Saturday, September 24, 2016

Ice, Ice, Baby...

Confirmation that more than 1,500 metric tons of endangered Icelandic fin whale meat were shipped to Japan in July 2016!
death-carrier Winter Bay
The discovery comes just prior to the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which starts in South Africa today.
The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), OceanCare, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Pro Wildlife, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) tracked the transport vessel Winter Bay from Iceland, through Russia's Northern Sea Route and on to Japan, suspecting it was carrying whale products from the Hvalur whaling company. The shipment arrived in Osaka on 09 Sept.
As blogged here, Winter Bay shipped over 1,800 metric tons of fin whale products from Iceland to Japan via the same route in 2015.
Whaling vessel Hvalur 9
Hvalur and its director, Kristj√°n Loftsson, are emptying their warehouse of fin whale products, presumably to resume their killing in 2017.
Clare Perry, head of EIA's Oceans Campaign: "There‘s no excuse for Iceland to continue to slaughter whales in violation of the 30-yr. old International Whaling Commission (IWC) commercial whaling moratorium. The international community must tell Loftsson that enough is enough: fin whaling must stop."
Iceland and Norway trade commercially in whale products, under their respective reservations to the listing of great whale species on CITES Appendix I. Since 2008, more than 9,000 metric tons of whale products have been exported by the two countries to Japan and the Faroe Islands.
On 14 Sept., a Norwegian company received an export permit from the Norwegian govt to ship up to 195 metric tons of minke whale meat to Japan. If the shipment goes ahead, it will be the largest single shipment of whale meat from Norway since the IWC moratorium took effect. And Lofothval, a Norwegian whale meat company tied to Iceland's Loftsson, also received an export permit on 15 Sept., to ship up to 4 metric tons of whale meat to Japan. Combined, these shipments equal the meat of 137 minke whales.
These export permits are deeply disturbing, as it appears the companies are whaling almost exclusively for the Japanese market.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Eagle Has Landed

Dutch police are adopting the centuries-old pursuit of falconry to deal with the modern-day danger of drones.
They're the world's first force to employ eagles to take down illegal drones.
Dutch police spokesman Dennis Janus: "The eagles see the drones as prey and intercept them as they are flying. Then they land with the drone still in their claws."
These feathered enforcement tools will now be deployed whenever drones are believed to be posing a threat to the public or flying close to airports or sensitive areas. They will be active in time for next summer in the Netherlands.
Oh, and by the way, none of the birds was hurt during testing... however not one of the drones survived!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The End Of The World As We Know It

If this is TRUE, then God must HATE us...
A new report by The Climate Institute indicates coffee could be extinct by 2080 if global warming trends continue!
According to the report, rising temperatures encourage the growth of fungi and pests, which could make half of the world's coffee farming land useless.
It's happened before (almost): unusually high temperatures and high-altitude rains through Central America in 2012 resulted in a wave of coffee leaf rust, affecting more than 50% of the crop. And coffee berry borer, a major pest originating in Congo, has now spread to places such as Tanzania, Uganda, and Indonesia due to hotter, wetter conditions.
The report also warns that such factors can have an impact on everything from coffee flavour to coffee price: "Without strong action to reduce emissions, climate change is projected to cut the global area suitable for coffee production by as much as 50% by 2050. By 2080, wild coffee, an important genetic resource for farmers, could become extinct."
As one who can't function without a good strong coffee every morning, all I can say is: thank goodness I’ll be DEAD by then!