Picture of the month

Uppsala University's Centre for Sustainable Development offers a course "Actors & Strategies for Change – Towards Global Sustainabilities"

for bachelor students with diverse study backgrounds. During spring term 2014 some 50 students from four continents participate in the course.

Stella Williams and Cornelia E Nauen of Mundus maris were invited guests for one of the weekly sessions (3 March), which serve as inputs to the study projects of the participants.

In an interesting arrangement through a skype connection, the students in Uppsala could listen to Stella speaking from the US and Cornelia from Germany, all the while looking at the slides of the talk. Short of eye contact, pictures had been exchanged beforehand. The voices had to do the rest in carrying the emotional charge of the exchange. Read more.

Daniel Pauly of University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada, is the leading fisheries scientist of our time and one of the most prolific of all times. He is one of the two founding fathers of FishBase the successful web archive about all fish species known to science and a public darling serving more than half a million users month after month.

In 1999, Prof. Pauly set up the Sea Around Us Project at the Fisheries Centre at UBC to document large-scale impacts of marine fisheries. It became highly influential by providing independent assessments of marine fisheries and their effects on marine ecosystems across all oceans and seas. It proved to be an invaluable source helping to increase transparency and rectify many wrong perceptions about the sector contributing to bad political and economic decisions. Click here for more.


MM: On the occasion of the exhibition “Mediterraneum” on display in Rome between December 2013 and January 2014, we wanted to know something more about this solo exhibition from Oreste Baldini himself, so to speak 'from the horse's mouth'. We therefore approached him with some questions:

Can you explain who you are and how you approached the artistic creation on the theme of the sea? We would like to know a bit more about the reasons for choosing the course of the exhibition inside of the Markets of Trajan.... We are also curious about how you use different materials for your works and the fact that the exhibition deliberately offers more than a purely visual experience. What do you try to evoke in visitors by appealing to other senses, and what message you would like visitors to take home with them after their visit? And finally, what are your plans for the future?

OB: : It's a real joy to have known the meritorious work of Mundus maris and the people who work for its goals with great enthusiasm. The meeting with Paolo Bottoni was empathetic and certainly fruitful given the excellent review article he wrote about the exhibition. So I gladly try to answer your questions. Read more

New initiatives to strengthen conservation efforts and management of coastal and marine resources in West Africa

Held from 25 to 29 November 2013 in Dakar, Senegal, the 7th edition of the Regional Coastal and Marine Forum proposed several new initiatives. Organised by the Regional Marine and Coastal Partnership (PRCM ), this edition has been articulated through several thematic workshops. Under the supervision of the coordination unit based in Nouakchott, it was attended by about 200 people from different colleges or groupings that drive the PRCM. These colleges are: research centers, national and international institutions, national and international NGOs, socio-professional organisations, the private sector (fishing, tourism, oil, as well as financial partners). The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) also took part. The central theme this year was "Investing in marine and coastal conservation for the well being of the people". Read more.

Save the babyfish! The continuation of the campaign with fishmongers between July and October 2013 – Hann, Kayar and Saint Louis, Senegal

First, with the facilitation of the focal point on site, we always started by recalling the objective of the mission. In this occasion the fish rulers were demonstrated in practice. To put the fish ruler and its importance into a broader context, we explained the close relationship between this campaign for compliance with the minimum size of fish and one of the key principles of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF). To recall, the five key principles are:

  • maintain ecosystem integrity (fish species exist only in interaction with each other – no fish is an island)

  • the precautionary approach to fisheries and any other use of marine and coastal ecosystems, while respecting the rules;

  • ensure broad participation of different social actors;

  • promoting sectoral integration and safeguarding livelihoods, and

  • investment in research and knowledge. Read more.

Acting in tune with concepts. Combining academic analysis with practice as a way to explore human relations to nature that aim for sustainability

Stella Williams and Cornelia E Nauen of Mundus marisgave one of the keynote addresses at the Conference “The Intersection between Society and Nature”. The conference was organised by a scientific team headed by Prof. Eva Friman of the Centre for Sustainable Development at the University of Uppsala. It took place from 1 to 3 October and attracted close to 150 international scholars and practitioners.

Intended to contribute a complementary perspective to the social science research constituting the mainstay of the conference, the Mundus maris team focused on “Concepts and empirical space in sustainability research”. It presented the talk in tandem to make it more lively for the audience. Read more.

Sarah Keene Meltzoff, 2013. Listening to Sea Lions. Currents of Change From Galapagos to Patagonia. A Review. 

By any account, this is an unusual book, not easily stuck into a single category or discipline. Sarah Keene Meltzoff has woven some two decades of field research along the Latino Pacific coast into the six stories she tells from cover to cover: "Coastal people and their sea lion counterparts epitomize sea change as they struggle with changing climates."

I had the pleasure of seeing a little bit of her working methods in action, when she was researching the seas of change in Spanish fisheries policy in the mid-1980s after the country had entered the EU. In the preface to the book, she already sets the tone by letting the reader get glimpses on her own path of discovery and the approaches she developed and matured over time. It is the story within the story of the book with people like Margareth Mead offering orientation and mentoring in the early stages of her career. The reader can appreciate the serendipity engendered by getting ever closer to linking ethnographic field observations and empathetic relations with leaders in fishing communities. The critical engagement with these leaders and their communities, with fisheries administrations and traders sharpens the sense of place and the different perspectives, but also for the quest for extracting lessons of wider applicability. I enjoyed reading the book for more than one reason and I hope others will be enticed to read and enjoy it too. Read more.

Invitation for international school and youth group partnerships for the protection of the oceans under the patronage of Mrs. Maria Damanaki, Member of the European Commission.

What do we invite you to celebrate?

WorldOceandDayWorld Oceans Day 2014 – 8 June – it's the occasion to celebrate the beauty and awesomeness of the oceans and to engage with others around the world in protecting them more effectively from multiple threats.

Who is invited?

Schools and youth groups from around the world, who are interested and willing to engage with peers in another country to cooperate on protecting the oceans. Schools having difficulties entering an international partnership can do so on their own.

Read more what's in for you and why.

This panel organised by Mundus maris at the VII MARE Conference in Amsterdam explored the coping strategies of artisanal fisheries in different parts of the world as they try to retain some of their traditions and social control over economic actors with their role in a globalised market of fisheries products, but also the increasing competition for access to coastal space with tourism and other developments. Two countries/regions were discussed in a comparative manner to teeth out local specifics from global trends which could inform policy: Senegal in West Africa and the Philippines in Southeast Asia. Underlying the exploration were results from a quantitative reconstruction of catches of the small scale fisheries in both countries as part of the global effort of the Sea Around Us Project, which are a contribution to rectifying widespread misled perceptions of the marginality of ‘traditional’ or artisanal fisheries. Read more.

What are the opportunities for nurturing cultural diversity and its many benefits in the future, using the augmented means at the disposal of humanity? Or will we all be swamped by Hollywood or Bollywood style social role models? Will consumerism trump over our need to reconnect with fellow travellers and nature on Earth? Will we loose the treasures of 'minority' or more traditional cultures complete with thousands of more languages spoken by only a few thousand people? Can socially marginalised or disadvantaged people regain a voice?

Such were the questions reverberating in the room and passionately discussed among participants of a two-day event at the University of Leuven (KULeuven), 15 and 16 May 2013, to celebrate and contribute to the 2013 edition of the World Day for Cultural Diversity. Read more.

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.

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 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.

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, from 17h00 to 18h00 in Room AY2.108 - Solbosch Campus. Read more