About Whale of a Time
Whale of a Time is riding the wave of change, promoting successful stewardship of our planet to create a peaceful, morally just, humane and sustainable culture, while ensuring survival of all species and their natural habitats. Whale of a Time organises creative and fun, inspiring and empowering events on environmental issues to encourage active participation living a sustainable lifestyle inspired by a positive attitude. We engage young and old from all walks of life through the Whale of a Time Community, the Whale of a Time Festival and the Whale of a Time Workshop. Our work has been recognised by many national and community and environmental awards schemes.
Whale of a Time Tweats
Monday, 10 December 2012
Sunday, 9 December 2012
Saturday, 8 December 2012
Thursday, 6 December 2012
Tuna populations are falling globally due to unrestrained growth in the industrial fishing industry and the use of harmful fishing methods.
"This meeting was a disaster for the Pacific. The governments here should be held accountable for failing to protect vulnerable species that form the backbone of many economies in the Pacific, and provide food and livelihoods to coastal communities across the region. The big corporate players won and will continue their plunder for short-term profits at the expense of our oceans’ health," said Lagi Toribau, head of the Greenpeace delegation to the WCPFC.
Among the WCPFC summit outcomes:
- Inaction to sufficiently halt overfishing of Pacific bigeye and yellowfin tuna, two of the most vulnerable Pacific tuna species.
- Failure to fully close the Pacific Commons to all fishing – leaving the region vulnerable to illegal fishing activities as documented by Greenpeace's recently concluded Esperanza ship tour.
- Failure to sufficiently extend a ban on the use of destructive fish aggregating devices (FADs) in purse seine fisheries. A one-month extension was added to the current three-month ban. A very weak management plan to attempt to bring this destructive fishing method under control was discussed.
- The region's large and poorly regulated longline fleets were left with little controls and only the Chinese fleet was required to reduce its fishing activities by 10% in 2013.
- Efforts to stop the landing of illegally-caught fish in ports were also rejected.
The WCPFC also failed to enact strong fishing limits and regulations to stop shark finning and the incidental catches of sharks in longline fisheries.
The meeting did agree to protect whale sharks from being used by purse seine vessels as living fish aggregating devices, through a ban on the setting of nets on whale sharks. The WCPFC also tightened monitoring and control rules by making it compulsory for fishing vessels to report data when transiting in exclusive economic zones.
But the WCPFC extended an exemption for 36 Philippine purse seine ships, giving them access to high seas fishing grounds that had previously been closed to fishing.
“Politics once again have failed our oceans. The onus now is on consumer markets to demand sustainable products on the shelves. By rejecting tuna caught by purse seiners using FADs and switching to more sustainable methods, consumer action can rescue our oceans,” said Mark Dia, regional oceans campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
Greenpeace is calling for marine reserves to be established in four high seas pockets known as the Pacific Commons, and for these to be declared off-limits to fishing. It is also seeking a ban on the use of FADs in purse seine fisheries and a 50% reduction in the catch of bigeye tuna. Greenpeace is also campaigning for a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the world’s oceans and for a more sustainable fishing industry.
MEDIA CONTACTS Lagi Toribau, Head of Greenpeace WCPFC Delegation, +82 108 982 5478 Mark Dia, Regional Oceans Campaigner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
The proposed hunt, announced in July, would have caught minke whales for commercial purposes under the thin veil of scientific research. More than 100,000 people from around the world sent messages in the last month to the South Korean prime minister, asking him to call off the hunt.
“The voices of people from South Korea and the entire world have been heard by the South Korean government,” said Greenpeace East Asia oceans campaigner Jeonghee Han. “The South Korean government’s decision to not take up scientific whaling is another sign that commercial whaling has no place in our oceans. We urge South Korea to abandon all commercial whaling activities in the future.”
Under International Whaling Commission (IWC) rules, a formal proposal for the ‘scientific’ hunt was required by 3 December. The IWC has confirmed to Greenpeace that the South Korean government has not submitted this. South Korean officials have also confirmed to Greenpeace that a decision to not move forward with the hunt was taken a few days ago.
“The world does not support commercial whaling, even when it is disguised as scientific research. The decision by South Korea to listen to its own people and the global community and abandon a whaling programme modelled on that of Japan is a huge win for the world’s whales,” added John Frizell, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner.
Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment, and to promote peace. Greenpeace is opposed to commercial whaling in all of the world’s oceans.
CONTACT: Jeonghee Han, Greenpeace East Asia oceans campaigner (in Seoul) +82 10 9616 0209
John Frizell, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner (in the UK) +44 7801 212 999 (mobile) or email@example.com
Steve Smith, Greenpeace International communications (in Amsterdam) +31 643 787 359 (mobile) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 31 October 2012 16.50 GMT
A palm oil plantation in the Ivory Coast. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images
Retail bodies and charities have criticised the government for setting "weak" targets on the use of sustainable palm oil.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) yesterday asked retailers, manufacturers and charities to sign up to "work towards" ensuring that, by 2015, all palm oil used in food and other products is responsibly produced and does not contribute to deforestation.
But the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that while the government deserved praise for putting the palm oil issue on the agenda, many of its members had already made more ambitious commitments. The BRC wants other sectors to commit to nothing less than the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards for sustainable palm oil.
Richard Dodd, head of BRC media and campaigns, said: "Manufacturers have not been prepared to sign up to only using RSPO-certified palm oil by end of 2015. The commitment they have signed up to has been watered down, as it doesn't have a specific timetable and only a commitment to 'work towards' using 100% sustainable palm oil. In order to get the wide range of signatories, the pledge that Defra has settled for is not as good as it should have been, and not as good as the one retailers have already made.
"[The RSPO] is the only worthwhile standard and the one retailers have committed to."
BRC director of food and sustainability, Andrew Opie, said: "If the government is serious about achieving comprehensive change in the way palm oil is produced and saving rainforest habitats, it should be pushing other sectors to follow retailers' lead.
"Retailers have already pledged to meet the world's most rigorous standards on 100% certified sustainable palm oil, and said they will do it by the end of 2015, because that's the way to generate a market for sustainable product and eliminate the rest."
The environment minister, Richard Benyon, said the government would lead the way by ensuring that only environmentally friendly-sourced palm oil would be used in central government food and catering services.
"People want to know that the products they are using are not contributing to deforestation and climate change and many UK businesses are already starting to make changes. Producers, manufacturers and charities will continue working together to speed up the move to 100% sustainable palm oil in everyday products," he said.
Palm oil is one of the world's most rapidly expanding food crops and used extensively in the food industry as frying fats, and as an ingredient in biscuits, margarine, snacks and bakery products. It is also used in the production of biodiesel, in animal feed, soaps and other cleaning products and cosmetics. Its production has been linked to the destruction of rainforest habitats in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and it is a rising source of greenhouse gas emissions, which come from clearing forests for crop cultivation.
According to Eurostat data, the UK imported 397,000 metric tonnes of palm oil and 53,000 metric tonnes of palm kernel oil in 2011. Defra has estimated that only 24% was sourced from sustainably certified plantations.
Defra's statement coincides with the annual conference on the ingredient, held by the RSPO in Singapore. Data released by the RSPO this week showed that UK supermarkets including the Co-operative, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's, and manufacturers like United Biscuits, Warburtons and Burton's food are already at – or very close to – using 100% RSPO-certified palm oil.
Waitrose said on Tuesday that it would reach its target of 100% fully sustainable palm oil by the end of this year. The supermarket lists palm oil in its ingredients and claims to be the first retailer to use the RSPO logo on its soap. Riyaz Dhalla, Waitrose senior technologist, said: "This is an important issue for our customers and we're delighted to be able to help them make an ethical purchasing decision."
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said many food and drink manufacturers had made substantial progress. The FDF director of sustainability, Andrew Kuyk, said: "Many food and drink manufacturers have in place long-standing commitments to using 100% certified sustainable palm oil and the national statement is an important step towards a wider reassurance for consumers that the products they enjoy contain oil from environmentally friendly sources."
Adam Harrison of WWF International – another RSPO member – said that Defra's move was significant, but given the urgency of the situation relating to the impacts on natural habitats relating to palm oil production, the statement needed to go further.
"The impacts of irresponsible and unsustainable palm oil expansion to meet growing demand are completely unacceptable in terms of deforestation, damage to wildlife and climate change. The urgency of the problem needs an equally urgent response. Whilst we welcome the national statement we are concerned that it does not convey clearly enough the need to take action now.
Palm oil is a "hidden oil" for consumers. Currently in the EU, palm oil can be labelled as vegetable oil, meaning that consumers cannot easily make an educated purchasing choice.
Last year it was announced that changes to food labelling would make it easier for consumers to identify products containing palm oil. Changes to the European Food Information Regulations will mean labels have to identify the specific types of vegetable oils that have been used. Businesses are already starting to implement the change, which will be mandatory on all food products from 13 December 2014.
Read article at Guardian
MEPs have voted to close loopholes that allowed some EU fishing vessels to continue "shark finning".
Although the EU banned removing shark fins at sea and discarding the body, special permits allowed finning to continue legally.
Conservation groups, which say finning was threatening shark numbers, welcomed the European Parliament's decision.
The decision to back the European Commission's proposals will now be considered by EU fisheries ministers.
The resolution was adopted with 566 votes in favour, 47 against and 16 abstentions.
"Parliament's vote represents a major milestone in the global effort to end the wasteful practice," said Sandrine Polti, EU shark policy adviser for the Pew Environmental Group and the Shark Alliance.
"[We have] been working towards this and other fundamental reforms in European shark policies for more than six years and are thrilled with today's vote and the progress we expect to stem from it."
Dr Joanna Swabe, EU director for Humane Society International (HSI), said she was delighted that MEPs had decided not to support the argument to retain the special permits.
"This would have been disastrous for shark protection not just in EU waters but worldwide," she said.
"HSI commends the European Parliament for defending sharks against the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning."
Shark finning is driven by the fact that the animals' fins are highly valuable in comparison with shark carcasses.
As severed fins could be easily stored, it made economic sense for fishing vessels to remove the fins at sea, rather than bringing the entire animal - which would quickly fill a vessel's cold storage areas - into port.
It is estimated that fins can sell for between 16 and 70 euros (£13- £56; US$20-90) per kilogramme in Asia.
The EU's global catch of sharks ranks second only to Indonesia, yet the European Commission has committed itself - under the EU Action Plan for the Conservation and Management of Sharks - to adopt the necessary measures to conserve shark species and to minimise waste and discards from shark catches.
Finning is also deemed cruel because the fins are often removed while the animal is still alive - it then drowns when it is thrown back into the sea.
Conservationists argued that the issuing of Special Fishing Permits (SFPs) that allowed fins to be removed at sea prevented the EU ban, introduced in 2003, from becoming fully effective.
According to European Parliament data, the largest number of SFPs issued to date were to Spanish and Portuguese vessels (1266 and 145 respectively, between 2004 and 2010).
It added that until 2009, the UK, Germany and Lithuania had also issued SFPs.
Ms Polti observed: "Shark Alliance member groups look forward to continued co-operation in shepherding and promoting a final 'fins-attached' rule and in securing complementary safeguards, such as domestic and international catch limits, to fully address the overexploitation of sharks."
Sold For Parts
The Sunda pangolin (pictured) is the only mammal in the world to be covered in scales. This unique body armour is highly prized in traditional Chinese medicine. The scales are sold with the claim that they tackle a long list of ailments, from helping breastfeeding mothers lactate to curing cancer
Tigers are listed as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List, and trade in tiger parts was banned worldwide in 1990s. Poaching persists though, mainly for their bones for use in traditional Asian medicines. As tigers are synonymous with power, their bones are believed to promote healing. Tiger pelts and other body parts, such as teeth, skin and claws, are also used for decoration
According to wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic, the international demand for rhino horns continues to increase. From 2008-2011 gangs were said to have killed more than 800 rhinos for their horns, which can fetch £22,000 per kilo on the black market. The horns are falsely believed to cure a wide variety of ailments, including cancer.
The Moral Dilemma of Eating Animals
Friday, 23 November 2012
Save Orangutans and boycott corporations producing products containing palm oil!
Download orangutan palm oil sheet
Due to a major loophole in legislation for international waters, the four vessels engaged in the large-scale illegal transshipment evaded arrest last week. Today, Greenpeace’s ship MY Esperanza encountered the Sal 19 in Palau’s waters, and discovered its vessel name, port city and call sign had been erased from all visible parts of the ship, making it unidentifiable.
As a member of the WCPFC, the Philippines is legally obliged to take immediate steps to investigate and take appropriate enforcement action against this vessel. According to the Captain of the Sal 19, the vessel is expected to arrive in the Philippines port of General Santos on 28 November, just 3 days before the upcoming WCPFC meeting in Manila.
“Violations by fishing vessels such as Sal 19 show the difficulty in enforcing rules and justify calls by Pacific island nations to close Pacific Commons high seas pockets from all fishing. Pirate fishing not only undermines ocean management and conservation efforts, it is an embarrassment and diplomatic headache for their home countries. The Philippine government must clean up its messy tuna industry and become a responsible player,” said Farah Obaidullah, oceans campaigner from Greenpeace International.
Greenpeace International joined Palau’s marine enforcement official in boarding the vessel for inspection, and collected video and photo evidence showing a series of violations, including the absence of a vessel monitoring system, records and logbook. The captain of Sal 19 admitted to participating in the illegal transshipment when asked by Greenpeace. However, due to the existing loopholes in international law, Palau’s enforcement authority on board MY Esperanza could not take any further legal steps.
"Illegal activities are rampant in international waters around the world where laws and enforcement are at their weakest. To stop this, Greenpeace is calling for the closure of the Pacific Commons and a more comprehensive and legally binding global enforcement system for our oceans," Obaidullah said.
Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the world’s oceans, including in four high seas areas known as the Pacific Commons (1), and for these to be declared off limits to fishing.
The environmental group is also seeking a ban on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in purse seine fisheries and a 50% reduction in the catch of bigeye tuna.
These measures are important to keep valuable fish stocks at sustainable levels and will be reviewed at the upcoming meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in Manila from 2-7 December.
MEDIA CONTACTS Renee Chou (Communications Officer aboard the Esperanza):+47 2367 7986, email@example.com
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Aerial footage from Greenpeace International taken earlier this month shows how trees in the largely forested concession area have been cleared by SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC), a subsidiary of New York-based Herakles Farms.
The deforestation is taking place despite the fact SGSOC is operating via a 99-year land lease that has not yet been approved by Presidential Decree and is therefore questionable under Cameroonian Law.
If it is not stopped, the planned 73,000-hectare concession will eventually be 10 times the size of Manhattan. It would destroy a densely forested area in a biodiversity hotspot, resulting in severe consequences for the livelihoods of thousands of residents and for the global climate.
“Any large scale industrial projects in an area that is one of the most important watersheds in sub-Saharan Africa and located in one of Africa’s most important biodiversity hotspots are entirely unsuitable,” said Frédéric Amiel, a forest campaigner with Greenpeace International. “The Herakles Farms plantation must be stopped with no conditions.”
Despite claims from the company that the palm oil plantation would spur local economic growth and social development, local and international opposition continues to grow and the continued clearing risks heightening social conflict over the project.
Information received by Greenpeace International indicates that local farmers and villagers are opposed to the plans for their land, imposed without their consultation. People working for SGSOC, meanwhile, are increasingly dissatisfied with pay and working conditions.
Greenpeace International is also alarmed by indications that people who have objected to the project have been harassed at the hands of Cameroonian authorities.
On November 14, Nasako Besingi the director of the local NGO Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE), an organisation campaigning peacefully against the Herakles Farms project, was arrested with three colleagues and detained without charge.
All four were later released following international and local pressure.
Greenpeace calls upon the Cameroonian government to halt the forest clearance, end the project and set up better standards for land allocation and palm oil development in Cameroon that will prevent social conflict, disruption of Cameroonian livelihoods and forest destruction.
Media contact: Frédéric Amiel, forest campaigner, Greenpeace International, mobile: +33 1 80 96 97 43
Just van den Broek, forest campaigner, Greenpeace Africa, mobile: +243970047001
Greenpeace International press desk: +31 20 718 24 70
For photos, contact the picture desk hotline +31 20718 2471
To view videos and photos of the congress, go to: http://youtu.be/81nTlIdDBFw
Brussels – 19 November 2012
Small-scale fishermen demand change of course on EU fisheries policy reform
Small-scale fishermen from across Europe are joining forces to put sustainable, artisanal and low-impact fishing at the heart of the on-going reform of European Union (EU) Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Delegates from across the continent, representing dozens of local and regional associations of artisanal fishermen and thousands of fishing sector jobs, gathered at the Brussels European Artisanal Fishermen's Congress. They adopted a joint declaration  promoting a new vision for European fishing. The declaration will this week be formally handed over to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council Presidency.
Small-scale fishing vessels account for 80 percent of Europe’s fishing sector , but for decades the vast majority of fishing quotas and EU subsidies have favoured industrial fishing operations, which have in many cases accelerated the depletion of fish stocks and environmental damage to our seas. Over 60 percent of European fish stocks are overexploited . The complacency of national governments, the European Union and European organisations that are meant to represent the interests of the sector in Brussels now threaten to irrevocably destroy the last chance for Europe to achieve sustainable fishing.
The artisanal sector and the seas that it depends on have suffered greatly from years of neglect and the once-in-a-decade reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy is a unique opportunity to:
- ensure that those who fish sustainably have a right to fish;
- bring the number of fishing vessels in line with available fish stocks, while preserving jobs in artisanal, low impact fisheries;
- end harmful subsidies and unsustainable and destructive practices;
- restore the health of our seas in Europe and the rest of the world.
“We want to leave a legacy of healthy seas and oceans in a world where there is less, but better fishing. So far, the reform of EU fishing rules is merely tinkering at the edges. Today we are sending a message to our ministers and representatives in the European Parliament that they can no longer ignore the laws of nature, the state of fish stocks and the role of small-scale fisheries. Only once this becomes a reality, can the EU bring the reform process back on track,” said Anne-Marie Vergez, a hake fisherwoman from France.
“Fishing pressure has grown all around us, particularly from big industrial ships. The new fishing rules must get a handle on this, bringing down the number of fishing vessels where there are too many, while giving preferential access to low-impact fishermen,” said Luis Rodriguez, an artisanal fisherman in Galicia, Spain.
“The sea is not an industry. She has her own rules. If we continue to take more fish out of the sea than is sustainable, we will bankrupt her and our sector. Small-scale fishing brings more economic value to local communities than destructive fishing. In times of crisis, national governments and Europe should encourage responsible fishing instead of wasting money on those that accumulate private fortunes by overfishing,” said Dimitris Zannes, a small-scale fisherman in the Southern Aegean in Greece.
“Fishing is a way of life that small-scale fishermen have practiced for generation after generation and that is threatened as never before. While not being caused by artisanal fishermen, overfishing has had a disproportionate effect on their ability to survive. If any boats need to stop fishing, it shouldn’t be the smaller, low-impact boats that provide fish and support directly to local communities,” said Jerry Percy, a small scale fisherman in the UK.
Saturday, 17 November 2012
Untouchable Cambodian ship evades arrest by Pacific authorities
Pacific Ocean, 17 November 2012 – Greenpeace has been forced to abandon its pursuit of the unregulated Cambodian reefer Heng Xing 1 in the Pacific Ocean due to a lack of legislation that would enable necessary steps to address its involvement in illegal transshipments of fish.
For several days Greenpeace International’s ship Esperanza has been tailing the Heng Xing 1 in an effort to bring this vessel and its owners to justice.
Earlier this week the Cambodian-flagged reefer was caught facilitating the violation of a host of fishing laws, including the transfer of tuna caught by two Indonesian tuna purse seine vessels (KM Starcki 10 and KM Starcki 11) and one Philippine vessel (Sal 19).
Despite repeated calls to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), Greenpeace has now been informed that the reefer is untouchable since the illegal transfer took place in international waters and Cambodia is not a member of the commission.
"We are witnessing the impotence of the WCPFC and the lack of proper enforcement on the high seas. This case is an utter embarrassment to the management of our oceans and illustrates the shocking lack of effective fisheries policies globally," said Farah Obaidullah, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner currently aboard MY Esperanza.
The vessels from which the Heng Xing 1 received fish are sailing under flags regulated by the WCPFC.
"If large-scale fish laundering in the form of transshipment by a Cambodian reefer cannot be stopped, then at the very least the WCPFC must take immediate action against its own fishing vessels providing them with fish," added Obaidullah.
The Pacific is the source of 70% of the world’s tuna, providing coastal communities not only with food but also economic prosperity. For years, Greenpeace has been working with Pacific governments to address overfishing and prevent foreign fishing nations from plundering their fishing grounds.
"Illegal activities are rampant in international waters around the world, where laws and enforcement are at their weakest. To stop this, Greenpeace is calling for the closure of the Pacific Commons and a more comprehensive and legally binding global enforcement system for our oceans," Obaidullah said.
Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the world’s oceans, including in four high seas areas known as the Pacific Commons (1), and for these to be declared off limits to fishing.
The environmental group is also seeking a ban on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in purse seine fisheries and a 50% reduction in the catch of big eye tuna.
These measures are important to keep valuable fish stocks at sustainable levels and will be reviewed at the upcoming meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in Manila from 2-7 December.
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Sunday, 28 October 2012
Wednesday, 24 October 2012
'Who told me to get out?': NOC the talking whale learns to imitate human speech in attempt to 'reach out' to human captors
Friday, 19 October 2012
Medan, October 15, 2012
A large, fully adult male Sumatran Orangutan weighing around 90 kg was rescued yesterday (14/10/12) from an isolated forest fragment in the Tripa Peat Swamp Forests in the Nagan Raya District of Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, as illegal destruction of this unique ecosystem by rogue palm oil companies continues.
Thanks to the cooperation of a team of experts from the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry’s Department of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA), the orangutan, later named Seuneam after the nearest village to where he was found, was evacuated safely and later released early on Monday morning (15/10/12) at the SOCP’s specialist Orangutan Reintroduction Centre in the Jantho Pine Nature Reserve in northern Aceh. Seuneam had been monitored in the field by SOCP staff for several days and had to be rescued as he was trapped in a small fragment of forest surrounded by palm oil plantations, isolated from the rest of the Tripa swamp forests and the rest of Tripa’s surviving orangutan population, estimated today to be only around 200 individuals, and declining fast. Local informants even stated that there was a plan to poison him very soon if he continued to destroy young palm oil seedlings.
The team in the field comprised SOCP veterinarians, staff of BKSDA Aceh (the Government’s provincial Conservation Agency), staff of the Indonesian Sustainable Ecosystem Foundation (Yayasan Ekosistem lestari, or YEL) and local community members.
Head of BKSDA Aceh, Mr Amon Zamora MSc, stated on Sunday evening “BKSDA Aceh strongly supports this orangutan rescue and I hope that other orangutans facing similar threats in Tripa can also be rescued before they are killed, or die of malnutrition. Evacuation efforts like this are essential to our efforts to save the Sumatran orangutan and reduce conflicts with local communities. It's a sad fact that orangutans are often regarded as pests by people and plantation companies, as when they have no other food to eat they can and do eat and damage agricultural crops.
Meanwhile, head of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, Dr Ian Singleton stated "We are always happy to see a successful rescue take place, but these activities are expensive, logistically challenging and also dangerous, for both staff and the orangutans themselves. There is always a serious risk of injury to the animals during capture, especially when they fall from the trees after being anaesthetized. We would much prefer not to have to intervene in this way and in reality we should not be having to rescue orangutans from Tripa, as it is part of the Leuser Ecosystem, now a protected area under National Spatial Planning laws. In fact, several of the palm oil companies operating in Tripa are already under investigation for breaking Indonesian Law and one plantation has even be cancelled. But regrettably, forest clearance, drainage of the peatlands and burning of the land continue unabated, so we have no choice but to rescue orangutans when they will clearly die if we don’t".
"Both locally, and Globally, people were inspired recently by the strong leadership of new Aceh Governor, Dr Zaini Abdullah, when the Aceh Government revoked an illegal oil palm plantation permit granted to PT Kalista Alam. But despite this, it is still clear to see that rogue palm oil companies are continuing to destroy Tripa’s remaining forests, creating more conflicts between human and orangutan, and other wildlife. It's not the orangutans that should be leaving this area, it is the palm oil companies who are breaking the law." Dr Singleton added.
Drh Yenny Saraswati reiterated during a quiet moment after Seuneam’s eventual return to the wild. “Rescues like this are not something we enjoy. There are serious risks of injury and even death to an orangutan like this during capture, however good modern equipment and drugs are these days. No matter what you do, orangutans climb higher when afraid, and then fall all the way to the ground. We have had several break bones in the past as a result of falls, even though we always try to get a capture net underneath them beforehand. As a veterinarian, its not pleasant to have to take such risks with an animal’s welfare”.
The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP; www.sumatranorangutan.org
Main activities of the SOCP include:-
1. Confiscation, quarantine, and reintroduction to the wild of illegal pet Sumatran orangutans
2. Research and monitoring of remaining wild Sumatran orangutan populations
3. Habitat protection and conservation
4. Conservation education and awareness raising
To date the SOCP as returned to the wild more than 180 illegal captive orangutans and rescued a number of orangutans in similar situations to Seuneam.
For further information contact:-
1. Mr Amon Zamora, MSc, Kepala BKSDA Aceh, Tel: +6282169313999, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Dr Ian Singleton, Director of Conservation PanEco Foundation / Head of SOCP, Tel: +62811650491, Email: email@example.com
Friday, 12 October 2012
Kaoshiung, Taiwan, October 12, 2012 – Ten Greenpeace activists occupied the largest shipbuilding yard in Taiwan on Friday, accusing the Taiwanese government of undermining international fishing agreements set up to combat the global overfishing crisis.
Activists unfurled a large banner saying “Overfishing Starts Here” at the facility where massive industrial fishing boats destined to fish across the globe's oceans are built.
The peaceful protest coincides with the Save Our Oceans East Asia Tour in which the Greenpeace ship MY Esperanza is in Taiwan, raising awareness of the impacts of overfishing on the oceans and the communities dependent on them.
"Our oceans and the billions dependent on them for food and jobs need fewer massive boats and more fish. The Taiwanese government is cheating international agreements and Greenpeace is taking peaceful action today to demand it adhere to scientific advice and help end overfishing,” said Yu Fen Kao, Greenpeace East Asia senior oceans campaigner.
“In the end, it is the small-scale fishing communities and the people of Taiwan that will suffer most from empty oceans and collapsed fish populations."
Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency (FA) had agreed in 2008 to follow the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission’s advice to reduce fishing effort by limiting the number of fishing days for its purse-seine tuna fleets (1).
The regulation is meant to allow Pacific tuna stocks to recover from overfishing, as three of the four main tuna species are already threatened with commercial extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (2).
Instead, the FA has sidestepped the regulation and is allowing its industry to build bigger ships with larger storage capacity, directly undermining efforts to rescue tuna populations.
Taiwan's Fisheries Agency approved 22 new big purse seine ships between 2007 to 2012. And the total new purse seine tonnage is 38,988 tons (3).
Taiwan's distant water fishing fleet mainly operates in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, home to more than 60 percent of the world's tuna. Taiwan has the most fishing vessels in the region – 72 purse seiners and 1,600 long liners (4). In addition, half of the US purse seiners are owned and operated by Taiwanese companies.
Other fishing powers currently building more industrial-scale fishing boats include France, Spain, China and South Korea.
"We have too many boats in our oceans chasing too few fish. Government and business leaders must end the madness and stop building these gigantic boats from fishing the industry out of existence,” said Sari Tolvanen, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner.
“We need action from consumers, who will refuse to no longer buy fish from companies that are adding more unsustainable fishing capacity into our oceans and instead demand fish for the future.”
Greenpeace is campaigning for responsible fishery management to end overfishing and to support a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the world’s oceans. Both are necessary steps to restoring our oceans to health and to maintain living oceans and ample fish for future generations.
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
The Ministry of Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation are seeking public comment on a review of the management plan.
MPI's deputy director-general resource management and programmes, Scott Gallacher, said the review would consider all known human-induced threats to the critically endangered dolphins, how they could be mitigated and research priorities.
Maui's dolphins are the smallest and rarest in the world. It is estimated that just 55 older than one year remain.
A risk assessment incorporating the views of a range of scientists on the threats to Maui's dolphins had also been released giving a "pretty dire" view of the dolphins, Assoc Prof Slooten, who took part in an expert panel which contributed to the report, said.
It showed about five Maui's dolphins a year died through human threat and fishing was responsible for most of the deaths, she said.
"Given those kinds of results ... you'd expect to see some major changes to the protection options."
She was disappointed to see how little of the science had appeared in the management review.
"It's really lame."
The management options were just not science-based, she said.
"It is 90% politics and 10% science, not the other way around, despite the International Whaling Commission and IUCN [International Union for the Conservation of Nature] calling for much stronger protection measures ... "
"They seemed to have ignored that. There is nothing even close."
Forest and Bird marine conservation advocate Katrina Subedar said the management of fishing-related threats was still the most critical.
Doc and MPI acknowledged that Maui's dolphins face a high risk of extinction.
"So why doesn't this Government take this threat seriously? It should immediately ban all gill nets and trawlers from where these dolphins are found, which is offshore to the 100m depth contour and within all harbours along the west coast of the North Island," Ms Subedar said.
The public can make submissions to both departments until November 12.
Read Full Article
Download Maui Dolphin Consultation - PLEASE SUBMIT by 12 NOVEMBER 2012
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Greenpeace activists on an inflatable boat intercepted the world’s second largest factory fishing trawler, the FV Margiris, and are blocking the monster ship’s attempt to sneak into Port Lincoln in South Australia.
One activist has boarded the vessel and is blocking the entrance to the Margiris to stop the harbour pilot from bringing the vessel into port.
Greenpeace is calling on the Australian government to refuse to grant a fishing license to the FV Margiris and introduce a policy to ban all super trawlers from Australian waters.
“These ships literally vacuum up entire schools of fish. You could fly a jumbo Jet through the opening of its net with room to spare,” said Greenpeace Australia Pacific oceans campaigner Nathaniel Pelle from the deck of the Margiris.” Wherever these super trawlers go, they leave devastated fisheries in their wake. If we want healthy oceans and ample seafood for the future, we need fewer massive boats and more fish.”
“The Margiris has contributed to the overfishing of European waters, the collapse of fisheries in the South Pacific, and the devastation of fishing communities in West Africa. Greenpeace is working with diverse groups of Australians to prevent the same thing happening in Australia.”
The Gillard government has the power to stop the Margiris’ plunder before it begins. Tens of thousands of Australians have already told the government to stop the super trawler, and public outrage from a broad range of communities - from environmental groups to recreational fishermen - continues to grow driven by the government’s failure to act.
“Our oceans do not stand a chance against this kind of vessel – and neither do Australian fishermen. Even research <#_ftn1> cited by the owners shows that despite new technology, many animals, including fur seals, will routinely be killed in its nets. Both the Environment and Fisheries Ministers are rightly expressing serious concerns, but now, with this ship already in our waters, time is running out for them to display some common sense and refuse to grant a license to the Margiris,” said Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter. “Allowing it to fish in Australian waters is not just against the national interest, it is simply absurd.”
The Greenpeace ‘No Super Trawler’ petition is available at: www.greenpeace.org/australia/no-supertrawlers
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
In a historic trial in the evening this Monday (13/8) the Fifth Chamber of the Federal Regional Court 1st region ruled by unanimity the stoppage of the works of the Belo Monte hydroelectric complex. The measure was taken by the TRF when judging a resource of embargo promoted by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF). The fine provided for if the determination is not fulfilled is r $ 500 thousand per day. The decision of the fifth class was based on article 1, item 2 of International Labour Organization (ILO), which determines a prior consultation to the main affected by works: indigenous communities, who live on site. This consultation shall be held solely by the National Congress, which according to judge Souza prudent, has not occurred. As rapporteur, ignore the Belo Monte plant would be irresponsibleTrial that can stop the Belo Monte plant construction is suspended”The National Congress issued Legislative Decree No. 788 of 2005 without listening to indigenous communities, such as the ILO and paragraph 3 of the Brazilian Constitution, authorizing the beginning of works and ordering that a posthumous study,” said the judge. “However, the Constitution does not authorize a study posthumously, but yes, a preliminary study. So given by Ibama licensing is invalid, “he added. The judge stressed that Souza Prudent to query is essential when dealing with Indians of the construction of a complex as this. In addition, the measure is supported in article 231, and paragraphs of the Brazilian Constitution, which establishes a special protection to indigenous lands, their stories and customs. “The Indians are human beings who have the same rights of any Brazilian citizen. In addition, the works of Belo Monte endanger the aviation of the 7 Falls waterfall, “says the judge.
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
Hector's dolphin, the parent species of the Maui's dolphin. Photo by: James Shook.
The New Zealand government's recent efforts to protect the world’s smallest dolphin have come under scrutiny from various conservation organizations at the 64th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). There are only 55 Maui dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) now found on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, less than half the 2005 population with numbers continuing to decline. Less than 20 of the remaining Maui’s are breeding females and their slow reproductive rates make it difficult to increase their numbers when faced with an even bigger danger: fishing nets.
Weighing up to 110 pounds (50 kilograms) with a length of 1.7 meters, Maui's dolphins are the smallest in the world. Their size is not the only thing that makes them unique; they are part of the only species of dolphin that has a round dorsal fin rather than a pointed one. They can also be easily identified by their distinctive grey, white and black markings and short snout.
Maui’s dolphin—a subspecies of Hector's dolphin—are often caught and killed in the nylon gillnets and trawls used by fisherman in both protected and unprotected areas of New Zealand. Both Maui's and Hector's dolphin are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. The IWC’s Scientific Committee has highlighted research indicating that current protected areas are too small to adequately prevent this dolphin bycatch, a danger that exceeds sustainable levels almost 23 times in some areas.
"The IWC has confirmed what scientists have been pointing out all along, namely that numbers continue to decline because only a small fraction of the dolphins home is protected against gillnetting and trawling," Dr. Barbara Maas, of the German conservation group NABU International that had published a report urging for the protection of these species. "New Zealand tried to deflect these criticisms by pointing towards a recent extension of the protected area for Maui’s dolphins. Yet New Zealand failed to mention that these measures are merely temporary, don’t include trawl fishing and do not apply to most of the dolphins’ habitat. They therefore fall short of the IWC’s directions and will not prevent the dolphins’ extinction."
New Zealand measures, introduced under the Hectors and Maui’s Threat Management Plan, will ban set nets along the Taranaki coast from Pariokariwa Point to Hawera and out two nautical miles. Commercial fisherman may only use set nets from two to seven nautical miles, and only if there is an observer on board.
But Rebecca Bird, manager of the WWF-New Zealand’s Marine Program, says that it is "too little, too late."
Bird notes "this area should have been fully protected back in 2008 when the government introduced new fishing restrictions. Yet it has taken more dead dolphins, an obstructive legal challenge by the fishing industry and further evidence of a serious decline in the population before the government acted."
Concerned conservation organizations insist that the long-term plans proposed by New Zealand are not sufficient to protect the species from extinction. They are calling for immediate action from the New Zealand government that would ban the use of gillnets and trawlers throughout the Maui’s dolphins habitat. Community members have responded by joining campaigns and signing petitions to show their support for the organizations and the importance of saving the small cetacean.
Read more: http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0807-mutterback-mauis-dolphin.html#ixzz22x5mmpM8
Read full article
Friday, 3 August 2012
The Plan review will reassess natural and man-made risks facing Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins. Credit: NABU International
New Zealand Primary Industries Minister David Carter has announced measures to protect Maui’s dolphins.
Following a public consultation process, the existing recreational and commercial set net ban will be extended along the Taranaki coast from Pariokariwa Point south to Hawera, and out to two nautical miles.
In addition, the use of commercial set nets between two and seven nautical miles in this area will be prohibited without an observer onboard.
“Maui’s dolphins are critically endangered, with an estimated 55 adult animals remaining. The Government is taking this action to protect these dolphins while the Threat Management Plan is reviewed. This will be completed by the end of November,” says Mr Carter.
“While there is a high level of uncertainty about the activity of Maui’s dolphins in the Taranaki area, the fact remains that their small number necessitates this action.
“At the same time, the Government is fully aware of the potential impact of this extended ban on the local fishing community which is why a review of the Threat Management Plan is needed,” Mr Carter says.
The review of the Plan will reassess natural and man-made risks facing Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins and recommend how the greatest risks can be mitigated.
However, WWF has said that the plans are “half measures that will fail to save the remaining estimated 55 Maui’s dolphins from imminent extinction”.
Rebecca Bird, WWF-New Zealand’s marine programme manager said “This decision means the government is knowingly allowing a method of fishing that kills dolphins to go ahead in their habitat. Instead of seizing the opportunity to give Maui’s the best chance for survival and population recovery, these measures are simply not enough to protect the species from extinction.”
The organisation says that the measures fail to adequately protect dolphins from commercial and recreational gillnet fishing and trawling throughout their entire range.
Sunday, 29 July 2012
Monday, 23 July 2012
Researchers at the University of British Columbia are concluding that trees are interacting with one another in a symbiotic relationship that helps the trees to survive. Connected by fungi, the underground root systems of plants and trees are transferring carbon and nitrogen back and forth between each other in a network of subtle communication. Similar to the network of neurons and axons in the human brain, the network of fungi, roots, soil and micro-organisms beneath the larger ‘mother trees’ gives the forest its own consciousness.
Friday, 20 July 2012
“Save Misty the Dolphin” Facebook Community - Taiji Urgent Contact List
How to Call Taiji, Japan from the United States
Dial 011 (the international access code)
Dial 81 (the country code for Japan)
Dial 73 (the city code for the city you wish to call)
Dial the rest of the telephone number
Tip on sending e-mails - one way to avoid having emails “bounce back” is to use multiple email accounts when sending mail.
Dolphin Base Resort - where Misty & the other captives are being held. Dolphin Base exports captive dolphins all over the world & keeps many there in overcrowded, inhumane conditions. Their trainers are brought to the Cove during hunts. They select their captives & leave the rest for slaughter. Dolphin Base trainers have been witness to the slaughter.
note: Dolphin Base & Dolphin Resort are in one complex. Dolphin Base is where the dolphins are held. Dolphin Resort is the name for the hotel.
Fisherman's Union - This is the headquarters of the brutal fishermen of Taiji including the notorious “Private Space”
The name of the leader is Hirofumi Seko
The name of the sales manager is Yoshifumi Kai
Fax: 81-559-3018 ***NEW FAX NUMBER*** Thank you Ronda Carter!
Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen @ City Hall
As reported by the Associated Press on 8/23/2010 -"We will pass down the history of our ancestors to the next generation, preserve it. We have a strong sense of pride about this," Mayor Kazutaka Sangen told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview. "So we are not going to change our plans for the town based on the criticism of foreigners."
Mr. Yoshiki Kimura, Governor of Wakayama prefecture
(issues the drive fishery permit)
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Taiji Whale Museum - Keeps live dolphin & whales in isolation & inhumane conditions
Phone: 81-73-559-2400 or 81-73-559-2487
Tourism Bureau, Wakayama Prefecture
FAX : 81-73-427-1523
E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
URL : http://kanko.wiwi.co.jp/world/english/index.html
Links to Japanese Embassies Worldwide
To send communications in Japanese, use Google Translator
Google Translator can also be used when you call Taiji. When you hit "listen" on the left hand side, the Google lady says whatever you typed. Just hold the phone up to the speaker.
Thank you for taking the time to speak out on behalf of the vulnerable dolphins of Taiji. If you note any errors or updates in the contact information we have provided, please notify the “Save Misty the Dolphin Facebook” Community Page Administrators.