Oceans: The Story Of Hope For Rio+20?

YouTube Preview Image

With six weeks to go before the Rio+20 circus arrives in town, negotiators are working the corridors of the UN to agree on the outcome document so that the 120 world leaders who are planning to come will have something to sign. Oceans have had pride of place within the draft text since the beginning, and although things are delicate, it looks like increasingly likely that we might see a real agreement on the high seas at Rio.

Perhaps to raise the profile of the oceans, we could send Juan Carlos of Spain on a fishing trip?

Piracy is good for fish

Last December I wrote about a Somali pirate’s justification for his choice of career. A former fisherman, like many of his countrymen, his main gripe was with foreign fishing vessels which overfished Somali waters and bulldozed local boats out of their way.

Well it turns out that now, thanks to the pirates,  fish stocks off the Somali coast have recovered. The greedy foreign piscatorial plunderers have been scared off, leaving locals to haul in bumper catches. Now that his justification for piracy has been removed, I wonder if our pirate friend will go back to his fishing rod.

Update: On the other side of Africa, Guinea-Bissau is clamping down on foreign fishing vessels too, but so far in a less swashbuckling way than the Somalis. The tiny West African country’s government has had a trawlerful of Spanish fishermen in custody for the last two weeks (which given the flimsy state of Guinea-Bissau’s navy and its complete absence of prisons is no mean feat). Apparently, the Spaniards are “losing patience.” Should have kept to your quotas then, shouldn’t you?