Coastal Protection

Coastal Areas

Coastal areas are the margin which is found between land and sea and as a transition area influenced by both. Due to certain factors like erosion and deposition they are constantly shrinking and growing over the course of time. Human activities can have a huge negative impact on the natural state of coastlines. Modification of the shoreline through enhanced urbanization diminishes the natural seashores, coastal habitats are being ignored and polluted, modified by development and replaced by artificial structures. These activities will increase as the human population living at the coast grows.

The coastal ecosystem is important for humanity because of its high primary productivity, the provision with food and the high aquatic biodiversity it supports. Besides, it provides nesting and feeding areas for waterfowl and migratory birds. The salt marshes often found in coastal regions produce organic matter which is an important foodsource for aquatic organisms. As we all know a large number of cities are located alongside the coast. Coasts serve as important transportation routes and significant sites for industrial and power plants, as well as a source for minerals and fossil resources. Furthermore, they can even be used as a recreation area for tourists. Almost 90 percent of global fisheries rely on coastal waters, and no one can deny their importance.

Climate change will have adverse impacts on coastal ecosystems inter alia through warming and acidification. However, for humanity the greatest fear will come from sea-level rise which is likely to cause more frequent flooding in the near future. Climate change can affect coastal areas in a variety of ways such as sea-level rise, changes in the frequency and intensity of storms, increase in precipitation, and warmer ocean temperatures. Nowadays, ocean warming further magnifies anoxic conditions in the deep sea. This is due to the fact that biochemicals processes generally run even faster at higher temperatures. Bacteria decompose the remains of sunk plankton and use oxygen in the process. The higher the temperature, the faster the bacterial metabolism and the more oxygen will be used up or depleted. Furthermore, rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing the oceans to absorb more of the gas and become more acidic. And this rising acidity level can have significant impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems.

Coastal areas are at great risk from natural disasters such as tsunamis, landslides and flooding. For the habitats and people within their range, these disasters can have devastating consequences. Efforts are underway today to alleviate the dangers through various early warning systems with the help of technology, however, natural disasters remain unpredictable. In recent years, the impacts of natural disasters have become more and more severe. With the threats of climate change and sea-level rise, the reduction of natural disasters in the coastal areas receives increased attention.

There are many kinds of natural disasters that can affect coastal areas. Examples are tropical cyclones, tsunamis, numerous typhoons, river flooding, flash floodings, landslides, river banker erosion, droughts, and all other adverse natural phenomena. For example, tropical cyclones are products of the tropical ocean and atmosphere, powered by heat from the sea. As tropical cyclones reach the land, they can produce storm surge along the coasts. Tsunamis, on the other hand are temporary waves in the ocean which have periods longer than wind waves or sea swells, but shorter than ocean tides. A tsunami is usually created by a sudden movement or elevation change of the ocean floor from events like earthquakes, underwater landslides, and volcanic eruptions. Another form of disasters are coastal floods, which are primarily caused by heavy rain events associated with storms and storm surges. Understanding the magnitude of disaster losses is important for a wide range of decisions, including evaluating the effectiveness of disaster alleviation and understanding trends in vulnerability.

In 1941, Japan became the first country in the world to implement a tsunami warning system at the meteorological station Sendai, a large city on the east coast. A seismometer was permanently installed there to estimate the strength and approximate the distance of earthquakes. From then on tsunami warnings were announced on the radio, and police stations were informed in the affected regions. As a rule, it took 20 minutes from assessment of the earthquake data until a tsunami warning was given. In 1952, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) implemented a nation-wide tsunami warning system. In the Aleutian Islands (USA), efforts to develop a warning system also began relatively early. For a long time, Japan generated warnings only for its coast, while the system in the United States rapidly developed into an international warning centre for the entire Pacific realm.

The least we can do to protect our coastal areas before it is too late is trying to conserve it through different methods such as breakwater, gabions, revetments and sea walls. The breakwater is one way of protecting coastal areas which are sloping. When the waves hit the breakwaters, their power is reduced, so that it prevents the cliff from being eroded. Gabions, on the other hand, are a strong wire cages with pebble stones and rocks inside it. They protect the coastlines by stopping the heavy waves from hitting the cliff, which also diminishes their power. At the same time, groynes can be used. They are fences that go along the beach to prevent longshore drift, and therefore also absorb the energy from the waves. They have the added ability to trap the sediments from not washing away from the coast. Revetments are also another method that plays a great role in conserving the coast. They are slope like structures placed on banks or cliffs in such manner as to absorb the energy from oncoming water. Finally, sea walls are curved concrete walls that stop strong waves hitting the cliff so to protect the foot of the cliff from erosion and flooding.

If the coast is to be conserved as a habitat, it must be protected. This needs not only good management of coastal areas, considering all stakeholder groups, but also maintaining a catalog of effective coastal protection measures that can be adapted as sea-levels rise. One challenge that remains is creating places to live for coastal habitants that lose their homes because of climate change. The way that we use the coast will determine what is left for future generation.   

A text by Yonathan Kibreab


Mangroves are woody plants that grow at the interface between land and sea in tropical and subtropical latitudes where they exist in conditions of high salinity, extreme tides, strong winds, high temperatures and muddy, anaerobic soils. There may be no other group of plants with such highly developed morphological and physiological adaptations to extreme conditions. These adaptations include exposed breathing roots, a mechanism to actively remove salt such as salt excreting leaves, and unique reproductive strategies such as the ability to produce growing and naturally buoyant offspring capable of traveling great distances. Mangroves are remarkably tough. Most live on muddy soil, but some also grow on sand, peat and coral rock. They live in water up to 100 times saltier than most other plants can tolerate. They thrive despite twice-daily flooding by ocean tides, even if this water would be fresh, the flooding alone would drown most trees. Growing where land and water meet, mangroves withstand the impact of ocean-borne storms and hurricanes. The structure of a mangrove community depends on the environmental conditions within which they are found. In arid, highly saline areas, mangroves may be narrow fringes of stunted trees and shrubs of three meters or less. Whereas, mangrove forests in more suitable conditions are more dense forests with canopies of 30 meters or more.

Various species use different parts of mangroves as a habitat, including the canopy, branches, and the submerged roots. Many species of birds and insects can be found within the mangrove canopy. A wide range of mammal species also use mangroves, including deer, bats, monkeys, dugongs, and even tigers. Mangrove forests are also habitats for reptiles such as snakes, crocodiles, and lizards, such as the estuarine crocodile and the mangrove monitor lizard, both of which show high association with mangroves. Below the water surface, the submerged roots are a habitat for fish and crustaceans. The mangrove roots are covered by a wide variety of attached species, including sponges, oysters, and mussels, all of which help to filter the water, through their burrowing activities and consumption of mangrove leaves. Mangroves provide several important functions to animals such as breeding and nesting grounds, nurseries, shelter areas, as well as feeding habitats. A number of migratory bird species rely on mangroves and adjacent landscapes as wintering and roosting sites along their migratory routes.

Coastal forests help the fight against global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, most of which is stored within the plant. When mangrove tree roots, branches and leaves die they are usually covered by soil, which is then submerged under tidal water, slowing the breakdown of materials and boosting carbon storage. River and land sediment are trapped by the roots, which protects coastline areas and slows erosion. This filtering process also prevents harmful sediment from reaching coral reefs. Mangroves are often located near the coral reefs and sandy beaches and provide a rich environment for activities like sports fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching tours. But only if we keep them at sustainable levels. The local habitants can be encouraged by generating high income through ecotourism, motivating conservation of the mangrove forests instead of clearing them.

Mangrove forests surround the coastal line like a green belt, they also function as natural breakwaters and prevent coasts from tsunamis and storms. As waves travel through the mangroves, energy is reduced by the mangrove tree roots, trunk, and canopy. Tropical cyclones can cause loss of life and damage to property and infrastructure. Mangrove areas are occasionally subject to tropical cyclones, including large waves, storm surges, and high winds. It is widely believed that mangroves can help reduce risk from such cyclones by decreasing the action of waves and impacts of flooding as a result of storm surges. Where mangroves are extensive they are able to reduce storm surge water depths as the surge flows inland. While storm surge depths may only be reduced by 5-50 cm per kilometer width of mangroves, nevertheless a small reduction in water level can already greatly reduce the extent of flooding in low lying areas behind the mangroves. Debris movement can also be reduced by mangroves, the complex network of roots and branches can serve to trap even large moving objects. 

On every coastline waves and currents create change, sometimes bringing sediments to the coast, but sometimes causing erosion and the loss of land. Where mangroves occur they generally reduce erosion and enhance sedimentation. The mangrove vegetation reduces wave energy and slows the flow of water over the soil surface, reducing the water’s capacity to dislodge sediments and carry them out of the mangrove area. At the same time, the slower water flows can allow already suspended sediments to settle out from the water, resulting in increased deposition of sediment. Typical mangrove soils are rich in organic matter produced by the mangroves themselves, including living roots but also dead leaves and woody materials. The dense network of fine roots helps to prevent the soil from erosive forces and to trap and bind soil particles together. Because mangrove soils are often waterlogged and so have very low oxygen content, much of this organic matter accumulates, forming a layer of peat that increases in thickness over time.

Mangrove forests have been destroyed in recent years in many places,  mangrove forests were drained to gain land for port facilities or hotels. Mangroves were also destroyed in many regions for the construction of shrimp breeding farms, which is a threat to the often poor coastal mangrove population. Since the nursery of fish disappears with the mangroves, fishermen already catch significantly less fish in many areas. And due to the loss of coastal protection, storms today often cause much more damage than just a few years ago. When mangroves are lost, the patterns of sediment movements can change dramatically, where mud and soil were stable or even gradually building up, they may begin to erode so that land disappears into the sea. Further, drainage and conversion of mangrove areas to other uses leads to the rapid breakdown of organic matter as oxygen becomes available in the soil, which in turn causes subsidence. This is very clearly seen in several coastal areas where mangroves have been converted to aquaculture or agriculture.

Mangroves provide goods in the form of wood for construction, fuelwood, charcoal, furniture, fish traps, as well as nontimber forest products such as honey, fruit, medicine, wine and palm thatch for roofing. Mangrove products may be harvested for direct consumption or income through trade and employment. Under favorable conditions, mangrove species are fast-growing, with a high crop rotation period for semi-cultivated stands, providing ready sources of timber and forest products to coastal communities. The resistance of mangroves to termites means it makes them even preferable. However large scale industrial harvesting for timber, wood chip and pulp production has often caused total clearance.

Loss of mangrove resources will also result in less secure livelihoods and reduced incomes. Impacts on the fuelwood, fishing, and tourism services provided by mangroves will affect subsistence livelihoods directly, but also employment and cash economies. Prices for products will increase and employment opportunities decline. There may be reduced availability of materials for house and boat construction, with the need to purchase alternative materials that may not only be less suitable but will make further financial claims on poor households. Fishing may be feasible only for those with boats that can travel further afield, or for fishermen who can afford the fuel. 

A text by Yonathan Kibreab

Our mangrove project MANGREEN

Since 2005 we have been successfully working on coastal protection in Tamil Nadu, together with our partner Omcar. Through school and women projects, seminars for fishermen and many other actions we have managed to make the population there aware of the necessity and the benefits of a healthy coastline and ocean. We would like to thank all involved partners and sponsors for their support.
After 10 years this project has now been supported with international aid and is successfully targeting a multitude of marine conservation topics at the Palk Bay Information Centre we helped build.

DEEPWAVE is still a partner and actively helping and supporting all efforts.

Artificial reefs

Whether they are concrete blocks or dumping sites for old cars: So-called artificial reefs can be found in all climatic zones of this planet. While some forms of these reefs support certain fish species one should not forget the worrisome background of these constructs. Even though some of these reefs are well thought through and aimed towards environmental reconstruction and protection, others are seen as a cheap and easy way for getting rid of, for example, old truck tires or shipwrecks. Again others, such as oil platforms, are, hopefully, only a short-lived part of the reef system.
Artificial reefs provide new habitat for certain animal and plant species in the ocean. However, some of the organisms it attracts are not wanted (so-called invasive species) and may even cause harm to the endemic species. Further, certain species are found to accumulate at these reefs, making them more prone to being overfished. In some cases, it was even found that these artificial reefs release toxins and other harmful substances into the ocean.
The creation of artificial reefs for the sole purpose of supporting fisheries and tourism is a concept we wholeheartedly disagree with. Some of these reefs have a strongly adverse environmental impact, such as waste oil or heavy metal leakage, and should thus not be deposited in the ocean. The only exception to this being, if a new ecosystem has already developed around a shipwreck and would be destroyed with its removal.
There is a need for more research into this field, as we have little to no data on the long-term effects of these artificial reefs. In light of this, it seems vital to protect coral reefs from further destruction, as nothing can replace a natural habitat to its full capabilities, whilst stressed or partially destructed habitats should be given the time to re-establish themselves. It seems that artificial reefs are mostly viewed as a cheap and easy way out of dealing with the ever-growing land-based production of rubbish and old cars should not find their way into the ocean under the name of “environmental protection” but should instead be taken care of under the proper guidelines, on land.

Text: Onno Groß, 2016

Current information regarding coastal protection can be found in the World Ocean Review 5.

“Segeln gegen Proteinpiraten” (engl.: Sailing to stop protein-pirates)

Segeln gegen Proteinpiraten

The industrial nations have hopelessly overfished the oceans. Now we are exploiting the oceans in the south: Like pirate fleets highly developed fleets leave their mark on traditional fishing grounds. By doing so, we destroy the fragile ecosystems at the see floor for the following generations. On land the shrimp-farms from tropical aquaculture are destroying mangrove forests. The fish food the exported prawn is originally sourced from these fragile systems. Thus, what fills our freezers forces others to starve…

July 2006. Ecosystem-tour in the Baltic Sea is dedicated to global overfishing and the destructive prawn farms

KAPPELN/GREIFSWALD. Take in the ocean breeze, live an adventure and make others aware of the fatal effect overfishing has on the ocean: This is what will happen July 2006 on the “Segeln gegen Proteinpiraten” Tour in the Baltic Sea. The aim of this Tour, organised by the human rights organisation FIAL in corporation with the environmental protection organisation DEEPWAVE e.V., is to raise awareness and inform about the global shrimp- and factory fisheries.

Through talks, action theatre and films the customers, tourists and coastal inhabitants are being sensitised for the drastic ecological and economical effects. The antique “Lovis” will be hosting various open seminars by different human rights and environmental protection organisations from Germany, Spain, England, the Netherlands, and India on board. Different theatre performances and open-air cinema experiences on the “Lovis” sails provide a spectacular atmosphere for the guests. From Kappern, the Schlei fjord and Denmark all the way to Greiswald.

Press kit, with 24 pages of background information on overfishing and prawn farms. (German only)

Flyer for the protein-pirate-tour.

Organizer: DEEPWAVE e.V. (Marine Conservation) / FIAN  /Food First Information- and Action Network) / Böe e.V. (“Educational Lugger” “Lovis”)Partner: Deutscher Elasmo-Branchier-Gesellschaft (DEG, association for the protection of rays and sharks), Omcar (NGO for Marine Conservation and Research, India), Robin Wood e.V. (Environmental organisation)

Sponsoring: Bingo Lottery Schleswig-Holstein, Stiftung Umverteilen, Evangelischer Entwicklungsdiesnt, InWEnt

Sink the protein-pirates!

Of course, we cannot actually make protein pirates sink, even though environmental protectors have already tracked illegally fishing ships and have uncovered their doings. And in South America villages are starting to tear down the walls of illegally build shrimp farms and are re-cultivating the mangrove forests.
We, the industrialized nations, must also take action, in order to stop protein pirates. We demand:
• An import ban on tropical cultured shrimp, as long as no binding environmental and social standards are implemented. For the development of these standards, the local community must be taken into consideration and actively participate in the discussions.
• That the EU only allows the import of Fish where the port of origin is clearly discernible. Here, controls must be stricter.
You, the consumer, have more power than you may think:
• Don’t buy from tropical shrimp farms until the animals are bred sustainably.
• Buy from population protecting fisheries in the North and Baltic Sea, rather than the more and more brutal exploitation of southern waters.
• Inquire about the origin of your fish and avoid exploited species.
• Look for sustainable food sources. Try to source most of your produce locally.
• Tell your vendors and politicians what you think about protein pirates.
To make the ocean more than just a way for a fast profit.
To make the ocean available to EVERYONE again.

The protein pirates

The origin of most wild-caught marine fish is problematic. Large fishing fleets nowadays track fish schools with modernized techniques through all oceans. Away from watchful eyes, the high seas seemingly allow these modern pirates to circumvent catch-bans and quotas.
More than half of the world’s fisheries are so drastically overfished, that their populations may soon collapse completely. Through this, we are not only destroying the marine ecosystem: small fisheries in coastal regions suffer from this piracy and have to watch as their livelihood is being pulled away from underneath them. The loss of high grade, protein-rich food is especially difficult for the populations of poorer regions in the south: they cannot afford meat and rely on what they can fish/catch/gather themselves.
Their livelihood is being exported into industrialized nations for the somewhat over-nourished people – if the caught fish is not fed to shrimp in aquaculture immediately. Without the income from the fisheries man of the boats along the West African coast are now being used for the illegal transport of refugees. And on this highly dangerous endeavour, they may once again cross paths with the pirates of the industrialized era: in the open ocean, they load their catch onto ships of EU fleets, which will then sell it as legally caught goods, even in your local supermarket. NGOs across the globe are advising against buying certain marine species, since their origin can no longer be guaranteed. These species are, along with cultured shrimp, also species that are caught via bottom trawlers, such as ling, halibut, and others. Many consumers buy them without being informed about the negative implications.
The management of marine resources also requires committed consumers. Only through your decisions will food resources become more environmentally sustainable. And your decisions have an effect on the wellbeing of the population in the South.
“The prawns live better than we do. They have electricity, we don’t. They have clean water, we don’t. They have mountains of food, we have to starve.”
A fisherman in the Philippines

Shrimp – a luxury trap

There are more than 2.000 prawn-species world wide, of which only 300 are being used commercially. These diverse little creatures have many names: shrimp are the smaller ones, prawns the larger ones, in German they are called Garnelen, the Spanish call them Gambas, and the French call them Crevettes. Italians, on the other hand, say Scampi to a Norway lobster/Dublin Bay prawn, whilst they (Cragon cragon) are called Krabbe in the North Sea.
In the frozen section of any supermarket you will find:
• Peneaus mondon (giant tiger prawn): Also known as black tiger, king prawn or giant prawn. Up to 35 cm long, this species is a warm water organism and is the market leader in aquaculture species in indopacific countries such as Thailand and Indonesia. Farms annually produce about 650.000 tons.
• Litopeneaus vannamei (Whiteleg shrimp): Also known as pacific white shrimp or kind prawn. Up to 23 cm long, and originating from farms in the tropics of South America, especially Ecuador. Makes up approximately 16 percent of the world market shares.
• Pandalus borealis (Northern prawn): Also known as coldwater prawn, pink shrimp, deep-sea prawn, Maine shrimp, great northern prawn or northern shrimp. Approximately 400.000 tons are being caught in the North Atlantic annually, with up to 90 percent by-catch of animals such as clams, urchin, sea stars and others.
Relatively new on the market are shrimp which are being cultured according to ecological standards. Here, antibiotics are not being used and mangrove forests stay unharmed. However, these ecological raising pens don’t create more jobs, and the eco-shrimp still end up in the freezers of well-nourished people in the northern hemisphere.

Shrimp leave you hungry!

The rearing of shrimp in farms along the tropical coast of Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa are almost entirely for the export into industrialized Nations, which are already overrun with animal-based protein. Even in our supermarkets, we can now find the once pricey luxury-foods to discount prices. The effects of shrimp farms are drastic. For the pens, big areas of mangrove forests must be cut down. Even before then Tsunami in 2004 it has been known that this highly productive ecosystem is vital for coastal protection and the regeneration of the ocean. The over-application of antibiotics, pesticides, and chemicals leave nothing but polluted waters and unusable land.
Not just nature, but also society, is suffering from these farming pens. A farm of 200 to 500 ha creates 5 full time and 5 seasonal jobs. In comparison to that 1 ha mangrove forest can provide an income for 10 families. However, the shrimp-farmers and the government often deny access to once public regions and coastal waters. Anyone who puts up a fight will be threatened and often killed. In India, 50.000 people have been displaced this way.
Often people are left with no other options than to leave the region or to accept occasional jobs at the shrimp-packaging factories. A worker talks about the ordeal: “In the packaging factories, we work four to seven days a week during the three-month season. We work in freezing cold rooms, beheading prawn from 7 am until midnight or 2 am, standing up. In between you would eat a couple of shrimp with plantains, also standing up…” – 2006.

„Sailing against protein-pirates“

Article by Martina Möller (FIAN, group Hamburg)

… was the motto of a nine-days sailing tour with the lugger “Lovis” over the Baltic sea. Our pirate, a skull-like image with a shrimp between his teeth, nevertheless did not stand for the romanticized “Likedeeler” pirates, which some centuries ago navigated these waters, but for two very modern and ugly versions of piratism: On the one hand the ruthless overfishing of the seas by so-called factory vessels, in which also illegal fleets take an important part. On the other hand the shrimp industry, which in pursuit of a short-time-profit destroy those tropical ecosystems that used to guarantee the survival of the coastal populations. The intention of our tour was to create awareness of these problems among the consumers of tropical shrimp and other marine species and to motivate more responsible consumer behavior.

The tour started on the 08. of July with a press conference in Kappeln, on the ship which was decorated with banners. Wind, weather and our dependence on permissions of the port authorities didn’t let us dock in every projected harbor and led to a zigzag course between Germany and Denmark. Between the German harbours, there were Maasholm, Heiligenhafen, Barhöft, Stralsund, and Greifswald-Wiek, but we also came e.g. to Nysted (D) and Gedser (D).
The tour ended in Greifswald, our destination and port of registry of the “Lovis”.

During the cruise, we offered lectures, short films, and discussions, where the travelers could exchange and amplify their knowledge about different issues. Besides representatives of FIAN, Deepwave and Böe e.V., we also had an Indian marine biologist from the NGO Omcar on board, an experience, we all gained a lot from. As an alternative to the usual informative events, we have chosen for this tour an unorthodox, experimental presentation of the subjects: After the arrival of the ship, people who passed by could run across a drumming shoal of fishes, whose actors were moving through the place with fish-masks on their faces and distributed flyers advertising the evening screening on the mainsail of the “Lovis”. Perhaps the unsuspecting summer visitor, who strolled over the quay, was also presented a silver tray with shrimps appetizers, offered by an elegantly dressed lady. Many could not overcome the temptation and helped themselves to one of the shiny pink appetizers. But cautious! No sooner had they eaten the surprisingly sweet delicacy than a colorful procession (parade?) of figures approached from the crowd and quickly surrounded its victim. Between them, the actors carried along a big net full of coloured foam objects: Beside all kinds of fish and marine creatures, also two artificial mangrove trees and several writings like f. ex. “human rights”, “drinking water”, “justice”, “education” or “biodiversity” are to be found. A ragged fisherman and an unhappy shell collector got also caught in the net and showed their miserable catch. “All this is bycatch”, it was explained to the appalled gourmet, “so you will have to take it also.” What a good luck that our alleged shrimp appetizers were composed only of cake with a pink icing… The little theatre scene was followed by an explication of the contents of the bycatch net and the background of the campaign. We also informed about our foto exposition, the information booth and other attractions in front of the ship. There, apart from information about our organizations, we also presented the development project of our fellow traveler Dr. Balaji from India.

With this common project of a human rights- an environmental organization and the association of the “Educational Lugger Lovis” (all the participating NGOs see below), we wanted to clarify to the consumers in the industrial countries the consequences of current fishing policy: In order to prey on a maximum profit, the current policy does not use but virtually destroy the natural resources. Today’s fishing methods do not admit the conservation of fish resources and they destroy the means of existence of local small scale fisheries, also in our country. In addition, ecosystems which feed coastal populations in southern countries for hundreds of years, are now destroyed for luxury foods like tropical shrimps. In many countries of Asia, Latin America and nowadays also Africa, this industry contaminates whole coastal areas with chemicals and deprive the people of their traditional livelihood – without offering them alternatives. Therefore, the comparison with lootings of pirates is not far-fetched, but different from the romanticized “Likedeeler”-pirates, these pirates seize their prey from the poorest and weakest and sell it to the rich industrial countries of the North – to us.

We, therefore, recommend to all shrimp-aficionados to renounce products from tropical aquacultures and to buy in a responsible way, f. ex. by means of the fish shopping guide from Greenpeace, we offered at our information booth.

In spite of our voluminous press release and advance notice, there was not much eco from the press. An exception was the city of Stralsund, where we received a visit from a representative of the newspaper “Ostsee-Zeitung”. The article which was published there was quite detailed. Primarily, we planned in Stralsund also an event together with the Sea Museum, but because of the security measures due to the Bush-visit to that city, we didn’t get permission. Instead of the event, a group of our activists visited the museum a day later, distributed information material and then received a visit from the director of the museum, who informed himself in detail about our concern and our projects – including the project of Dr. Balaji. Hereupon, the Sea Museum assured us to incorporate the problem of industrial shrimp aquaculture in its presentation. As well, the Harbour Museum in Hamburg showed interest in this subject.

Although a few people escaped when they saw our actors approaching, most of the summer guests in the harbors reacted positive to our activities, especially as for the shrimps’ appetizers: Most people were surprised that they never or barely heard of the explained problems, and listened to our comments with great interest. Many complimented us on the unusual form of activity and commented with enthusiasm the colorful animal figures.

From these reactions, we see that there is a continuing need for background information about shrimps and similar subjects, and we want to go on working on these issues. During our activities, we displayed a petition on our booth, with three central demands on the responsible persons in policy and economy (f. ex. temporarily import stop of tropical shrimps, proof of origin for fish, etc., a more sustainable fishing policy). Until now, we do not have enough signatures to make it a successful action, so this will be one of our projects for the next months.

The films we showed on our mainsail, are:
“Der Garnelenring” from Heiko Thiele and Dorit Siemer
„Die Proteinpiraten“ from Inge Altmeier

The participating groups and projects were:
FIAN (FoosFirst Information- and Action Network)
Deepwave e.V. (NGO for the protection of the oceans)
Böe e.V., association of the “Educational Lugger “Lovis”

Participants of the tour also:
Deutsche Elasmo-Branchier-Gesellschaft (DEG, association for the protection of rays and sharks)
Omcar (NGO for Marine Conservation and Research), India
Other supporters: Robin Wood e.V. (environmental organization)

Financial support from:
Bingo Lottery Schleswig – Holstein
Stiftung Umverteilen
Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst