Posted by Willie — 3 September 2010 at 3:41pm
Handing out sustainable seafood guides on the streets of Tokyo (c) Sutton-Hibbert/Greenpeace
There's a common comment in this part of the world, often repeated on the internet especially, about sorting out the seafood problem: namely, we have to change minds in Japan.
Whilst it's a simplistic generalisation, there is a lot of truth in that. Seafood is a global commodity and a global problem. The big markets for seafood are (perhaps unsurprisingly) North America, Europe, and Asia.
Posted by Willie — 25 August 2010 at 12:01pm
Is removing salade nicoise from the menu better than searching out sustainable tuna supplies? (Photo (c) FotoosVanRobin)
When you get a bit close to a subject, you get geeky. Before you know it you are scoffing at how other people could possible not know something, because you do. Yet of course it's true that the vast majority of the public are very much in the 'don't know' camp.
Posted by Willie — 20 August 2010 at 7:35pm
It's a confusing time in the north
Atlantic with an international controversy brewing over the humble
mackerel. Some are comparing
it to last century's 'cod wars', when the UK and Iceland went to battle over access to
Mackerel, an exquisitely beautiful fish related to the
tunas, is relatively plentiful, occurs in big shoals, and can be caught quite 'cleanly' by seine nets or handlines. For these reasons (as well as the health
benefits of it being an oily fish), it has become a firm favourite for those
seeking a sustainable option.
If you're reading this in the UK, you ran out of fish today.
Basically, the UK eats more fish than its waters produce and, thanks to some nifty fish-counting from the clever folks at NEF, that equates to the 4th of August being the day we use up our year's fish supply. In comparison to the EU as a whole, we fair a month better but then we are a country with quite a lot of seas, certainly in comparison with, er, Austria and Romania. Yet, for almost five full months we are relying on fish from somewhere else. And that might be okay, if there was plenty of it to go around. But of course, as the old saying should go, there aren't plenty more fish in the sea.
Posted by Willie — 8 July 2010 at 12:00pm
Icelandic whalers at work
Yesterday, a resolution was passed in the European Parliament welcoming Iceland's application to join the EU. Iceland's
application raises some interesting questions, especially in the light of recent divisions within the EU on environmental
On fishing, for example, Iceland famously has control over its own waters, would it be prepared to let other EU vessels
have free access? It's gone to (cod) war over the issue before… and then there
are whales. In the EU all cetacean species (that's whales, dolphins and porpoises) are protected species under the
Habitats Directive. So it's a no brainer that whaling is 'not allowed' in the EU. Moreover, the EU member states take a common position and vote as a bloc when it comes to international bodies like the International
Whaling Commission (IWC) and CITES.
Posted by Willie — 21 June 2010 at 11:53am
As the International Whaling Commission (IWC)'s annual meeting begins in Morocco, there has been a flurry of media coverage over a possible 'deal' or 'compromise'. Often the details, and sometimes the central points, can get lost as things are translated, edited, reworked and re-edited for the media, so I wanted to take the opportunity here to spell out just what Greenpeace's position is.
This meeting is causing a stir because there is the possibility of some sort of deal to address the future of the IWC. Reform has been a long time coming, and everyone agrees that the IWC needs an overhaul. The current deadlock means that the Commission is effectively stymied from taking on the serious conservation work that is so desperately needed. And, of course, we have the deplorable situation of a global ban on commercial whaling being flouted by Japan, Norway and Iceland.
Next week, our governments will get together in Agadir, Morocco, to talk whales. It’s the International Whaling Commission’s annual meeting. And this year, the main topic of conversation will be the IWC itself.
In reality, this is a testing time for the whales, and in many ways we need to make sure we save them all over again. Way back in the 80s when a moratorium, or ban, on commercial whaling was agreed, many countries had already stopped whaling. As the official catch figures show, by the time the ban came into force in 1987 commercial whaling was reduced to practically zero.
Posted by Willie — 14 June 2010 at 4:20pm
Votes to support whaling are being bought by Japan in return for aid donations
So, what's your price to sell out the
Some brown envelopes stuffed with cash? A
nice big cheque for development aid? All-expenses paid trips to exotic
locations? Or some dubious entertainment, including 'good
Welcome, dear friends, to the world of
international diplomacy, Japanese government style. Yesterday, in a shocking
expose, the Sunday Times showed the tawdry reality of Japan's vote-buying tactics
to undermine the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Using undercover
reporters, they managed to elicit scandalous accounts of just what the government of Japan offers to get the support of developing nations in the
Caribbean, the Pacific, and Africa.