Ishaan Tharoor: How Somalia’s fishermen became pirates
From Time Magazine: Ever since a civil war brought down Somalia’s last functional government in 1991, the country’s 3,330 km of coastline —the longest in continental Africa— has been pillaged by foreign vessels, freezing out the country’s own rudimentarily-equipped fishermen. The first pirate gangs emerged in the ’90s to protect against the aggressive foreign trawlers….
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Vizhinjam, Kerala, where the Adani Group is building a mega port
The coast is unclear: on the 2018 CRZ notification
From The Hindu:This government has unleashed several extremely unimaginative developmental policies that target ecologically valuable areas and turn them into sites for industrial production, despite abundant evidence for such policies’ damaging effects. The latest instance of this is the 2018 CRZ notification, which, among other things, increases the vulnerability of coastal people to climate disasters….
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Volunteers taking readings to map the shoreline
A tide turns: Coastal community resilience in the age of climate change
From ICSF: In the face of climate change and disastrous development projects like Sagarmala, stewardship of coastal land is the primary challenge for coastal communities. Sea level rise and increasing climate unpredictability require local communities to play an active role in creating knowledge-bases for appropriate action, to reduce disaster risk and recreate a healthy coastline….
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Saravanakumar/Icon Films Ltd.
A tribute to Romulus Whitaker, the ‘Snake man of India’
A tribute to Romulus Whitaker, recently awarded the Padma Shri, among India’s highest civilian honours. Here, the acclaimed herpetologist talks about his decades of work with reptiles which led to setting up of six pioneering institutions including the famous Madras Crocodile Bank, apart from giving snakes and reptiles a positive place in the Indian public’s mind….
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Greenpeace turns 46 today. Here are five reasons to celebrate
From Greenpeace International: We’ve come a long way since 1971, when on this day, a small group of courageous people set off to stop nuclear testing in a small fishing boat. Today, we operate in more than 40 countries and are part of a global movement of millions, striving for a greener, more peaceful planet….
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A million bottles a minute: world’s plastic binge ‘as dangerous as climate change’
From The Guardian: A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some consider as serious as climate change. The demand, equivalent to about 20,000 bottles being bought every second, is driven by an apparently insatiable desire for bottled water….
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Spearfishing champ, chef and artist Kimi Werner on living in nature
In this wonderful TEDx talk, Kimi Werner, a free diver and fish hunter, uses her life’s story to illustrate a key lesson she learnt – that of slowing down when everything tells you to speed up. What really shines through is how her childhood memories of living in nature shaped her experiences later in life….
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Coral reef in Papua New Guinea's Kimbe Bay. Almost all coral reefs may experience bleaching by 2050
David Doubilet/National Geographic
The oceans can’t protect us anymore—here’s why
From National Geographic: Our waters have borne the brunt of global-warming for decades, but dying corals, extreme weather, and plummeting fish stocks are signs that it can handle no more. And people are already experiencing direct consequences, such as more extreme weather events, says a new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature….
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(From left) Johnson Jament, Lisba Yesudas and Robert Panipilla
Speech by representatives of indigenous fisher folk at the first UN conference on oceans
Friends of Marine Life (FML), is a Kerala-based organisation that specialises in seabed ecosystem studies and also helps promote sustainable fishing. Three of it’s members, who hail from the state’s indigenous fishing community, the Mukkuva, were recently invited the first UN conference on the world’s oceans. The text of speeches they delivered at the conference….
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Do you really know your fish? Presenting the Fish Calendar
Fish are the last wild food, but our oceans are being picked clean, giving marine wildlife little chance to regenerate. Amrita Gupta speaks to the team behind a new seafood calendar. Until now, there was no such resource for fish eaters, yet the need for awareness about the seafood we consume has never been greater….
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How plastic took over the world in 50 years
Currently, 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each year – the equivalent of a dump truck of plastic rubbish every minute. At current rates, by 2050 there will be as much plastic in the oceans as fish. A closer look at the plastic tsunami menacing the world, and particularly, our oceans….
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Breakwater being constructed for Adani's Vizhinjam port
Sagarmala: The Rs 10 trillion project that is wrecking India’s coast
From DNA: Sagarmala is the Indian Government’s Rs 10 lakh crore programme to build Coastal Economic Zones (CEZ) and industrial clusters around 14 key ports. But, the Sagarmala plan document lays out its goals as if the coast has been an empty or unproductive space, and is now poised to be a “gateway” to growth….
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The Aghanashini river
Manjunath Bhat/Flickr, CC BY 2.0
A rare, pristine estuary comes under threat in Karnataka
TheWire.in reports: The Aghanashini is one of the last free flowing rivers in Karnataka: it has no major industrial establishments, dams or townships on its banks. It is in this rich and highly productive estuary that the state government plans to build a multi-purpose estuarine port, which’s now one last step away from final clearance….
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J. Vijaya, India's first female herpetologist, lived alone for many months in a forest cave in Kerala to study cane turtles
Tribute: Viji, the Turtle Girl
This day thirty years ago, the bodily remains of J. Vijaya, India’s first female herpetologist and turtle field biologist, was found in a forest. She was only 28. The cause of her death remains unknown to this day. A moving tribute to one of the most memorable personalities in Indian wildlife conservation, by Janaki Lenin….
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The fishing community in Vizhinjam, Kerala, now threatened by a port being built by the Adani Group
‘If we go on like this, the entire mass of small fishers will be wiped out.’
The Indian coastline no longer belongs to its traditional custodians— the small fisher people. A jamboree of development —cities, SEZs, power plants, ports, sand mining— is eating up the coastline and eroding it beyond repair. Debasis Shyamal of the National Fishworkers’ Forum speaks to Sayantan Bera on the present and future of India’s traditional fishers….
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The Bramble Cay melomys, the first mammal species to go extinct from climate change
Which species are we sure we can survive without?
Kurt Cobb wrtites: According to scientists, we are amidst the Sixth Great Extinction, caused by human activity. If you consider that the broader world with which we interact has millions of species of which we’re not aware of, we could easily cause an organism essential to our survival to go extinct without even realizing it….
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Red alert: Fish under threat from ocean oxygen depletion
The Guardian reports: A new study shows that oxygen levels in oceans have fallen 2% in 50 years due to climate change, which threatens future fish stocks and the habitat and behaviour of marine life. Related: Amitav Ghosh warns that the Bay of Bengal’s depleted fish stocks and huge dead zone signal a tipping point….
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Humans are killing the marine ecosystem. But this man is trying to reverse that
Catch News reports: Siddharth Chakravarty worked for a decade in the merchant navy. It was a lucrative job, but one day, he realised it was not for him. He walked out of the merchant navy in 2011. The reason? Because the merchant navy’s goal was to maximise profits, and let the marine ecosytem be damned….
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Study: 47 of 68 fish species in India under threat
More fish species on the east coast, especially in the waters off Odisha and West Bengal, are highly vulnerable to climate change, according to a first of its kind assessment by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). That vulnerability stems not only from changes in climate but also from fishing pressure and lower productivity….
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Coral bleaching and death at Lizard Island on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
XL Catlin Seaview Survey via Associated Press
Obituary: The Great Barrier Reef (25 Million BC-2016)
“The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old.” So begins Rowan Jacobsen’s moving obituary for the world’s largest living structure. With 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands, it’s larger than the United Kingdom, and it contained more biodiversity than all of Europe combined….
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