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It’s not what you think

Source: It’s not what you think

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Sea Shepherd says figures appalling in shark net trial. NSW DPI report that 50 marine animals dead in a month from trial at 5 Ballina beaches.

 

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Dead White Spotted Eagle Ray or possibly Ocellated Ray in Lighthouse Beach shark net trial on March 3. Photo

The NSW North Coast Shark Meshing Trial Report for the last month has been released with the NSW government saying the data is getting analysed.

But Sea Shepherd says the results are disastrous and are a concern for marine life and humpback whales on their way up the coast soon.

The report covered the period: 8 April – 7 May 2017 of the six month trial that will finish in June at Lighthouse Beach (Ballina), Sharpes Beach (Ballina), Shelly Beach (Ballina), Seven Mile Beach (Lennox Head) and Evans Head Beach.

The report says, “During the fifth month of the NSW north coast meshing trial, nets were deployed for totals of 22–30 days at five beaches and each checked between 20 and 47 times (Table 1). The contractors are required to check the mesh nets twice a day, but if the weather or bar conditions prevent safe access, then fewer checks are made.”

Over the last 5 months the DPI has collected monthly data.

The data from the last month shows that no target sharks were caught in any of the five nets but 50 other marine animals died.

Sea Shepherd Australia coordinator Jonathan Clark says the results of the trial so far were disastrous for marine species.

“Sea Shepherd’s Apex Harmony, are taking a cautious approach regards the announcement that the nets of the North Coast Shark Net Trial will be removed mid June. The removal date has not changed despite the appalling figures shown in the DPI’s own publicly released data and obvious disastrous environmental impacts,” Mr Clark says

“50 marine animals died in the five trial nets between 8th April and 7th May. That number has grown from an average of 20 killed in each of the previous four months.

“250 marine animals have been entangled so far with more than half being killed. The animals killed have included dolphins, turtles, rays and harmless and endangered sharks.

A NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair press release says the data shows that monthly more target sharks were caught using SMART drumlines than nets.

The May 9 press release outlines the five month cumulative figures from the North Coast Net Trial.

” Six target sharks caught (two White, one Bull, three Tiger sharks); three deceased, three alive. A total of 244 non-target animals were caught in the nets; 117 were released alive (48%) and 127 (52%) were found deceased in the nets,” the release says.

“SMART Drumline – Five month cumulative figures  29 target sharks (24 White, 3 Tiger and 2 Bull sharks); one White shark deceased (entangled), all others alive.  Two non-target animals (both Greynurse sharks) were caught and both were released alive.”

Mr Blair said by mid-June the five trial nets at Lighthouse Beach (Ballina), Sharpes Beach (Ballina), Shelly Beach (Ballina), Seven Mile Beach (Lennox Head) and Evans Head Beach   will have been in the water for six months.

“The data from the trial will now be analysed by DPI shark scientists to assess the effectiveness of the nets,” Mr Blair said.

“We will also continue to consult with the local community to gauge their views on the outcomes of the trial.

“When the nets are removed, we will increase the number of SMART drumlines to 35 (currently 25) – this will also be the most effective measure as the whale migration period begins on the North Coast.”

Sea Shepherd Australia coordinator Jonathan Clark is pushing for non-lethal methods to make the beaches safer.

 

“There is consolation as long as the nets ultimately stay out and the government returns to its original strong message, through the allocation of a $16M fund, for the development, trial and use of non-lethal mitigation methods.”

Clark says nets become a bigger issue once the humpback whale migration starts.

“It is of deep concern that the nets will remain in while the numbers of deaths they inflict only increases and the humpback whales begin to pass the area on their migration. Also of concern is the proposal to increase the number of drum lines deployed along this beautiful coastline.”

He says the Sea Shepherd crew filmed a live ray in the shark nets.

“We were not close enough to it to even know it was alive. We realised it was alive when we watched the contractor pull up the net. It moved as soon as it surfaced and the contractor roughly cut it from the net to release it.”

He says its illegal to interfere with the nets.

“We can’t rescue. In Ballina $22000 fine for interfering.”

Mr Clark says Sea Shepherd’s cross checking of the data that the DPI has released publicly with the data that Sea Shepherd collected by going out to the nets has raised some questions of accuracy.

“The decomposed ray demonstrates that the nets are not checked twice a day. The DPI data backs that up. The DPI data only shows number of checks across a month so they are an average,” Mr Clark says.
“The day we found the two rays at Lighthouse net, one dead and one alive, does not much up with their publicly released data. I cannot see on their data sets anything that matches that day.”
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Decomposed ray photographed by Sea Shepherd in the shark net at Sharpes Beach 23 April. Clark says the decomposition shows that the nets aren’t being checked regularly.

A table in the April/May report published at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/sharks/management/shark-net-trial/report-8-apr-7-may-2017 gives the figures for each beach in the trial:

The Beach
-The first number after the heading is the number of days net deployed
-The second number is the number of times the net checked between April 8, 2017 and May 7, 2017

Seven Mile, Lennox Head
29
29
Sharpes, Ballina
28
27
Shelly, Ballina
22
20
Lighthouse, Ballina
23
20
Main, Evans Head
30
47

The report summarises the findings. “During the fifth month, a total of 65 individuals from 13 species were caught in the mesh nets,” the report says.
“15 animals (23%) were released alive, 50 animals (77%) were deceased (tissue samples were retained for analyses) (Table 2), No target sharks (White, Tiger or Bull sharks) were caught,” the report says.

Figures below show the numbers of each species caught in the mesh nets that were alive and released, or dead at each beach.

Seven Mile, Lennox Head
Common Blacktip Shark
0 alive
1 dead

Dusky Whaler
1
0

Great Hammerhead Shark
0
1

Mackerel tuna
0
3

Pygmy Devilray
1
5

Whitespotted Guitarfish
1
1

Unidentified tuna
0
1

Sharpes, Ballina
Australian Cownose Ray
1
0

Common Blacktip Shark
0
3

Great Hammerhead Shark
0
1

Greynurse Shark
0
1

Manta Ray
1
0

Pygmy Devilray
2
2

Whitespotted Eagle Ray
1
2

Shelly, Ballina
Common Blacktip Shark
0
1

Green Turtle
0
1

Whitespotted Guitarfish
0
1

Lighthouse, Ballina
Australian Cownose Ray
1
0

Mulloway
0
3

Pygmy Devilray
1
2

Whitespotted Eagle Ray
1
2

Main, Evans Head
Common Blacktip Shark
0
1

Great Hammerhead Shark
0
2

Pygmy Devilray
4
16

The reports shows that 15 marine animals were found alive and 50 marine animals found dead in a month from shark net trial at 5 Ballina beaches.

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Black tip reef shark in Bilinga Beach GC shark net April 25. Credit to Sea Shepherd. Photo taken by Crystal Dombrow

 

Death of a favourite author

pirsig-with-chris-1968_custom-1dfd21fa4918cd9508463228a8dd69566ee06eb0-s800-c85Many authors have influenced my life. Hemingway, Ustinov, Kerouac, Burroughs, Twain, Cassady, Melville, Shakespeare, Steinbeck, McGahan, Stevenson, Wilder, Kesey, Miller, Rhinehart, Fowles, Tolkien, Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. All male nearly all dead. I read them in bed, on trains, in waiting rooms… Nowhere else except on the beach, the cafe. I love reading them. I treat them like music. I never get bored of them. Some of them. Hemingway and Steinbeck, Cassady and Kerouac are like that. The plot and finding out what happens doesn’t matter after the first read. I dog ear them,  I make notes in the margins and underline sentences. I keep a dictionary beside my bed. I read them for the same reason I eat. To grow and be strong. Aspiration and inspiration.

Robert Pirsig died yesterday. 88 – long illness. In Maine. I had his book. Still have maybe. Under a house. I sold a lot of books before I moved overseas to work. I wouldn’t couldn’t have sold Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I didn’t sell books that good and it was too beat up. No cover. I lost that in Thailand. Among other things. It had SYDNEY written in Nikko pen big capitals on the blank page before page 1. A sign to drivers. 1987. Hitchhiking across the Nullarbor. Six months after I came back from Thailand. Damaged and bulletproof. Zen in hand, walking down the highway. Gee this story could go on for a while if I had time.

I read the book in Thailand along with On the Road first. It was hard going. A father and son. A motorbike. A question of sanity. Too many miles to think in silence and distort reality when a simple validation of sanity would have left no reason for Pirsig to write the book. I read it in bamboo bungalows eating banana cake and in rooms in hotels that were whorehouses for Muslims coming across the Malaysian border. So many questions. A thesis of technology and quality. It echoed my thinking as I wondered often what was I doing, what I was doing. I was what. What.

“I can imitate the father he’s supposed to have, but subconsciously, at the Quality level, he sees through it and knows his real father isn’t here. In all this Chautauqua talk there’s been more than a touch of hypocrisy. Advice is given again and again to eliminate subject-object duality, when the biggest duality of all, the duality between me and him, remains unfaced. A mind divided against itself.”

Vale Robert Pirsig. I read you in my obscurity. I found myself writing and motorbikes. Thankyou. I love the highway and I thank you for describing the time the highway gave you. Zen was a brave journey.

 

4zzz documentary

Pre 1950s white rhinos thought extinct: Player

Player’s Washington Post obituary

 

Can whales mitigate climate change

https://web.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.facebook.com%2FSustainableMan%2Fvideos%2Fvb.117609792908%2F10154677317812909%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=0&width=560

Terry Hughes sadly surveys GBR bleaching

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Discussion on trophy hunting. Prince William’s comments and my article on the history of the rhino horn trade

Money matters in conservation and the human connection to animals throughout history has, for a large part, been through hunting. Undoubtedly hunting especially for the pot has always aimed at sustainability. So trophy hunting now is a necessary aspect of conservation. No doubt. But it wasn’t for a long time. It’s important to look at the history of rhino hunting for two industrialising centuries; see the damage to the black rhino populations; the impact of the trade in horn and the active role that white hunters and traders and middlemen played in it in order to gauge current cultural views. Especially in relation to notions of regulations, privilege and entitlement. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/…/2017-03-16-paradise-is-f…/
A fact of the world is that by the rhino horn market culture putting a price on the trophy it is problematic to the trophy hunting culture.

See the articles below for discussion.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/prince-william-criticised-for-claiming-trophy-hunting-is-justified-in-some-circumstances-a6933906.html

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2017-03-16-paradise-is-finite-a-lesson-a-long-time-in-the-learning-and-yet-to-be-learnt-by-some/#.WNQ48G995dg

Lions mane jellyfish

17097835_1378278142195017_7093337091765967798_o17155234_1378281752194656_6710021533255064252_nlions mane marine jelly

Photos by Zaid Dillon and Shona Low. For information on how to treat stings for bluebottles, irukandji and box jellies, blue blubbers and lions manes, info on jellyfish as apex predators and info on why there are increasing blooms of jellyfish with warmer temperatures and pollution see http://blankgc.com.au/gold-coast-seaway-jellyfish-the-beauty-and-the-beast/

 

Paradise is finite – a lesson a long time in the learning, and yet to be learnt by some

170px-RJCunninghamMy latest article. Published in The Daily Maverick in South Africa.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2017-03-16-paradise-is-finite-a-lesson-a-long-time-in-the-learning-and-yet-to-be-learnt-by-some/#.WMtNxW995dg

Interesting facts about the origins of African conservation that shows it was the British who brought the black rhino to the critically endangered levels from which they have never recovered.

The hunters recognising that game was becoming scarce, was the reason the British and Europeans took measures to conserve Africa’s wildlife – treating game as a treasure of the Empire.

Rhino horn trade was linked to the ivory trade and slave trade in the 19th century. The Ivory Trade was dominated in East Africa by Indians and Arabs with the tribes doing the hunting. Whether ivory was for Western or Eastern end-markets it was nearly always carved in China, but rhino horn was always for the Orient: for carving in Yemen or carving and medicine in China and parts of Asia. In the lead-up to the 20th century the British took over the trade from the Arabs and Indians and the tribal hunters who over 100 years had reduced rhino/elephant populations drastically. The Brits, Europeans and American industrialists claimed the rhinos and elephant for sport, for trophies, but still supplied the Asian trade for much needed cash. Africans were jammed out. While the Brits put regulations in place to try and stop the most bloodthirsty “sportsmen”, hunting didn’t become illegal till CITES in the 1970s and only certain aspects. The Asian brokers, middlemen and end-market have been continuous factors for over two centuries in the hunting of rhino whether legal or illegal. Now the hunting is done either legally as deigned by the conservation sector specifically CITES (which was formed in Washington) by sportsmen or pseudo-sportsmen (trophy hunting is not seen as trade) or illegally by rogue South Africans both black or white. But the Asian middlemen and end-markets have persisted. In my article I am suggesting that certain mindframes exist, particularly among indigenous South Africans and Africans and Asians, as a result of Western nations’ earlier role in reducing rhino populations to critical levels, then appearing to reserve hunting of rhinos for sportsmen.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2017-03-16-paradise-is-finite-a-lesson-a-long-time-in-the-learning-and-yet-to-be-learnt-by-some/#.WMtNxW995dg