A new report has found that shearwaters have a high debri load, packing plastic on their annual migration.
Short tailed shearwaters in V shaped flocks the size of Boeing 747s are winging their way across the Pacific Ocean towards the Gold Coast carrying an unwelcome payload.
They make landfall around the Gold Coast on their 15000km return from the Alaska to nesting grounds in Bass Strait this time every year, but new information has emerged about just how many of them are carrying plastic in their guts.
Two thirds of all Australia’s 28 million shearwaters have ingested plastic in the stomachs, the lead analyst of a three year marine debris research project says.
CSIRO Senior Research Scientist Chris Wilcox says one of the most surprising findings of his analysis was how much plastic and debris is in shearwaters and animals in general.
The head of a local environment NGO in Vietnam has accused rhino horn (sung te giac) consumers in her country of tainting Vietnam’s image internationally.
“The international image of our country has been negatively portrayed as a result of the actions of a very small group of people in our society who consume rhino horn, or are directly involved in the killing and smuggling of rhino horns,” says Vu Thi Quyen, Executive director of Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV).
Ms Quyen’s comments come as an anti-rhino-horn-trade delegation from Vietnam, including three celebrity pop stars, Hong Nhung, Thu Minh and Thanh Bui return home from an awareness-raising visit to South Africa.
“At Kruger National Park, we had the opportunity to witness the most horrific scene: a bloated dead rhino that had been slaughtered by poachers, its horn hacked off and its body left to rot in the bush,” Hong Nhung says.
National Park officials said the rhino was one of nine that reportedly died in one week in Kruger, as a result of increased poaching due to the improved visibility during the full moon.
EVN has been running a campaign online to discourage the use of rhino horn in Vietnam where it is ground into a powder and drank like milk.
“Each Vietnamese citizen should take responsibility for helping stop the rhino horn trade, by letting
consumers know how foolish they are for thinking that the use of rhino horn makes them special in any
way,” Ms Quyen says.
Originally posted on Vietnam Swans:
The Vietnam Swans comfortably accounted for the Philippine Eagles on tour in front of a fantastic ladies day crowd. Rain couldn’t dampen the post match vibe. Great night at the Spotted Cow and beyond followed. The Swans can take confidence from their performance but must realize that the ‘real’ Philippine Eagles will be ready and waiting at home for the Asian Champs in a few weeks!
A South African court has given a Chinese National the longest sentence ever in the country for possession of ivory.
Cheng Jie Liang, who has lived in South Africa since 2003, received a 10 year sentence with three years suspended if he pays his fine for possession of one ton of poached elephant tusks that he had in a storage unit.
It was alleged that he was high up in a smuggling ring.
The Cape Times reported:
“In passing sentence, Magistrate Johan Venter questioned why Liang had come to South Africa.
“Immediately after he had arrived in 2003 he had been convicted of illegal abalone possession.
“And here you stand before court again and are found to be part of a syndicate… It is still a mystery where you get your income and where it is paid. Why this mystery? The question arises, is it not perhaps from the syndicate, that is why it is not disclosed?” Venter said.
“He referred to judgements which said the personal interests of the accused should not prevail above those of the public. Sentences should be a deterrent, so potential poachers and smugglers would know they were be prosecuted and properly sentenced.”
She has been named Bladerunner for so long that people have forgotten where the name came from.
I would have put my money on the name being coined by a fisherman or a whale watching outfit or some old salt but I would have been very wrong.
She was given that name by someone who never even saw her in the ocean, someone sitting at a desk in an office.
I first heard the female humpback’s name earlier this year from marine scientist David Donnelly when I was researching where the East Coast population of humpbacks go during Summer.
Bladerunner came up in the conversation because she was recognised by the scarring on her back with a calf (a sign of a good recovery) in the Southern Ocean south of Perth.
This sighting so far west was evidence that as the humpback population grows their migratory patterns are becoming more diverse. Most of the population migrates to areas of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean south of New Zealand so she was quite a long way from her usual route.
After that she went off my radar again until I became interested in how whale species got their names.
I found out why Southern Rights were named rights etc and then I turned my mind to how Bladerunner got her name.
The first thing I found when I did a Google search was the photo. Horrendous scars
I was surprised to find out how famous she was She was appearing in many articles because her survival was so miraculous and she was so easy to distinguish.
Then I found a 2013 report of a sighting in Port Macquarie with an additional photo Bladerunner’s fresh wounds taken in 2001 by Australian Newspaper photographer Glenn Campbell.
I contacted him and this is what he remembered of the naming:
“From what I remember the wounds were pretty fresh , the low quality of the digital cameras in those days don’t really bring out the extent of the injuries.
“No Bladerunner was not my idea but the editor of the Telegraph Campbell Reid’s input and I just had a 600mm lens with me and got right over it above the 500ft ceiling for whales and then for the next week or so was put aboard a helicopter to follow the poor creature up the coast , we lost it north of Coffs Harbour.
“…it was on the front of the OZ , Tele , Courier mail the next day and then onto the rest of the English papers.”
So it was one of the big guys in the Australian media industry Campbell Reid who gave her a name that will no doubt stick for many years to come.
Another lead had led me to Ros Butt from Cat Balou Cruises in Eden.
Ros saw Bladerunner last year and once before in 2008 but she only knew of the name from media reports.
She was happy to supply the photo and thanks to all these people we can all know Bladerunner a little bit better.
The big winter swell continues but today there is an impossible sweep and a strong southerly.
The swells are frothy, Saharan dust stormed and feral, All Black-like in there offensive lines, intense, prone to shock and surprise, except probably not as consistent.
After these shots I go to Kirra. Huge Kirra three times over head and barrelling slower than Monday.
I park, suit up and walk down to the South side of Greenmount hill and drift to Kirra Surf. Massive sweep. It’s funky and ripply and I take a couple of littlies.
Drift quicky past the groin during a long lull. Whinge to a few salmon paddling up stream. Then a set comes and I don’t take the first one, but the second is so far out. It just grabs me like the All Black forward pack and pushes me backwards grunting and heaving past Kirra Surf.
Nothing to do but surrender.
On the long cold return in the day’s last green grey light I walk backwards shivering and beaten to watch a surfer getting towed in on about three long waves, doing three deep barrels a wave at super speed. He was riding waves from Pizza Hut through to past Kirra Surf disappearing almost in the dark distance. Massive triple over headers smashing every part of their face pulling in and coming out of barrel after barrel… I later heard it was local big wave riding legend Dean Morrison
Click here to see Mick Fanning at Kirra videoed by Craig Halstead and posted on Coastal Watch.
Photos copyright Mic Smith
Originally posted on journlaw:
By MARK PEARSONFollow @Journlaw
[Research assistance from media freedom intern Jasmine Lincoln]
Memo to:Benjamin Ismail, Bureau Asie-Pacifique, Reporters sans frontiers (RSF – Reporters Without Borders), Paris.
From: Mark Pearson, RSF correspondent, Australia
They are highly likely to threaten Australia’s ranking on your forthcoming RSF World Press Freedom Index.
A raft of new laws and policies proposed by the conservative Abbott Government has placed its stamp on media law and free and open public commentary.
The initiatives follow in the steps of the prior Labor Government that had proposed a new media regulatory regime with potentially crippling obligations under the Privacy Act.
In the course of its first year in office the Abbott Government has:
- imposed a media blackout on vital information on the important human rights…
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