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Turtle found dead in Indonesia with plastic waste in stomach

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, December 14th, 2018


Dead turtle found in Congot Beach | Reuters

A turtle was found dead earlier this week in Indonesia with plastic waste hanging from its remains, environment activists said.

This is the first time a turtle is found with so much plastic waste in its stomach, said Hary Hermanto who found the turtle on Congot beach on Sunday (December 9). He added the cause of death was unclear.

Last month a sperm whale found dead in a national park in Indonesia had nearly six kilograms (13.2 lbs) of plastic waste, including 115 cups, in its stomach.

Five Asian nations  China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand — account for up to 60 percent of plastic waste leaking into oceans, said a 2015 report by the environmental campaigner Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment. — Reuters

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Indonesia nabs Russian trying to smuggle baby otters, scorpions

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

Courtesy : Reuters

Indonesian authorities said on Friday (May 24) they have arrested a Russian on the holiday island of Bali after he was found trying to smuggle baby otters and scorpions out of the country.

The unidentified Russian was found carrying four critically endangered Eurasian otters and 10 scorpions in a box stocked with food and milk on Thursday, conservationists said.

“The security in Ngurah Rai International airport found living objects inside the trunk of a Russian passenger during the X-ray scan,” Bali’s Natural Resources Conservative Agency (BKSDA) chief Budhy Kurniwan told reporters.

If found guilty, the suspect could face up to five years in prison and a 100 million Indonesian rupiah ($7000) fine.

Populations of the Eurasian otter, a fish-eating mammal, are declining in Asia and it is a protected species in Indonesia. Illegal wildlife trade is rampant in Indonesia, despite efforts by authorities to crack down on smugglers.

In March, authorities arrested a Russian at the same airport with a drugged a baby orang-utan in his suitcase. He was attempting to smuggle it to Russia. (REUTERS)

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Trash found littering ocean floor in deepest-ever sub dive

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

The boat that carried retired naval officer, Victor Vescovo,
and crew in their exploration in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench

On the deepest dive ever made by a human inside a submarine, a Texas investor and explorer found something he could have found in the gutter of nearly any street in the world: trash.

The expedition is being filmed for a discovery channel documentary series.

Victor Vescovo, a retired naval officer, said he made the unsettling discovery as he descended nearly 6.8 miles to a point in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench that is the deepest place on earth.

His dive went 52 feet lower than the previous deepest descent in the trench in 1960.

Vescovo found undiscovered species as he visited places no human had gone before.

On one occasion, he spent four hours on the floor of the trench, viewing sea life ranging from shrimp-like anthropods with long legs and antennae to translucent “sea pigs” similar to a sea cucumber.

He also saw angular metal or plastic objects, one with writing on it.

“It wasn’t completely surprising although it was very disappointing to see obvious human contamination of the deepest point in the ocean,” Vescovo said.

Plastic waste has reached epidemic proportions in the world’s oceans with an estimated 100 million tonnes dumped there to date, according to the United Nations.

Scientists have found large amounts of microplastic in the guts of deep-dwelling ocean mammals like whales.

Vescovo hoped his discovery of trash in the Mariana Trench would raise awareness about dumping in the oceans and pressure governments to better enforce existing regulations, or put new ones in place.

“I think that there are so many regulations that are not enforced or they’re simply not in place. They can control contamination going into the ocean because once it goes into the ocean it’ll be degraded and it’ll flow all over the world because the currents will carry it that way,” Vescovo said.

In the last three weeks, the expedition has made four dives in the Mariana Trench in his submarine, “DSV limiting factor,” collecting biological and rock samples.

It was the third time humans have dived to the deepest point in the ocean, known as challenger deep. (REUTERS)

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World Bank Group pushes study of plastic waste in Pasig River

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2019

Pasig River

MANILA, Philippines — Plans to study plastic wastes in Pasig River and its tributaries, Marikina and San Juan rivers, are ongoing between the World Bank Group and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.

Currently, the World Bank Group is looking to survey the Pasig River waterway to know the extent of the project though the official agreement is yet to be signed.

This study is part of ongoing efforts to curb plastic pollution and at the same time, support proper waste management.

During the Marine Plastics Conference in the Philippines in Manila on April 4, Senior environmental specialist Katelijn van den Berg said the study would include surveys on the sources and impact of plastic wastes in areas located along the river.

The data from the research, according to the World Bank Group, will be used for policy dialogue with the government.

The project, which would take two to three years to finish, will be funded by the World Bank Group in cooperation with the Korean government, according to World Bank senior environmental engineer Gerardo Parco.

A 2017 study conducted by American and Dutch researchers revealed that Pasig River dumps over 63,000 tons of plastics into the ocean every year, which makes it the world’s second worst contributor of plastic waste to the world’s oceans.

“The Philippines is estimated to have the 3rd highest rate of mismanaged plastic waste worldwide,” noted Agata Pawlowska, World Bank’s Manila Office Operations Manager during the conference.

“The Pasig River and Manila Bay have been identified among the water-bodies around the world that need rehabilitation most urgently,” she added. – Marje Pelayo

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