The MAP News
MAP Director steps down after 10 years of dedicated support
USA - It is with both joy and sadness that we announce Fiona Wilmot is leaving MAP’s Board of Directors. After over 10 years of dedicated service on the Board, she is transitioning to MAP’s Board of Advisors. She joined our Board early on when MAP transitioned from a project of Earth Island Institute back in 2006 to become our own 501 (c) 3 non-profit. We at MAP would like to thank Fiona for all the hard work and dedication she has given to MAP over those years, especially during more challenging times when she helped to bolster MAP and keep us on track to conserve and restore mangroves. We thank Dr. Fiona Wilmot for all she has done and does for our blue planet! We wish her great success in the work she is doing, and look forward to working with her in the years to come, seeking her sage advice and helpful hand in working towards a future for a healthy planet that includes mangroves and mangrove communities! READ MORE
Foreign trawlers devastate fisheries in Cameroon, navy deployed to seize illegal vessels
CAMAROON - The West African nation of Cameroon is experiencing a steep drop in wild fish stocks. Local communities that depend on coastal fisheries say foreign vessels, many of them Chinese in origin, are illegally trawling in domestic waters and depleting their catch. FSRN’s Ngala Killian Chimtom reports from Limbe, Cameroon. About a dozen women hover over charcoal cooking fires, grilling freshly-caught fish from the waters near Limbe, a seaside city of more than 80,000 where fisheries remain a major source of livelihood. But these days the future looks bleak for many fisher folk who depend on wild fish stocks. Foreign factory trawlers, mainly from China according to local anecdotes, are illegally harvesting the prized “Bonga chad,” a species that averages about 10 inches long and is a smoked delicacy here. Chinese trawlers are casting wide nets, scraping the fishing grounds clean, which fish merchant Nicoline Tabot says are depriving her community of the prized Bonga. “If you go to the market now, you will see just some small, small fish,” Tabot says. “You will not see anything good.” READ MORE
On the hunt for dynamite fishers in Tanzania
TANZANIA - South of the port city of Dar Es Salaam, right on the coast, about 50 simple stone houses huddle under the palm fronds. Omari Mussa, who until recently made his living as a fisherman, grew up here. Mussa's skin is tanned by the sun, and he's missing a finger on his left hand, blown off by a mistimed throw of a bomb - his tool of choice when it came to reeling in the sea bream and red snapper. "It's dangerous," he said. "Nevertheless, everybody here used this technique. Fishing with the usual methods is hardly worthwhile." Detonating a bomb in a coral reef can net fishermen up to 100 fish - and lots of money. The shockwave from the blast pops the air bladder in every living creature within a radius of 5 to 20 meters, depending on the amount of explosive used. Fish sink to the bottom, and fishermen then collect the largest. In a fraction of a second, the bomb transforms a brightly-colored reef teeming with life into an underwater desert. For that reason, dynamite fishing has been outlawed. READ MORE
Mangrove Nature Trail and Learning Center Opening!!!
THAILAND - 19th of December of 2016 was a milestone day for the Mangrove Action Project (MAP) staff and the community of Baan Ta Sanook (TSN), located in Phang Nga Province, South Thailand. After months of planning, building and organising, the Mangrove Nature Trail and the Learning Center was officially opened at a special ceremony and finally ready to receive visitors! The mangrove nature trail is a 70-meter walkway which is partly raised concrete so is always dry even at high tide and traverses through a biodiverse mangrove stand allowing you to have a close-up experience with the mangrove ecosystem. It was constructed carefully so not a single mangrove tree had to be cut down. READ MORE
One man is planting mangroves in Indonesia to stave off tragedy
INDONESIA - There’s a spot in the Indonesian seaside village of Tongke-Tongke where people like to hang out at sunset. It’s a boardwalk winding through a dense forest of mangroves along the coast. The tangled root systems of the trees poke out of the water, like tent poles holding up the tree trunks. Teenagers in this town of roughly 3,000 people take selfies with the dense leafy canopy as a backdrop, while families stroll along the boardwalk. None of this may have been here if it weren’t for Hidayat Palaloi. “Before, this area was not like this, it was just empty land, coastline and a beach,” says Palaloi, the head of a mid-sized conservation nonprofit based in Makassar, Indonesia, called the Indonesian Self Growth Foundation. READ MORE
Mangroves: The Forests of the Tide
CHINA - A new art exhibition in Yangon shows the strange beauty of mangrove forests and the important role they play in the wider ecosystem. In 2008 Cyclone Nargis swept in over the Bay of Bengal and across the Irrawaddy delta, killing 130,000 people and displacing many more. Nothing broke the power of the cyclone as it hit the coast; the destruction of mangroves had left Myanmar’s coastline exposed to the devastating force of the tropical storm. Mangroves are a delta’s natural defence against nature’s fury, absorbing the onslaught of cyclones, winds, floods and tidal surges. The dense tangle of roots trap silt and stabilise the coast, preventing erosion. The trees also absorb five times more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than rainforests, which means they play a huge role in mitigating global climate change. A new art exhibition in Yangon shows the strange beauty of these complex ecosystems and the important functions the mangrove forests play in the wider ecosystem. READ MORE
Replant mangroves, check pollution
INDIA - Replant mangroves that are damaged during construction, develop green belt and fit construction equipment with mufflers and exhaust silencers to minimise sound pollution at the southern phase of the coastal road are some of the conditions laid down by the state’s green authority while approving one phase of the road in Mumbai. After the ambitious Rs 12,000 crore coastal road project was split in two parts, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has given a go ahead to the southern stretch (Princess street flyover to Bandra) of the road, but not without laying 12 conditions before recommending the southern stretch to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). Meanwhile, civic officials said all the conditions are already taken care of and approval from the MoEF is awaited. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta, said, “We have got clearance from the MCZMA and now we are awaiting nod from the central government.” READ MORE
Storm in a Gallery: Delhi’s Exhibit 320 sheds light on endangered mangrove system
INDIA - The Delhi-based artist, through her work that spans prints, photographs, videos and installations, unveils tales of the various mangrove ecosystems in India, with special focus on the Coromandel and Malabar coasts. The Delhi-based artist, through her work that spans prints, photographs, videos and installations, unveils tales of the various mangrove ecosystems in India, with special focus on the Coromandel and Malabar coasts. Mehra-Chawla, 39, who’s been working on the subject for more than half a decade now, says, “It’s important to bring this topic up because the mangrove systems are vulnerable and fragile, and at the same time form an important membrane between land and sea. When that membrane ruptures, we are susceptible to impending danger. These mangroves buffer us from erosion and also help in slowing down the speed of hurricanes.” READ MORE
MSC Ecolabel Trashed by Founder
USA - World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) ignited a firestorm with a detailed … and leaked … report castigating the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council), one of the best known labeling organizations. The report questions the non-profit’s neutrality, process and overall effectiveness in adequately protecting the resource and objectively informing consumers about the sustainability of the seafood they purchase. The colossal irony here is that WWF was one of the key founders of MSC, a non-governmental organization (NGO). And now it has become an outspoken critic. Here is a link to the leaked WWF report. WWF claims the report was not finalized and has tried to backtrack. However, the 58-page document has detailed citations and thoroughly explained timelines noting the events that led to the drafting of the report, which by the way, is marked “FINAL.” The catalyst for this report was the MSC certification of certain tuna fisheries in the Indian Ocean. One of the key principles of the original MSC guidelines for certification was that fisheries have a set of harvest control rules (HCRs) that ensure the health of the fishery. WWF now claims there are “several troubling systemic flaws” in the MSC certification process and that the mission appears to have become more about profits from the royalties paid to have the MSC logo than the original mission. That’s a stinging accusation from one of the organization’s original founders. READ MORE
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