Picture of the month
On 11 April 2013, Mundus maris organised a Culture Day at the Maison Douta SECK in Dakar, Senegal. Having started and developed a fertile partnership with a number of different actors, Mundus maris wanted to share a result of the work of some of these partners. The 'product' shared was born out of a combination of own activities by Mundus maris to raise awareness about the sad state of many seas and the joint projects with the partners, which the association specifically supported upon their demand. Read more.
CEM in Kayar celebrates naming MM mascots
The Mundus maris Club of the CEM in Kayar, Senegal, celebrated its first prize in naming the Mundus maris mascots with a parade through the village and a ceremony on the school ground. Kumba and Samba are now the names of the baby fish girl and boy. The kids and all well-wishers vowed to protect the small ones to let them grow and reproduce. The celebrations took place on 15 March 2013 and mobilised not only the school community of the CEM and of neighbouring schools, but also many notaries from the fishing community. Overfishing is currently the major problem for the artisanal fisheries in Kayar, in the country and wordwide. It is deeply changing the way marine ecosystems function. It affects their ability to produce food and provide the many other functions essential to life on the planet. Congratulations to the winning team and all the others, including the primary school Kayar 1, who have contributed so well through their work and proposals by raising awareness about this scourge. Read more.
Education for sustainability in an interdependent world - workshop in Brussels, 11 March 2013
Education is always about the future. “Global education” is a relatively new concept still in mutation, which examines what should be contents and modes of teaching to prepare young people in different parts of the planet for living peacefully and in synch with themselves, with each other and with nature.
A key challenge is how to develop contents and processes that enable young people to build up the competence and skills to live well and perform in their local environments, while being aware and capable of putting the local requirements and opportunities into broader, global perspectives. Read more.
Cinema with Debate - Talk to the protagonist!
Look behind the scenes of the traditional fishing village Guet Ndar, Saint Louis, Senegal. The leader of the women active in the traditional fishery and strong personality in the community is Awa SEYE. Follow her through the interview, discover her working environment and social struggles and talk to the real persona. Her rise from a down-trodden woman suffering loss of several babies in child birth to a leading midwife, community organiser and successful defender of the women's access rights to their working spaces on the beach against tourism developpers cast some light on what can be achieved with determination, social responsibility and civic engagement. As part of the Mundus maris contribution to the 2013 edition of Campus Plein Sud at the ULB, join the cine-débate in the open course of Prof. Gemenne, Wednesday, 13 March, from 17h00 to 18h00 in Room AY2.108 - Solbosch Campus. Read more.
Listen to the Pulse of the Planet
"Listen to the Pulse of the Planet" was the call for a concert on 24 January 2013 in the Yehudi Menuhin Space in the European Parliament under the patronage of Vice President Isabelle Durant. Some 45 musicians from the European institutions and the children's choir of the European School Brussels II performed the Goldberg Variations of Johann Sebastian Bach.
The founder of the concept, Naomi Takagi, sees it as the start of a global initiative and says: "The universality, the unifying power and the healing nature of Music are acknowledged throughout the world. Music is the supreme global language, which transcends all political, cultural, religious, and ethnic orientations and touches the depths of human existence. Not only does Music inspire, support, change and improve the well-being of all who participate. It also fosters understanding, creates bonds between people, mobilizing them in large numbers even across borders, and has supported humanitarian initiatives for peace and peaceful resolutions where other means fall short. During this time of global crisis, we recognize the importance of universal solidarity and propose to resort to Music to mobilize and engage the humankind of all ages and nationalities." Mundus maris supports the initiative, e.g. by encouraging people in different parts of the globe to join and contribute their own way of listening to the pulse of the planet. Let's pause to get into synch again with ourselves, with each other and and with our beautiful Blue Planet. Read more.
Schuman Trophy supports cyber space for kids in Hann
Schuman Trophy is a voluntary association of staff and pensioneers of the European Commission organising soccer tournaments in the honour of Robert Schuman, one of the founding fathers of the European Union, to raise money for social causes. Upon request and in collaboration with partners in Hann, Senegal, notably Ibrahima Seck and Magueth Diop, Mundus maris introduced a project proposal to create a cyber space for school children. The installation will help to bridge the digital divide and improve teaching and learning conditions for schools, which have already participated successfully in the FAO pilot activities about introducing the ecosystem approach to fisheries into the curriculum, which started in 2011. Schuman Trophy awarded a cheque of 2000 Euro towards the implementation of this project. Read more.
Naming the Mundus maris mascots
Working with a school teacher and other interested people, including Dr Okonofua U.A., Fine Arts Department at the University of Uyo, Foluke Akinmoladun, Kenny Odili and Tammy Daka successfully organised a get togetherin November 2012 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, with children and youth to participate in the names-giving contest for the Mundus maris contest. From the smallest kids in pre-school age to some teenagers, a sense of engagement and expectation reigned among all participants. What happens to the babyfish? How best to protect them? What could be the names that best characterise courage, wit and love for life? These and other questions were asked and translated into drawings and suggestions to respond to the invitation of Mundus maris. Read more.
Youth Forum pleads for protecting marine biodiversity
To be a called a global family suited the Go4BioDiv International Youth Forum just perfectly. 35 young people from marine and coastal biodiversity sites and marine world heritage sites from across the world gathered at the Go4BioDiv Nature Camp held at the Sundarbans, India’s marine world heritage site, for a power packed ten days of sharing on-ground experiences, exchanging ideas, developing solutions to the most pressing of problems and looking forward with foresight of the precautionary principle. Read more.
The Mundus maris campaign in the urban markets in Dakar
The fish goes where people can pay for it. Well-to-do people in Dakar enjoy the freshly landed fish in urban markets in the old city centre. The Kermel market is a historical market (first opening in 1860) where fish, fruit and vegetables are the majorfresh products for sale. Restored to its former glory in 1997, the market attracts many local and international customers. The fish sellers received a visit of Mundus maris in September 2012 to help them make good purchasing decisions for their customers and for themselves: the idea was to check whether the fish on sale was of adult size. Avoiding the sale of baby fish helps sustain the business on the long run. The measurements were made with the help of the fish ruler developed during the FAO-EAF Nansen pilot activities for teaching the ecosystem approach to fisheries. Protecting baby fish and taking only grown individuals, which have reproduced themselves, will make the entire value chain more sustainable, from the customers to the fishers. Read more.
Festival "Memory of the Penc and villages in Dakar"
The third edition of the festival "Memory of the Penc and villages of Dakar" was held July 17, 2012 at the Grand Theater in Dakar. Penc denotes a place under the traditonal meeting tree. Mundus maris was officially invited and was represented by Aliou Sall, Vice-President. THIA is the Senegalese artist, who works since about two years with Mundus maris through projects implemented in Senegal.The three slogans of the festival were (i) For the appreciation of Lebou cultural heritage; (ii) The consolidation of ties of understanding and solidarity of the Lebou family and (iii) The cultural renaissance of Senegal and Africa. This festival was under the sponsorship of Lebou Dignitaries and Notables. The programme had several components: (i) exhibitions through the ages; (ii) speeches and statements by intellectuals, but also popular speakers as well as traditional leaders, (iii) cultural activities. Read more.
Exclusive interview with Jacqueline McGlade on threats to the oceans and what we can do about them
Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, is a marine biologist and an environmental informatics professor. She answers questions on the major threats to the oceans and what we can do about them. The questions were put together by Mundus maris asbl as a result of a public consultation. The interview is the first in a series of interviews with personalities in the sciences and arts sharing their views on why it is important to protect the oceans and what can be done to do it more effectively. Click on the photo to see the interview on the Mundus maris channel.
Rio +20 - What next?
Lots of ink has been spilled since months already well before the Rio+20 Summit. Already in the run-up expectations were dampened as it became clear that there was little common ground between rich and poorer countries, between regions and different interest groups. So, we ended up with an aspirational document, full of good intentions, but with precious little concrete commitment to action and leaving just about everybody unhappy. Time to move on and call on civil society organisations, city councils, companies interested in going beyond green washing, governments of developing countries and others to find many old and new ways to make our societies fit for sustainable futures. Read more.
Green Week - Let the babyfish grow!
Let the babyfish grow! was the motto of the stand with which Mundus maris participated in this year's Green Week in Brussels, from 22 to 25 May. Already on Day one, the Mundus maris stand attracted a good number of visitors who engaged in lively discussions. Visitors were interested in the fish rulers and their use to determine the minimum size of fishes from the North Sea and the Baltic. They were fascinated to learn about the early reactions to testing specific fish rulers in the FAO-Nansen project on introducing the ecosystem approach to fisheries in Senegal and Gambia.
For its part, Mundus maris now launches an invitation to find names for the baby fish mascots on the poster, which attracted so much attention to the need to stop eating baby fish. Make your suggestion to
. Visit our facebook page to learn more about the mascots and the prizes.
We would all rather like to continue enjoying Nature's free meal of delicious fish and seafood rather than end up eating jellyfish burger. In the process we would also hope to counter the current youth exodus triggered by the decline of maritime culture and associated unsustainable practices. We'd rather be part of the offer for an attractive future for young people in the protection and sustainable use of the sea by introducing low-impact fisheries and associated maritime activities. Read more.
Marine litter - a global threat
Some of us might wonder what marine litter is exactly and where it comes from. We all know the term “litter” and have seen it in some kind of form in our daily lives; an empty plastic bag drifting in the wind, cigarette butts on the pavements, empty drink bottles in the park or even remote idyllic places wasted by the presence of litter. What we see on land is not different from what is going on in the sea and thus the term “Marine Litter” has been introduced to describe discarded, disposed of, or abandoned man-made objects present in the marine and coastal environment. It consists of articles that have been made or used by people and, subsequently, deliberately discarded or accidentally lost. They originate from ocean-based (fishing vessels, cargo ships, stationary platforms, fish farming installations, pleasure crafts and other vessels) or land-based sources (littering, dumping, poor waste management practices, untreated sewage and storm water discharges, riverine inputs, industrial facilities, tourism, extreme natural events) and can be found all around the globe. Most sources of marine pollution are land based and some studies indicate that up to 80% of marine litter originates from land. Read more.
Reviewing first experiences with teaching aids
Stock taking of the first experiences with the use of the teaching kits took place in two workshops organised by Aliou Sall with all teachers. The workshop in Hann, Senegal, took place 19-20 May gathering two teachers each from the primary school Kayar 1, the mid-level school (CEM) in Kayar, the Khadim School, the primary school Montagne 1 and the mid-level school (CEM) - the latter three in Hann. The review workshop in Gambia took place in Serrekunda, 26-27 May 2012 with two school inspectors and two teachers from each school in attendance. They were from Gunjur Lower Basic School, Gunjur Upper Basic School, Immaculate Lower Basic School Gunjur, Tanji Lower Basic School and Serrekunda Lower Basic School respectively. Read more.
The CEM of Cayar in action
On the occasion of World Environment Day, May 5, and under the auspices of the Marine Protected Area, a major operation to clean the beach in Cayar was organised with the assistance of the local Fisheries Service and the Municipality.
Invited to this part of the maritime clean-up action, the Club Mundus Maris of the CEM Cayar achieved a strong mobilisation of pupils, who played a decisive role in the operation. Read more.
New momentum of work in the Niger Delta
Prof. Stella Williams paid a visit in the Niger Delta Area of Nigeria from the 24th of April to the 26th of April 2012. Visits and meetings with associates and other people interested in picking up earlier work took place at the office of Trizon Law Chambers in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Faculty of Arts and Industrial Arts in the University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, and the city of Oron, also in Akwa Ibom State. The intention was to instill fresh momentum into activities after a slow down in 2011. Read more.
The transition from traditional management of fishing grounds in Fiji (qoliqoli) to new approaches is fraud with difficulties
Fiji is an island country, part of Melanesia in the South Pacific. It is composed of a group of volcanic islands. Its closest neighbours to the east are Samoa and Tonga and Vanuatu to the west.
Fiji’s customary fishing-rights areas (qoliqoli) enable a form of community-based marine resource management (CBMRM) that is supported by indigenous owners, central government, and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The people interviewed during field research by researcher Annette Breckwoldt considered ‘turning back’ was neither the best option for community welfare, nor for the management and conservation of their resources.
But managing the transition from traditional management of the fishing grounds (qoliqoli) to new ways of living off the sea is fraud with difficultures. Just one quote indicating the uneasiness:
‘E na koro sega e na lala [in the village there is no order of the chief, requiring work to be done], before they listen to one talk, with respect for the chief, now not anymore.’ Read more.
FAO project enters test phase in Gambia
Widespread fishing of baby fish is a scourge that contributes to reducing world-wide production of fish and fishery resources caught in the wild by an estimated 700,000 tonnes each year since the early 1990s. Fishing baby fish happens to a large extent as a result of shrimp fisheries. They take out up to 80% of so-called 'by-catch', dead and dieing juveniles of other valuable species, which happen to be in the way of the trawl. They have little or no commercial value at that size and are thrown overboard. This is a tremendous waste, because they will never grow to a size where they can reproduce themselves and keep their population healthy and productive. Any fishery with too small mesh sizes or hooks operating in areas with lots of baby fish is very destructive. It affects also the once rich fishing grounds in Northwest Africa. The FAO - EAF Nansen pilot activities implemented by Mundus maris aim at promoting an ecosystem approach to fisheries by introducing the key concepts of ecosystem integrity and protecting people's livelihoods already at an early age in schools in Senegal and Gambia. The fish ruler poster - here for Gambia - uses wide-spread soda cans as a measure to draw attention of the minimum size at which overfished species will have multiplied, thus ensuring the sustainability of the resource base. Read more.
Khadim primary school, an active participant in testing FAO-Nansen teaching aids
The Khadim School in Hann, Senegal, is actively involved in pilot activities in the framework of the FAO - EAF Nansen project aimed at testing teaching aids to support the introduction of ecological concepts into the curriculum, such as marine ecosystems approaches to sustainable fisheries. It thus provides concrete experimental opportunities relevant also to the efforts of the Regional Programme for Environment Education (PREE), which engages IUCN together with the ministries of education of seven NW African countries. The school has a track record of working on environmental themes, even before they received wider official recognition. Examples are some earlier efforts, such as beach clean up and drawing attention to the pollution from untreated waste from Dakar provoking unhealthy conditions in Hann Bay. These are illustrated in the article on the FAO - EAF Nansen project. For the profile of the school itself, read more.
Santa Yalla School in Rufisque experiments with the babyfish ruler
Santa Yalla School in Rufisque, Senegal, is experimenting with the fish ruler to alert the school community against overfishing. This is an off-shoot of the FAO / EAF Nansen pilot activities, which the deputy-director learnt about and liked. The school has also set up a profile on the website expressing their interest to network with others. Read more.
Welcome to the workshop 'Learning, teaching and practising - together - sustainable development'! What do young people need to know? What do they need to be able to do? What should they value enough to act upon when they graduate into adult life? What can we to together to be fit for the transitions and huge challenges of our societies? Considering that we have to feed and house 9 billion people by 2050, produce four times more energy while decarbonising our economies? Revert the impoverishment of the oceans, which lost more than 90% of their big species in the last century in the North Atlantic alone. These were key questions participants from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America discussed upon invitation of Mundus maris on 2-3 March 2012 at the Free University of Brussels. The wealth and diversity of past experiences shared by the participants opened new insights and a strong sense of togetherness and trust. New joint activities are on the cards. Read more.
Mundus maris - Sciences and Arts for Sustainability asbl has stepped up participation in the 2012 agenda of Campus Plein Sud at the Free University of Brussels (ULB). This time, we organised or participated in four successful events. The theme in the tenth year of existence focuses again on water and sustainability issues, this time with particular attention to climate change. From its beginning, the ambition of Campus Plein Sud was to inform the campus community of the many facets of development "in the global South" so as to replace the caricature of misery or exoticism often painted by the media with more nuanced understanding. The climate change and global trade and sustainability perspectives forcefully illustrates global interdependencies. Read more.
Will we still be able to eat swordfish, tuna loins, tasty grouper, octopus and native mussels and oysters from near home or will we eat jellyfish burger in the future? What can we learn from the culinary seafood traditions and the culture of the many nationalities that have developed a love for the sea and its food? Quite a few have also settled in Brussels and Belgium leaving a stamp on the eating habits of the European capital. This is the beginning of a series of invited articles and activities, which we will feature in 2012, in the occasion of the year of gastronomy in Brussels, 'Brusselicious', and the growing attention to issues of food, culture and food security further afield. Read more.
The project about developing and testing teaching modules on marine ecosystems in pilot schools in Senegal and The Gambia is gaining momentum. Mundus maris, in collaboration with experienced local partners, Stay Green Foundation in The Gambia and UNI.V.ERE in Senegal, is developing a teaching aid kit, which will be tested in the first quarter of 2012. Five schools in Hann and Kayar (Senegal) and four schools in Gunjur and Tanji (The Gambia) will participate. The collaboration takes place in the context of pilot activities supported by the FAO's EAF Nansen project. Read more.
Examples to Follow! Expeditions in aesthetics and sustainability is an exhibition of works by some fourty artists and arts groups inviting the public to reflect critically about the devastating effects of consumerism and become active themselves in protecting our planet. The exhibition is supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Heinrich Böll Foundation and others and was initially inaugurated 2 September 2010 in Berlin. It has since travelled to several German cities and is set to be shown in Mumbay, India, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2012. Mundus maris contributed to the reader adding further material to the exhibition, its catalogue and other accompanying materials. These publications were awarded the iF-Award in November 2011 after winning other prizes before. Read more.
Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, spoke on 22 November 2011 in the European Parliament at a seminar promoting low impact fisheries. The seminar was organised by Seas at Risk, an umbrella organisation for environmental NGOs from 11 countries in collaboration with MEPs Anna Rosbach, Isabella Lövin and Christofer Fjellner. Research findings were presented showing that many parts of the Commission proposal for reforming the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) went into the right direction, but that some parts needed further strengthening. A particular plea was put forward to provide positive incentives for low impact fishing and to discourage destructive gear and fishing methods. In her response, the Commissioner commented that “we need the fish, but we need to fish in a smarter way...”. Read more
In traditional communities, the dichotomy between modern and customary power reveals itself as being all but a myth. Boucar FALL is a traditional chief of the fishermen in Hann-Pêcheurs (the fishing village inside the town of Hann). According to Boucar Fall, in the past, governments have always relied on customary power to manage conflicts between citizens, whether in the field of conflict in general or that of the distribution and collective management of natural resources. The traditional leader illustrates this statement through a few examples, without trying to be comprehensive, of course. Read more.
Dr. José Lozán is a long-term guest scientist from Peru working at the University of Hamburg. During his work at the university he has been particularly concerned with making the best science about water, the oceans and our climate available to young people and the public at large. The last public symposium he organised from 20 to 22 September 2011 was part of the high-level events of the now well-known Hamburg Climate Weeks. Mundus maris contributed to the latest activities co-organised by Dr. Lozán and interviewed him to learn more. Read more.
With "Kayar – a childhood caught in the nets", based on the life of artisanal fishermen in the third port in Senegal, the French filmmaker Thomas Grand offers a fascinating as well as oppressive portrait of the drama of this lively fishing town. The film describes the life and prospects of Adama, a boy turned fisherman. Kayar does not have a nursery school and a very limited capacity in primary schools. The film shows this harsh reality, where many children must return home after failing to find a place. The film is based on an extensive research of about three years which allowed precise targeting of awareness about the challenges and preparing the emergence of new initiatives to address these critical issues experienced in Kayar. Thomas Zadrozny reviews the film and interviews the film director. Read more.
SeeArt - Sciences and Arts for Sustainability - was a youth exhibition in Hilden, Germany which brought together group and individual works from young people and schools from some 10 countries from around the world reflecting on what can be done to protect the seas and increase international cooperation and solidarity. It was organised by Helmholtz-Gymnasium Hilden and Mundus maris and opened by the mayor. Ansgar Beer with his working group 'Sciences and Art for Sustainability' were the driving forces behind the success. Between 26 June and 17 July 2011 works were on display in the exhibition hall at the Business Park South. Funds raised through an auction go towards the Oloibiri Resources Centre in the Niger Delta. Read more
"Ten percent of the big fish still remain. There are still some blue whales. There are still some krill in Antarctica. There are a few oysters in Chesapeake Bay. Half the coral reefs are still in pretty good shape, a jeweled belt around the middle of the planet. There's still time, but not a lot, to turn things around."
Sylvia Earle, marine scientist and winner of the TED Prize 2009. Her wish was to join her in protecting the vital blue heart of the planet.
Citation selected by Daniele d'Antonio, interview title: save the little fish today or you won't have big fish tomorrow! - Read more.
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, opened this year's Slow Fish fair in Genoa, Italy. She was particularly keen on contributing to the fight against illegal fishing and healthy marine ecosystems. Mundus maris contributed specifically to two of the workshops, one on fishing in Africa and one on direct sales and traceability - another aspect of fighting illegal operations. In addition to these types of multi-stakeholder reflections, Slow Fish offered a variety of sustainably produced fish food, educational activities and promoted sustainable tourism. Read more.
The Shanghai Ocean University hosted the 9th Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum (9AFAF) and several associated symposia from 21 to 25 April 2011. Working with and mentoring young people has been a staple for Stella Williams of Mundus maris, who also spoke at the 3rd Gender in Fisheries and Aquaculture Symposium organised as well in Shanghai. Stella gave an invited talk in the event and also seized the opportunity to show three posters specifically focussing on people in aquaculture - mostly women. Stella says, meeting the young people from the university was among the best parts of a very interesting trip. Read more.