The record-breaking endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh discusses the possibility of an Antarctic Ross Sea marine reserve with the Russians.
Marian Locksley's insight:
"The relationship between the US and Russia and the United Kingdom and Russia is very strained. This is the most serious crisis that these parties have faced since the Cold War. There are no bilaterals happening at this stage."
As part of a series of Antarctic swims, this month Mr Pugh swam further south than anyone has swum before. Breaking his own record, he said that the Bay of Whales in the Ross Sea was "the most terrifying place" that he had ever swum. The average sea temperature was -1C , with an air temperature of -37C.
The Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (MPA) has been discussed for the last four years and it has failed four times. The last proposal was vetoed by Russia and China.
It would be the size of the UK, Germany and France put together, and needs 24 countries and the EU all to agree.
Radioactivity in seafood that comes from near the wrecked nuclear power plant is well below the level for concern, but continued testing is vital.
Marian Locksley's insight:
A steady, low background level of radioactivity that we encounter in everyday life. Some of it is human-made but very diffused, born out of the atomic and nuclear testing of the mid-20th century. Some of it is created naturally: radon gas seeping from marble floors, for instance, or the increased dose of cosmic rays that airline passengers get during a flight.
Few people think about these exposures. But since Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011, there’s been worldwide concern that the plant contaminated Pacific Ocean seafood enough to affect human health.
What does it take to help a single dolphin entangled in fishing line? In the recent case of a dolphin calf rescued off the eastern coast of Florida, about two days of effort involving seven boats a...
Marian Locksley's insight:
What does it take to help a single dolphin entangled in fishing line? In the recent case of a dolphin calf rescued off the eastern coast of Florida, about two days of effort involving seven boats and 35 people from 12 institutions and organizations.
And that was after four weeks spent finding him and evaluating his situation to see whether it warranted intervention.
With spring approaching, marine experts say it's a good reminder to look after your belongings when you take to the water. From plastic bags to swimming trunks to crab pots, marine life can get entangled in all manner of human debris.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society applauds the Royal Thailand Customs Investigation and Suppression Bureau for taking action against the poaching vessel KUNLUN. Thailand has acted and the captain of the KUNLUN has been arrested and the ship is detained.
Captain Jose Alberto Zavaleta Salas, a citizen of Peru reported the cargo as 182 tonnes of grouper, valued at about 15 million baht. However, experts have confirmed that the ship had in fact offloaded 182 tonnes of Antarctic toothfish, valued at about 179mn baht.
Mr Salas has been charged for falsely reporting goods to customs. This has been confirmed by Royal Thai Customs Investigation and Suppression Bureau (ISB) team leader Charoen Chamniklang.
Mr Salas also faces charges for falsely reporting the ship’s flag and registration by switching from the name KUNLUN under the flag of Equatorial Guinea to the name TASHAN under the flag of Indonesia.
The handler that received the fish, South Services Co Ltd, has also been charged for its role in illegally importing the fish into Thailand.
The THUNDER now in its 100th day of pursuit by the BOB BARKER will face the same treatment when it arrives in whatever port it decides to enter. Sea Shepherd will report it's intentions so there will be no sneaking into a small remote African port in the dead of night to offload their illegal cargo.
An alert is out in Asia ports for the arrival of the other toothfish poachers encountered by the New Zealand Navy and the Sea Shepherd ship SAM SIMON.
The THUNDER is like one of those high speed police chases. No matter where they go the police follow and they always get caught. It's always a mystery as to why they just keep fleeing. Desperation, fear, confusion, perhaps, but they always get caught. The THUNDER is running low on fuel and their crew of virtual slave labour are not happy. The BOB BARKER has been resupplied but the THUNDER has been cast adrift by their Spanish bosses in Galicia who are scrambling to erase any possible ties between their company and this ship and crew who have served their illegal purposes for so long. The Captain of the THUNDER and his officers must be feeling lonely, neglected and very insecure at the moment. No fuel, no provisions, no instructions, no assistance. But there is a way out for them. They need only surrender their vessel to the authorities where they can make a deal to finger their Spanish bosses in return for leniency and a place in a witness protection program.
I believe the THUNDER's days are almost over. They must realize by now that no matter how long it takes, the BOB BARKER will continue to tail them.
Photos: Thai Customs Boarding and inspecting the KUNLUN. Photo Credits: Thai Customs.
Just before Christmas, the notorious pirate fishing vessel "Thunder" was found by conservationists at work in the Antarctic. Once spotted, it fled. Nearly 100 days later this epic chase off the coast of West Africa is still underway.
Marian Locksley's insight:
Courtesy of @CaptPaulWatson
98 Days of Chasing the THUNDER
It was a shock for the the crew of the THUNDER and joyful relief for the crew of the BOB BARKER when the Sea Shepherd ship SAM SIMON arrived today with supplies for the the BOB BARKER'S crew. Fresh vegetables and fruits from Mauritius and extra fuel.
All hope on the THUNDER that the BOB BARKER would run out of fuel and supplies were dashed with the appearance of the SAM SIMON.
And if that were not enough to sour the countenances of the officers on the THUNDER, yet another ship appeared. This time the fishing vessel ATLAS COVE owned by Austral Fisheries.
The AUSTRAL COVE arrived to show solidarity with Sea Shepherd and today it was a sight to see indeed with the THUNDER being followed by the BOB BARKER, the SAM SIMON and the ATLAS COVE.
The fishermen onboard the ATLAS COVE are well aware of the damages caused by the illegal fishing operations that take millions of tons of fish from the sea without regulations, without oversight and with impunity.
At 0600 hrs (UTC) on the 25th of March 2015, the F/V Thunder was at position: 06 Deg, 11' South and 004 Deg, 07' West on a course of 306 T and making a speed of 7.4 knots.
Today the Sydney Morning Herald carried a story about the continuing pursuit.
Captain Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden on the BOB BARKER and Captain Sid Chakavarty from India on the SAM SIMON and their respective crews have orchestrated the most successful disruption of illegal fishing activities in history.
In March 2015, the United Kingdom declared the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the remote waters surrounding the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The designation marks the first time any government has combined creation of a fully protected marine area with detailed plans for surveillance and enforcement that include use of the most up-to-date technology available.
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