Photography collective takes a stand against wildlife crime

theartnewspaper.com
Tom Seymour

Neil Aldridge’s image of a blindfolded young white rhino, which was sedated for transport to preserve it from poachers, features in the book. The price of rhino horn on the black market is more valuable by weight than gold, diamonds or cocaine, according to a study NEIL ALDRIDGE/photographersagainstwildlifecrime.com

At the beginning of the 20th century, half a million rhinos roamed Africa. Today, there are fewer than 5,000. In 2007, 13 rhinos were poached; since 2013, more than 1,000 have been killed each year. Overwhelmingly, their horns end up on the Chinese and Vietnamese market, where a burgeoning elite views rhino products as an elixir for all manner of ills, or as an ornamental trinket—the ultimate status symbol.

Rhinos are the most iconic of a host of endangered species driven to extinction by such rampant black markets. Pangolins, the only mammal with scales, are frequently found roasted and served in restaurants across East Asia. Black bears are farmed for their bile, which is extracted for use in traditional medicines, while shark fins and turtles are turned into soup. More than 6,000 tigers are held in captivity in China today—before their skeletons are soaked in rice wine and sold to the elite.

This has posed a challenge to some of the world’s most celebrated wildlife photographers. Should their practice and livelihood change as the animals they spend their careers capturing teeter on the brink of extinction?

“Magazines shy away from publishing such imagery. It doesn’t sell well”

Bigeye Thresher Shark Caught in Net by Brian Skerry (2012) © Brian Skerry

A new collective, Photographers Against Wildlife Crime, has formed to address this question and to confront the nation primarily connected to this horrific rise in poaching: China. Co-founded by the award-winning photographer Britta Jaschinski, the group includes some of the most renowned wildlife photographers in the world, including Adrian Steirn, Brent Stirton and Brian Skerry. It was formed in part due to wildlife crime’s lack of visibility in Western publications, Jaschinski says.

“Millions of animals are caught and harvested from the wild and sold in China as food, pets, tourist curios, trophies and for use in traditional Chinese medicine,” she says, adding that the issue doesn’t get the column inches it deserves. “The subject is so upsetting for a lot of people that magazines shy away from publishing such imagery,” Jaschinski adds. “It doesn’t sell well.”
Reaching the target audience

Together, Jaschinski and her colleagues crowdfunded and self-published a collection of their photographs alongside contemporary reporting on the issues behind wildlife crime. The book was initially published in English and quickly sold out. “But we realised we weren’t reaching the target audience that really mattered,” Jaschinski says.

Working in conjunction with a Chinese printer based in London, Jaschinski and her team have translated the book into Mandarin. After months of negotiating with the authorities, they are now in the process of distributing the book across the Chinese mainland.

The book is the first of its kind to be created specifically for a Chinese audience, and explicitly sets out to end the demand for wildlife products in China. It will be launched across the country in July and August, actively targeting the Chinese wildlife consumer market, the trading nucleus for one of the biggest black markets in the world.

Frozen pangolins by Paul Hilton © Paul Hilton

The illegal wildlife trade is the world’s fourth biggest criminal trade after drug smuggling, illegal firearms trade and human trafficking. The price of rhino horn on the black market, Jaschinski points out, is more valuable by weight than gold, diamonds or cocaine, according to a study by Science Advances. Rhino horn is estimated to fetch up to $60,000 per pound on the black market, and the illicit industry as a whole is estimated to be worth $20bn. Andrea Crosta, the director of the Elephant Action League, has called ivory the “white gold of jihad”, pointing out that al-Shabaab, an Islamic terrorist organisation, is funded directly by the illicit ivory and rhino horn trade in China.
Ban is barely enforced

In 2017, the Chinese authorities announced that all trade in ivory and its products would be made illegal. But the ban was barely enforced, Jaschinki says. The trade in rhino and tiger has been prohibited since 1993, but in October 2018, China alarmed conservationists by announcing that products from captive animals are authorised “for scientific, medical and cultural use”.

“I’ve worked on wildlife crime for 25 years—and I don’t distinguish between legal and illegal wildlife crime,” Jaschinski says. “China is becoming the economic leader of the world; I wanted to look at the horrendous treatment of animals and nature in the country, and especially at the link between poaching and trade in the country, and the mistreatment of animals in captivity in China.”

Bruno D’Amicis’s image of a Fennec fox pup offered for sale to a tourist after being caught in the desert in Tunisia. (Kebili Governorate, Tunisia, May 2012) © Bruno D’Amicis

While the images are often appalling, they have artistic merit, for each photographer involved has approached the subject from a different perspective, and by employing a different style. In the introduction to the book, Roz Kidman Cox, the chair of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year jury, writes: “Some set out to highlight injustice through statement art, creating images that are unforgettable through their power—fury expressed beautifully. Others take dismembered beauty and reincarnate it in a haunting arrangement, turning evidence into art. Or they use the iconography of classical art to give their compositions human resonance, echoing a crucifixion, a deathbed repose or the spoils of war.”

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/amp/news/photography-collective-takes-a-stand-against-wildlife-crime?__twitter_impression=true

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Feinstein Calls for Enhanced Safety Reviews at All California Horse Racing Tracks

santaanitabettingtweet

feinstein.senate.gov
Feinstein Calls for Enhanced Safety Reviews at All California Horse Racing Tracks
2-3 minutes

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) this week sent letters to California Governor Gavin Newsom and the owners of the Del Mar and Los Alamitos horse racing tracks urging an expansion of the enhanced safety review the governor implemented at Santa Anita Park.

“The extra layer of review you established to examine each horse’s medical records and racing history is a prudent step to ensure racehorse safety. I urge you to implement it at racetracks throughout California for the remainder of the year,” Senator Feinstein wrote.

Full text of letter to Governor Newsom is below.

June 18, 2019

The Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Newsom,

I write in support of your agreement with The Stronach Group to require an enhanced safety review of horses before they race at Santa Anita Park. While this policy is currently limited to Santa Anita, I ask that you extend the protocol to all horse races and tracks in California for the remainder of 2019.

The 29 fatalities experienced at Santa Anita this year have brought into focus the danger horses face when competing at a high level. Statistics show that most horses who suffer a fatal injury while racing are found to have had a preexisting condition that may have contributed to their breakdown. We should pursue any reasonable measures to detect those preexisting conditions and prevent horses from racing when they are at-risk of catastrophic injury.

The extra layer of review you established to examine each horse’s medical records and racing history is a prudent step to ensure racehorse safety. I urge you to implement it at racetracks throughout California for the remainder of the year.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United State Senator

https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?id=AD64E56D-F1F4-49FF-94AD-120D744E8269

Save Endangered Parrot Species From Extinction

The beloved kākāpō parrot faces possible extinction as several die from a fungal disease, leaving only 142 adults left. Help prevent future deaths by ensuring the protection of these parrots from the disease.

Source: Save Endangered Parrot Species From Extinction

Sign Petition: This Company Is Destroying an Island

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Manasseh Sogavare P.M. of the Solomon Islands, Xiang Lin

To most people, the Solomon Islands may seem like small specks of land in the huge expanse of the South Pacific. But to its more than 600,000 residents, it’s home. And they will do anything to protect it. The nation’s forests face the very real threat of disappearing in the coming years due to overexploitation spawned by the voracious demand for timber in Asia.

Since 1990, for example, Solomon Islanders have seen more than 20% of their forest disappear, putting both their livelihoods and their native species’ existence at risk. Now some residents are fighting back, but if the government has their way, they will spend years in jail for their resistance.

Sign to demand justice for the Nende Five.

There are many logging concerns now toppling old-growth forests throughout the archipelago, but according to activists, one company’s operations — Malaysia-based Xiang Lin SI Ltd — showed up on their southern island of Nende and started their operations illegally. But even though it is Xiang Lin Si Ltd that is accused of breaking the law, the government has decided to prosecute the brave activists that are trying to stop them.

According to villagers, Xiang Lin didn’t go through the proper steps and channels in order to acquire a license. They didn’t consult the locals, they didn’t give them the obligatory 30 day period to raise any grievances and — perhaps most troubling of all — there are signs that the previous provincial premier, Baddley Tau had accepted bribes that might have allowed logging companies like Xiang Lin to start operations without going through the correct channels.

With all the uncertainty into the illegality of the Xiang Lin’s practices, it’s no wonder that so many Nende Islanders have started fighting back. Some of them, now known as the “Nende Five” have been arrested and face serious jail time if they are found guilty.

Xiang Lin has encroached on the livelihood of an entire island of people, their culture, their ecosystem and their way of life. They have bulldozed and destroyed. And now, after all that, they are about to be the cause of unfair incarceration of people who were just want to protect their lands.

Sign the petition and ask the Solomon Islands to drop the charges against the Nende Five and tell Xiang Lin to cease operations on Nende immediately.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/562/724/087/?z00m=31710688&redirectID=2891548854

5 Things to Know About the State of Our Oceans for World Oceans Day

ecowatch.com
Tropical fish and turtle swim in the Red Sea, Egypt, an inlet of the Indian Ocean. vlad61 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Saturday, June 8 is World Oceans Day, a chance to honor and celebrate our blue planet. Ocean lovers around the world will attend beach cleanings and other events or join a March for the Ocean to call for an end to activities that harm marine life, like offshore oil drilling and plastic pollution.

The oceans generate most of the oxygen we breathe, provide food and medicine and help keep our climate stable, according to the day’s organizers. They are also home to amazing animals and ecosystems, like whales and coral reefs, that make the earth a more wondrous place to live. But the world’s marine environments face unprecedented threats. Here are five things to know about the state of our oceans in 2019.

1. Ocean Plastics Are on the Rise

It’s well-known that eight million metric tons of plastics enter the world’s oceans every year. But a study published in April gave new insight into how plastic pollution has proliferated in the past six decades. Researchers found that equipment used to collect plankton had increasingly been disrupted by plastic since it first got entangled with fishing gear in 1957.

“The message is that marine plastic has increased significantly and we are seeing it all over the world, even in places where you would not want to, like the Northwest Passage and other parts of the Arctic,” Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, England researcher Clare Ostle told The Guardian.

2. Plastic Pollution Threatens Marine Oxygen Production

All that plastic floating in the ocean kills one million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals every year, according to the UK government. But a study published in May found it could have a disturbing impact on some of the ocean’s smallest life forms as well. Scientists exposed the ocean’s most abundant photosynthetic bacteria to chemicals that leach from plastic bags. The chemicals made it harder for the bacteria to grow and produce oxygen. This is scary because these bacteria are responsible for 10 percent of the oxygen we breathe.

“This study revealed a new and unanticipated danger of plastic pollution,” paper co-author and Macquarie University research fellow Lisa Moore told The Independent.

3. Global Warming Is Already Putting Fish in Hot Water

The oceans and the creatures in them are also threatened by climate change, and a groundbreaking study published in March found that rising ocean temperatures are already shrinking fish populations. A University of Rutgers-led team discovered that sustainable fish populations had declined by an average of 4.1 percent over 80 years. That might not sound like a lot, but it actually amounts to 1.4 million metric tons of fish lost between 1930 and 2010. And in some regions the decline was more extreme: sustainable fish populations fell by 34 percent in the northeast Atlantic and 35 percent in the Sea of Japan.

“We were stunned to find that fisheries around the world have already responded to ocean warming,” study co-author and Rutgers’ Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources associate professor Malin Pinsky told Rutgers Today. “These aren’t hypothetical changes sometime in the future.”

4. Marine Heatwaves Act Like Underwater Wildfires

Ocean warming doesn’t just damage individual species. It devastates entire ecosystems. A first-of-its-kind study published in March found that the number of ocean heat wave days per year is surging: The number has increased by more than 50 percent between two 29-year time chunks compared by the scientists. This has particularly harmed coral reefs in the Caribbean, Australian sea-grass beds and California’s kelp forests.

“You have heatwave-induced wildfires that take out huge areas of forest, but this is happening underwater as well,” lead author Dan Smale at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, UK told The Guardian. “You see the kelp and seagrasses dying in front of you. Within weeks or months they are just gone, along hundreds of kilometres of coastline.”

5. Ocean Acidification Makes Life Even Harder for Coral Reefs

Marine heat waves threaten coral reefs by causing coral bleaching, in which corals expel the algae that give them color and nutrients. But the greenhouse gasses we are pumping into the atmosphere also endanger coral in another way. They cause ocean acidification, which is what happens when carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater and changes its chemical makeup. This reduces the amount of calcium carbonate that animals like corals use to repair themselves after stressful events like bleachings. In research published just last week, scientists found that some corals and algae they studied were not able to adapt to more acidic waters. This could alter the composition and function of reefs.

“We found that corals and coralline algae weren’t able to acclimatize to ocean acidification,” study author Malcolm McCulloch said.

 

https://www.ecowatch.com/world-oceans-day-facts-2638711550.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

Rep. Cunningham Introduces Bill Banning Offshore Drilling on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts

cunningham.house.gov

The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act would permanently ban oil and gas leasing off the coast of the Pacific and Atlantic

Washington, D.C. – Keeping his promise to make sure there is never offshore drilling on South Carolina’s coastline, today Rep. Joe Cunningham introduced the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act. This bipartisan legislation would permanently ban oil and gas leasing off the coast of the Pacific and Atlantic.

“I’ve been clear from the very beginning that our beaches, businesses, and way of life should not be for sale. South Carolinians want nothing to do with offshore drilling and the devastating threat it poses to our vibrant natural resources,” said Congressman Joe Cunningham. “I am proud to have the support of a bipartisan group of lawmakers, advocates, and organizations up and down South Carolina and across both the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead this bipartisan bill across the finish line to ban offshore drilling off our coast once and for all.”

“The Administration is trying to further oil and gas interests at an alarming rate, including major expansions of offshore drilling in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This is nothing more than a hand-out to the oil and gas industries and runs counter to health, safety, and environmental safeguards we know must be in place to protect our coastlines. These actions also run counter to the will of the citizens in these coastal communities. I am proud to join with my colleagues in making it perfectly clear to this Administration – there will be no new drilling off our coasts,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal.

“The Trump administration’s drill-everywhere plan has run into a wave of public opposition. Americans from coast to coast have made it very clear that they do not want to see more oil rigs in their oceans,” said Rep. Jared Huffman. “The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act will halt Trump’s oil and gas drilling spree in its tracks, protecting coastal communities and fragile ecosystems from environmental catastrophe. In California, we know that our coastal economies would be placed at unacceptable risk by offshore oil and gas drilling, which threatens the tourism, recreation, and fishing industries. I’m glad to work together with Joe Cunningham on this ongoing effort to block offshore drilling on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and to shield both of our coastlines from dangerous exploitation.”

“From Congress to the Governor’s mansion to City Council chambers, bipartisan leaders across South Carolina have said time and time again they oppose drilling off our coast. Now Congressman Cunningham is leading the charge in Congress to ensure this threat never comes to be,” said John Tynan, Executive Director of Conservation Voters of South Carolina. “Voters in the Palmetto State have told their elected leaders to prevent drilling off our coast, and we’re proud to stand beside Congressman Cunningham as he leads the way in the fight to protect our coastline, tourism economy, and quality of life.”

“This smart measure responds to communities and leaders all along our Atlantic and Pacific coasts who strongly oppose offshore drilling. It would protect those coastal waters and wildlife from the risks of another BP-style disaster, as well as industrial ruin and ongoing harm. This bill deserves the support of everyone who cares about healthy oceans, marine life, our coastal economies and all they support”, said Alexandra Adams, Legislative Director, Nature Program, Natural Resources Defense Council.

https://cunningham.house.gov/media/press-releases/rep-cunningham-introduces-bill-banning-offshore-drilling-atlantic-and-pacific

Center For Biological Diversity & Defenders Of Wildlife File Intent to Sue Trump Administration to Protect Atlantic Sharks & Giant Manta Rays From Lethal Longlines & Gillnets – World Animal News

By WAN –
April 3, 2019

On behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife, today Earthjustice filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to protect oceanic whitetip sharks and giant manta rays from being killed by longlines and huge nets used by U.S. fishermen in Atlantic fisheries.
Defenders petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to list the oceanic whitetip shark and giant manta ray under the Endangered Species Act in 2015. The agency listed the shark and ray as threatened last year, triggering the agency’s obligation to consider conservation measures to protect the species from federal actions when authorizing U.S. fisheries.
Today’s notice letter to the Fisheries Service says officials have not completed required consultations when authorizing fisheries managed under the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan. The Endangered Species Act requires consultations to ensure that federal actions do not unduly harm protected species.
The agency has not completed these consultations on the pelagic longline (which targets tuna, swordfish and other species), shark drift gillnet or shark bottom longline fisheries — all of which harm oceanic whitetip sharks and giant manta rays and have contributed to the species’ declines.
“These sharks and rays won federal protection, but they’re still being slaughtered by reckless fishing practices,” said Catherine Kilduff, a Center attorney in a statement. “The Trump administration has to follow through by regulating the deadly Atlantic longline and gillnet fisheries. Giant manta rays and oceanic whitetip sharks will keep declining if our government doesn’t do its moral and legal duty to protect them.”
The giant manta ray, with a wingspan that can reach 29 feet, has suffered population declines of up to 95% in some places due to commercial fishing. Similarly, scientists have estimated substantial declines in oceanic whitetip sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, including an 88% decline in the Gulf of Mexico due to commercial fishing. Reducing the primary threat to these species, commercial fishing, is key to their survival and recovery.
Giant manta rays and oceanic whitetip sharks are intentionally hunted in other countries — the sharks for their large fins and the manta rays for their gills, both prized for Asian medicines and cuisine — and are often swept up as bycatch by U.S. fisheries. Gillnets have been called “walls of death” for the harm they do to a variety of marine species. Atlantic longlines can be up to 45 miles long, with hundreds of baited hooks.
“These horrific fishing practices are outdated,” Jane Davenport, a Defenders attorney, said. “We can’t keep fishing indiscriminately while sharks, manta rays and other accidental victims move toward extinction. As the agency charged with both conserving these imperiled species and managing U.S. fisheries, the National Marine Fisheries Service is under a double obligation to comply with the Endangered Species Act’s mandate to ensure the survival and recovery of the oceanic whitetip shark and giant manta ray.”
“The law requires these species to be given meaningful protections in the water, not just on paper,” said Earthjustice attorney Chris Eaton. “NMFS can’t allow these fisheries to continue harming the oceanic whitetip and giant manta ray unchecked. It needs to put some safeguards into place.”
A peer-reviewed study by Center scientists released in January found most marine species listed under the Endangered Species Act are recovering. Listed species with critical habitat protections and those listed for more than 20 years are most likely to be rebounding. In February 2019, Defenders and the Center also sent a detailed technical letter to the agency urging it to designate critical habitat for the giant manta ray in U.S. waters.

https://worldanimalnews.com/center-for-biological-diversity-defenders-of-wildlife-file-intent-to-sue-trump-administration-to-protect-atlantic-sharks-giant-manta-rays-from-lethal-longlines-gillnets/

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How to Protect Your Car from Hail Damage Without parking???

Omar's blog

The sight of your beloved car being wrecked by a hail storm is certainly not pleasant.

In some cases, heartbreaking.  Especially, when it cost you a fortune.

So, what can you do to escape the devastating wrath of the hail-storm?

Apparently, a lot.

With some simple steps, you can escape the terrible fury of this white monster AKA hail-storm.

Following are some of the tips that you can follow to safeguard your car against hail storm.

Sign Up For Weather Alerts

There is an old (and gold) saying that precaution is better than prevention.

No matter who said that, but they are damn right.

The knowledge of a hail storm prior to the event will give you enough time to take appropriate precautions.

This way, you won’t have to prepare an emergency plan at the eleventh hour and can totally ensure that your car is safely tucked away before the…

View original post 552 more words

Florida Manatee Deaths up Almost 50% in 2018

The Jaguar

A Florida manatee looking at the camera.
Florida manatee deaths rose significantly in 2018. Here’s Looking at You Kid – Meet a Florida Manatee by the U.S. Geological Survey. Public Domain.

Here’s a heart-breaking story by John R. Platt and Dipika Kadaba of The Revelator. It turns out that 824 Florida manatees died last year, almost 50% more than in 2017.

Those 824 mortalities (deaths) represent 13% of the Florida manatee population, and many of them were caused by people – either directly or indirectly.

The Revelator released a video that goes into more detail about why so many manatees died last year. Click below to watch it, and be sure to visit this link for the original story.

Video by The Revelator about the dramatic rise in Florida manatee mortalities in 2018.

View original post

Protect Gulf Whales from Extinction

 

Fewer than 100 Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whales remain in the wild. Without immediate protections, they will disappear from the face of the Earth. Sign this petition to protect these majestic mammals.

Source: Protect Gulf Whales from Extinction

Breaking! Anger Mounts As Iceland Sets Quota For Commercial Whaling At 426 Whales Annually; This Must End! – World Animal News

By Karen Lane –
February 22, 2019

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) strongly opposes Iceland’s decision Tuesday to establish a base whaling quota of 209 fin whales and 217 minke whales annually from 2019 to 2023. Due to this misguided regulation, Iceland’s image as a nature tourism destination could face irreparable damage.
Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries Kristján Þór Júlíusson based his decision, in part, on a macroeconomic review of Icelandic whaling released by the University of Iceland’s Institute of Economics in late January 2019. This review is an unsound document that does not provide a complete or accurate assessment of the impacts of whaling on Iceland’s economy, image and fisheries.
Iceland’s base whaling quota remains unchanged from last year, but it is still unclear if a carryover quota will increase the overall quota moving forward.
“Minister Júlíusson has failed not only Iceland’s whales but also the people of Iceland in making this decision,” said Susan Millward, AWI’s Marine Animal Program Director in a statement. “The deeply flawed macroeconomic review of whaling did not consider the welfare implications of whaling, nor did it accurately portray the negative impacts whaling has had on Iceland’s image and economy.”
Icelandic whaling quotas are not approved by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the only appropriate international organization responsible for the conservation and management of whales. Furthermore, commercial whaling is inherently cruel, unsustainable and impossible to regulate. AWI advocates for an end to commercial whaling, including Iceland’s unprofitable and unnecessary whaling industry.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-anger-mounts-as-iceland-sets-quota-for-commercial-whaling-at-426-whales-annually-this-must-end/

Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Sign Petition: 50 Starved Polar Bears Came Into Town and Now They May Be Killed

thepetitionsite.com

by: Care2 Team
recipient: Russian Officials

The town of Novaya Zemlya has had quite a week: 50 starved polar bears have invaded their small Russian town looking for food! People in the town are both scared and excited. They get to see polar bears up close, which is really cool, but some of them have tried to enter people’s homes. The fear is that, even though polar bears are a protected species, people who feel scared and trapped will act out and kill the animals.

Sign now to make sure Russian officials do everything they can to keep the polar bears safe and humanely remove them from the town!

One particular garbage in the town seems to be the biggest draw for them, so officials may just try to move that. They are also discussing sedating and relocating them, but that would likely be expensive, difficult and very stressful to the bears who just wanted something to eat.

Polar bears have lost so much from climate change. They are born on land but then spend most of their lives in the water or on ice barges, which are melting rapidly. Experts believe the polar bears have invaded the town because their habitat and food (seals) are disappearing due to climate change.

Locals have declared a state of emergency. Now we just need to be sure that they don’t harm the polar bears in trying to get them out of this town.

Please sign on demanding that authorities do not use fatal force to evacuate the polar bears!

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/324/351/187/

More information with links in comment section below…

Sharkwater Extinction: This Film will Change You

The Jaguar

A white tip shark.
White Tip desktop background, retrieved from https://www.sharkwater.com/photo-gallery/.

Given that I’ve just spent a year of my life studying wildlife television, and that I consider myself a connoisseur of wildlife films and TV, I’ve decided to start reviewing nature-based films and television programs. This first review concerns Sharkwater: Extinction by the late Rob Stewart.

iTunes describes Sharkwater: Extinction as, “A thrilling action adventure journey that follows filmmaker Rob Stewart as he exposes the billion dollar illegal shark fin industry and the political corruption behind it…Stewart’s mission is to save the sharks before it’s too late.”

Here’s my take on the film:

Very General, Minimal Spoilers Synopsis

Sharkwater: Extinction picks up in Costa Rica, where the first Sharkwater left off. Accompanying Stewart is Regina Domingo and a team of filmmakers, and together they examine the political and economic structures that drive the slaughter of sharks. Things happen and the…

View original post 584 more words

Sign Petition: Sharks and Rays Are in Serious Danger Unless We Act Now

thepetitionsite.com

The global shark and ray population is in serious trouble, but, thankfully, legislators in Hawaii are currently considering doing more to protect these creatures in state waters. Currently there’s a bill that would make it a misdemeanor (with up to a $10,000 fine) for killing, capturing or abusing sharks and rays.

Sign the petition if you want this important conservation bill to become law!

Sharks and rays need full protection under the law, for their benefit and for the health of our oceans. Rep. Nicole Lowen, who chairs the House Environmental Protection and Energy Committee said, “As apex predators, sharks and rays help to keep the ocean ecosystem in balance, and protecting them from unnecessary harm is essential to the health of our coral reefs.”Beyond being good for the ocean’s ecosystem, there is also just no excuse for people killing these animals. We don’t need to do it and we shouldn’t put up with needless animal killing.

Similar legislation has cleared the state Senate before, but now it’s up to the state House to keep House Bill 808 alive. State Rep. Chris Lee, head of the House Judiciary Committee must give the legislation a hearing by the end of the week in order to keep the ocean ecosystem thriving. That’s why he and other Hawaiian legislators need to hear from us now!

Let Hawaii be an example of conservation stewardship for the world to emulate. Sign on if you want this bill to pass to protect sharks and rays fully!

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/320/911/821/tell-hawaii-to-outlaw-the-killing-of-all-sharks-and-rays/

Sign Petition: Octopus Are Extremely Smart, But These Countries Want to Make Them Suffer

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: China, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Mexico, and Chile

41,715 SUPPORTERS – 45,000 GOAL

In the Disney movie “Finding Dory,” audiences fell in love with the scene-stealing octopus named Hank who helped the main character escape from an aquarium. While octopus can’t talk or drive cars, they have been known to be incredible escape artists who often leave fisherman or aquarium workers scratching their heads, wondering where their catch has gone.

That’s because the cephalopod is extremely intelligent. They are capable of figuring out complex puzzles, planning attacks, memorizing landscapes and using tools to survive. This intelligence has convinced many who study the animal that it isn’t just smart, but possibly a conscious being.

This fact has brought many to the conclusion that octopus should no longer be eaten, since eating one would be similar to eating a dolphin, parrot or chimpanzees — all smart animals in their own right.

But others have not gotten the memo. In fact, at this moment scientists in several countries are looking for ways to make underwater octopus farming a reality. If successful, hundreds of thousands if not millions of octopus a year would likely be kept in featureless tanks, without stimuli only to be slaughtered for human consumption.

In order to make any sort of octopus farming profitable, farmers would either have to keep them in small individual tanks or in large enclosures which held multiple animals. But according to a new study that analyzes the costs of the proposed project: “Octopuses are solitary, carnivorous animals badly suited to captivity. Confined in tiny cages, they suffer and die; confined together, they kill each other.” Neither way would likely be up to the humane treatment standards most nations expect their food to be raised.

But it’s not just the idea of factory farming yet another animal — and a smart one at that — that is troubling. The side effects of factory farming octopuses could be our seas as a whole. Just as we exploit thousands of acres of land to produce feed for our cows, industrial farms would require tons of wild caught shellfish and other food for their animals. So quite opposite from relieving the stress on our oceans, it could actually increase it.

Right now, scientists are encouraging nations to stop this inhumane and ecological disaster before it starts by urging them to ban octopus farming now. Doing so would kill demand and stave off an industry that will likely have serious negative effects on our planet.

Please join them, sign the petition and tell the governments of China, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Mexico, and Chile to kill this industry before it starts. Ask them to ban octopus farming.

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/752/976/272/

Sign the Petition: More Than a Hundred Whales, Orcas and Belugas are Being Held in Tiny Closures on Russia’s Pacific Coast in the City of Nakodka.

change.org

More than 100 whales – orcas and belugas – are being held in tiny enclosures on Russia’s Pacific Coast in the city of Nakhodka.

This is the largest number of sea creatures to ever be held in small temporary enclosures. Some of them have been there since July.

Marine mammal experts claim that those animals were being sold to Chinese aquariums, despite the fact that legally they are only supposed to be used for scientific and educational work. In China there are thousands of millions of dollars to be made on these whales.

There are currently 11 orcas, 5 baby walrus and 90 baby belugas held in these enclosures.15 of the belugas are yearlings that are completely dependent on the mothers for survival. Yearlings need to be in constant tactile contact with a parent – in case of danger their mother will fight to the death to keep them alive. Capturing whales this young is banned in Russia.

The export of these marine mammals has finally been stopped but the problem now is that these animals are stuck in “whale prison” whilst the authorities try to find the perpetrators and work out the right procedural decision to take. Independent experts are seriously worried that the animals will die if they are kept in these conditions much longer. Whale babies who have not received enough mother’s milk will not survive the winter.

Solution

These Orca’s need to be released into their natural habitat. The belugas need to be transferred to responsible people that will feed them, rehabilitate them and release them into their natural habitat when they are ready.

https://www.change.org/p/release-orcas-and-beluga-whales-from-the-whale-jail-in-srednyaya-bay

Progress Is Being Made; India Is Establishing Their First Government Centre On Alternatives To Animal Testing In Biomedical Research – World Animal News

By Karen Lane –
January 23, 2019

In a historic move to advance human medical progress and move away from reliance on monkeys, dogs and other animals as testing models for human diseases, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), under the aegis of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has announced its plans to establish a new “ICMR Centre of Excellence in Human Pathway-Based Biomedicine and Risk Assessment” in Hyderabad.
ICMR’s announcement comes on the heels of meetings with Humane Society International and People for Animals, which have urged Indian science funding bodies to ramp up their investment in leading technologies such as human organs-on-a-chip and next-generation computer modeling techniques, which are essential for advancing public health and economic growth alongside the United States, Europe, China, and other global innovation leaders.
HSI/India Deputy Director Alokparna Sengupta said in a statement, “We are grateful to ICMR for thinking outside the cage and heeding our call to establish this urgently needed centre for advancement of human-specific approaches for medical research and product safety testing. More and more scientists are questioning the relevance and utility of animal-based research and testing, while foreign funding agencies are investing heavily in cutting-edge non-animal technologies. This new ICMR centre, if properly resourced, has the potential to make India a key global player in 21st century medical research. We look forward to continued collaboration with ICMR to make this vision a reality.”
In parallel, ICMR has coordinated the drafting of an “Indian Roadmap on Alternatives to Animals in Research” with inputs from eminent Indian scientists and experts in the area, including representatives of HSI/India. It is expected that this white paper document will serve as a foundation for developing future research funding calls by ICMR, which will ultimately drive the science agenda at the new human-focused Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad.
Humane Society International is a founding member of the Biomedical Research for the 21st Century (BioMed21) collaboration, a diverse, international group of stakeholders who share a vision of a new, human-focused paradigm in medical research. The collaboration is currently advertising an open funding call aimed exclusively at Indian health scientists, to support the development and open-access publication of targeted review articles in key public health areas such as cancer, diabetes (type II), cardiovascular diseases and tuberculosis.

https://worldanimalnews.com/india-is-establishing-their-first-government-centre-on-alternatives-to-animal-testing-in-biomedical-research/

Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Florida To Introduce Bill That Would Ban Smoking On Public Beaches – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson →

A new bill has been introduced that aims to reduce cigarettes on Florida beaches. Sarasota House Republican Joe Gruters is looking for the state to bank smoking on all public beaches through bill SB218, which would fine first-time violators $25 or 10 hours of community service.

If Florida passes the bill, it would go into effect July 1st, 2019.

The bill may face potential problems as this isn’t the first time representatives have tried to restrict smoking on beaches in Florida. In 2017, a law that was in place for five years and banned smoking in Sarasota County public parks and beaches was tossed out by a judge whom declared it unconstitutional on the grounds that local jurisdictions couldn’t ban something that was legal on a state level.

Hopefully though, with the potential ban being state wide this time, there will not be another loop-hole that would allow the bill to be thrown out if it does get through the legislatures.

Florida would not be the only state with this ban in place as New Jersey recently banned smoking in public beaches which carries a fine of $250.00

Cigarette butt continue to be the largest single polluter in the ocean damaging habitats, poisoning fish and costing tax dollars for cleanup and disposal, according to environmental experts.

Outside of direct pollution on the beach, cigarettes make their way to the sea due to countless storm drains, streams and rivers around the world. The waste often disintegrates into microplastics easily consumed by wildlife. Researchers have found the detritus in some 70 percent of seabirds and 30 percent of sea turtles.

As Florida holds some of the most visited and popular beaches in the world, banning smoking would be a huge win in helping to contain ocean pollution.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/01/03/florida-to-introduce-bill-that-would-ban-smoking-on-public-beaches/

Good news for the start in 2019!

World Animals Voice

Flag_of_the_Czech_Republic.svg

From 2019, the keeping of animals on fur farms will be banned in the Czech Republic. Thus, the Czech Senate confirmed a law passed in June 2017. In countries such as Austria, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Japan and Macedonia there is already a fur ban.

“More and more governments are realizing that fur farming is morally unjustifiable,” commented Frank Schmidt, specialist for animals in the garment industry at PETA Germany. “The fur industry is on the decline in much of Europe.”

Mink Kastoria 2_1

In the Czech Republic, this should save around 20,000 animalsmainly mink and foxes – per year, which are currently kept in nine fur farms. These could receive compensation for this from the Ministry of Agriculture. An opinion poll published in April 2017 found that 83 percent of Czechs supported the ban.

Germany will soon be fur-free!

In September 2017, a new fur farming…

View original post 273 more words

Sign Petition: Stop the Waste Dump and Save Our Water Supply!

by: Joe Sireno
recipient: Citizens of Vernon Township, NJ, Sussex, NJ

9 SUPPORTERS in Sussex

2,715 SUPPORTERS – 20,000 GOAL

STOP THE WASTE DUMP – SAVE VERNONS WATER SUPPLY!

For years a resident of our town has been profiting by turning his residentially zoned property into a construction waste dump. Every day dump trucks, some without license plates or surface graphics identifying their ownership, show up at 3 Silver Spruce Lane in Vernon, dumping loads of mixed construction waste of seriously questionable content. The only way to confirm if there is or is not a significant danger to the health of the citizens and especially the children of Vernon is to do independent water well, water run-off and deep core soil testing on a scheduled basis underneath the mountains of waste created by this practice.

What’s at stake: Nothing less than the safety of our water supply, the health of our children, the value of our homes and our community’s ability to grow and thrive. Numerous attempts have been made to seek proper redress by various good citizens of our town like Peg and Pat Destasi and many others. Mayor Harry J. Shortway and congressman Josh Gottheimer are fully aligned with our cause and have acted aggressively on our behalf to the extent possible so far. Now it’s time for all of us to stand up, be counted and to join this important effort.

We, the citizens of Vernon, NJ, therefore demand the NJDEP take immediate action to halt any further dumping on Mr. Joseph Wallace’s property or any other tract of land within the boundaries of Vernon, NJ until such time as a thorough and exhaustive testing is done to the earth and water beneath the sites used for the dumping of waste. If pollutants are found that compromise soil and or water, we further demand that the NJDEP permanently stop the dumping, enforce all appropriate laws and require the immediate remediation of the sites in question.

PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION TODAY! Join us as we demand legal actions be taken by the NJDEP. Please “like” our Facebook Page for news, public meeting dates and updates on our progress.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/338/838/447/

 

Petition: Japan Is About to Start Slaughtering Even More Whales

by: Judy Molland
recipient: Japanese Government

39,173 SUPPORTERS – 40,000 GOAL

Japan announced December 26 that it was pulling out of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

“We have decided to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission in order to resume commercial whaling in July next year,” Japanese Cabinet Chief Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

Commercial whaling has been illegal since 1986, but Japan has flouted the ban several times. Now the country is declaring that it is leaving the IWC in order to pursue the slaughter of whales.

This is a barbaric and destructive practice. If you agree, please sign my petition urging Japan to return to the IWC and not resume whaling for profit.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/826/671/977/

 

Petition: Congress passed u.s. bill against the capturing of orcas and other cetaceans

change.org

Kylie Anderson started this petition to U.S. Senate and 3 others

On October 24th, 2018, Canada finally passed the S-203 bill which outlaws the capturing of whales and dolphins, and placing them into captivity. Happy to hear this news, I researched the action that the US is taking with this unheeded issue, and it did not come as a surprise to me when I essentially found nothing beyond outdated petitions and articles only discussing the status of the matter.

However, according to Michigan State University’s animal law info base, it was said in 2010 that, “There are currently no laws in the US prohibiting the housing of orca whales in captivity; rather laws that specifically allow for the capture of wild orcas for purposes of entertainment and scientific research. The United States relies instead on maintaining its captive whale population through breeding programs of whales already living in captivity. While there is no law prohibiting the display of orcas, there are laws that govern those facilities that house them.”

We need to guarantee the protection of these animals, rather than valuing the immoral cooperations that house them. The primary laws governing the facilities housing orca whales are the Animal Welfare Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which only serve to ensure a permit and regulations of the animal and its “environment”. Yet there are still no laws in place to ban the cruel capturing and imprisonment of orcas and other cetaceans in the United States.

Since 1961, SeaWorld has taken in over 156 orcas into captivity, and of those 156 whales, 129 of them have died in the span of 58 years. In the wild, however, orcas have a life expectancy of about 50 to 90 years old, while most of these SeaWorld orcas only live to see about 15 or 25 years old, if that. As of right now, SeaWorld continues to hold over 21 orcas in their three parks in the United States, and while each of the parks have said to discontinue the orca performances, these animals are still being held in concrete tanks each day for hours at a time, driving them to the point of insanity.

Though over the last few years, SeaWorld have responded to the backlash of their controversial reputation, they have only made minuscule improvements in a problem that is larger than they know. If the capturing of cetaceans continues, the species will only become more endangered and the orca population, as we know it, will ultimately cease to exist. It is time to finally free these innocent and beautiful animals.

https://www.change.org/p/congress-pass-u-s-bill-against-the-capturing-of-orcas-and-other-cetaceans?utm_source=social_media&utm_medium=twitter_us

Petition:Stop Japan’s Whale Slaughter

fe4e728b2427f87e302ce44dc7a7bfaec32c1e25-735x4001954676613.jpegJapan reportedly plans to resume cruel commercial whaling, putting millions of these vulnerable creatures at risk. Japan is responsible for a good portion of the near-genocide of whales, despite having been part of the IWC for over 60 years. Sign this petition to demand they remain in this organization, and stop their whaling for good.

Source: Stop Japan’s Whale Slaughter

Endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Severely Entangled By Fishing Nets – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com

by Alex Larson

With the help of technology and social media, we are starting to see just how often endangered species are being caught as a result of bycatch and the increase in reportings is very disturbing. The latest to marine animal to be found entrapped by fishing gear tossed into the sea is the severely endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.

Reported on Facebook by Animal Rehabilitation Keep (http://seavoicenews.com/2018/09/23/photos-endangered-kemps-ridley-sea-turtle-severely-entangled-by-fishing-nets/) at UT Marine Science Institute, the group found the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle severely entangled in fishing netting. In a statement on their Facebook page the stated, “Horrible case of entanglement today of a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle entangled in shark fishing gear. Unfortunately, we see entanglement cases way too often. Please help by removing and properly disposing of all fishing line debris. Together we can make a difference!”

Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles numbers are starting to slowly increase but yet are still the most endangered in the world. The turtle only lives in the Gulf of Mexico and part of the east coast of the US. With incidents such as this becoming more frequent due to pollution from humans, it is now more important than ever to do our best to keep our beaches and oceans clean. You can do your small part by picking up any trash that you may see, you never know the impact you may have on another creatures life.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/09/23/photos-endangered-kemps-ridley-sea-turtle-severely-entangled-by-fishing-nets/

MALAWI REMAINS FREE FROM TROPHY HUNTING! – Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

lilongwewildlife.org
December 21, 2018 5:49 am

Great news…the Government have confirmed that they have rejected the hunting proposal!

Following debate on the introduction of trophy hunting inside Malawi’s protected areas, we collected over 3,500 petition signatures in the first 48 hours – thank you so much to all who signed and shared it. Read the statement here.

Special thanks go to the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus for their strong stance. Hon Commodius Nyirenda, MP and MPCC Spokesperson, said, “Public opinion reflects that of the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus: that trophy hunting is not welcome in Malawi. We value our reputation as a tourism destination too highly. And – where legal hunting can be used as a cover for illegal wildlife trade and undermine community sensitisation efforts – we believe that the questionable revenue is not worth the associated risks that could ultimately undermine conservation efforts.”

Thanks also to PASA, the Born Free Foundation, Olsen Animal Trust, Love Support Unite and Green Paw for their extra support.

Merry Christmas everyone!

https://www.lilongwewildlife.org/2018/12/21/malawi-free-from-trophy-hunting/

Prevent Further Animal Deaths at National Park

Forty-two years old and one of the last of his kind: now this awe-inspiring elephant is no more, a victim of the park he called home. Demand the removal of dangerous structures that killed one park elephant and endanger many more.

Source: Prevent Further Animal Deaths at National Park

ACTION ALERT ~ Help Stop the U.S. Predator Challenge!

Sign Petition: Johnson and Johnson Knew Their Baby Powder Had Toxic Asbestos and Did Nothing

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Johnson and Johnson

13,339 SUPPORTERS -14,000 GOAL

It turns out the ubiquitous talcom powder that Johnson and Johnson has been selling for decades is deadly. It can cause cancer and respiratory problems because it has asbestos in it. Worse yet, the company knew about this since the 1970s and continued to sell the product that is used largely on children.

Sign now if you think Johnson and Johnson should do more to make up for the way this product harmed people.Parents used their baby powder on children for diaper rash and other ailments. No one would knowingly put something potentially toxic on their child. Johnson and Johnson spent 40 years misleading the public and hiding the results of internal testing on their product.

They could start a fund to help people suffering from afflictions caused by the product, or any number of other actions to try to atone for this horrible thing.

One way or another, they must be held accountable. There are thousands of lawsuits in the works but doing the right thing because you have to and because you should are two different things.

If Johnson and Johnson ever wants to be trusted by the public again, they must do more.

Please sign on to tell them to take responsibility, apologize and take action to help people they harmed before a court tells them to.
https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/726/338/801/

 

Sign Petition: The U.S. Wants to Slaughter Up to 1000 Sea Lions a Year

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: U.S. Congress

39,599 SUPPORTERS – 40,000 GOAL

In June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2083, giving certain state governments and Native American tribes the right to kill up to 100 sea lions at a time. But without a similar Senate bill, these marine mammals were relatively safe.

But their reprieve may be coming to an end. Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a similar bill which brings the sea lion slaughter even closer to reality.

Why, despite the celebrated protections of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), would our government allow state and tribal governments to kill up to 1000 sea lions a year?

Well according to some “experts,” sea lions in the Columbia River basin are the principal threat to the wild salmon population in the area. Wild salmon have recently been added to the Endangered Species List. Congress, then, wants to cull the Columbia River sea lions which prey on the salmon, believing that will improve salmon stock.

In fact, the problem isn’t the seal lion population, it’s — you guessed it — us!

While Congress focuses on faulty science pointing the finger at this incredible marine mammal, most researchers place the blame squarely on humans. Because salmon are spread so far and wide, it’s impossible to name all issues, but researchers have been able to sum up their main challenges as the “Four Hs” — harvest, hatcheries, habitat and hydropower. None of those have anything to do with seal lions.

Humans are taking too many salmon in their annual harvest. Salmon fisheries are diluting the wild salmon gene pool. Their habitat is degrading due to logging, agricultural practices, dumping and oil spills all pose a threat to their survival and dams creating hydropower block their passage from spawning grounds to the sea.

It is wrong-headed and short-sighted to focus on sea lions when we are the real problem. Instead of killing thousands of the marine mammals Congress should pass legislation curtailing the problems caused by the four Hs. Anything else is irresponsible.

Sign the petition and demand that Congress drop their push to slaughter sea lions and demand they make a concerted effort to save the salmon of the Columbia River Basin.more

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/270/208/757/

 

Sign Petition: Yellowstone’s Beloved Wolf, Spitfire, Was Killed by a Trophy Hunter

by: Care2 Team
recipient: U.S. National Park Service

92,577 SUPPORTERS – 95,000 GOAL

Spitfire was beloved by many. The young wolf was often spotted at Yellowstone National Park, much to the delight of wolf enthusiasts, biologists, and tourists.

Sadly, future park-goers will never catch a glimpse of Spitfire. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks just confirmed that she was cruelly killed by a trophy hunter. What’s even worse is that her murder was completely legal. Spitfire had wandered just outside of the park, where she was no longer protected.

Please sign this petition calling for a no-hunting buffer zone around Yellowstone National Park to protect more animals from being senselessly killed for sport.

Spitfire’s mom met a similar fate six years ago, leaving Spitfire as the new leader of the Lamar Canyon Pack. According to wolf lovers, she “led her pack through a number of very difficult circumstances” and “showed incredible strength, courage and resilience in everything she did.” Now she’s gone, and the Lamar Canyon Pack is yet again without a leader.

It’s not uncommon for animals to roam just beyond national park boundaries — which is why their protection should be extended. Sign now to demand buffer zones around Yellowstone National Park.Photo credit: Facebook

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/503/335/245/yellowstones-beloved-wolf-spitfire-was-killed-by-a-trophy-hunter/