Looking after the forests and the fishes

No pictures in this post but I want to show you a couple of websites which you may be interested in showing some support for.

Two of the ongoing issues which I’m passionate about are conservation of the oceans and the forests. Down in Tasmania is a very courageous and dedicated lady called Miranda Gibson whose blog I found a couple of months ago, it’s called ‘TheObservertree‘, and in it she describes her last year living at the top of a tree in a forest in Tasmania as a peaceful protest at the destruction of the native ancient forests there. I was really pleased to see this week that Miranda’s stand was highlighted on the front page of the BBC News website:


Please check out the video and visit her blog to register your support.

And the second issue which is coming up this week is a vote in the European Parliament to reform the Common Fisheries Policy which if passed will ban discard and help to rebuild dwindling fish stocks. For any non-Europeans who may be unaware of what’s happening, the EU has stipulated how much of which fish species can be caught and landed. On the face of it a good thing you may think, but in practice what this means is that all the over catches are simply dumped back into the sea, referred to as ‘discard‘. Which means that many tons of perfectly good fish are killed and then thrown overboard, which is great for short term hunger management of gulls and other fish eating creatures, but completely insane from the point of view of maintaining viable fish stocks for all species!

I’ve been getting regular updates from Chris Davies, a UK Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament (MEP) who sits on the Fisheries Committee, and you can follow this link to the latest communication. If you feel strongly about the destruction of the oceans please send an email to one or more of the swinging MEP’s listed who sit on the Committee and ask them to vote for the reforms.

This is the email I sent to all of them and all the other UK MEP’s who sit on the Fisheries Committee:

As an MEP sitting on the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament I am writing to urge you to vote for the reform to the Common Fisheries Policy this Tuesday.

I believe that it is essential that the reform is passed in order to guarantee the longer term survival of viable fish stocks in order to maintain the health of not only the fish but that of the ocean as a whole. This is particularly the case as, going forward, the seas are likely to become more and more important as a food source. I believe this issue should be beyond party politics and the lobbying power of vested interests as it is much too important, and the fish stocks should not be squandered in the pursuit of short term commercial interests.

I thank you for taking the time to read my email and urge you again to please vote for the reform.

If you enjoy your fish and chips, and want to continue to do so, please send an email or two to let the MEP’s know how you wish them to vote.

21 responses to “Looking after the forests and the fishes

  1. Pingback: EU fisheries update 04/02/2013 | The Naturephile

  2. Miranda is our hero in the face of the stubborn bureaucratic nightmare that is Tasmanian politics. We are being dragged backwards through the briars at the moment with a landmark forestry peace deal that should see a good proportion of our remaining pristine forests locked up for the future but it is becoming more and more obvious that forestry owns our politicians as our upper house has suddenly decided to draw out the process to the detriment of all. Insidious how big business can own an entire state isn’t it?! Miranda remains a shining light to us all of how we all have a part to play and not to give up working for peace and change 🙂

    • You’re absolutely right about Miranda, it’s wonderful to see there are people who are prepared to stand by their principles and show that level of commitment. Respect!

      It’s shocking how the Tasmanian politicians are in the pockets of the logging businesses. I guess that’s a situation that has evolved over many years to the point that loggers are represented throughout the highest echelons of the legislature. It’s hard to believe that we’re talking about Australia!

      • Tasmania is to Australia what South America is to North America 😉

      • Blimey, I didn’t know that. Thanks for putting me straight. Were they always separate?

      • If you subscribe to the Gondwanaland principal we were not only part of Australia, but part of Chile as well! It’s not hard to believe it when you start to look at the indigenous plants of Tasmania and Chile because they have so many similarities and we are on the same meridian and have very similar temperate ranges. There is a rare and most unusual conifer here that is echoed almost exactly in Chile with a few minor differences and this conifer is found nowhere else in the world…the world really is an amazing place isn’t it? 🙂

      • I didn’t know before we swapped comments a few weeks ago that Tassie and Chile were so similar. That is remarkable, has anyone analysed the DNA from the similar species to determine the degree of divergent evolution? Darwin would have loved to have been able to do that!

      • Not too sure if they have but when we were doing work experience for a fellow horticulturalist in a cold climate species nursery he pointed it out to us and I got very interested in it. Darwin would have tap danced! 😉

      • That’s a vision I shall treasure 🙂

  3. What an amazing woman. To actually commit to that kind of campaigning is true grit! I’ll be sending an email, thanks for the post.

  4. What Miranda’s doing is amazing, I find it hard to imagine how she copes with the practical and logistical challenges of living on a platform 60ft above the ground like that. She must have gained a unique and incredible view of the world for the past year, and her dedication is astonishing. Also glad to see the highlighting of the absurd fisheries policy. It just makes no sense to me, and I’m going to email about it. Thank you for this post Finn!

    • She is utterly heroic, a real inspriation. I hope the government there realise that so many people round the world are taking notice of what is going on in Tasmania… and lots of other placeds too.

      Thanks for emailing Lorna, the more the better, the vested commercial interests will have a big voice so we have a our work cut out to shout them down.

  5. I will get emailing Finn. Thanks for posting this!

  6. Great post Finn.

    • Thanks Sofia, isn’t it good to know there are folk out there who care enough to try to get something done?

      • Absolutely. Some do things on a big scale while others do things on a smaller one but the important thing is to do something. We all have the ability to make a difference in our own way and it’s worth doing. Happy Holidays to you and yours across the Atlantic. Hope you enjoy fish and chips for many years to come! 🙂

      • Thanks Sofia, you’re dead right about making a difference, if all us small folk that want to make a difference raise our voices the folk with the power eventually have to take notice.

        A very happy Christmas and New Year to you and your family too!

  7. Ah, I follow Miranda — she’s so incredibly inspiring, and just wonderful. Were you able to make her live podcast? I saw a bit of it. 🙂 YAY for her….!!

    Thanks for the other link. I always try to sign them, sometimes I can, sometimes not (being a Yank), heh.

    • Hello FeyGirl, I didn’t get to the live podcast. But you’re dead right, she is indeed an inspiration.

      I think protecting the oceans has now gone global, so feel free to email the politicians here in Europe and steer them the right way.

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