Crabs Increase As Freedoms and Ice Decrease
Photos -- Ice Shelf In Antarctica Has Shrunk by 85%
While some powerful humans continue business as usual, others do what it takes to reach eco-librium. We trim, blend, and append three 2012 articles from: (1) AP, Mar 26, on crabs by A. Dominquez; (2) Peaceful Uprising, Mar 29, on a climate; and (3) AFP, Apr 5, on Antarctica.
by Alex Dominquez, by Peaceful Uprising, and by Agence France-Presse
Maryland Hopes to Win Sales With Sustainable Crab
Competition is tough when it comes to the packaged blue crab meat many associate with the Chesapeake Bay but which often comes from the Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela, and the Far East. That's one reason Maryland fisheries officials hope to set their catch apart by touting the state's sustainable fishing methods.
Maryland is in the early stages of seeking Marine Stewardship Council certification for its blue crab harvest as more people become concerned about where their food comes from and how its production affects the environment.
The certification looks at the impact of harvesting on the environment and other species, whether fisheries managers have the ability to monitor the species, and whether the harvest is being tracked adequately. Louisiana recently won certification for its crab harvest, and Maryland also has applied for its striped bass fishery.
"There are a lot of restaurants that focus on sustainability issues and they really haven't had a blue crab to be able to embrace," said Steve Vilnit, seafood marketing specialist for Maryland's Department of Natural Resources.
Crabs are the Chesapeake Bay's biggest moneymaker, bringing in $52 million in Maryland in 2009, and many chefs believe they are among the world's best. The lower salinity of the upper Chesapeake Bay makes the meat sweeter and more tender, and the crabs hibernate over the winter, storing fat that makes them taste richer than nonhibernating crabs from farther south.
But competition is tough and with prices topping $20 a pound for Maryland's picked crab meat, many buyers look elsewhere for cheaper alternatives. More than 80 percent of the seafood sold in the United States is imported.
Maryland's crab population is one of the most well-studied in the world. While the Chesapeake's crab population was in decline, it has bounced back since severe harvest restrictions were instituted in 2008. The changes included cutting the harvest by a third, shortening the season, and protecting hibernating female crabs.
Fisheries that have received MSC certification range from Alaskan Pollock to Oregon's Dungeness crab, and a lobster fishery on Mexico's Baja peninsula. About 300 fisheries are in the program, with more than 130 certified. In addition to certifying fisheries, the group also certifies supply chains so seafood can be traced from boat to shelf.
To read more
JJS: While a state government tries to steward a natural resource, a federal government violates the rights of an individual steward.
Why Was Tim DeChristopher Put In “the Hole”?
On March 9th, Tim DeChristopher, the climate activist currently serving a 2-year prison sentence for outbidding oil and gas companies at an illegitimate BLM auction in 2008, was summarily removed from the minimum security camp where he has been held since September 2011, and moved into the FCI Herlong’s Special Housing Unit.
Apparently an unidentified congressman had called from Washington DC, complaining about one of Tim’s limited communications.
March 28th, after the Federal Correctional Institution in Herlong CA, the Bureau of Prisons in Washington DC, and members of Congress received thousands of phone calls, Tim was returned to the minimum security camp.
Yet, why was Congress involved in moving Tim into isolated confinement, and who ordered the investigation?
Compare the treatment of Tim to that of William Koch. Both were charged with rigging the bidding at a BLM oil and gas lease auction. Koch’s company paid a $275,000 fine [peanuts for an oil company] but was still allowed to extract the public’s oil and gas, without Koch suffering any personal consequences.
To read more
JJS: While the Kochs of the world are motivated merely by material gain, the stewards are motivated by the damage that human economies cause.
Ice Shelf In Antarctica has Shrunk by 85%
A vast ice shelf in the Antarctic peninsula has shrunk by 85 percent in 17 years, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.
Images taken by its Envisat satellite show that the so-called Larsen B ice shelf decreased from 11,512 square kilometres (4,373 square miles) in 1995, an area about the size of the Gulf state of Qatar, to only 1,670 sq km (634 miles) today.
Larsen B is one of three ice shelves that run from north to south along the eastern side of the peninsula, the tongue of land that projects towards South America.
From 1995 to 2002, Larsen B experienced several calving events in which parts of the shelf broke away. It had a major breakup in 2002 when half of the remainder disintegrated.
Larsen A broke up in January 1995.
"Larsen C so far has been stable in area, but satellite observations have shown thinning and an increasing duration of melt events in summer," the agency said in a press release.
Ice shelves are thick floating mats of ice, attached to the shore, that are created by the runoff into the sea from glaciers.
The northern Antarctic peninsula has been subject to atmospheric warming about 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) over the last 50 years, a figure that is several times greater than the global average.
Ice shelves are not the same as ice sheets, the vast blanket of frozen water that covers Antarctica.
If the sheets melted, even partially, they would drive up sea levels, threatening small island states and coastal cities. But the scientific evidence is that the ice sheets so far are stable.
To read more
JJS: While the State of Maryland is making progress in harmonizing human demand with natural supply, it will take more than certification to stop humans from taking all the oil out of the ground and putting it into the atmosphere as exhaust gas. To bring about a change as major as that in human behavior, an equivalent change is needed in human worldview. Humans must see themselves as belonging to the natural world and the economic value of nature as belonging to them equally.
The State of Alaska has taken a step in that direction by paying its residents a dividend from oil revenue. Much more is needed. All governments must do the same for all citizens, using all of society’s spending for all the nature that people use, our spending for everything from surface land to buried resources and including the airwaves above.
Technically, that means adopting the policies of geonomics. Instead of tax labor and capital, use land dues to recover all those natural “rents”, and instead of subsidize insiders like Kock disburse dividends to all citizens. Not only will everyone prosper but everyone will also want Earth to be in her healthiest condition, even if only to keep one’s dividend at its maximal amount, thus aligning personal interest with planetary constraints.
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .
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