#FishCrimes seriously undermine #ocean management & conservation and destroy people's lives. Here's is a quick summary of fish crime & illegal #fishing. I keep these videos short (a minute or less) so that folks will watch them and get inspired to come into action by informing themselves. There is of course a lot more detail available. I have worked extensively on exposing illegal fishing & human rights abuse at sea. It is one of the most tragic forms of ocean abuse out there. Criminals who don't care for the environment typically don't care about people and vice versa. The crimes go very deep. For those interested I am happy to point to reports & blogs both past & present that provide more detail. For the Ocean - Farah
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Some general links:
Fishcrime Official Website
Greenpeace Report (2014) lead author Farah Obaidullah
EJF Report Combating seafood slavery
Do you have a short video about the work you do for the ocean or why you are interested in the ocean that you want to share? Email us!
#IUU #FishCrimes2017 #slavery #humanrights #seafood #wildlife #poaching #breakingitdown
Sea otters are possibly the cutest animals in the ocean! Driven to near extinction through hunting, populations are now on the rebound. But they are not in the clear yet! They still face many threats and their importance in the ecosystem is often overlooked.
Guest blog by Angela Martin
I learned about these two inspirational women, who are making their mark on the direction of whale conservation and management in the Pacific Islands region, at the “Whales in a Changing Ocean” conference, in Tonga, in April 2017. Fiafia Rex and Aunofo Havea use their power as individuals to create positive change in their societies to help protect whales. With their permission, a short outline of their work is shared below, with links to find out more.
Fiafia founded a whale research and conservation organisation called Oma Tafua, which means “to treasure whales”, dedicated to protecting and increasing our education and awareness of all cetacean species in Niue. Fiafia spoke at the conference about her work to document and conserve humpback whales in Niue, which are part of the endangered Oceania population. Oma Tafua have a small budget, but this doesn’t stop them! With the assistance of volunteers who provide time, lend equipment and allow use of their boats to collect data, Oma Tafua have been successful in recording the slow recovery of whale populations in Niue over the last ten years. Their data has been used to highlight the importance of whale conservation, both in Niue and throughout Oceania.
Video of Fiafia at work with Oma Tafua.
Fiafia’s work with Oma Tafua is on Facebook and was covered by a SPREP (Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme) News Release in April 2017.
Aunofo, who made waves as the first female Captain in Tonga and founded the Tonga Voyaging Society, spoke at the conference about the importance of whales for the Pacific region. Aunofo takes tourists to see the huge humpback whales that return to Tonga every year from Antarctica on a Vaka (canoe), which is entirely run on solar power and sails. Aunofo describes her connection to the whales as though they are her family, and is passionate about whale conservation and responsible tourism practices.
Aunofo at work with the Tonga Voyaging Society, video courtesy of Okeanos Vaka Motu.
Aunofo’s work with the Tonga Voyaging Society is also on Facebook.
I am the Project Lead at Blue Climate Solutions, a Project of The Ocean Foundation, and am based in the UK. I attended the “Whales in a Changing Ocean” conference to talk about the importance of whales for blue carbon – that is, carbon associated with the ocean. There are many pathways through which carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas and driver of climate change, can be removed from the atmosphere and stored: I focus on those associated with ocean life, including whales. Understanding and protecting these pathways can help in the fight against climate change.
My work is shared on the Blue Climate Solutions website, and whale carbon was featured in Scientific American in April 2017.
Although we may all come from different backgrounds, cultures and disciplines, we are all connected through our interest in, and passion for, a healthy ocean.
W4O celebrates the achievements of women who strive to make a difference for the ocean. Add yourself to the map, join the conversation in our Facebook group, and if you have a story to share as a guest blogger, we want to hear from you!
Through short videos I want to demystify some of the issues facing our ocean. Making a difference for our ocean is not hard but sometimes the way it is presented can seem complicated. Also many issues facing our ocean and us are simply not adequately covered by the media. Here's a short video about the importance of salt marshes and blue carbon.
Stay tuned & subscribe to our Women4Oceans YouTube channel!
- Farah Obaidullah
For years, campaigners around the world have pushed for some form of protection for the High Seas. The High Seas or international waters, are those areas of the ocean outside the national jurisdiction of any one country. The ocean covers 71% of the planet and the High Seas represent some two thirds of the ocean!
The High Seas are essentially a lawless part of the planet where human activities go pretty much unchecked. Whilst there are some treaties and agreements that regulate certain activities in certain areas there is still no comprehensive policy that protects life on the High Seas.
Governments at the United Nations have finally agreed to move forward on developing such a policy. Whilst we're still years away from implementation and enforcement of such a policy, this is a major milestone for the protection of life in the ocean!
Onward for the Ocean - Farah
More details and information about the High Seas can be found on the High Seas Alliance website.
On May 30th Mareike Dornhege and Bonnie Waycott successfully organised the first Women4Oceans event in Asia! Here's what they had to say.
"The second Women4Oceans Event, hosted in Tokyo, Japan by Bonnie Waycott and me was a huge success! With 45 participants in total, we had a great turn-out. The presentations were well-received and participants especially enjoyed the opportunity to network and give a lightning talk. There was great vegan food and nice wine to help the conversation flow. Divers, researchers, members of various international and local NGOs mingled with embassy members, a TV personality and students – all united by love for our oceans!
One big take away from the presentations last night was: There are two ways we can work with and for the ocean: Tackle the challenges we face or create something beautiful to find a positive way to interact with the seas. While one seems to focus on the negative, and the other on the positive, we need to engage both for a brighter future for the seas.
Thank you to everyone who came, spoke or helped!
We are looking forward to the next W4O event!"
- Mareike Dornhege.
"Mareike Dornhege and I successfully organised the second Women4Oceans networking event in Tokyo (first in Asia!) on Tuesday 30th May and it was great to be involved -- some excellent, inspiring talks by the speakers and a crowd of 44 people all networking and talking about the oceans they love. We're looking forward to more Women 4 Oceans' events, and a big thank you to all the participants!
- Bonnie Waycott.
Once again a big thank you to Bonnie and Mareike for a successful evening. Also much gratitude to Yukari Goto & Sachiko Okada and all who participated!
Stay tuned for the video of the evening.
If you want to help organise a Women4Oceans event where you are, please be in touch!
You can also chip in so we can keep making these events happen!
For the Ocean,
Guest Blog Post
My name is Lahaina Tatafu. I am 22 years of age and I’m located in the true south Pacific islands of Tonga. My family run an ocean tourism and diving business, where I work with humpback whales during Tonga’s whale season as a guide for whale swimming.
The whale season starts when humpback whales arrive in Tonga to mate, give birth and socialize, and ends when the whales leave Tonga to travel back to their feeding grounds in Antarctica. The whale season begins around July and can go up until November, depending on the whales.
Growing up I had a fear of the ocean, but quickly grew out of it as I watched my father on the tours. Our operation is based on culture and tradition of the Tongan ways, as well as preserving our whales. I recently spoke about the importance of whales to Tongan culture and tourism at the “Whales in a Changing Ocean” conference in Tonga.
Tonga is so fortunate to be a whale preservation zone due to the smart act of our late King Tupou IV, who became the key to the long living of the whales in our oceans. I plan to advocate in schools around Tonga and the Pacific as to how important it is for us to preserve such magnificent creations.
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Farah is an Ocean Advocate who lives by the sea in the Netherlands. Farah loves running, diving, talking oceans & cats