Lapang Islanders in Indonesia

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'
Representatives of Japan and Australia shake hands at the court in The Hague. (NOS/ANP) - 31 March 2014
"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes
Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the enforcement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, at the UN headquarters in New York, on June 9, 2014. The Chinese envoy on Monday called for a harmonious maritime order, saying that maritime disputes should be settled through negotiation between the parties directly involved. (Xinhua/Niu Xiaolei)

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

Monday, March 19, 2018

Dead Sea's revival with Red Sea canal edges closer to reality

Yahoo – AFP, Marie WOLFROM, March 18, 2018

Evaporation ponds at the southern part of the Dead Sea where both sodium
chloride and potassium salts are produced (AFP Photo/MENAHEM KAHANA)

Ghor al-Haditha (Jordan) (AFP) - Israel and Jordan have long pursued a common goal to stop the Dead Sea from shrinking while slaking their shared thirst for drinking water with a pipeline from the Red Sea some 200 kilometres away.

Geopolitical tensions have stalled efforts to break ground on the ambitious project for years, but the end of the latest diplomatic spat has backers hoping a final accord may now be in sight.

The degradation of the Dead Sea, on the border of Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian West Bank, began in the 1960s when water began to be heavily diverted from the Jordan River.

"Before 1967, the water was just a 10-minute walk from my house," said Musa Salim al-Athem, a farmer who grows tomatoes on the banks on the Jordan side.

"Now it takes an hour," he said, standing amid the resulting lunar landscape of spectacular salt sculptures, gaping sinkholes and craters.

"Only the sea can fill up the sea."

"Since 1950, the amount flowing in the Jordan has dropped from 1.2 billion cubic metres per year (42 billion cubic feet) to less than 200 million," said Frederic Maurel, an engineering expert at the French development agency AFD.

Heavy production of potash, used for making fertiliser, has also accelerated evaporation that has seen the sea's surface area shrink by a third since 1960.

Experts say water levels are falling one metre (three feet) a year, and warn it could dry out completely within 30 years.

Palestinian refugees at the al-Baqa'a refugee camp near Amman. Jordan is
determined to press ahead with the project to cope with the needs of a rising population
which has been swelled by about one million refugees fleeing war in Syria (AFP Photo/

'Economic treasure'

Already 100 years ago, Theodor Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism, had envisaged filling the Dead Sea via a canal dug to the Mediterranean.

The sea's natural beauty and mineral-rich black mud have also provided a source of tourism revenue.

"The Dead Sea has historical, biblical, natural, touristic, medical and industrial values that make it an invaluable cultural, environmental and economic treasure," said Avner Adin, a specialist in water science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

After years of studies, the $1.1 billion Red Sea "Peace Conduit" deal was signed by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian authorities in 2013.

The project, located entirely on Jordanian territory, includes a desalination plant near Aqaba.

After producing drinking water, the remaining highly saline liquid will be sent by pipeline to fill the Dead Sea, powering two hydroelectric plants along the way.

A subsequent 2015 deal would see Israel get 35 billion cubic metres of potable water from the desalination plant for its parched southern regions.

The mostly desert Jordan, for its part, would get up to 50 billion cubic metres of freshwater from the Sea of Galilee.

Israel also agreed to sell 32 billion cubic metres to the Palestinian authorities.

Jordan announced in November 2016 that it had chosen five international consortiums to build the first phase of the canal.

But talks on how to finance the deal, which calls for $400 million of public funding, and geopolitical flare-ups have kept the project from moving forward.

Experts say water levels are falling one metre a year, and warn it could dry out 
completely within thirty years (AFP Photo/MENAHEM KAHANA)

'Diplomatic hazards'

Some $120 million has already been pledged by donors including the US and Japan, while France's AFD agency has secured the backing of the EU and some member states for $140 million in preferential loans to Jordan.

Talks were frozen last year after an Israeli security guard shot and killed two Jordanians at the Israeli embassy in Amman, prompting a diplomatic standoff that ended only in January.

"We have never been so close to starting the project," Maurel said. "It only needs a final push by the Jordanian and Israeli authorities."

A diplomatic source in Amman said the project remained essential for the region given the environmental and economic stakes, "but it's still at the mercy of diplomatic hazards."

For Adin at the Hebrew University, "It seems to be that the situation is improving. The main obstacle in my mind could be financial."

Officials in Jordan say they are determined to press ahead with or without Israel to cope with the needs of a rising population which has been swelled by about one million refugees fleeing the war in neighbouring Syria.

"We are proceeding with the project because desalination eventually is the future of Jordan when it comes to water," said Iyad Dahiyat, secretary general of the country's water authority.

"Water is part of the stability of the kingdom itself," he added. "It's a national security issue."

Thursday, March 8, 2018

East Timor signs maritime border deal with Australia

Yahoo – AFP, Carole LANDRY, 7 March 2018

East Timorese protesters hold a rally demanding a permanent maritime border
 between East Timor and Australia, in Dili on March 22, 2016; the boundary issue
has now been resolved Protesters rallied on March 22 outside the Australian embassy
 in the East Timor capital Dili, demanding Canberra come to the table "in good
faith" to end a long-running dispute over major oil and gasfields in the Timor Sea

East Timor signed a treaty with Australia at the United Nations on Tuesday to end a decade-old dispute over their maritime border and potentially unlock billions of dollars in offshore gas revenue.

The treaty is expected to provide a major boost to East Timor, one of Asia's poorest countries, by establishing special arrangements for sharing revenue from the Greater Sunrise offshore gas fields in the Timor Sea.

After signing the treaty during a UN ceremony, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters that East Timor stood to gain "substantial benefits" from the deal.

"We are talking billions of dollars over the life of such a resource project," Bishop said.

Discovered in 1974, Greater Sunrise has an estimated worth of between $40 and $50 billion. The offshore fields are located 150 kilometers (93 miles) southeast of East Timor and 450 kilometers northwest of Darwin.

East Timor's minister for delimitations said development of the gas fields through a pipeline that would reach the south coast of his country would be a "game-changer."

Such a project would have a "transformational impact" on the socioeconomics of the country, where 65 percent of the population of 1.5 million are "young people looking for jobs," said Hermenegildo Augusto Cabral Pereira.

A commission that oversaw negotiations on the treaty will soon release a report on the various options to develop the Greater Sunrise fields.

- Reassure investors -

East Timor, one of Asia's poorest countries, has been in dispute with Australia over the sea border since its independence from Indonesia in 2002.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres witnessed the signing of the treaty, which was the first-ever reached under a special conciliation mechanism of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

While details of the revenue-sharing arrangement have not been finalized, Bishop said East Timor would receive the lion's share of revenue -- 70 or 80 percent -- from the development of Greater Sunrise.

The project could also help East Timor boost its standing among foreign investors, said Pereira.

"If foreign investors can see that Timor can manage successfully a complex industry downstream, building a platform, a pipeline and an energy plant, they will trust that we can do much more," he said.

In 2016, East Timor dragged Australia before the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the world's oldest arbitration tribunal, based in The Hague, after contesting a previous deal signed in 2006.

Dili wanted that treaty, which also covered the vast Greater Sunrise fields, torn up after accusing Australia of spying to gain commercial advantage during the negotiations.

As the dispute escalated, a group of energy companies including Australia's Woodside, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Osaka Gas decided to mothball plans to develop the Greater Sunrise fields.

In January last year, the two neighbors announced that a new pact would be negotiated through the arbitration court.

East Timor was invaded by Indonesia in 1975 before it gained independence in 2002 after a UN-sponsored referendum.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

1.5 million penguins discovered on remote Antarctic islands

Yahoo – AFP, Mariëtte Le Roux, March 2, 2018

A handout picture from Stony Brook University/Louisiana State University shows
an Adelie penguin on the Danger Islands (AFP Photo/Rachael Herman)

Paris (AFP) - A thriving hotspot of some 1.5 million Adelie penguins has been discovered on the remote Danger Islands in the east Antarctic, surprised scientists announced Friday.

Just 160 kilometres (100 miles) away in the west Antarctic, the same species is in decline due to sea ice melt blamed on global warming, they said.

The first complete census revealed that the Danger Islands host more than 750,000 breeding pairs of Adelie penguins, more than the rest of the Antarctic Peninsula region combined, the team reported in the journal Scientific Reports.

It included the third and fourth-largest Adelie penguin colonies in the world.

The find "is certainly surprising and it has real consequences for how we manage this region," study co-author Heather Lynch of Stony Brook University told AFP.

The islands, which lie at the tip of Antarctica nearest South America, have rarely been visited, and the new discovery was thanks to Earth-monitoring satellites, the team from America, Britain and France, said.

"This is called the Danger Islands for a reason," explained Lynch.

This handout photo released by WHOI/MIT shows an aerial view of an Adelie 
penguin breeding colony on the Danger Islands (AFP Photo/Thomas Sayre-McCord)

"The area is covered by heavy sea ice most of the year, and even in the height of summer it is difficult to get into this region to do surveys."

'Very lucky'

Evidence of the previously-unknown penguin colony first emerged in data from the Landsat Earth-monitoring satellites run by NASA and the US Geological Survey.

Lynch and her team "then went and looked at higher resolution commercial imagery to confirm the guano staining that our algorithms had picked up in the Landsat imagery," she said.

When the Landsat data originally suggested the presence of hundreds of thousands of penguins on the islands, she thought it "was a mistake".

"We were surprised to find so many penguins on these islands, especially because some of these islands were not known to have penguins."

Then followed a field expedition for a headcount.

In the west Antarctic, Adelie penguins are in decline due to sea ice melt 
blamed on global warming (AFP Photo/MARK RALSTON)

"We were... very lucky to have a window of time where the sea ice moved out and we could get a yacht in," said Lynch.

The Danger Islands, said the team, has felt the ravages of climate change less than western Antarctic zones, and knew very little human activity.

But it may need protection from overfishing nevertheless. Krill, an Adelie staple, is caught in the area.

"The most important implication of this work is related to the design of Marine Protected Areas in the region," said Lynch.

"Now that we know this tiny island group is so important, it can be considered for further protection from fishing."

“… Now, in the process of all of this, there's going to be renewed interest in Antarctica, and you're going to find some interesting things about the land under the ice. The topography of the land under the ice does not match the topography of the ice above. Some astonishing shapes will be revealed when you map the actual land under the ice. Points of mountains are going to be revealed, giving an entire different idea of what Antarctica might have been and what its purpose really is. The continent that is uninhabitable by Human Beings may very well be the engine of life for Human Beings. And I will leave it at that. …”

Friday, March 2, 2018

Antarctica: a laboratory for climate change

Yahoo – AFP, Mathilde BELLENGER, 1 March 2018

The Collins glacier on King George Island in the Antarctic has retreated in
the last 10 years and shows signs of fragility

A decade ago, a thick layer of ice covered the Collins Glacier on Antarctica's King George Island.

Now, the rocky landscape is visible to the naked eye, in a region that is both a victim of and a laboratory for climate change.

"I had the opportunity to come here over a 15-year period, and even within a human's lifetime, you can already see the changes brought about by climate change," the director of the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH), Marcelo Leppe, told AFP.

Observers can now see "rocks that we weren't seeing five or 10 years ago, and that is direct evidence of the shrinking of these glaciers and loss of mass," he said.

But even as these melting glaciers worry the scientific world, the presence in Antarctica of plants proving resistant to extreme conditions has also sparked hope for a warming planet.

Chile is one of some 20 countries with scientific bases on the cold continent. Its Professor Julio Escudero complex on King George Island is where dozens of researchers are measuring the effects of climate change on native flora and fauna.

"We need to quantify the change to predict what could happen in the near future," Leppe said.

Blooming algae

Measurements taken last year by Chilean scientists on Doumer Island in Antarctica's Palmer Archipelago showed water temperature had risen to 2.5 degrees Celsius (36.5 degrees Fahrenheit), up from its normal range of between 0 and 1.5 degrees. And at a depth of 40 meters (130 feet), it was still at 2.0 degrees.

Changes in ice cover in the Antarctic between 2002 and 2016

The warming waters have attracted species previously unseen in the Antarctic, such as a spider crab normally found south of Chile.

There is also a blooming of green algae which is vital for the local ecosystem, especially for crustaceans.

"Even though they're really small, the algae and the micro-algae are really important for balance in the food chain," said Nelson Valdivia, a professor at Austral University of Chile.

"They supply nutrients to the rest of the ecosystem, and we know that the number of species in the same ecosystem is a very important factor in terms of it remaining in good health."

But over a longer term, this flourishing of algae could unsettle the ecological balance.

The worry is "losing species that we don't even yet know exist," Valdivia said.

Scientists also fear the effect of warmer temperatures on the rest of the world.

According to NASA monitoring, between 2002 and 2016, Antarctica lost 125 gigatonnes of ice per year, causing sea levels worldwide to rise by 0.35 millimeters annually.

Antarctica holds 62 percent of the planet's freshwater reserves, so the melting there could have far-reaching consequences, not least by diminishing the salinity of the seas, which could prove fatal for many marine species.

Adapting plant life

However, the white continent also may hold the key to plant and animal life adapting to changing temperatures.

A colony of young Gentoo penguins seen on Ardley Island, Antarctica,
are among the many species being studied by scientists from Chile

Already, Antarctic plants -- which are resistant to ultraviolet radiation and extreme conditions -- are being used in biotechnology to give us sun protection lotion, antioxidants and natural sugars.

To survive the rigorous conditions, vegetation here hoards sugar to survive the harsh winter months buried under the snow.

In some mini-greenhouses, Marisol Pizarro, a biotechnology researcher from the University of Santiago, studies how Antarctic plants react to temperatures artificially raised by one or two degrees Celsius.

Her finding is that mosses survive the change quite well -- an advantage that could serve other vegetation in the future.

"We could transfer a gene linked to this tolerance for dry conditions to a common plant, such as lettuce or rice, to give that plant the ability to tolerate drought," she said.

"As a result, it would be less affected by the adverse, unfavorable conditions due to diminished water in its environment," she said.

With Antarctica being one of the fastest-warming regions on Earth, the scientists here are working against the clock.

Those from Chile are conducting around 100 projects ranging from genetic observations in penguins, to how solar activity influences the polar environment, to comparing indigenous mollusks with those in South America.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

As one of her last acts as president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet signed a law creating a marine conservation park of more than 250,000 square kilometres to protect the biodiversity in the Pacific Ocean's Juan Fernandez islands

Thursday, February 22, 2018

More than 100 rarely seen fish species were hauled up from a deep and cold abyss off Australia during a scientific voyage, including a cousin of the "world's ugliest animal" Mr Blobby

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Archaeologists find fossils, Mayan relics in giant underwater cave in Mexico

Yahoo – AFP, February 20, 2018

Remains of a Pleistocene bear from 2.5 million years ago, in the Sac Actun underwater
 cave in Quintana Roo state, Mexico, in an image published by the National Institute
of Anthropology and History (INAH) on February 19, 2018 (AFP Photo/HO)

Mexico City (AFP) - Archaeologists who have been exploring the world's largest underwater cave -- recently discovered in Mexico -- presented their findings Monday, including fossils of giant sloths and an elaborate shrine to the Mayan god of commerce.

Researchers discovered last month that two large networks of underwater caves in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, the Sac Actun and Dos Ojos networks, are in fact connected, forming the largest such structure on Earth.

Diving with SCUBA gear, they have been exploring the ancient relics left in the caves over the millenia, in a project sponsored by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Researchers believe the water level in the caves has fluctuated over time, and that they were a source of water in times of severe drought -- a sometimes perilous one.

Some of the animals and humans who ventured inside never made it out alive. Today, their remains are a treasure trove for scientists, enabling them to piece together bits of the cave's history dating all the way back to the Pleistocene epoch (2.6 million to 11,700 years ago).

Remains of a mask in the Sac Actun underwater cave in Mexico's Quintana Roo 
state, from an image published by the National Institute of Anthropology and History
(INAH) on February 19, 2018 (AFP Photo/HO)

The animal remains include gomphotheres -- an extinct elephant-like animal -- as well as giant sloths and bears, archaeologists told a press conference.

Then there are the artefacts left inside by humans: burnt human bones, ceramics, wall etchings and more.

"It is very unlikely that there is another site in the world with these characteristics. There is an impressive amount of archaeological artefacts inside, and the level of preservation is also impressive," said Guillermo de Anda, an underwater archaeologist.

The relics include a shrine to the Mayan god of war and commerce, with a staircase accessed through a sink-hole in the middle of the jungle.

Many other of the hundreds of sink-holes that connect to the cave have elaborate signs of ritual activity around them, archaeologists said.

The ancient Mayans viewed caves, "and especially ones that led to water, as extremely sacred places," the INAH said.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Greenpeace protestors occupy North Sea rig, three arrested in Lauwersoog

DutchNews, February 16, 2018

Photo: Greenpeace 

Police in the Groningen port of Lauwersoog have arrested three members of the environmental organisation Greenpeace for getting too close to a drilling rig off the coast of the Wadden island of Schiermonnikoog. 

The three were taking part in a protest against test drilling for gas but had returned to the mainland because they were seasick in the rough seas, broadcaster NOS said.   

The platform, owned by a company called Hansa Hydrocarbons, is some 20km into the North Sea and was occupied by several Greenpeace protesters on Thursday. 

Protests are also taking place on the Wadden Sea island itself. The island’s mayor Ineke van Gent, who has joined the protestors, told local broadcaster RTV Noord: ‘We should be moving over to sustainable energy. You should not be drilling for gas near a vulnerable nature reserve.’ 

Economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes said on Thursday that locals should not be worried about the test drilling. ‘You hardly see the rig,’ he said. ‘On a clear day, if you look closely, you can see a spot.’ 

British company Hansa Hydrocarbons is trying to establish if the gas field in the area is big enough to exploit commercially.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sunlight at sea: The Dutch to build first floating solar farm

DutchNews, February 7, 2018

A Dutch consortium is to build the first offshore floating solar energy farm in the world, which the partners say could produce more power than land-based solar farms. 

Six groups are involved in the project which will take three years and is co-financed by the Dutch government’s Enterprise Agency. The solar farm will be placed 15 kilometres off the Dutch coast at Scheveningen. 

A floating energy farm fitted with solar panels could be a solution for places where there are no means to generate clean energy on land, project initiator Oceans of Energy said on its website

Oceans of Energy and the University of Utrecht are together investigating the viability of electricity production at sea which is expected to yield 15% more power than a land-based facility. 

According to the firm’s CEO Allard van Hoeken, solar farms at sea pose major challenges which can be conquered by putting together the experience and knowledge of Dutch knowledge institutions and offshore industry companies. 

If the project is successful, solar power could potentially provide three quarters of the country’s energy needs, programme director of the solar power division of TKI Urban Energy Wijnand van Hooff said.

‘Projects like these are necessary to explore both the commercial and energetic potential of applications such as these,’ he said. 

The Netherlands is currently cutting down on gas extraction in the province of Groningen due to earthquakes and is phasing out the use of domestic low calorie gas in homes. The government hopes that by 2050 all homes should have have switched to an alternative source of energy.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Top UN court draws new borders for Costa Rica, Nicaragua

Yahoo – AFP, Jan Hennop and Toni Cerda, February 2, 2018

Experts examine the damage to a tract of land lying in a border area that
has caused years of tension between Costa Rica and Nicaragua (AFP)

The Hague (AFP) - The UN's highest court drew new maritime boundaries between Costa Rica and Nicaragua on Friday seeking to end a decades-long frontier dispute, and ordered Managua to pay compensation for environmental damage.

In a multi-pronged judgement, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) also ordered Nicaragua to remove a military camp near the river San Juan -- which divides the two neighbours -- and which the Hague-based ICJ said "violated Costa Rica's sovereignty."

Friday's judgements resulted from a string of disputes between the two Central American neighbours before the ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule on border and territorial disputes between nations.

Apart from a ruling on the disputed San Juan wetlands area, Costa Rica also asked the ICJ to set its maritime boundaries on both its western Pacific Ocean coast and in the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Environmental damage

On Friday morning, the ICJ judges ruled that Managua must pay San Jose almost $380,000 for environmental damage and to compensate for the costs of efforts to restore the area on the San Juan River.

"Costa Rica has sovereignty over the whole of Isla Portillos up to the point at which the right bank of the San Juan River reaches the low-water mark of the coast of the Caribbean Sea," judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said.

The Somali-born judge was referring to a slither of land on Costa Rica's disputed northern border, where Nicaragua set up a military camp in 2010, dredged the San Juan River and dug three channels.

The judge ordered Managua to pay the compensation before April 2 for the damage to the land, known in Costa Rica as Isla Portillos and in Nicaragua as Harbour Head.

But the amount fell far short of the $6.7 million demanded by Costa Rica in the ICJ's first-ever compensation ruling for environmental damage.

The judges then drew maritime borders between the two countries in both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean along "delimitation lines."

'Spectacular' ruling

Costa Rican ambassador Sergio Ugalde said San Juan was happy with the marathon set of judgements, calling the ruling on maritime boundaries "spectacular."

Nicaragua and Costa Rica first held negotiations in 1976 to try to reach an agreement
on the border which broadly follows the San Juan river (AFP Photo/YURI CORTEZ)

"Although a little less than what Costa Rica had estimated, the decision this morning (too) remains a very important economic remedy," he added.

Costa Rica now wanted to normalise relations with its northern neighbour, Ugalde told AFP.

Nicaraguan ambassador Carlos Arguello also said his country was pleased with the outcome, calling it "a fair assessment".

"There is no longer a major problem, or there should be no problem to have normal relations between Nicaragua and Costa Rica," Arguello said.

The new rulings came more than two years after the ICJ found that Costa Rica had sovereignty over Isla Portillos, basing its ruling in part on an 1858 treaty.

In December 2015, the court reproached Managua for violating San Jose's right to navigation in the waters and ordered the two countries to negotiate an amount of compensation.

But the neighbours failed to reach a deal and the issue trundled back to the ICJ so judges could set the compensation amount.

The two countries first held negotiations in 1976 to try to reach an agreement on their border which broadly follows the San Juan river, but talks dragged on.

Costa Rica brought the case to the ICJ in 2014 saying it had "exhausted its diplomatic means" to resolve the row.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Over 100 endangered turtles hatch in Singapore

Yahoo – AFP, January 23, 2018

A baby hawksbill turtle at Tanjong Beach in Sentosa island (AFP Photo/HANDOUT)

Singapore (AFP) - Over 100 baby turtles have hatched on a Singapore beach before being released into the sea, authorities said Tuesday, in a boost for the critically endangered creatures.

A nest of Hawksbill turtle eggs was discovered in November on Sentosa, a popular resort island south of Singapore's main island.

A barrier was erected to keep the nest safe from predators, and officials carried out regular checks, said Sentosa Development Corporation, which manages the island.

On Friday 106 eggs hatched and, after officials carried out tests, the baby turtles were sent off scurrying down the beach and into the sea.

It was the third time that Hawksbill turtle eggs had hatched on Singapore's beaches since August and the first time in eight years on Sentosa, the Straits Times newspaper reported.

Hawksbills get their names from their narrow pointed beaks and are found throughout the world's tropical oceans, mainly around coral reefs.

They are threatened by damage to their natural habitats by pollution and coastal developments, and are also targeted by poachers.

Their body parts are used to make turtle soup and shells are crushed into powder for use in jelly dessert. The Hawksbill shell is also used to make products like combs and ornamental hairpins.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

EU parliament calls for ban on electric pulse fishing

France24 –AFP, 16 Jnauary 2018

Philippe Lamberts and Ska Keller, who head the Greens bloc in the European
Parliament, display a placard against pulse fishing which involves dragging
electrically-charged lines just above the seabed to shock low-lying marine life
 into trawling nets

STRASBOURG (FRANCE) (AFP) – The European Parliament called Tuesday for a ban on electric pulse fishing in the European Union, defying Brussels which wants the experimental practice in the North Sea done on a larger scale.

The parliament, the EU's only directly-elected body, will now try to strike a compromise with the European Commission, the bloc's executive, and the European Council, which groups the 28 member states.

MEPs voted by 402 members to 232 in favour of the ban, while 40 abstained.

"It is a wonderful victory against a terribly harmful kind of fishing," said Yannick Jadot, a French member of the Greens party, who took part in the campaign against the practice.

Pulse fishing involves dragging electrically-charged lines just above the seafloor that shock marine life up from low-lying positions into trawling nets.

EU rules allow member states to equip up to five percent of their fleets with electrodes, and the method has been adopted in particular by Dutch vessels fishing for sole.

The European Commission wants to maintain the southern part of the North Sea as the venue for pulse fishing but to remove the five-percent limit.

Karmenu Vella, the commissioner for fisheries, argued that pulse fishing is safer for the environment than beam trawling as it reduces carbon emissions and does less damage to the seabed.

Beam trawling involves a large net attached to a heavy metal beam of up to 12 metres in length which is dragged across the seabed, ploughing it up.

Rebecca Hubbard, director for the activist group Our Fish, praised the vote as a "huge win" for European seas, low-impact fishing and the public.

More than 200 top chefs across Europe have pledged to stop sourcing seafood
obtained by electric pulse fishing.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Top European chefs take electric pulse fishing off the menu

Yahoo – AFP, January 11, 2018

More than 200 top chefs across Europe have pledged to stop sourcing seafood
obtained by electric pulse fishing.

More than 200 top chefs across Europe have pledged to stop sourcing seafood obtained by electric pulse fishing, days before an EU vote that could expand the use of the controversial technique, an ocean advocacy group said Thursday.

"We refuse to work with seafood coming from a fishing method that condemns our future and that of the ocean," said the text written by Christopher Coutanceau, whose restaurant on the Atlantic coast in La Rochelle, western France, has earned two Michelin stars.

The practice involves dragging electrically charged lines just above the seafloor that shock marine life up from low-lying positions into trawling nets.

EU rules allow member states to equip up to five percent of their fleets with electrodes, and the method has been adopted in particular by Dutch vessels fishing for sole.

On Tuesday, the EU is to vote on the practice, which critics say harms too many fish that are left on the seabed, as well as those that are harvested.

"Electric trawlers produce catches of poor quality, fish which underwent stress and are often marked by post-electrocution bruises," according to the text released by Bloom, a French NGO.

"It is impossible to work with such low-quality products."

The signatories included French chefs Helene Darroze, Yannick Alleno and Olivier Roellinger, who has longed worked to improve sustainability in the fishing industry.

Spanish chefs Elena Arzak and Quique Dacosta, Italy's Antonino Cannavacciuolo and Alfonso and Ernesto Iaccarino, and Thomas Buehner and Heinz Winkler of Germany also signed the text.

On Wednesday, several members of the European parliament asked for a delay to next week's vote on electric pulse fishing, in order to allow time for an "informed debate".

For Jerry Percy of the Low-Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE), which claims to represent about 80 percent of Britain's independent fishermen, a main problem is the lack of solid data on the long-term consequences of the practice on fishing stocks.

The method is outlawed in many parts of the world, including China, but proponents say it is more environmentally friendly and results in lower fuel usage for boats.

Bloom had already filed in October a case against the Netherlands with the European Commission, accusing the country of illegally authorising its trawlers to use the technique.