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Posts tagged "overfishing"

Gah! Yet another flubbery enviro-PSA. It’s 2012. We KNOW the problems. People need to know the solutions! At 4 minutes and 20 seconds long, it dedicates 10 seconds(!) to a weak and wispy appeal to the public to “do something.” Well, like what? Their answer (like most enviro-PSAs) is that, “Citizens have responsibility of encouraging and supporting their politicians to make (policy) decisions.”

COME ON! People need a roadmap. Environmental organizations are getting crushed partly, imo, due to too much focus on the lazy activist approach (Sign my petition!).

In my opinion, environmental groups need exacting methods to embolden the public to actually influence policy. More focus on things such as,

  • Since policy making is public, what, exactly, are the methods that the public can use to inform the policy?
  • What is the proposed policy and who wrote it?
  • How will that policy choice work?
  • Where are draft policies located, online database, in an office drawer, or??
  • Which meetings can the public attend to help shape the policy?
  • Is there an appeals process?
  • A comment period?
  • Provisions restricting legal standing?
  • How does one actually read a policy tweak and/or a recommendation?
  • Where can one find the NGO’s proposed draft policy?
  • Can the public influence the NGO’s proposed policy choices, too? How?
  • Once the policy is in effect, how does it get implemented? 
  • Will the policy be monitored? By whom?
  • Can the policy be adjusted? Administratively or by court order?
  • Where does the money come from to promulgate the policy and who enforces it?
  • And, my personal favorite: How does one run for office?

Perhaps my crits are invalid. But, I know from working with city governments that policy makers do not want too many people involved in shaping policies and regulations. They prefer the “sweet spot” to show they’ve met their democratic obligations - not too little involved public, not too many public, but half-a-room of quiet folks is just about right.

I need evidence that campaigns such as the above are much more effective then showing people how to land a seat at decision making tables. Perhaps such evidence exists, but I’ve yet to see it. 


Overfishing visually explained

As part of their mission to reform destructive fishing practices, Ocean2012 explains the risk of catching too much fish, in motion graphics. I like the pixelated aesthetic.

But apparently it’s about to be banned if the bill survives one more committee. The NRDC’s Leila Monroe reports that California is one of the largest markets for shark fin soup in the world, second to Asia. And, since it’s the west coast, plenty of celebrities are lobbying for the bill to pass (including my future wife, Scarlett Johansson). 

If you’re unfamiliar with shark finning, click this video of sharks getting finned alive, then being tossed into the ocean, still alive. It’s sick (imo, at least shoot the damn things in the head). 

This afternoon, California came one important step closer to banning the sale, trade and distribution of shark fins.   Assembly Bill 376 passed out of the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee  with the support of Senators Pavley, LaMalfa, Evans, Kehoe, Padilla, Wolk, and Simitian.  This bill will help protect the estimated 26 – 73 million sharks killed each year for their fins, which are used to meet the exploding demand for shark fin soup.  The bill’s next stop is the Senate Appropriations Committee.   

California is one of the largest markets for shark fins outside of Asia; the ban will deter finning in international waters by ending the fin trade here.  More than 1/3 of shark species are threatened with extinction as a result of the international shark fin trade, with some populations declined by 99%.  This morning, the Sacramento Bee carried an excellent article about the importance of this bill, discussing how the opposition critiques are misguided and inaccurate.


The oceans are in a worse state than previously suspected, according to an expert panel of scientists.

European Fish Week, June 4-12. More here.

Only 1,000 Yangtze River dolphins remain alive. Population to decrease by 80% in 30 years.

-BusinessGhana News. Drought and economic development to blame. 

The dolphin population currently stands at 1,000, even lower than that of the giant panda, Wang said.

The dolphin population is decreasing by a rate of 6.4 percent annually, Wang said.

"The next ten years will be a critical period for the conservation of this species," Wang said.

A long-lasting drought in central China has lowered water levels in many of the region’s lakes and rivers, doing great harm to the dolphins’ habitat and leading to a decrease in population, Wang said.