flux Ecologie

The Deep Green Resistance News Service is an educational wing of the DGR movement. We cover a wide range of contemporary issues from a biocentric perspective, with a focus on ecology, feminism, indigenous issues, strategy, and civilization. We publish news, opinion, interviews, analysis, art, poetry, first-hand stories, and multimedia.

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20.07.2024 à 05:11
DGR News Service
Texte intégral (1550 mots)

Editor’s note: Sharks are beautiful, intelligent creatures, but they have been overexploited for decades. Because of their “high market value” industrial fisheries hunt sharks for their fins and other body parts. But it’s difficult to control the protection of the sea predators when they move to unprotected zones or international and local fleets fish in other countries’ fishery zones. The brutal killings of adults, babies, and even pregnant sharks happen while our culture is focused on buying more stuff and attending distracting events.

If sharks went extinct, it would set off a chain reaction. Sharks play an important role in the food chain. Smaller animals like shellfish may go extinct if there were no sharks to eat seals, for example. That would create a ripple effect, causing mass die-offs of otters, seals, and many types of fish due to food scarcity. The chain reaction would continue until its effects were felt on land, with fisheries collapsing in a matter of years. When will humanity wake up and start living with – not against other precious beings?

by: Assaf Levy, BioDB via Pressenza

Shark awareness day

Every year on July 14th, we celebrate Shark Awareness Day. It is not just a tribute to one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures; it is a call to action. Sharks have cruised the oceans for over 450 million years, playing a vital role in keeping marine ecosystems healthy. But today, these apex predators find themselves under increasing pressure, with many species teetering on the brink of extinction.

Sharks: More Than Just Jaws

Hollywood might portray sharks as mindless killing machines, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sharks come in a staggering variety of shapes and sizes, from the filter-feeding giants like the whale shark to the sleek and speedy blue shark. They possess incredible senses, like electroreception, that allows them to detect electrical fields emitted by prey, and an amazing ability to navigate vast distances.

As apex predators, they help maintain the balance by regulating the populations of species below them in the food chain. This includes controlling the numbers of mid-level predators and helping to ensure species diversity among smaller fish and invertebrate populations. Their feeding habits help keep marine ecosystems healthy and functional. For instance, by preying on weak or sick individuals, sharks help prevent the spread of disease and ensure a healthier gene pool within the prey population. Their disappearance could have devastating consequences, leading to population explosions of prey species and ultimately, the collapse of entire ecosystems.


A Cause for Alarm: Why Are Sharks Endangered?

Despite their importance, many shark species are alarmingly close to extinction. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), over one-third or 30% of shark species are either vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. Some of the most threatened species include the Great Hammerhead, the Oceanic whitetip, and the Basking shark.

The main culprit behind this is overfishing. Driven by demand for shark fins (a prized ingredient in shark fin soup) and meat, millions of sharks are caught every year, often through unsustainable practices like finning, where fins are removed and the body discarded.

Another major threat is habitat loss. Sharks rely on healthy coral reefs and mangroves for breeding and feeding. However, these vital ecosystems are being degraded by pollution, climate change, and coastal development.

A Ray of Hope: Conservation Efforts Underway

The silver lining in the story of sharks is the growing awareness and effort towards their conservation. Governments, NGOs, and international bodies are working together to protect these magnificent creatures:

  • Protected Areas: Many marine protected areas (MPAs) have been established to provide safe havens for sharks where fishing is restricted or banned. One notable example of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) that provides a safe haven for sharks is the Chagos Marine Reserve in the Indian Ocean. This reserve is one of the world’s largest marine protected areas and encompasses a variety of marine environments. It offers significant protection to various shark species, among other marine life, by enforcing strict regulations that limit fishing and other extractive activities.

Another example is the Jardines de la Reina National Park in Cuba, which has been particularly successful in conserving shark populations. This MPA provides a refuge for several species of sharks and has implemented strict no-take policies and eco-tourism guidelines that help maintain the health and biodiversity of its waters.

Deadly Predators

Deadly predators,
Under the sea and on land
But, what’s more deadly?
A razor sharp, swimming shark
Or the end of marine life?

Poem by @saf_begum

  • Regulations and Bans on Shark Finning: Shark finning, the brutal practice of removing a shark’s fins and discarding the rest of the body, has prompted global action through stringent regulations and international cooperation. Many countries now enforce laws that require sharks to be landed with fins naturally attached, enhancing sustainable practices and compliance. Furthermore, international agreements like CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) play a critical role in regulating the trade of endangered shark species to ensure their survival. These efforts are crucial in curbing unsustainable exploitation, promoting marine conservation, and supporting the recovery of shark populations worldwide.
  • Sustainable Fishing Practices: Minimizing bycatch, the accidental capture of non-target species in fisheries, is crucial for preserving marine biodiversity, including sharks. Sustainable practices such as gear modification, implementing time and area closures, and employing bycatch reduction devices can significantly reduce unintended catches. Regulations that require fisheries to use circle hooks and turtle excluder devices (TEDs) help prevent the capture of non-target species like sharks and turtles. Additionally, real-time management of fisheries based on immediate data and promoting consumer awareness through eco-labeling, as mandated by organizations like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), can drive demand towards sustainably harvested seafood. These strategies not only help conserve marine species but also enhance the overall health of marine ecosystems and support the economic stability of fishing-dependent communities.

This Shark Awareness Day, let’s not only admire the majestic Great Whites and the elusive deep-sea dwellers but also ignite a global commitment to safeguard their future. Every shark species plays a pivotal role in marine ecosystems, balancing marine life and ensuring the health of our oceans.

Today, we must transcend admiration and take decisive action. Let’s pledge to protect these magnificent creatures, understanding that saving sharks is fundamentally about preserving the entire marine ecosystem. By protecting sharks, we are not just saving individual species; we are investing in the health and sustainability of our entire ocean. Join us in this crucial mission—educate, advocate, and participate. Together, we can turn the tide for sharks and secure a vibrant future for our blue planet.

Title photo by Dennis Hipp (Zepto) via WikimediaCommons CC 1.0 universal
Zebra shark photo by Daniel Sasse via WikimediaCommons CC BY-SA 4.0

BioDB is a new, non-profit website that serves as a dynamic hub for wildlife conservation enthusiasts while advocating for protecting our planet’s invaluable biodiversity. With a primary goal of raising awareness and mobilizing funds for selected non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to wildlife conservation, BioDB offers a comprehensive platform for individuals and organizations passionate about positively impacting our natural world. https://biodb.com/

16.07.2024 à 05:35
DGR News Service
Texte intégral (1522 mots)

Editor’s note: The author asks if that is a good thing. The short answer is no. For the same reason, agriculture is bad for the land, aquaculture is bad for the ocean. It is because humans have overcaught wild fish and depleted their numbers that people have more and more gone to aquaculture. There are now just too many human mouths to feed and not enough fish in the oceans.

By Frida Garza / Grist

Both aquaculture and fisheries have environmental and climate impacts — and they overlap more than you’d think

A new report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO, has found that more fish were farmed worldwide in 2022 than harvested from the wild, an apparent first.

Last week, the FAO released its annual report on the state of aquaculture — which refers to the farming of both seafood and aquatic plants — and fisheries around the world. The organization found that global production from both aquaculture and fisheries reached a new high — 223.3 million metric tons of animals and plants — in 2022. Of that, 185.4 million metric tons were aquatic animals, and 37.8 million metric tons were algae. Aquaculture was responsible for 51 percent of aquatic animal production in 2022, or 94.4 metric tons.

The milestone was in many ways an expected one, given the world’s insatiable appetite for seafood. Since 1961, consumption of seafood has grown at twice the annual rate of the global population, according to the FAO. Because production levels from fisheries are not expected to change significantly in the future, meeting the growing global demand for seafood almost certainly necessitates an increase in aquaculture.

Though fishery production levels fluctuate from year to year, “it’s not like there’s new fisheries out there waiting to be discovered,” said Dave Martin, program director for Sustainable Fisheries Partnerships, an international organization that works to reduce the environmental impact of seafood supply chains. “So any growth in consumption of seafood is going to come from aquaculture.”

A fisherman, wearing reflective gear and visible from the waist down, lifts several crates containing oysters
A worker removes a stack of oyster baskets during harvest. Bloomberg Creative / Getty Images via Grist

But the rise of aquaculture underscores the need to transform seafood systems to minimize their impact on the planet. Both aquaculture and fisheries — sometimes referred to as capture fisheries, as they involve the capture of wild seafood — come with significant environmental and climate considerations. What’s more, the two systems often depend on each other, making it difficult to isolate their climate impacts.

“There’s a lot of overlap between fisheries and aquaculture that the average consumer may not see,” said Dave Love, a research professor at the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University.

Studies have shown that the best diet for the planet is one free of animal protein. Still, seafood generally has much lower greenhouse gas emissions than other forms of protein from land-based animals. And given many people’s unwillingness or inability to go vegan, the FAO recommends transforming, adapting, and expanding sustainable seafood production to feed the world’s growing population and improve food security.

But “there’s a lot of ways to do aquaculture well, and there’s a lot of ways to do it poorly,” said Martin. Aquaculture can result in nitrogen and phosphorus being released into the natural environment, damaging aquatic ecosystems. Farmed fish can also spread disease to wild populations, or escape from their confines and breed with other species, resulting in genetic pollution that can disrupt the fitness of a wild population. Martin points to the diesel fuel used to power equipment on certain fish farms as a major source of aquaculture’s environmental impact. According to an analysis from the climate solutions nonprofit Project Drawdown, swapping out fossil fuel-based generators on fish farms for renewable-powered hybrids would prevent 500 million to 780 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2050.

Other areas for improvement will vary depending on the specific species being farmed. In 2012, a U.N. study found that mangrove forests — a major carbon sink — have suffered greatly due to the development of shrimp and fish farming. Today, industry stakeholders have been exploring how new approaches and techniques from shrimp farmers can help restore mangroves.

Meanwhile, wild fishing operations present their own environmental problems. For example, poorly managed fisheries can harvest fish more quickly than wild populations can breed, a phenomenon known as overfishing. Certain destructive wild fishing techniques also kill a lot of non-targeted species, known as bycatch, threatening marine biodiversity.

But the line between aquaculture and fish harvested from the wild isn’t as clear as it may seem. For example, pink salmon that are raised in hatcheries and then released into the wild to feed, mature, and ultimately be caught again are often marketed as “wild caught.” Lobsters, caught wild in Maine, are often fed bait by fisherman to help them put on weight. “It’s a wild fishery,” said Love — but the lobster fishermen’s practice of fattening up their catch shows how human intervention is present even in wild-caught operations.

On the flipside, in a majority of aquaculture systems, farmers provide their fish with feed. That feed sometimes includes fish meal, says Love, a powder that comes from two sources: seafood processing waste (think: fish guts and tails) and wild-caught fish.

All of this can result in a confusing landscape for climate- or environmentally-conscientious consumers who eat fish. But Love recommends a few ways in which consumers can navigate choice when shopping for seafood. Buying fresh fish locally helps shorten supply chains, which can lower the carbon impact of eating aquatic animals. “In our work, we’ve found that the big impact from transport is shipping fresh seafood internationally by air,” he said. Most farmed salmon, for example, sold in the U.S. is flown in.

From both a climate and a nutritional standpoint, smaller fish and sea vegetables are also both good options. “Mussels, clams, oysters, seaweed — they’re all loaded with macronutrients and minerals in different ways” compared to fin fish, said Love.

This story was originally published by Grist. Sign up for Grist’s weekly newsletter here.

Photo by Datingscout on Unsplash

13.07.2024 à 05:51
DGR News Service
Texte intégral (2041 mots)

Editor’s note: When we engage in any form of activism, building leadership capacity helps people become more confident and proactive. It means the leader of the group doesn’t have to be responsible for every task and can delegate other important tasks to members. In this case, the author talks about climate change, we at DGR think that climate change is one of many problems and stems from our destructive industrial culture. But you can exchange the word for any other that would describe a dire situation today – the strategy of leadership capacity still applies. DGR disagrees with 350.org’s belief that electrifying everything will “solve” climate change. It is, in fact, impossible, and attempts to do so will only make matters worse.

By ,

Learn how organisers recruit and build the leadership capacity of others with the Ladder of Engagement.

This article has been sourced from Daniel Hunter’s book published by 350.org called The Climate Resistance Handbook. Daniel explains the Ladder of Engagement with a story from South Africa about an environmental justice group. Read below or see Chapter 3 on Growth and pages 40 – 46. The images have been added by the Commons Library.

The Ladder of Leadership

Growing groups face a challenge. Organisers are often the ones doing much of the work of the group — and they get tired of doing everything…One option for the organisers getting tired is they keep sacrificing more and more. They give up sleep. They sacrifice school and work. They stop social activities — it always becomes about the activism.

For most people, that’s just not sustainable. So what’s the alternative?

Getting new people to step into leadership!

A story from Ferrial Adam in South Africa provides us an example. She was part of an environmental justice organisation working with folks at the grassroots. Led largely by women, they were challenging a government policy called “Free Basic Electricity.” That policy guarantees the government will pay for a certain amount of electricity to poorer households (currently 50 kWh, about 5% of what the average US home uses).

This is a major issue, as the lack of access to energy often dooms whole districts to poverty. For example, those lacking electricity often rely on carbon-intensive paraffin, candles, or cutting down trees. This leads to a host of negative environmental and health effects.

Building relationships is key

This policy was widely credited as a successful social justice policy. But those who were most impacted by this policy weren’t part of the debate. So Ferrial began a research study to learn more about the actual impacts this had for households, which meant going to the poor districts in the city of Johannesburg.

She started where the people were. Her first step was finding a group of women who were keen and already working on energy struggles. It was important to start by explaining the intention and need for the work. She started by getting people to monitor their use of electricity. She spent time building relationships with mostly women, who ran the households. It took many months of weekly workshops to teach people to calculate the energy consumption of different household items.

Increased confidence

Her report was done. And she could have been the person presenting the report in front of national bodies. But when public hearings were planned to increase costs, the people Ferrial had been working with wanted more. She asked the women if they would testify on their own behalf. They jumped at the chance. Ferrial says, “It was so amazing and powerful watching people go to a hearing and speak as a collective on why the government should not raise the price of electricity.”

“They became part of the organisation and took their own leadership. Ferrial wasn’t calculating people’s consumption for them and writing the report and talking before the national bodies. She was organising. She wasn’t doing things that people could do for themselves.”

The women were supported through steps of engagement over the months. This way, they gained expertise about their own electricity usage and education on national policy and the impacts of climate change. Each step gave them increased confidence to not only testify but be strong community activists.

This concept is called the “ladder of engagement.”

The women wouldn’t have been ready to testify as their first step. Instead, they needed to learn more about their own situation. Then they needed to connect to others’ stories and see they weren’t alone. The ladder helps us think about what to do when people say, “What you’re doing is great, how can I help?”

“In our minds, we have our to-do list and things we need done. But that’s not where to start. We have to think from the perspective of that person.”

That probably means our first response is, “Let’s talk about what you’re up for doing.” And we find out what kinds of tasks they might be willing to help us with — ones that match their interest and involvement (not our long to-do list).

“This isn’t a science, and each person is different. Some people have absolute terror making phone calls but would happily risk civil disobedience. So chatting with people about their interests is important.”

Thinking about newer activists in our group with the ladder of engagement in mind helps us think about the next step for them.
And as Ferrial did, we can offer steps to keep increasing their level of commitment and involvement. This cultivates relationships and helps people move up the ladder of engagement, which is how you, too, will increase your group’s involvement.

Recruit People Outside your Circle

“Of course, to get more people into leadership, you have to have lots of conversations with them — about the goals of the campaign and the work you’re doing. You have to build trust. And you have to find them!”

Sometimes it’s hard to recruit new people, because we get used to talking the same way about an issue. You may have some ways you talk about climate change that you’re used to.

But someone you want to recruit may not talk about it that way. They may not care about climate change, but they may care about cats. You can tell them that climate change is increasing the habitat for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. That’s bad news for pets. It exposes them to new diseases, like West Nile, Lyme disease and heartworm. Or maybe they care about football. Climate change isn’t going to end football soon, but it will change the game. With more erratic climactic events, you will see more games like the snowy 2013 World Cup qualifying match between USA and Costa Rica. It was a disaster. Or, since the spread of Zika (and other diseases) increase with the rise of temperatures, Brazil’s warmer temperatures threatened to derail the Rio 2016 Olympics.

How to organize?

Or maybe they just don’t like being angry! A study on climate and conflict showed that warmer temperatures increase people’s personal conflicts (by 2% amongst friends, and by 11% outside their social circle). So hot temperatures can cause more anger.

But even when we get more flexible in talking about climate change, many groups often mistakenly believe they’ve tapped all the people who are passionate about their issue. “Nobody in my school cares about climate change.” The problem is often not that we have exhausted the possibilities in our city or small town — it’s how we are organising.

Building leadership capacity

When it comes to recruitment, many of us think of people just as individuals. We imagine there is a scattering of people out there from whom to recruit.

The reality is different. Most people are not attracted to groups simply as individuals. Ask around, and you’ll find that very few people get involved in a cause because they receive a flyer, get sent an e-mail, see a poster, or see a Facebook post.

Most people join a group or get involved because someone they know personally invited them.

That’s because society is better understood as clusters of “social circles”. Social circles may be organised as formal or informal groups — religious communities, gangs, tight-knit neighborhoods, etc. Social media can show you the number of people who are friends of friends many times over.

The quickest way to build a group is to ask people in your net works of friends or family. Those people are the most likely to say yes to you. But a group stops growing when it reaches its maximum potential of people from its members’ initial social circle. Continuing to reach out within that circle may not bring in many more people.

The trick is to jump out of your social circle and find people connected with other social circles.

Ways to recruit in social circles

Show up at the events and meetings of people outside your circle. This is a great chance to meet others, see how they work, and find out where their values overlap with your campaign.

  • Stop doing the tactics you’ve always been doing, and try new ones that might appeal to different audiences. If your tactics are marches, strikes, and massive, disruptive direct actions, and it’s not working, then it’s time to adapt. Ritualising our actions makes us predictable and boring. People want to join fresh and interesting groups.
  • Notice when other groups make overtures toward your movement, and follow up with them. For example, if we are seeing reluctant corporate and government allies taking steps towards us, maybe with some of them there are relationships we can build to keep them moving faster.
  • Do lots of one-on-one meet-ups with leaders from other movements and groups. Meet with different people — not to recruit them, but to learn from them.
    • What are their values?
    • What interests them?
    • What strategies recruit people like them?
  • Do direct service. Gandhi was a big fan of what he called the “constructive program,” which means not only campaigning against what we don’t want, but also building the alternative that we do want. Climate disasters provide large-scale and small-scale chances for us to be part of that. Direct service to disaster survivors and other community-based projects put us shoulder to shoulder with others who want to make things better. Who better to hear a pitch about joining your campaign?

Growing outside of your social circle takes time, but when it comes to building successful groups, it’s worth the effort.

This article is from the Climate Resistance Handbook which brings together a wealth of learnings from the climate justice movement. It starts with breaking social myths about how social movements win. Then dives into campaign tools and frameworks you can use. It closes with how to grow your group and use creative, impactful actions and tactics. This book is full of stories of climate warriors from around the globe and historical movements. It’s filled with practical wisdom and inspiration to make you more effective, more active, and ready for what’s next.

Derivative of graphic by parasoley/Getty Images Signature via Canva.com

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