small-type whaling operating mostly… Continue reading The Dawn of the New Whaling

The science of Seaspiracy

Screengrab from Seaspiracy.

Originally published in Sustainable Fisheries. Author Emily De Sousa The talk of the ocean world is Seaspiracy, a Netflix Original film produced by the same team responsible for Cowspiracy and What the Health. Like those two previous films, Seaspiracy is full of misinformation and has been panned by actual experts. Others have already addressed the racist and xenophobic undertones of the… Continue reading The science of Seaspiracy

Fisheries overview

According to the World Trade Organisation, seafood is the world’s most traded food commodity, beating both soya and wheat. The most traded seafood by value, says the FAO, is shrimp, followed by groundfish (hake, cod, haddock and Alaska pollock), salmon and tuna. In 2018, according to the FAO, 59.51 million people were engaged in the primary fisheries business, of which 39.0… Continue reading Fisheries overview

Tuna Overview

Switzerland, 19 November 2010 – IWMC World Conservation Trust today urged member states at the ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) meeting to make further progress on the management of stocks of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna at its 17th Extraordinary Meeting in Paris. Last year, ICCAT established a comprehensive plan to rebuild stocks… Continue reading Tuna Overview

Whales overview

The IWMC President, Eugene Lapointe,Addresses the Plenary Session of theIWC Intersessional Meeting, Rome, March 10, 2009 Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Delegates The situation currently facing the International Whaling Commission lends itself to many different characterizations. There is some broad agreement that the Commission is at the edge of an abyss. But which abyss this is depends… Continue reading Whales overview

Turtles overview

Sea turtles are an at risk species that on several occasions IWMC has recommended for listing in CITES’ appendices. For example, in 2000 at CITES’ CoP-11 in Gigiri, Kenya, IWMC supported the listing of the Spotted turtle in appendix II because the sustainability of this species is genuinely at risk, including by international trade. It… Continue reading Turtles overview

Sharks overview

The founders of CITES – including IUCN – never intended the Convention to become deeply involved with the conservation of marine species. That explains why when CITES held its first Conference of the Parties in 1976, sharks were not an agenda item. It took until 2002 at CoP-12 in Santiago, Chile, before the first listing of… Continue reading Sharks overview