Monthly Archives: September 2015

In The News

“Climate change is actually helping whale hunters — here’s how,” writes VICE News’ Matt Smith.

untitled-article-1441378888

(Photocredit: Franck Robichon/EPA)

In defiance of a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling, Iceland and Norway continue to whale; some in Japan still eat whale meat; Japan allows whaling under an “exemption for scientific purposes.” Whales face “more threats today than at any time in history,” says Patrick Ramage, the director of whale programs at the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the globe, and its sea ice cover has been shrinking for decades. That’s opening up new sea routes along the northern shores of North America, Europe, and Russia — and causing ‘unprecedented changes’ to traditional cetacean habitats, WWF Arctic species specialist Pete Ewins told Vice News.”

Though, Fin whales generally live in the northern temperate waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, warming temperatures have driven them to higher latitudes, “putting them in competition with existing Arctic species like bowhead and beluga whales or narwhals,” said Ewins. “Those whales are highly stressed, especially by ice retreat at unprecedented levels,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the prospect of increased commercial fishing in the region threatens to reduce the amount of food for the massive mammals. And as warming driven by fossil fuel consumption makes the Arctic more accessible, it’s made the estimated reserves of oil and gas in the region more accessible.

All of those pose threats to whales, which also can die when snagged in fishing gear, hit by ships’ propellers, or fouled by an oil spill. Ewins said humans need to come up with “a smarter and better-balanced” approach to the Arctic before pouring into the North the way they have swarmed other frontiers.”

Read more here (https://news.vice.com/article/climate-change-is-actually-helping-whale-hunters-heres-how)!

Donate to my page

Save the Earth, its climate, and those who dwell on it by donating here—every dollar counts (http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!

Advertisements

In The News

“A massive amount of death is plaguing the world’s oceans,” writes VICE News’ Aaron Cantú.

untitled-article-1442861970

(Photocredit: Franck Robichon/EPA)

The WWF attributes the death to a “network of interrelated human behaviors”: overfishing, aquafarming, island- and ocean-based tourism, pollution, climate change, and offshore drilling in the oceans—read more about offshore arctic drilling here. As all of these factors accelerate—largely due to an increased standard of living rather than new human needs—the unprecedented levels of carnage in our oceans will not cease to exist (“29 percent of the world’s fish stocks classified as overfished and 61 percent as ‘fully exploited,’ meaning they have no ability to produce greater harvests”).

However, the oceans are not a lost hope: “‘If you stop taking the pieces out of these ocean civilizations, they can begin to rebuild themselves,’ he told VICE News. ‘It’s never going to regrow itself the way it was 50 years ago […] but we have to do what we can to stop the carnage and allow these systems the space to regrow.'”

Marine species have declined by almost half over the last forty-five years, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Index, and leading marine scientists tell VICE News that the only hope of stopping mass death in the oceans is to radically and quickly transform human behavior.

[…]

Fish were the most threatened, in large part because of human overfishing: Over a third of fish consumed by humans measured by the Living Planet Index are under threat of extinction, with one family of tuna and mackerel falling 74 percent between 1970 and 2010.

Other animals that recorded massive and ongoing losses were sharks and rays, of which one in four species is threatened with extinction, and some species of turtles, which declined by 97 percent in the Eastern Pacific.

The mass death of larger animals is tied to the decimation of habitats that are critical to the ocean’s biosphere. The WWF also noted that coral reefs — which support 25 percent of all marine life — could go extinct by 2050, and global surface areas of seagrass and mangroves, which provide spawning grounds, nutrients, and shelter for many animals, have declined precipitously.

Read more here (https://news.vice.com/article/a-massive-amount-of-death-is-plaguing-the-worlds-oceans)!

Donate to my page

Save the Earth, its climate, and those who dwell on it by donating here—every dollar counts (http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!

In The News

“Scientists want to see microbeads banned — and California is leading the way,” writes Eva Hershaw for VICE News on September 18, 2015.
5-gyres-lots-of-microbeads “In a recent report, researchers from seven institutions have estimated that every day, a whopping 808 trillion microbeads are washed down drains in the United States, while some 8 trillion microbeads are dumped into our waterways in effluent released from wastewater treatment plants,” she writes. “That is enough to cover more than 300 tennis courts daily. Once in aquatic environments, these microbeads, which are made of hydrocarbons, absorb pollutants and are often mistaken for fish eggs, zooplankton, or other forms of food by wildlife, which ingest them.”

Read more here (https://news.vice.com/article/scientists-want-to-see-microbeads-banned-and-california-is-leading-the-way).

Donate to my page

Save the Earth, its climate, and those who dwell on it by donating here—every dollar counts (http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!