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Environmentalists say salmon escape is worse than a plague of rats

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018


Salmon (Image grabbed from Reuters video)

A Chilean environmental court ordered the Norwegian-based Marine Harvest to cease operations for 30 days at their Punta Redonda Center in Chile after more than half a million salmon escaped in an episode Greenpeace is saying is the environmental equivalent of 140 million mice running through the streets of the capital.

“The impact is taking place in two areas. First, there is the impact to the health of people who may consume this salmon; they’ve already said that these salmon are not fit for human consumption,” said Greenpeace Oceans Campaign Coordinator Estefania Gonzalez. “But there is an even greater ecosystem damage which is much more dangerous. Because the salmon is not a native species to this area, what it does is eat and devour all the other species in the sea. It is a truly, truly highly destructive species. This is why we wanted to make the comparison that this (the salmon escape) is equivalent to having 140 million loose mice in the city of Santiago.”

On July 5, more than 600,000 salmon escaped the fish farm near the southern city of Calbuco after a storm damaged nine enclosures at Marine Harvest’s Punta Redonda Center.

Greenpeace expressed concern that some of the salmon are a non-native species that could devour a number of wild fish and seafood, and their decomposition could potentially trigger an outbreak of algae bloom.

Under Chilean law, the company has 30 days to recover the fish and has been working with local fisheries to do so.

On Monday, Chilean courts ordered the company to take additional measures to protect the environment, including flying over the region to search for dead fish, making a plan for the disposal of the dead fish, monitoring local rivers and reporting on their progress weekly.

Some of the salmon had been injected with a course of antibiotics that was incomplete at the time of their escape, making them unfit for human consumption and prompting concern by the environmental group that the fish will make it into the food chain too early.

“The antibiotics released in the sea is equivalent to what Norway uses in 4- years and here we have it just one escape. Therefore, the impact of this particular escape, added on to all the impact that the salmon farming industry is generating every single day polluting the water, adding chemicals, pesticides, feces, the increase of red tides, is something that our ecosystems cannot support,” added Gonzalez.

For years, Greenpeace has been fighting salmon fishing, saying it is destructive to other species and the natural ecosystem.

Marine Harvest has downplayed the threat posed to the environment by Florfenicol, the antibiotic injected into some of escaped salmon, saying that there was a little risk it could generate resistance in humans. — Reuters

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At least six dead after plane crashes into house in Chile

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Photo: Reuters

At least five people – two women and three men – and the pilot of a light aircraft were killed after it crashed into a house in the southern Chilean city of Puerto Montt on Tuesday (April 16).

First responders worked to put out the fire on the roof of the house, while onlookers gathered around.

The aircraft had just taken off from the near-by airdrome of “La Paloma,” local media reported.

According to aviation authorities, the aircraft was meant to be carrying a pilot and eight passengers. However three passengers failed to board.

Investigations will be carried out to determine the cause of the accident. (REUTERS)

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‘Battle for Rivers and Esteros’: Massive clean-up of Manila Bay

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2019

DPWH personnel collect plastic waste from polluted esteros | Courtesy: DENR

MANILA, Philippines — Around 5,301 sacks of garbage were collected on Sunday (March 31) in the ‘Battle for Rivers and Esteros’ — a massive clean-up drive of Manila Bay.

Waterways leading to Manila Bay were filled with piles of waste.

Some volunteers used small boats to collect trash while others needed to use cranes and backhoes.

Various groups, government agencies, and residents participated in the cleaning of the waterways that lead to Manila Bay.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu said cleaning the waterways is a step toward cleaning the rivers leading to the bay.

“Ang Parañaque River natin ay isa sa medyo maduming river na dumidiretso sa Manila Bay. Kailangang linisin natin ang Parañaque River, pero ang Parañaque River hindi natin malilinis kung hindi natin isama ang mga estero na pumupunta sa Parañaque River, (The Parañaque River is among the polluted rivers that lead to Manila Bay. We need to clean that. But we cannot do so if we will not clean first the waterways leading to Parañaque River) he said.

Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior of Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año recommends relocating all informal settlers living along the waterways.

He said cleaning Manila Bay is for the sake of the future generation and that it is time to take action.

“Alam ko sa ginagawa nating ito marami tayong nasasagasaan, Mayroong sasama ang loob , pero wala tayo magagwa dahil wala nang panahon, (I know that our activities might upset some groups. They might protest but there’s nothing we can do about it. There is no time),” he said.

Residents who volunteered in the clean-up believe this will help improve their barangay.

Among the rivers that were cleaned include Tullahan, Tinejeos, Pasig, Navotas, Parañaque and San Juan.

Amy Gallarte, a resident of Barangay. Tumana, Marikina City said that cleaning the waterways can help prevent flooding in their area.

“Kailangan po kasi natin ang kalinisan lalong-lalo na po ang creek. Kasi pag nagbara ang creek hindi po dadaloy ang tubig, makukulong po iyan, (We need cleanliness especially in the waterways. Because once it gets blocked, water will get stuck there) she said.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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More sharks endangered—IUCN Red List

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Sunday, March 31st, 2019

Shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) | Courtesy: Mark Conlin, SWFSC Large Pelagics Program

More sharks are now endangered according to the updated Red List Assessments of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

According to the Shark Specialist Group (SSG) of the (IUCN), 17 out of the 58 species of sharks and rays are already classified as threatened of extinction.

“Our results are alarming and yet not surprising, as we find the sharks that are especially slow-growing, sought-after, and unprotected from overfishing tend to be the most threatened,” said Professor Nicholas Dulvy, SSG Co-chair based at Simon Fraser University.

Among the species of sharks listed as endangered includes the Shortfin Mako Shark, Longfin Mako Shark, and the Greeneye Spurdog.

“The threats to sharks and rays continue to mount and yet countries around the world are still falling far short of their conservation commitments, particularly with respect to basic limits on catch,” according to Sonja Fordham, SSG Deputy Chair based at Shark Advocates International.—Aileen Cerrudo

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