Staff needed for the ATSEA2 project, good news for tuna, and other Blue Economy stories.

Welcome to the first Blue Economy Bulletin of 2020. This year sees work beginning for the GEF/UNDP/PEMSEA Project on Implementation of the Arafura and Timor Seas Regional and National Strategic Action Programs Phase (ATSEA2). For this, the project is seeking to hire a number of individuals to take part in the project in various roles. Preference is for individuals from the four ATSEA countries: Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste.

There is good news for the world’s tuna, as there are reports that 8 formerly overfished tuna stocks are thought to now be sustainable and a group of Indonesian companies have committed to improving their longline tuna fishing. Meanwhile new rules have been established to protect rays in the Pacific.

An increase in low-carbon energy generation mean that 2019 saw no increase in energy-related greenhouse gas production compared to 2018. 2019 also saw a record for the amount of money issued as green bonds. However, new research has called into question the carbon sequestration impacts of marine snow.

Follow the latest updates on blue economy and coastal sustainable development in East Asia on Facebook and Twitter (@PEMSEA). We welcome your feedback, and please let us know if there are other blue economy topics you would like to see in future newsletters and programs.


ATSEA2 project staff openings

The PEMSEA Resource Facility (PRF) seeks highly qualified individuals/consultants to fill up the following posts for its regional project on the Implementation of the Arafura and Timor Seas Regional and National Strategic Action Programs (ATSEA2). Read more from PEMSEA.


Endangered migratory birds on collision course with Philippine airport project

Local governments across East Asia commit to the UN SDGs with concrete plans for the next five years. The Strategic Action Plan will focus on four SDGs with clear targets and indicators. Read more from Mongabay.

Black-faced spoonbills (Platalea minor) migrate along the East Asian Australasian flyway. (Charles Lam / Flickr)


Overfishing of the world’s major tuna stocks going down

The Commons Ocean ABNJ program, which ran from 2014 to 2019, saw the number of overfished major tuna stocks drop from 13 to 5. Further, bycatch reduction was increased in areas around the world. Read more from FAO.

Small steps aim to make a large ocean safer for rays

New rules in the western and central pacific prohibit fishermen from targeting manta and devil rays, and obliges them to release all such rays caught accidentally in a manner intended to reduce harm. Read more from Mongabay.

UN meeting opens with call to expand regional networks on cross-boundary disaster

The Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM) noted the importance of building and enhancing disaster capacity in the region. Read more from UNESCAP.

Manta rays risk being killed as bycatch. (Swanson Chan / Unsplash)


Uncovering the mysteries of marine snow

“Marine snow”, organic particles that sink from the ocean surface, have an unclear contribution to carbon sequestration. New research suggests less may be sinking to the ocean floor than previously thought. Read more from PML.

Energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide have stabilised, for now

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has announced that carbon dioxide emissions from energy did not increase from 2018 to 2019. Due to an increase in electricity generation, this means the average emission-intensity of energy generation has decreased. Read more from The Economist.

For World’s Biggest Shark, Ship Strikes an Increasing Problem

The number of whale sharks showing evidence of ship strikes appears to be increasing in Australia. This could be attributable to rising global shipping, of which East Asia is a hub, but the specific cause is unknown. Read more from Hakai Magazine.

“Marine snow” may not sequest as much carbon as previously thought. (NOAA)


Indonesia tuna fleet, processors launch fishery improvement project

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) announced that a group of 14 Indonesian fishing companies and processors have signed a letter of commitment to a new fishery improvement project covering longline tuna. Read more from Undercurrent News.

Coronavirus halts shrimp exports to China

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has affected the ability of Chinese shrimp importers to take shipments. This has caused many Vietnamese shrimp exporters to have to invest in storage. Read more from VNExpress.

Here’s how blockchain could fight illegal fishing and help tuna stocks recover

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing continues to represent a threat to Pacific tuna fisheries. A blockchain system may help track fish from capture to market. Read more from the World Economic Forum.

Tuna fisheries are at risk of overfishing. (Frank Lloyd de la Cruz / Unsplash)


Indonesia aqua startup in talks for new funding

Agritech start-up eFishery, which provides new technology for shrimp and fish aquaculture, is seeking new investment. This company provides products to farmers in a number of East Asian countries. Read more from Nikkei.

Green Bond Highlights 2019

2019 saw a new record for green bond issuance, with $257.7 billion being issued around the world. China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea are among the top 15 issuers. Read more from the Climate Bonds Initiative.

Shrimp aquaculture could be greatly boosted through greater use of technology. (Stephen Kennedy / Flickr)


World Ocean Summit

9-10 March
Tokyo, Japan

3rd ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity

16-20 March
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

6th International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium (ITMEMS)

14-17 April
Manado, Indonesia

Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference

5-7 May
Beijing, China