domingo, maio 21, 2017

How many things do you have?

The next question might be:
And how many do you really need?
Very few, I would say.
The problem is that we do not think about their purpose or the joy about having less stuff.
We are educated to work more, to get more money, to buy more stuff without ever thinking what make us happy.
The Minimalists leave their message:
love people and use things because the opposite never works!

quinta-feira, abril 27, 2017

Destructive and scary fish

Quando temos um artigo do MEC como este no jornal Publico, a falar de uma forma tão simples de um assunto tão flagrante, pouco fica por dizer sobre os hábitos de consumo de pescado em Portugal:

Nos restaurantes e nas praças grassa um peixe igualmente destrutivo e assustador: a perca do Nilo. Apesar de ser um peixe de rio, criado em condições deploráveis, é bastante mais caro do que muitos peixes selvagens do mar. Há, por exemplo, a sarda, o sarrajão, a solha, a safia e o safio, mencionando apenas os mais apetitosos com nomes a começar por S.

Porquê? Não faço ideia. Não compreendo como é que um país com tanto peixe do mar relativamente barato gosta de comer um peixe de rio que sai tão caro. Será preguiça? Será ignorância?

Eu também não compreendo mas acredito que o preço baixo é um factor atractivo e sim, pode ser ignorância porque a que a maioria das pessoas não deve saber o que está a comprar.
É difícil de compreender como é que a Perca do Nilo, um peixe de água doce que vem do lago Vitória que fica em África, é exportado por países como o Uganda, viaja milhares de kms e está disponível diariamente e fresco nas bancas de qualquer peixaria.

Mr Smashing Hit

Destroying the deep sea to get metals for our throw-away mobile phones and other e-devices?
Seas At Risk thinks it is better to step up efforts on the circular economy – make devices repairable, re-usable, recyclable.
Use mineral resources more efficiently and keep them in the economy loop instead of wasting them. Buy less, plan more and live simple.

quinta-feira, fevereiro 09, 2017

I found my interest in the ocean with you
You taught me all you knew of the deepest blue
It's all within us you said to me
As we walked on black sands
And you melted as an iceberg in my hands
There's an ocean in your eyes
I can feel the tidal waves
Crashing down
Beneath the skin

Reynir | André Barros

terça-feira, fevereiro 07, 2017

State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA)

Every year FAO publishes the world fisheries and aquaculture data submitted by member states.
It is a useful source to analyse globally the state of the oceans and to understand trends regarding the seafood production and consumption.

One of the key messages from the publication SOFIA 2016 was that world aquaculture production continues to grow and now provides half of all fish for human consumption.

Source: SOFIA 2016

Pauly and Zeller (2017) just published a paper criticising FAO for reporting inaccurate data and giving wrong impressions about the seafood production overview.
Here there are some of the statements that the argue against:

1. the catch of world marine fisheries is not "stable"

We do not believe that this perceived ‘stability’ in marine fisheries catches is the case. One reason is that the catch reconstructions that have been conducted through the Sea Around Us over the last decade for all countries of the world and which will be discussed further below, indicate that since 1996, total world catches are declining at a rate of 1.2 million tonnes per year. 

...overeporting for Myanmar [demonstrated as a problem several years earlier;] is thus a clear indication as to a likely main (political) reason for the disconnect between reported data and catch reality on the ground for some of the countries of interest here. A disconnect between actual catches and official reporting of data has also been shown for China.

We thus conclude this point by suggesting that rather than stressing an elusive ‘stability’ of the world marine fisheries catch, FAO should emphasize the rather tentative nature of the trend it reports and that its apparent stability is probably a misrepresentation of true global trends due to two factors: (1) reliable catch time series that are trending downwards being compensated for by unreliable catch time series that are trending up; and (2) by the generally improving quality of data collection systems in more recent years accounting for an increasing share of actual catches without making corrections and adjustments to the under-reporting of such catches in previous years (i.e., a time-series bias), leading to inconsistent historic baselines. 

2. do not pretend that catch reconstructions does not exist

Other problems are due to a tradition that sees fish only as taxable commodities, hence only landed fish are reported, while discards are not. Thus, FAO instructs its member countries not to report discarded fish. In today's age of endorsing the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (as also supported and emphasized by FAO), it is anachronistic to not include discarded catches as a clearly identified category in global fisheries statistics. 

3. it is not correct to emphasise that for the first time aquaculture produced “as much as marine fisheries

...this is not correct, as fisheries catches are actually much higher than FAO reports, while aquaculture (or at least mariculture) statistics appear not to be as much miss-estimated.

More importantly, combining aquaculture statistics and capture fisheries statistics implies serious double counting will occur unless clear data adjustments are done. This is because a sizable fraction of aquaculture relies on fishmeal and fish oil or other fish products for feed in their operation. Thus, around 22% of total global fisheries landings are used for non-direct human use [33], including fishmeal and direct feed purposes.

Thus, if for example 4 t of wild caught anchovies are required as feed or fishmeal to produce one tonne of aquaculture-raised salmon, one cannot say that humanity has 5 t of fish production. Humanity has either 4 t of anchovies [which, incidentally, are excellent eating and
highly nutritious] or one tonne of salmon, but not both.

Very interesting to understand the complexity of the data that we have to analyse and take conclusions about the way we are using the resources allover the world.
Above all it is scary that per capita food fish supply (kg) is still growing together with the world population: it was 18.6 kg in 2010 and 20.1 kg in 2014!

quinta-feira, dezembro 22, 2016

Keystone dialogues

As in other business areas, a few companies in the world control almost the overall seafood market.
These key companies, responsible for most of the seafood production, are committing to move further to sustainability with science support.
If they do, others might follow.

This is an interesting initiative since apart from the scientific background it is based in "dialogues", "communication" and "connecting" different parts of the issue.
The seafood production is a business above all the resources or environmental constrains and if we want to improve sustainable measures, it is not enough to use only science based policies or consumers' advice.
We need to connect the parts.

The word “keystone actor” is an analogy with the “keystone species” concept in ecology, developed by Professor Robert T. Paine. A scientific paper published in 2015 by Österblom, Jouffray, Folke et al. illustrates that the largest companies in a given industry can operate similarly to keystone species in ecological communities, meaning that they can have a disproportionate effect on the structure and function of the system in which they operate.
The keystone actors of global seafood control 19-40% of some of the largest and most valuable stocks and 11-16 % of the global marine catch. Keystone actors can be defined by the following characteristics:

quinta-feira, dezembro 15, 2016

Feel the beat, try to move the feet and eat eet eet

It's like forgetting the words to your favorite song
You can't believe it
You were always singing along
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can't remember
You try to feel the beat

Eet, eet, eet, eet
Eet, eet, eet, eet

You spent half of your life trying to fall behind
You're using your headphones to drown out your mind
It was so easy, and the words so sweet
You can't remember
You try to move your feet

Eet, eet, eet, eet
Eet, eet, eet, eet

Someone's deciding whether or not to steal
He opens the window just to feel the chill
He hears that outside a small boy just starting to cry 'Cause it's his turn but his brother won't let him try
It's like forgetting the words to your favorite song
You can't believe it
You were always singing along
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can't remember
You try to move your feet
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can't remember, you try to feel the beat