World Wetlands Day 2007 - To Event Organizers

01/11/2006


To WWD Event Organizers

World Wetlands Day - Fish for Tomorrow?

About the World Wetlands Day materials

Dear WWD Event Organiser:

Our suggested theme on wetlands and fisheries for World Wetlands Day 2007, with the slogan Fish for Tomorrow, is one that touches almost everyone, wherever you live and whatever you do. Most of us eat fish (including shellfish), indeed 1 billion people rely on them as their main or even sole source of protein. Yet the current state of the world's fisheries is a matter of great concern. While 75% of our commercially important marine fisheries and many of our inland stocks are currently being overfished or are being fished at their biological limits, the demand for fish continues to grow - indeed it has doubled over the last 40 years and is likely to continue to grow as global population increases. In addition, of the 35 million people currently involved in the industry, 95% live in developing countries and the majority are small-scale fishers: their livelihoods depend on making sure that there will be fish for tomorrow.

This is a central issue for Ramsar, of course - inland and marine fisheries depend on healthy, functional wetlands. Near-shore coastal wetlands are the nursery grounds of deeper ocean species and most of the coastal species that make up fish catches, and mangroves and temperate coastal wetlands support marine aquaculture. Inland fisheries, both capture and aquaculture, are of course equally dependent on healthy lakes, ponds and rivers.

The solutions to the problems facing the world's fisheries are multiple and we have taken a close look at this in the leaflet we have produced for WWD (more information on this below). To briefly summarise, we have considered the importance of:

  • better management of capture fisheries at international, national and local levels, including the implementation of Ramsar's guidelines on fisheries and FAO's Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries amongst many other management approaches;
  • improved marine and inland aquaculture practices, since this now supplies around 40% of the fish (including, of course, prawns, lobster, oysters, etc.) that we eat;
  • a conscientious approach to buying and consuming fish wherever possible;
  • a sustainable approach to recreational fishing which can have significant effects on inland and marine fisheries in some cases.

To support World Wetlands Day activities in 2007, the Secretariat is sending you in this package a number of materials which we hope will help you to animate your activities. Enclosed you will find:

  • Posters and stickers on the theme in both hard copy and in printable format on the CD.
  • A full colour, 16-page leaflet that takes a global look at some of the key issues in wetlands and fisheries. As a potential organiser of WWD activities, we hope that presenting this global perspective of specific problems and possible solutions, including a number of specific case studies from around the world, will be a source of information and inspiration as you take a local/national approach to wetlands and fisheries for WWD 2007. The leaflet is available as PDF files in low and high resolution on the CD.
  • A web animation that takes some of the key problems and solutions articulated in the leaflet and presents them in a 7-minute animation that can be played at WWD events. This is available on the CD as an executable file for PCs and MACs. It is also available as an SWF file that can be played through your browser.
  • A do-it-yourself-fish that is intended for children from 7-70 years old attending WWD events! This is available on the CD as PDF files, including an instruction sheet and 11 different fish.

We hope you will join us on 2nd February and celebrate the capacity of healthy wetlands to support fish, sustainable fisheries, and fishers.

Here are some additional points for you to consider:

  • We encourage everyone to consider customising and printing our materials using the original design files, which we will be happy to supply to you on CD-ROM. This has many advantages: making the images and text relevant to your own situation; translating the text into your local or national language; printing many, many more copies than we could hope to supply. On our Web site, at: http://www.ramsar.org/outreach_materials_translations4.htm you can see what some people have done in previous years. Please write to wwd@ramsar.org if you would like to receive the design files - and don't forget to include your full mailing address. For further technical details on the design files, please visit http://www.ramsar.org/wwd/7/caxref:6028.

With best wishes,

The Ramsar Secretariat

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