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Shark Fin Soup Could Become Extinct Across the United States
A California congressman wants the rest of the nation to follow the Golden State's lead and eliminate the shark fin trade for good.
Shark fin soup has long been savored in some Chinese-American communities as a high-priced, special-occasion dish. Experts say a vast majority of fins found in the United States come through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In 2013 the state banned the possession and sale of shark fins, and last year a challenge to the law was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act by U.S. Rep. Ed Royce of Fullerton would extend a similar prohibition to all 50 states. In the upper house, Sen. Cory Booker's Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act would prohibit the import, export, sale and trade of shark fins. The fishing industry is fighting the legislation, while animal rights advocates say the practice of finning, in which sharks are often maimed and left for dead, needs to stop.
Shark finning is illegal in domestic waters, but sharks are sometimes caught outside the United States and their fins imported.
Full story at www.laweekly.com/news/shark-fin-soup-could-be-banned-in-the-us-through-proposed-legislation-8248185
#sharks #sharkfinsoup #finning #oceans #fishing
Image: Shark fins ... See MoreSee Less
24 hours ago ·
Poland: Europe's last primeval forest on 'brink of collapse'
Scientists and environmental campaigners have accused the Polish government of bringing the ecosystem of the Białowieża forest in north-eastern Poland to the “brink of collapse”, one year after a revised forest management plan permitted the trebling of state logging activity and removed a ban on logging in old growth areas.
Large parts of the forest, which spans Poland’s eastern border with Belarus and contains some of Europe’s last remaining primeval woodland, are subject to natural processes not disturbed by direct human intervention.
A Unesco natural world heritage site – the only one in Poland – the forest is home to about 1,070 species of vascular plants, 4,000 species of fungi, more than 10,000 species of insect, 180 breeding bird species and 58 species of mammal, including many species dependent on natural processes and threatened with extinction.
“At some point there will be a collapse, and if and when it happens, it’s gone forever – no amount of money in the universe can bring it back,” said Prof Tomasz Wesołowski, a forest biologist at the University of Wrocław who has been conducting fieldwork in Białowieża for each of the last 43 years. “With every tree cut, we are closer to this point of no return.”
Read in full at www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/23/worst-nightmare-europes-last-primeval-forest-brink-co...
#Poland #Europe #forests #deforestation UNESCO Wrocław University of Science and Technology
Image: European bison in Białowieża forest, Poland, by Frank Vassen ... See MoreSee Less
1 day ago ·
USA / Canada: How thousand-year-old trees became the new ivory
It was a local hiker who noticed, during a backwoods stroll in May 2012, the remains of the body. The victim in question: an 800-year-old cedar tree. Fifty meters tall and with a trunk three meters in circumference, the cedar was one of the crown jewels in Canada’s Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park. Now all that remained was a minivan-sized section of its trunk, surrounded by shards of wood and dust, with broken heavy equipment chains lying nearby.
* Learn more about the world of EIA's Forests Campaign to expose and halt illegal logging - ht.ly/UxJ430bXLJC
This park is firmly rooted, filled with centuries old Sitka spruce and cedar that impose a towering permanence. These trees are also an integral part of the forest ecosystem: moss and lichen grow on them, mushrooms sprout from the damp bark at their base. Their branches are home to endangered birds like the tiny grey and white marbled murrelet, which scientists presumed regionally extinct until they found a lone bird in the Carmanah.
But lately, these living ecosystems have been disappearing across the province. In the past decade, forest investigators have found themselves fielding cases in which more than 100 trees were stolen at once.
... Globally, poached trees are estimated to be worth somewhere between $30 and $100 billion. The U.S. claims about $1 billion of that in its borders. But it's impossible to truly measure what all that stolen wood is worth.
Read in full at www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-thousand-year-old-trees-became-new-ivory-180963365/
#USA #Canada #forests #deforestation #illegallogging
Image: Torrance Coste of the Wilderness Committee illustrates the immensity of the missing Carmanah cedar in 2012, Canada (c) Torrance Coste ... See MoreSee Less
1 day ago ·