After two years of active campaigning and incredible risks, Sea Shepherd UK may no longer need to return to the North of Scotland to protect seals, at least for the next three years.
The Scottish Government has announced that starting April 1st, 2016 that:
“Killing outwith estuary limits will be prohibited for three years due to the mixed stock nature of the fishery and limited data on the composition of the catch.”
For the last two years Sea Shepherd UK has actively campaigned to protect Scotland’s Harbour and Grey seals from being killed by the UK’s most notorious seal killers – Scotland’s wild salmon netting companies, in particular Usan Salmon Fisheries Ltd (AKA Scottish Wild Salmon Company). They shot more seals than all the Scottish fish farms put together prior to Sea Shepherd small boats and crews arriving in April 2014.
Whatever the reasoning for this rapid change in policy… actual concern for wild salmon stocks – or (together with) the Scottish government feeling the pressure due to Sea Shepherd UK’s Seal Defence campaign on the Caithness and Aberdeenshire/Moray coast together with the Hunt Saboteurs Association seal campaign on the Angus coast – this is welcome news.
This Scottish Government policy change means that Sea Shepherd UK will be able to focus on other reports and evidence of the killing of seals in the UK as well as investigating other sites where marine wildlife crimes have been alleged.
Sea Shepherd UK Director Rob Read said: “With coastal wild salmon netting prohibited for 3 years this ends the legal shooting of seals by such companies and since there will be no ‘fixed engine’ salmon nets in the water it likely ends any illegal shooting of seals, especially as we now have local volunteers watching these coastal locations.”
At the peak of the campaign there were more than 70 international Sea Shepherd volunteers stationed at sites across Scotland.
The volunteers repeatedly clashed with seal shooters in often dramatic scenes, and in August last year the Press and Journal revealed the teams were using drone technology in their battle against marksmen.
Sea Shepherd UK is pursuing several prosecutions for Wildlife Crimes from evidence collected during the 2015 Seal Defence Campaign which was handed over to Police Scotland and is currently with the Procurator Fiscal’s Office.
If you have information about illegal fishing, the killing of marine mammals or illegal destruction/damage to the marine environment please email Sea Shepherd U.K. with details: email@example.com
BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – Deep-Sea Stories From a Shadow Diver: a conversation with Richie Kohler
A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.
Deep Sea Stories From a Shadow Diver: a conversation with Richie Kohler.
This episode of the Blue Earth Podcast is a conversation with Richie Kohler. He’s an explorer, technical wreck diver, shipwreck historian, filmmaker, and author.
Richie was featured in Robert Kurson’s incredible book “Shadow Divers ”. It’s a thrilling true story about Richie and John Chatterton’s quest to identify the wreck of an unknown WWII German U-boat (submarine), 65 miles off the coast of New Jersey. They dedicated six years of their lives attempting to identify the wreck.
Richie has travelled the world and explored many deep wrecks, including the Andrea Doria, Titanic, and Britannic. He’s the author of “Mystery of The Last Olympian” about the Britannic.
Richard E Hyman Bio
Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.
Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.
Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.
You can find more episodes and information at www.futurefrogmen.org and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.
New Fisheries Act misses the mark on sustainability, but what now?
The UK’s landmark post-Brexit fisheries legislation has now become law. The Fisheries Act, the first legislation of its kind in nearly 40 years, will shape how the UK’s seas are fished for years to come.
The Marine Conservation Society, which campaigned for amendments to the legislation throughout its development, is disappointed by the removal of key sustainability amendments and by the removal of a commitment to rolling out Remote Electronic Monitoring.
The charity has committed to pushing the UK Government to go further than the framework which the Fisheries Act sets out, with greater ambition for the state of UK seas.
Sandy Luk, Chief Executive of the Marine Conservation Society said: “UK Government and devolved administrations must act urgently to deliver climate and nature smart fisheries under the new Fisheries Act. This is a key condition if our seas are to recover to good health. The UK Government removed key amendments from the legislation while making promises on sustainability and the introduction of remote electronic monitoring. We will continue to hold the government to account over these promises.”
“I’m pleased to see the recognition of the important role fisheries play in our fight against the climate emergency. However, even with a climate change objective in the Act, actions speak louder than words. We must get to work delivering sustainable fisheries management, which will have a huge benefit to our seas, wildlife and the communities which depend upon them.”
The Fisheries Act has become law against a backdrop of the ocean’s declining health. UK waters are currently failing to meet 11 out of 15 indicators of good ocean health and over a third of fish in UK waters are being caught at levels which cannot continue into the future. Whilst the legislation failed to address some of the more pressing issues facing UK seas, including overfishing, there is still an opportunity to affect change in the years which follow.
Sam Stone, Head of Fisheries at the Marine Conservation Society said: “The Fisheries Act marks the start of a new era of fisheries management in the UK, but the next two years will be critical in defining what this looks like. The new Act has some good objectives, but we now need to come together to make sure it really delivers the on-water change that is desperately needed for ocean recovery.
“There is genuine opportunity to create fisheries that deliver for coastal communities and for the environment, but it means moving away from ‘business-as-usual’. The UK and devolved governments now have the powers to move forward with progressive new management in their waters. That means proper incentives for low impact fishing, proper monitoring of catches and proper commitments to sustainable fishing.
“In the short term, the four nations must work together to make impactful changes, starting by addressing the UK’s most at risk fish stocks. Recovery plans are needed for our depleted stocks, including new catch limits, selectivity and avoidance measures, protection of vital habitats and fully documented catches. Rolling out Remote Electronic Monitoring with cameras on larger vessels throughout the UK should be top of the agenda if future policy is to be as well informed as possible.”
For more information about the Fisheries Bill and the Marine Conservation Society’s work, visit the charity’s website.
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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.More Less
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