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John Starmer
Improving science and technology education and communication.
Improving science and technology education and communication.

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Scandalous denial of democracy in the European negotiations on electric fishing

Paris, 4 October 2018

Today, negotiations on the Technical Measures Regulation, which will decide the fate of electric fishing in Europe, resumed after a long summer break. The three institutions (Commission, Council and Parliament) met in the Parliament in Strasbourg in a closed-door "Trilogue" meeting. A "shadow" rapporteur from each of the nine European political groups follows the negotiations to ensure that the Parliament's position is respected and defended by the rapporteur of the file, in this case the Spanish MEP Gabriel Mato of the conservative party EPP (European People's Party), known for his positions in favor of industrial fishing lobbies.

This morning, Gabriel Mato showed his true colors by categorically refusing that the political group of the European United Left ("GUE") be represented by French MEP Younous Omarjee. The latter, commissioned by his group, went to the Trilogue meeting but was expelled by Gabriel Mato in a violent denial of democracy denounced by Younous Omarjee in a video posted on Twitter. The meeting, which is due to continue this afternoon, was held with the scandalous absence of the GUE group while the fate of electric fishing was being discussed.

The rotating Presidency of the Council, currently held by Austria, has indicated its willingness to quickly wrap up the Technical Measures Regulation, but the proposed political compromise on electric fishing is unacceptable as it stands. French Green MEP Yannick Jadot analyzed the proposed compromise (released online here: and showed that it allows, despite cosmetic phrasing intended to confuse a non-expert reader, to continue electric fishing and even to extend it in the future through a proposal from the European Commission.

The Chair of the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee, French MEP Alain Cadec (EPP group), stated on Twitter that the rapporteur (Gabriel Mato) had "a clear mandate from the Parliament for a full ban on electric fishing". He added: "we will be very vigilant and if necessary the plenary vote will confirm the first reading". He was referring to the fact that any political compromise would necessarily have to go back to Parliament for approval. Apparently, Gabriel Mato does not seem determined to defend the Parliament's position as voted in January 2018.

Claire Nouvian, BLOOM’s Founder and Chair, concluded: "With such untransparent and undemocratic processes, European decision-makers are threatening the integrity of our precious European unity and freedom. It is not only artisanal fishers from France, the UK, Belgium or Germany who are concerned, it is all of us, European citizens."

Media contacts:

Claire Nouvian - Chair and Founder, +33 (0) 6 13 40 50 43 -

Frédéric Le Manach - Scientific Director, +33 (0) 6 52 52 79 14 -

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The Cawthron Coastal and Freshwater team are searching for a full-time, permanent Marine Invertebrate Taxonomist.

This person will assist with sorting, processing and identification of marine fauna samples, and when opportunities arise be involved in fieldwork, results analysis and write up across a range of marine projects. The ability to show initiative, manage time effectively and work well in a team is essential. Suitable candidates will be tertiary qualified with a BSc (zoology preferred) and have relevant experience in marine invertebrate taxonomy.

This role is based in Nelson, one of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand. It's a unique opportunity to work for a highly respected institute and relocate to an amazing region that will give you the lifestyle balance you’ve been looking for.

If you need extra inspiration and encouragement, check out this great list of 15 reasons why you should move to Nelson:

Apply for this role via

by Friday, 5 October 2018.

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Deep sea octocorals as an important habitat all of their own. Photos and videos of octocorals around Johnston Atoll from a cruise of the Okeanos Explorer.

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Now accepting applications for the Training Course on Geospatial Techniques for Coastal Mapping and Monitoring (using QGIS), to be held between 26-30 November, in Hyderabad, India, until 30 September 2018.

We therefore invite you to share this information among potential interested candidates in your country and Region.

Detailed information on the course overview, Objectives, Target Audience, etc., is available on the link as well as the INCOIS website, and the course flyer attached.

Interested candidates should submit their application online on or by 30 September 2018.

NOTE: priority will be given to participants originating from the Indian Ocean Rim countries. Limited funding (including travel grants) for participation is available for researchers from developing countries. No registration fee is required. UNESCO is committed to promote gender equality. Therefore, applications from women candidates are strongly encouraged.

For any queries please contact: Dr TVS Udaya Bhaskar, OTGA India Regional Training Centre Coordinator ( or Claudia Delgado, OTGA Project Manager, ( or with subject line OTGA-INCOIS Training Course: Geospatial Techniques for Coastal Mapping and Monitoring (using QGIS), 26-30 November, 2018, Hyderabad, India”.

Kind regards,

Claudia Delgado

The UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE is certified as a Learning Services Provider (ISO 29990:2010).

The OceanTeacher Global Academy is a Project of IOC/IODE supported by the Flanders-UNESCO Trust Fund (FUST) of the Government of Flanders, Belgium.

Claudia Delgado

IODE Training Coordinator & OTGA Project Manager

UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE - Wandelaarkaai 7/61 - B-8400 Oostende - Belgium


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Ecological Niche Modelling and Comparative Macroecology using ENMTools.

Instructors: Dan Warren (Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Germany) and Neftalí Sillero (Centro de Investigação em Ciências Geo-Espaciais, Portugal)

Dates: January 14th-18th, 2019.

Place: Capellades, Barcelona (Spain).

In this workshop the instructors will review the basics of Ecological Niche Modelling, focusing on the pros and cons of each type of model.
They will be introduced to new aspects of the ENMTools R package that streamline the ENM process and implement new methods for model visualization and evaluation. Then they will move forward into comparative macroecology, learning how to compare different models and test hypotheses regarding patterns of niche evolution and the environmental significance of biogeographic boundaries. Finally, students will learn new age-overlap correlation functions that allow us to visualize and test patterns of range overlap, niche overlap, and species co-occurrence in the context of a phylogeny.
This workshop will be hands-on, with practical exercises and time for discussion of students´ case study and data.
Students are encouraged to bring their own data to analyse.
More info and registration:

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Tuesday, September 11, 5 pm US EDT/2 pm US PDT/9 pm UTC (Wednesday, September 12, 7 am Australian EST)

Climate-driven species redistribution in marine systems by Gretta Pecl of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and Centre for Marine Socioecology in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Climate change is driving a pervasive global redistribution of the planet’s species, with manifest implications from genes to ecosystems across multiple temporal and spatial scales. Species redistribution defies current approaches to natural resource management that focus on restoring systems to a baseline and are often based on boundaries drawn in the past. Changes in distribution of marine resources creates difficulties, particularly when species cross jurisdictional boundaries and where historical catch rates and assessment processes may no longer be appropriate. Moreover, we are still a long way from understanding the suite of mechanisms and processes underlying the high variation in rate and magnitude of shifts. We have even less understanding of how species redistribution will drive changes in ecological communities and further complicate aspirations of ecosystem-based management. Climate-driven species redistribution therefore presents intriguing ecological challenges to unravel, as well as fundamental philosophical questions and urgent issues related to ecology, fisheries, food security, Indigenous and local livelihoods, and many other aspects of human well-being. This presentation will highlight some of the progress with adaptation planning and adaptation actions at international, national and local scales, including the need for an interdisciplinary approach and stakeholder engagement. Webinar co-sponsored by the NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe). Register for the webinar at

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Of general biodiversity interest, but especially to anyone interested in New Zealand fauna. NIWA's Biodiversity Memoirs are now available for free download as pdfs. Bound copies are available for purchase.

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Of general biodiversity interest, but especially to anyone interested in New Zealand fauna, including octocorals. NIWA's Biodiversity Memoirs are now available for free download as pdfs. Bound copies are available for purchase.

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Just stumbled across this review of octocoral reproduction... seems either the study of this topic or the date of the review ended early 2000's? Anyone know if there is current work on this topic.
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