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Illegal fishing to be eradicated from High Seas
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Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Monday, 07 July 2014 12:46

(Photo: European Commission) (Photo: European Commission) "Illegal fishing has to be eradicated from the high seas, and this is why the EU uses its diplomatic weight to push for rules like the UNCLOS or the United Nations Fish Stock Agreement to be enforced worldwide," EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki said during "Re-energising the Oceans" conference in Brussels, on June 30th.

 

"Since 1/1/2014 we have a new common fisheries policy, sustainable and science based, phasing out discarding and implementing the same principles for European vessels worldwide.
Through this new policy we have banned all types of subsidies at European level, that lead to overcapacity and overfishing. Our European fund has no granting for fuel subsidies at all," she said.


"In practice the EU requires that any fish import be accompanied by a catch certificate," Damanaki explained, adding " in other words the fish has to be caught legally; otherwise it won't get into our market. "
Speaking about future steps the Commissioner voiced the need for an integrated approach at international level.


" So far we have given special attention to promising maritime sectors such as marine biotech, aquaculture, ocean energy, deep sea mining and tourism. We think that with a focused research effort and steps to improve the environment for innovation, these sectors can prosper in a smart and sustainable way.


"Spatial planning gives operators certainty"


"A key tool to ensure sufficient marine space for concurrent economic activities is maritime spatial planning. If all goes well our legislative proposal should enter into force after the summer and it is a historic achievement. For the first time in the world, countries have a legal obligation to cooperate in planning their seas across borders.


Spatial planning gives operators certainty on whether and what economic developments are possible, where and for how long. It will speed up licensing and permit procedures, and will provide good management of the cumulative impact of maritime activities. It a huge and real step for marine governance in Europe."

 

Damanaki also stressed the importance of research, saying "ocean observation, mapping and forecasting are essential in this vein. This is why the EU has directly and explicitly geared its financial support, and particularly its research funds, towards the sea."
"Since last year, the EU, the United States and Canada have started a transatlantic research alliance which is to cover observing systems and ocean stressors, as well as research in the Arctic region, a fragile environment that is undergoing enormous change in terms of temperature and human activity."


"We hope to see similar forms of cooperation with and between other countries in the future."

 

Press Release: European Commission, 4th of July 2014

 
Tradition for Tomorrow takes place this summer
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Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Friday, 04 July 2014 00:00

(Photo: Tradition for Tomorrow) (Photo: Tradition for Tomorrow) Joyful celebration of Nordic folk music and dance will take place in Akureyri, northern Iceland 20 – 23 of August 2014.


Tradition for Tomorrow will introduce Nordic music and dance through performances, workshops, jam sessions, lectures and discussions.

 

Each Nordic country will present its best and brightest in 4 days and nights of non-stop music making, dancing, teaching and discussing.


Tradition for Tomorrow provides a singular opportunity to enjoy and examine Nordic traditional music and dance up-close and personal, discover similarities and differences between the Nordic neighbours, investigate multiculturalism and explore methods used to safeguard intangible heritage.


Click here to read more about the festival and to register for the event.

 
Russia back to winter time
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Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:23

(Photo: Barents Observer) (Photo: Barents Observer) Yesterday, 1st of July 2014, the state´s Duma approved the new – old law ´´On computation of time´´ to switch the clock on October 26th 2014 to permanent winter time. This regulation will grant northerners with two hours earlier daylight during the dark season mid - winter compared with last winter.


It was then-President Dmitry Medvedev that introduced permanent fixed summer time in 2011. For cross-border travelers between Norway and Russia in the north, the challenges appeared difficult. The land-border between the two countries became the only in Europe with a three hour time difference during the time of the year when other European countries changed to daylight savings.


Commenting on the confusing time-change and people's lack of day-light, Vladimir Putin said the year after "Something might not have been thought through."


The lawmakers in the State Duma argued that permanent summer time had caused increased stress and had a detrimental effect on the public's health. It was also the Duma's Committee of Healthcare that issued the recommendation to endorse the permanent winter time bill.


With permanent winter time, the difference in time on the Norwegian, Russian border will be two hours in winter and only one hour during summer when Norwegians are on daylight savings time. On the Finnish, Russian border, there will be no time difference during summer, and one hour difference during winter.


At the same time as Russia turns back the clocks, the easternmost time zone will be reintroduced, nine hours ahead of Moscow time. In total, Russia will then have 11 time zones, from Kaliningrad in the west to Chukotka region in the northeast.

 


Source: Barents Observer

 
Gender equality: save the date!
Other News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 09:07

(Photo: Icelandic - Arctic Cooperation Network) (Photo: Icelandic - Arctic Cooperation Network) The conference Gender Equality in the Arctic: Current Realities, Future Challenges, will be held in Akureyri, 30 – 31 October 2014.


The event will broadly focus on the living condition of women and men throughout the Circumpolar North, addressing key issues such as access to and control over resources, political representation, participation in decision making, regional development, human security and both material and cultural well – being.


This conference will bring together government representatives, policy makers, academics and a wide range of other stakeholders such as from the business community, resource managers and users, community leaders and NGO representatives.

 

Together with a comprehensive follow-up report, the conference will lay the foundation for a cooperation network of the various stakeholders researching, teaching and discussing and promoting gender equality in the Arctic.


Click here for more information about the event.

 
Whale hunt in Iceland continues
Other News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Monday, 30 June 2014 09:53

(Photo: Getty Images)The hunting season in Iceland has officially begun with a fin whale to be the first catch. Once again Icelandic whalers have resumed the activity despite of the condemnation of whaling practices that was introduced in moratorium from 1982.


Fin whale, also called finback whale or common rorqual, is a North Atlantic marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. Fin whale is the second longest animal in the world and second largest after a blue whale, growing up to 28 meters long and weighing nearly 74 tonnes.


The International Whaling Commission (IWC) issued a moratorium on commercial hunting of this whale, although Iceland and Japan have resumed hunting: in 2009 and 2010, Iceland took 125 and 148 fin whales, while Japan took eighteen in seven seasons (2005–12) of Antarctic whaling.

 

Iceland exported 500–600 tons of fin whale meat to Japan in 2011, worth 486,189,000 ISK ($3.8 million). The species is also hunted by Greenlanders under the IWC's Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling provisions.

 

Global population estimates range from less than 100,000 to roughly 119,000.

 
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