As Minister for Fisheries and Oceans Dominic LeBlanc makes announcements on Canada's West Coast this week, and with World Whale Day approaching (February 18), WWF-Canada calls upon the federal government to release its recovery plan for the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKWs). The action plan for their recovery under the Species At Risk Act (SARA) is long overdue, and unless strong protection measures are quickly implemented, it is unlikely this group will survive in the long-term.
While many people will be little moved by the loss of ‘creepy crawlies’, a massive extirpation of insects spills over to affect the numbers of birds, frogs, reptiles and fish that rely on insects as food, and the decline of these in turn affects larger animals. It impairs the successful pollination of plants which provide up to a third of the world’s food supply, as well as the renewal of landscapes and forests. Modern plants have evolved largely to depend on insects to fertilise them: lose insects and the whole web of life attenuates and, in some cases, collapses.
Fishermen in Lake Victoria have expressed concerns over a possible extinction of the Tilapia Species due to high levels of pollution in the lake. They said that a catch on the species has been on a steady decline as various institutions around the lake continue to release untreated waste into the lake. The fishermen in Kisumu and Kendu Bay told the Standard that in the past few months, pollution on the Lake has been on an increase. They noted pollution always threaten the Tilapia species which swims to other regions in search of clean water.
In the final weeks and months of the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs issued a flurry of reports on some of the country’s most widely used pesticides. Decisions made on the basis of these environmental and health assessments will likely determine the level of pesticide residue allowed on the food we eat. They will affect children’s neurological health and development, particularly in agricultural communities. They will determine how farmworkers are protected from pesticide exposures.
The Bay of Bengal’s basin contains some of the most populous regions of the earth. No less than a quarter of the world’s population is concentrated in the eight countries that border the bay. Approximately 200 million people live along the Bay of Bengal’s coasts and of these a major proportion are partially or wholly dependent on its fisheries. For the majority of those who depend on it, the Bay of Bengal can provide no more than a meagre living: 61% of India’s fisherfolk already live below the poverty line. Yet the numbers dependent on fisheries are only likely to grow in years to come.
The research, published in the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) journal Bird Study, looked at the breeding populations of three species of large gull; Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) and Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) on the Hebridean island of Canna, and the relationship between these gull populations and the fall in the quantity of fish landed in the nearby harbour of Mallaig. Between 1985 and 2000 an annual average of 13,726 tonnes of fish was landed in Mallaig. However, between 2007 and 2014 this had fallen to 4,456 tonnes.
Despite a steady rise in the manufacture and release of synthetic chemicals, research on the ecological effects of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals is severely lacking. This blind spot undermines efforts to address global change and achieve sustainability goals. So reports a new study in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Emma J. Rosi , a freshwater ecologist at the Cary Institute and a co-author on the paper, explains, "To date, global change assessments have ignored synthetic chemical pollution.
Wetlands constitute an important natural resource that is overlooked by many of us. When people think of wetlands, they tend to picture unpleasant landscapes, mosquitoes and strange smells, but they don’t see the handful of benefits these habitats provide for the ecosystem as a whole. These natural benefits often are translated into economic goods. When we look into all of the great things wetlands do for us, it is hard to deny that we can’t do without them. Wetlands play a key role in regulating water quality and availability in certain areas.
"Dead or dying herring found on shore should not be collected, consumed or used by the public for any reason, as a variety of factors could affect the food safety of fish, such as toxins, diseases or environmental contaminants", warned the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in a statement. Officials are now testing for pesticide content and checking water oxygen levels, in hopes of getting to the bottom of the situation.
Eine erschreckende Bilanz hat unlängst NRW-Landesumweltminister Johannes Remmel vorgelegt: Rund 44 Prozent unserer heimischen Tier- und Pflanzenarten sind mittlerweile in ihrem Bestand gefährdet und haben somit einen unrühmlichen Platz auf der Roten Liste ergattert. Und am Niederrhein? Leider ist auch hier das Ergebnis katastrophal. Selbst in den meisten Schutzgebieten geht der Artenschwund signifikant weiter. Insbesondere auf landwirtschaftlich genutzten Flächen ist die Artenvielfalt in den letzten Jahren rapide zurückgegangen.