By Robin Sharp
Part of the remit of SULi is to work with other Specialist Groups on sustainable use and livelihood issues. In this vein I was able to join the global meeting of the Freshwater Fish SG (FFSG) in Chester UK on 2 May 2012. The main purpose was to link in with a presentation on the GreenFish Initiative of FFSG by David Cooper who is planning and fundraising for a certification scheme for the large (US$6billion) trade in ornamental freshwater fish. An article on this project is foreseen for Issue 2 of SULiNews.
Also at the meeting, under the sub-theme Action for Sustainability, John Koehn, explained how co-operation with anglers was more or less forced on Australian conservationists to obtain resources and to get an improved management regime in place for on the threatened Murray Cod; Harmony Patricio described successful efforts to create an international network for monitoring fish and fisheries on the Mekong catchment (the most productive freshwater catchment globally) training and using citizen reporters; Prof EG Silas presented on an elaborate Green certification scheme for ornamental fish extracted from the Western Ghats and NE India, mostly for internal trade which is large; and Scott Dowd, of the New England Aquaria, gave a rhapsodic account of the Barcelos fishery for cardinal tetra in the Rio Negro (30 million extracted annually all harvested by individuals up narrow creeks in the forest) and showed videos of the fishery and the local “sustainable use of fish” carnival. An article on this fishery is also planned for SULiNews Issue 2 but if you can’t wait and want to be cheered up go to http://vimeopro.com/user8718740/the-amazon . NB there are 2 videos.
Robin Sharp is former Chair of SULi-Europe/ESUSG