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Once again, Taiji shows it's determination to be on the wrong side of history and to spit in the face international opinion ...
'Dolphin-hunting Japanese town may start farming them on the side'
A Japanese town notorious for killing dolphins may set up a dolphin breeding farm after zoos and aquariums decided to stop buying their animals caught in the wild, but it has no plans to halt the controversial hunt, its mayor said on Thursday.
The western port town of Taiji, the location of an annual hunt featured in the Oscar-winning 2009 documentary "The Cove", may suffer a loss of income because of the Wednesday decision, which Japanese officials said came in response to foreign pressure.
The decision by Japan's zoos and aquariums came after the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums threatened Japan with expulsion unless it stopped buying dolphins from Taiji. That would have meant Japan might lose access to zoo animals such as elephants and giraffes from overseas.
In 2013, 1,239 dolphins were caught in the Taiji hunt, according to the Fisheries Agency. Most of them were killed for their meat but 172 were sold alive, mainly overseas, at a price of at least $8,200 each.
Mayor Kazutaka Sangen told reporters that the town was considering setting up a dolphin breeding centre by penning off a section of a cove, apparently with the aim of winning back customers who want to buy live animals.
"We plan to protect our fishermen, who have authority from both the nation and the local government," Sangen said, emphasising the tradition of the hunt.
"We believe it can become the world's main provider. I believe in 10 years our town will have changed its role in all this."
Despite the bid to develop the live-animal business, the hunt would still go on, he said.
"My justification is that the government recognises the catches and so does the prefecture," Sangen added. "There's absolutely nothing wrong."
#Japan #Taiji #dolphins #zoos
Image: Wild-caught dolphins held in captivity at Taiji whaling museum, Japan (c) EIA ... See MoreSee Less
1 hour ago ·
Namibia: Rhino horn smuggling ‘kingpin’ arrested
There has been a major breakthrough with the arrest of a Chinese man whom the police believe to be the kingpin in one of Namibia’s biggest rhino-horn smuggling cases.
Wang Huii was arrested on Monday at the Windhoek Country Club and has been charged with the possession and export of controlled wildlife products. He appeared in the Windhoek Regional Court in Katutura yesterday.
The 40-year-old Huii is being linked to the three Chinese men who were arrested with 14 rhino horns last year at the Hosea Kutaku International Airport.
At that time, Li Xiaoliang, Li Zhibing and Pu Xuexin were caught with 14 rhino horns worth more than N$2.3 million as well as a leopard skin valued at N$50,000 stashed in their luggage while they were on their way to Hong Kong via Johannesburg.
Last year, the three men gave evidence during their bail hearing that they would stay at the home of Huii in Otjiwarongo if they were released on bail. The bail request was denied. Their case was postponed for plea and trial until June 25.
Huii has been linked to this case and is also being investigated in connection with other poaching cases in Namibia.
Huii has apparently been travelling between China and Namibia regularly and when the investigating officers learnt that he was back in the country they tracked him down at the Country Club on Monday night where he was gambling. Huii is originally from Jang Su in China. He is currently staying in Otjiwarongo where he owns the Happy Life Import Export Company.
His case has been postponed until June 10 for the Prosecutor-General to decide on the course of the prosecution. He remains in custody.
Orben Sibeya appeared on behalf of Huii and Anthony Wilson appeared for the State.
#Namibia #Africa #China #rhino
Image: Wang Huii, left, via namibiansun.com ... See MoreSee Less
2 hours ago ·
Climate Warnings: Heard, but not Listened to
- With all that climate scientists have cautioned us about over the past three decades, we've forfeited all rights to say 'nobody saw this coming' -
... In 1996, scientists had detected an increase in the velocity of the so-called “ice streams,” which transport ice from the interior of the immense glacier to the shore. The fear was that as [West Antarctic Ice Sheet] WAIS diminished, salt water might intrude under the ice and eventually cause it to float, raising sea level around the world, and inundating large swaths of Florida, not to mention Bangladesh, Indonesia and other low lying areas that are home to hundreds of millions of people.
This year, Eric Rignot, a scientist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, published a study confirming these fears with the stark conclusion that the ice sheet is in a state of “irreversible decline,” and in early May, Princeton University researchers released a new study confirming the accelerating melting.
The great ice sheet won’t collapse any time soon, but it’s a chilling thought in a warming world that an ice sheet that has been stable through the entire time modern humans have existed has now begun to come apart.
* Learn more about EIA's Climate Campaign at eia-international.org/our-work/climate
More than 20 years ago, INPE, Brazil’s Space Agency published studies arguing that continued cutting of the Amazon was diminishing the vast forest’s ability to recycle moisture. Water – it used to be seven trillion tons each year – evaporated from the Amazon forest rises above the forest, bounces south along the Andes, and then is carried by prevailing winds, first across the dryer areas of southern Brazil and then, after traversing the Atlantic, to South Africa, where it nourishes the corn crop. Since then, the forest has shrunk by an area equivalent to the size of Texas, and now residents of Sao Paulo, the hemisphere’s largest city, desperately scrabble for water after multiple years of drought have desiccated the reservoirs.
And of course, at the same time, California is trying to cope with the worst drought in its modern history. This drought was predicted 18 years ago by Richard Seager of Columbia University, who in 1998 published a paper in Science arguing that a warming world shifted the global precipitation patterns pole ward leaving California and other mid-latitude regions in a rain shadow. Exacerbating California’s problems has been a diminished snowpack – this year at 6 percent of normal. Ordinarily, the snowpack stores water and then melting acts as a meter, delivering water during the dry summer months. Tim Barnett of Scripps Oceanographic Institute first predicted 15 years ago that the combination of drought and warming would have this result.
Are you seeing the pattern here? Time and again, the world’s best scientists have done their job and made predictions based on the best available evidence, only to watch in dismay as their predictions come true because an oblivious world fails to act.
Read in full at www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2015/05/climate-warnings-heard-but-not-listened-to/
Image: Parliament from the Thames (c) Rupert Jordan / www.flickr.comphotosrupertjordan ... See MoreSee Less
23 hours ago ·