Will the fishing discard deal be enough to save fish stocks? - The Guardian Will the fishing discard deal be enough to save fish stocks? - The Guardian

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Will the fishing discard deal be enough to save fish stocks? - The Guardian

Will the fishing discard deal be enough to save fish stocks? - The Guardian

A historic deal agreed on Wednesday to end the wasteful practice of throwing away healthy fish in European waters was hailed as a "breakthrough" by campaigners and politicians – but it will not be enough in itself to save fish stocks?

The discards ban will be phased in over several years, and the move to a scientific basis for fishing – a so-called maximum sustainable yield – has been delayed to 2020, which some campaigners said was too late.

EU citizens have been urged to keep fighting on the issue, to try to strengthen the measures and prevent likely backsliding among some member states.

Pressure from the public was one of the biggest factors in securing the deal. People have been so appalled by the throwing back – dead – of millions of tonnes of edible fish while European fish stocks dwindle that politicians were forced to act.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the food writer who spearheaded the FishFight campaign against discards, said the 800,000 people who had signed up to his campaign should be proud. "We have cleared a massive hurdle [in achieving agreement on a ban] and I've been really pleased with the way we've kept this in the public eye," he told the Guardian. "FishFighters should be feeling very upbeat."

But he called on people to keep up the pressure, because Wednesday's agreement will now be subject to months of backroom negotiating and debates in the European parliament. Despite the public support of some MEPs, several member states are against the ban and many MEPs vote in favour of fishing industry interests, so there is no guarantee that the parliament will pass the ban without strong public pressure.

"We are not home and dry," said Fearnley-Whittingstall. "But the outrage factor [among the public] is simply not going away."

There is also a danger that member states will try to backslide on some of the key dates agreed for phasing out discards, which many fishermen want to keep because the practice enables them to boost profits by throwing away lower value fish.

The compromise deal, which will mean discards of edible fish are phased out from 2014 to 2018, was clinched early on Wednesday morning after more than 18 hours of tough negotiations. Some nations held out until the last minute against a ban, before bowing to pressure. France was the fiercest opponent – the French minister was said to have agreed to the compromise only after phoning Francois Hollande, the new prime minister, close to dawn.

But the key dates for phasing out discards – 2014 for species such as mackerel and herring, a gradual phase out between 2015 and 2018 for cod, haddock and other white fish – are still in doubt. That is because they have been included in the agreement on a provisional basis only – they will be the subject of intense negotiations. If the dates survive intact, the European parliament is likely to vote on them in November.

Even if the dates are agreed, the measures will not be enough to guarantee the survival of key fish stocks, however. The delay of a move to a "maximum sustainable yield" until 2020 would result in the further destruction of EU fish stocks, warned Greenpeace. Saskia Richartz, Greenpeace fisheries policy director, said: "After decades of bad fisheries management that has devastated fish stocks, ministers are failing miserably on their promise of an overhaul of EU fisheries management. They want to leave reform hanging in the balance, condemning fish and fishermen to another decade of overfishing and stock decline, with dire consequences for species like cod, hake and tuna."

Xavier Pastor, executive director of the marine conservation group Oceana, said: "Although this result is highly disappointing, particularly with regards to the discard ban, it is realistically the best outcome we could have expected from the Fisheries council. Ministers did not question the need to change fisheries management, they just admitted that they are not ready to do it right now. It is now up to the parliament to lead and make the necessary and immediate changes required."

Announcing New Google Plus (G+) and Google+ Local Training For Business “What … - YAHOO!

Google has converted 80 million Google Places pages worldwide into Google+ Local pages. Google+ trainers Yifat Cohen and Maya Mendoza launch new G+ and Google+ Local courses to teach business owners what they need to know and do to generate leads and increase profits.

Austin, Texas (PRWEB) June 14, 2012

Google Plus is rapidly & completely changing Search and the way people find things online. And as Google integrate all Google services into Plus (G+) the question for every business must be: What will this mean for your business?

The latest change has seen the demise of Google Places. Google Places (Maps) has been a powerful Search & Reviews ally for companies looking to boost their local popularity. Now Google is taking the first step to eradicate millions of Google Places pages and morph then all into new Google+ Local pages.

Why is Google making these changes?

Maya Mendoza, Social SEO trainer and founder of Milagro Fusion Marketing said:

“This is Google's move to ramp up social integration. Fundamentally Google+ Local Pages for business are an evolution of Places pages with a more powerful and comprehensive system for customer and client reviews”

Google believe that the new Google+ Local will bring people more relevant and better trusted results from their search queries.

Mendoza continues “This really is quite an exciting shift and businesses can expect a lot more radical changes to come".

As with any update there are bugs and lingering issues as a result of the major update. It appears that the transition from Google Places into the new Google+ Local pages have left many Google business users in a state of confusion and disarray.

For business owners who use Google Places already and understand the power that it brings to local search this integration with Google+ Business Pages has generated both concern and excitement.

When asked how Google Places owners have responded to the changes Hangouts Host and G+GoTo Gal Yifat Cohen said:

"The main concern Google business users have expressed is that the changes came with no apparent warning. Many are worried about how Google+ Local will effect their search results and page rank and do not know what steps to take to maximise this opportunity."

Cohen continued "Although Google are promising increased merchant benefits from the new business rating system, and are planning to roll out many more helpful merchant features, this radical and sudden change to how they generate business has rocked the boat"

Both Cohen and Mendoza agree that the sudden switch over to Google+ Local pages raises a lot of questions for business owners. They have joined forces to bring effective Strategic Google Plus (G+) and Google+ Local Training & Services to their clients and a wider business audience across the USA and UK.

“The message that business can no longer afford to ignore the impact of social search is not getting across to people” says Mendoza “both Yifat Cohen and I are on a mission to help people get on board and benefit before their businesses get left behind”.

Business owners who wish to get more information about the upcoming trainings may register their interest by completing a short form at this Google Plus Training page

Patrick Tuttle
Milagro Fusion Marketing
443 807 8383
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