More sharks endangered—IUCN Red List

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 31, 2019   •   2311

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

Oplan Pamamalakaya: US, PH soldiers install artificial reefs in Batangas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 20, 2019

Jackstone-type artificial habitat reefs made from simple construction materials

The Philippine and the United States military divers, along with local government units and non-government organizations installed artificial reefs in Batangas on August 15.

Oplan Pamamalakaya is a collaboration between by the Philippine Air Force, DV Boer Farm, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Community Environment and Natural Resources Office, and Municipality of Calatagan local government and residents.

The team were able to install a total of 30 jackstone-type artificial habitat reefs made from simple construction materials. 

“This project was a fantastic opportunity for us to partner with our friends in the PAF and help preserve the Philippine environment for future generations,” said Major Zach Hart, a participating diver.—AAC

Former DENR Sec Gina Lopez dies at 65

Maris Federez   •   August 19, 2019

Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez

Former environment and natural resources secretary Gina Lopez died on Monday after battling brain cancer. She was 65.

Lopez was known for being a staunch children’s right champion, as well as, her advocacy in caring for the environment.

Lopez was known for her work in rehabilitating the Pasig River and La Mesa Watershed.

She was also instrumental for the shutting down of mining operations found to have violated environmental laws.

As a children’s rights advocate, Lopez founded the Bantay Bata 163, where cases of child abuse can be reported.

Funeral services for the former secretary is still to be announced.

EcoWaste: Some ukay-ukay toys pose choking and chemical hazards

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 12, 2019

Environment group, EcoWaste Coalition warns the public against the choking and chemical hazard posed by some toys sold in thrift stores or ukay-ukay.

Based on the examination of the group, some ukay-ukay products are laden with chemicals that are dangerous to human health, especially to a child.

“For example, the yellow, orange, green and bars of a used toy xylophone had lead content exceeding the maximum 90 ppm limit for lead in paint,” according to Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.

“Further examination of the samples revealed that as many as 78 items contain small parts that may be separated from the toy. A child may put the detached toy component in the mouth and choke, so a cautionary warning is definitely necessary,” he adds.

Aside from lead, the group also found other harmful chemicals including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) which can interfere with the endocrine or hormone system.

Dizon is also calling the attention of authorities to conduct investigation on the sale of used toys and other children’s products in ukay-ukay stores.

“Yes, recycling is fun, but we do not want recycled toys from abroad to contaminate our children’s bodies and harm their well-being and future,” he concluded.—AAC

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