Picture of the month

"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."  Read more.

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.

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 together 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.



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 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 major fresh  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.  Read more.

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.

Lots of ink have 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.

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit our Facebook page to learn more about the mascots and the prizes. Read more.

Teacher workshop in the Gambia, 28-29 April 2012. The workshop was held in Serrekunda from 28 to 29 April 2012 in Serrekunda Lower Basic School. It was attended by 8 teachers from the four following institutions: Gunjur Lower Basic School (2); Gunjur Upper Basic School (2) Immaculate Lower Basic School (2) and Tanji Lower Basic School (2). In addition to these four institutions involved from the initial phase needs assessment of the project, Serrekunda Lower Basic School was also represented by two teachers. A representative from FAO headquarters, Silvia San Marco, and Aliou Sall of Mundus maris served as resource persons for the workshop that was primarily done in a highly participatory mode with the Gambian teachers in the driving seat. Among others, the teachers proposed improvements to the fish ruler for which they suggest that full colour photos of the fishes be used so that students can better identify them. Get the whole story.

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. 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.  Read more.

Will we still be able to eat swordfish, tuna loins, tasty grouper, or will 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

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