Thursday, March 12, 2015

FSM Shark Sanctuary - two!

Source - bravo Timbo!

Well well.

Leo Falcam Jr. does not like to listen to expert opinions.
Interesting. Where I come from we say, la gallina che canta ha fatto l'uovo - but that's, possibly, besides the point.
The point is that maybe he should.
Maybe, had the Office of the President been a tad more receptive and professional, the sanctuary legislation would not have been such a fiasco. Maybe, the FSM President would have been spared the embarrassment of proudly announcing that Micronesia's livestock would henceforth be fed with the likes of shredded Whale Sharks, Turtles, Dolphins, Albatrosses, Mantas and the like, and that it would be the fishermen's patriotic duty to procure them.
I mean, seriously, what were they thinking!

Because the experts had warned them.
An anonymous benefactor has shared this remarkable document - click for detail.

This is really as good as it gets.
All I did bemoan is there, and then some: the need for an explicit fishing ban, the problems with the mandatory bycatch provisions and also the observation that the final legislation differs considerably from what had been announced - even the fact that it is in direct contradiction to the national Shark sanctuaries, something that had escaped me!

So WTF has happened?
Of course the FSM are a sovereign entity that can legislate whatever they want provided that it is legal - which incidentally, this probably is not. Maybe they did change their mind and did not know how to tell - but if so, were the member States consulted before this policy reversal?
Yours truly however smells shenanigans, likely some nefarious special interest (WESPAC is apparently well ensconced in Pohnpei) that has managed to torpedo the whole exercise at the eleventh hour.
Or was it merely abject incompetence?
Leo? :)

Leaves this problematic press release.
No, sorry, stating that the measure prohibits the commercial fishing and trade of sharks and rays and their parts is simply not true, and it is grossly misleading the public. Having observed the pewculiarities of that org and noticed the degree of pico-management whereby nothing is being said let alone published without multiple vetting, and where transgressors are being summarily executed regardless of rank and past achievements, this is definitely not the proverbial "unfortunate misunderstanding" and as such, it is highly disappointing. I understand the diplomatic need to make the best of a bad lot - but an outright lie?

So Pew, it appears, are having their own PIPA moment.
Yes it's rather embarrassing - but to the gloating NGOs I say, beware of glass houses and stones!
Like in the case of the PIPA that is now apparently fully implemented and holding (! - yes, and my prediction was wrong!), this can be turned into a win - so how about instead of sniping and god forbid, penning public letters and other stupidities, you earn your salaries and work on solutions instead!

Plus, those NGO wars are simply pathetic.
Instead of engaging in those petty tribal wars (notable exception, since he is being explicitly mentioned: Ian Campbell of WWF!), how about remembering that there are many paths towards the goal of reducing Shark mortality. I can understand that the fact that Pew do not need to go begging and generally do whatever they please is making others look ineffective by comparison, and is generating a lot of envy - but let's face it, they are very good at what they do, and their continued successes are impressive!

Plus, those sanctuaries are certainly not the final solution, either.
IMO they are merely indefinite Shark fishing moratoria, stop-gap solutions that need to lead to other, more holistic approaches - which Pew is incidentally already tackling via its Global Ocean Legacy projects!
Yes having disproportionately fished away the predators, it is OK to selectively protect them - but of course, species protection does not work in the long term. Shark populations cannot be expected to thrive as long as we continue to obliterate their prey, destroy their coastal nurseries, and boil and pollute their habitats to smithereens; and the Mantas will have no chance if we don't stop acidifying away the Plankton.

Remember the principal issues?
Plus, fishermen got to live, and those ever-increasing legions of people got to eat, too - especially considering that at least in theory, seafood is a renewable resource!
I hear that smarter minds are already looking into that.
There is talk about a mix of 30% mega-MPAs (which IMO appear only possible in non-populated areas, or places that are highly dependent on tourism like Palau) and 70% managed fisheries - and if so, there is ample scope for everybody to cooperate and at the same time, to go absolutely nuts on one's preferred solution!
As long as the populace feels adequately represented by snowball-throwing clowns, the task at hand is hard enough without those pathetic internecine fights - and yes that would be ME talking, but contrary to YOU, I'm not being paid for doing the right thing! :)
So be nice to each other!

Yes I'm certainly digressing big time.
The issue at hand is obviously, how to correct this abject PR fiasco - and I'm very confident that like me, you're equally really looking forward to act two! :)
So, to paraphrase poor maligned Ian, here's to this not being seen as "job done", but as "job started"!
To be continued no doubt!

1 comment:

Tim of the Deep said...

There goes the neighborhood. (I live in Guam)