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We are natural born killers
our rubbish kills the smallest to the largest creature

AFP: Marine Biology and Cetacean Research Centre of National Cheng-Kung University

AFP: Marine Biology and Cetacean Research Centre of National Cheng-Kung University

Here again the data revealed in the 2014 report, Marine Pollution Bulletin, is sadly substantiated by the death of another magnificent creature. This massive beast had roamed the world’s ocean for many years giving birth or fathering many. The ingestion of trash documented in 56 percent of cetacean species, was found by Taiwanese marine biologists who discovered a mass of plastic bags and fishing net in the stomach of the dead whale.

The 15-metre mature sperm whale was spotted stranded off the southern town of Tongshi on October 15.

Coastguards and scientists returned it to the ocean but three days later it was found dead around 20 km away.

Marine biologists from a local university conducted an autopsy over the weekend and found a mass of plastic bags and fishing net enough to fill an excavator bucket. Professor Wang Chien-ping, head of the Whale Research Centre at National Cheng-Kung University, said the garbage was a major factor in the death.

The large amount of man-made garbage in the stomach could reduce its appetite and cause malnutrition. It was likely a critical cause of death,” he said.

The Society of Wilderness said the case highlighted the growing threat from ocean trash.

Analysis of climate change suggests marine food chain collapse

by Andrew Darby, SMH environment reporter

“There will be a species collapse from the top of the food chain down,” said Professor Ivan Nagelkerken said in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, drawing on the results of 632 experiments on the direction and magnitude of ecological change forced by greenhouse gases.

The work, with fellow University of Adelaide marine ecologist Sean Connell, is aimed at filling a knowledge gap on how climate change will more broadly affect the marine environment.

Professor Nagelkerken found that only the smallest plankton was likely to benefit from warmer waters. He said researchers were a little surprised to find much the same impacts when they modelled short-term stressors and longer-term ones.

“We didn’t expect that longer-term studies would show equally detrimental effects,” he said.

Ocean acidification meant secondary production of zooplankton and smaller fish would not follow plankton’s food gains. Instead warmer waters would raise these fishes’ metabolism, the rate at which they burn calories, and therefore increase their demand for food.

the costs of this mis-match would rise up the food chain, with much less food available for carnivores such as the tuna, sharks and gropers upon which industrial fishing relies, Associate Professor Nagelkerken said.

The analysis also showed that species limited to specific habitats, such as corals, oysters and mussels, would be able to deal only poorly with climate change.

“The future simplification of our oceans has profound consequences for our current way of life, particularly for coastal populations and those that rely on oceans for food and trade,” he said.

One way to help manage the problem was to limit other stressors on marine life.

“If we reduce over-fishing we can slow down the effects of climate change,” he said.

Tuna catches may be fewer under climate change

Tuna catches may be fewer under climate change. Photo: CSIRO Marine Research

Queensland Cobia fish farm wins top show medal

ABC Rural By Michael Condon

Cobia – a fine tasting fish with firm flesh.

Queensland aquaculture company Pacific Reef Fisheries has beaten a field of more than 5,650 entries from around Australia to win the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW President’s Medal. The President’s Medal is open to all agriculturally-based businesses in Australia and carries a prize of $10,000.

Pacific Reef Fisheries was nominated for its sashimi grade Pacific Reef North Queensland cobia.

The Pacific Reef cobia is a little known saltwater finfish, weighing about five to seven kilograms fully grown. It is a relatively new aquaculture species in Australia.

Fantastic News
Pacific Reef Fisheries, based at Ayr in north Queensland, uses groundbreaking, innovative land-based seawater pond system fed by a constant flow of Coral Sea water. Man-made mangrove wetlands form part of a world-first water treatment technique used to clean the water leaving the farm.

Read more here.

Farmers urge Liberal Party to take strong action on climate change

Producers of beef cattle, dairy, grain, lambs and vegetables signed the open letter to the conference in Melbourne, urging the Federal Government to take a strong policy of emission cut to climate change talks in Paris this year. In an open letter to the Liberal Party ahead of this weekend’s national conference, a group of farmers say climate change is real and happening on their farms.

The letter says: “We as Aussie farmers call on the Liberal Party conference to reject the motion put by the regional and rural committee of the Liberal Party questioning the basis of climate science, and instead call for post-2020 targets to cut carbon pollution that are in line with scientists’ recommendations of at least 40 per cent by 2025, and at least 60 per cent by 2030 over 2000 pollution levels.”

We Are Killing Our Best Loved Marine Mammals
Marine Debris Deadly to Whales, Dolphins

Nature World News. By Jenna Iacurci.

You might think twice before tossing a piece of plastic into the garbage rather than a recycling bin when you hear how deadly marine debris, such as floating plastic, is to whales, dolphins and other sea creatures.

According to a 2014 report published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, ingestion of trash has been documented in
56 percent of cetacean species, with rates of ingestion as high as 31 percent in some populations. Bottlenose dolphins and various species of whales are also common victims of marine debris.

Their numbers are still increasing

Despite all efforts to control them, European Carp make up a staggering 90 percent of fish in the Murray Darling basin. Carp cause significant damage to aquatic plants and increase water turbidity, negatively impacting native aquatic fauna, habitat and ecosystems.

Nature isn’t always pretty. This brute was fine when it lived in a few streams. Now widespread throughout the world it devours everything, multiples voraciously, and undermines river banks. In plague proportions in Australia’s Murray River Basin, scientist hope they have a specie specific herpes that will destroy it. Meanwhile it has replaced 90% of all the other creatures, and who’s to know if the cure might not be worse than the brute were attacking. 

Maybe if we farm these creatures in mud free habitats, they can replace the Bigeye Tuna that are rapidly racing to extinction……
Food for Thought,  or is that Thought for Food

Pacific fishing multi-nation talks end in stalemate

The effectiveness of the fishing watchdog in lucrative Pacific island waters was under scrutiny Saturday after talks aimed at protecting the region’s valuable tuna stocks ended in a stalemate.

A group of island nations including Samoa and Palau want the commission, which polices fishing in the region, to establish strict catch limits for bigeye tuna, one of the most sought after species for sushi restaurants in Asia, America and Europe.

However, despite reports indicating bigeye stocks were down to 16 per cent of their historic high, conservation measures appear to have been blocked by the so-called “distant water nations” from as far afield as Europe, China, the United States, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

Related story:

Tuna Stocks on Brink of Disaster

He just doesn’t get it!

PM wants Earth to be scorched by burning fossil fuels till end of century.

  • China installed more renewable energy capacity than fossil fuels in 2013.
  • USA also exploiting global shift to renewable energy, second to China for renewable.
  • In the past year, Australian investment in renewables has dropped 70%.
under Abbott Australia is going backwards!

Australia is going backwards!

While our two largest trading partners are ramping up renewable energy research and manufacture, Tony Abbott has brought in a 70% reduction in Australian development. He’s a dinosaur who wants Earth to be scorched by burning fossil fuels till the end of the century. He just doesn’t understand that changing emphasis to renewables would create a massive number of new jobs in addition to helping planet Earth and secure a future for our grandchildren. Crikey! Can’t imagine what another 86 years of burning coal for power will do to the CO2 levels – I can only imagine in his drive for export dollars, Abbott must think we’ll either bury the climate change gases, or we’ll find a miracle cure. Talk about bad risk management. Standing on the precipice of huge climate change, he’s willing to gamble our children future, when the alternative would develop a whole new industry.

The good news story globally is that China consolidated its position as the world’s renewable energy powerhouse in the past year with 2.6 million people employed in renewable energy jobs and renewables providing nearly one fifth of China’s annual electricity generation.

China installed more renewable energy capacity than fossil fuels in 2013. It also retired 77 gigawatts (GW) of coal power stations between 2006 and 2010 and aims to retire a further 20 GW by 2015.

Read the Report
The Climate Council has issued a report comparing Australia’s action on climate change to the rest of the world in regard to reducing emissions and renewable energy, including the actions taken by some of the world’s largest economies such as China, the US and EU.

[ EARTH NOW continued ]


Earth Now — 5 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, the history of mankind (especially in the last few hundred years) has clearly shown that human beings, in general, will not change their ways until faced with cataclisms.
    To compound this, as someone else has stated on this forum, most “modern city dwellers” exist in an artificial and encapsulated environment and thus are either oblivious to mother nature’s subtle and not-so-subtle warnings! Others just do not care as they are ignorant of their dependence on nature’s goodwill.
    Now combine this sad attitude with greed (surely the worst human attribute of all) and we have a serious problem indeed.
    I hate to say it and I am being realistic: it will take impending human extinction and/or a worldwide cataclism to change things (for the better). This will be initiated by dimishing (thus affordable) reserves of oil, water and food. It will then descend into total chaos and anarchy.
    When I see how some humans treat defenceless animals and the disdain they hold towards any attempt by those who wish to defend and protect our global environment it saddens me and causes me great concerns about our (human) future.
    I am not typically pessimistic but I am a realist! I act upon my beliefs and am active in several environmental organisations BUT this is a very large and multi-dimensional problem.
    We need to be much more effective and vociferous.
    And yes, I am a sailor, diver, explorer, scientist, professional engineer, parent and a (very) concerned human being! How do we make a quantum leap here?
    BTW – great site.

  2. I know that we have all these problems but i mean yes we do think of stuff on how to prevent all this but why do people dont do anything to prevent it i mean only some do …. I’ve been going around peoples houses and some people dont care about whats going

  3. Thank you Pieter. One answer lies in the fact that sailors live surrounded by Nature and notice subtle changes. We use, and are affected by, Nature’s forces. Most of the first world live behind doors and look out windows as if the world was a painting. Alas, the trend in the youth is too isolated themselves further through headphones and devices. Let’s bring Nature’s wonder and adventure back into our lives.

  4. Hey Jack and Jude,
    Great site!
    Why is it mostly people living on a boat/loving sailing that really see the problems of the world/environment/sea? In 1976 I stated in an assessment for my new job that the biggest problem was the growth of the population. 36 years later unfortunately I am still right.
    I only can hope that more and more people will see this and start thinking the other way.

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