Temporary closure called for by Oceana for the critically overfished western Baltic cod as a decision is to be made by EU fisheries ministers on Baltic stock quotas for 2017 on October 10th–11th
On Monday 10th October, European Union fisheries ministers will convene in Luxembourg at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council to decide on fishing limits, or total allowable catches (TACs), for commercial fish stocks of the Baltic Sea. Due to the extreme state of western Baltic cod following decades of overfishing and mismanagement, Oceana calls for a temporary total closure of all targeted cod fisheries in the western Baltic Sea (subdivisions 22-24, see map) to allow the stock to recover and ensure a future for its fisheries. However, the Danish and German governments are reluctant to invest in its future, preferring instead to continue overfishing and keep the stock at dangerously low levels.
Governments are supposed to be guardians of the law.
“The EU Common Fisheries Policy requires governments to rebuild stocks at sustainable levels. Ignoring scientific advice is bordering to illegal” explains Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe. “Western Baltic cod is the most overfished stock in the region and its recovery would provide a huge source of jobs and food if managed responsibly. Ministers still have the chance to make the right decision next week and we hope for everyone’s sake that reason prevails and Baltic cod is given a chance to make a comeback.”
Fishing limits for two Baltic cod stocks will be decided next week: the eastern, which although lacks data, is considered to be in poor condition, and the western, fished predominately by Denmark and Germany (approx. 44% and 21% of total landings respectively), which is in a critically bad state. The western Baltic cod stock has a very low biomass, high fishing pressure and recruitment (amount added through reproduction) currently at its lowest ever recorded levels. Scientific recommendations by ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) state the western Baltic cod quota should be capped at 917 tonnes for 2017 – a huge 93% reduction on the previous year. Denmark doesn’t want reductions higher than 20% which equates to landings ten times above scientific advice. Continued overfishing risks a stock collapse which would result in huge and likely permanent socioeconomic consequences to the region. Smaller scale fisheries are hardest hit by sustained overfishing and ministers must act to protect the most vulnerable by providing increased quotas of alternative species whilst stock recovery is prioritised.
Under the Common Fisheries Policy, overfishing in the EU must end by 2020 or governments will face legal consequences. In addition to this, the similarly legally binding Baltic Multi Annual Plan (BMAP), formally enacted this year, sets limits for overexploited stocks, such as western Baltic cod. Polish MEP and BMAP rapporteur Jarosław Wałęsa has stated that if the Council fails to set limits in line with BMAP he will take them to court himself.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .