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

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Off the hook: Manta ray asks divers for helping hand

Yahoo – AFP, July 15, 2019

Manta rays are considered one of the most intelligent underwater creatures and are
common off parts of the west coast of AustraliaManta rays are considered one of
the most intelligent underwater creatures and are common off parts of the west
coast of Australia (AFP Photo/VALERIE MACON)

Sydney (AFP) - A giant manta ray with several fishing hooks caught below its eye appeared to ask two nearby divers for help in removing them, and then waited patiently for them to do so.

Underwater photographer Jake Wilton was diving off Australia's west coast when the three-metre wide animal moved toward him, footage showed.

"I'm often guiding snorkelers in the area and it's as if she recognised me and was trusting me to help her," Wilton said in a statement Monday.

"She got closer and closer and then started unfurling to present the eye to me."

Incredible footage shows Wilton repeatedly diving down toward the animal and removing the hooks, before the manta ray departs after the final impediment is dislodged.

"She never moved. I'm sure that manta knew that Jake was trying to get the hooks out," said marine biologist and fellow diver Monty Hall.

Manta rays are considered one of the most intelligent underwater creatures and are common off parts of the west coast of Australia.

The ocean giants can grow up to seven meters wide and live for about 50 years.

They don't have the sharp barb of a stingray and are harmless to humans.



Thursday, July 11, 2019

Indonesia to send 210 tonnes of waste back to Australia

Yahoo – AFP, July 9, 2019

The eight containers seized in Surabaya city should have contained only waste
paper, but authorities also found hazardous material and household trash,
including used diapers (AFP Photo/Juni Kriswanto)

Jakarta (AFP) - Indonesia said Tuesday it would send more than 210 tonnes of garbage back to Australia, as Southeast Asian nations push back against serving as dumping grounds for foreign trash.

The eight containers seized in Surabaya city should have contained only waste paper, but authorities also found hazardous material and household trash including plastic bottles and packaging, used diapers, electronic waste and cans, a spokesman for the East Java customs agency told AFP.

Following the inspection the Indonesian environment ministry recommended "the items be re-exported," the agency said in a separate statement Monday.

"This is done to protect the public and Indonesian environment, especially in East Java, from B3 waste," it added, referring to hazardous and toxic materials.

Australian company Oceanic Multitrading sent the waste to Indonesia with help from Indonesian firm PT. MDI, authorities said.

China's decision in 2018 to ban imports of foreign plastic waste threw global recycling into chaos, leaving developed nations struggling to find places to send their waste.

Southeast Asian nations are pushing back against serving as dumping grounds 
for foreign trash (AFP Photo/Juni Kriswanto)

Huge quantities of rubbish have since been redirected to Southeast Asia, but opposition to handling exported trash is growing in the region.

Indonesia announced last week it was sending back 49 containers full of waste to France and other developed nations.

In May, neighbouring Malaysia announced it was shipping 450 tonnes of imported plastic waste back to its sources, including Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The Philippines, meanwhile, returned about 69 containers of rubbish back to Canada last month, putting an end to a diplomatic row between the two countries.

Global concern over plastic pollution has been spurred by shocking images of waste-clogged rivers in Southeast Asia and accounts of dead sea creatures found with kilos of refuse in their stomachs.

Around 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced every year, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), with much of it ending up in landfills or polluting the seas, in what has become a growing international crisis.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Two wartime shipwrecks go missing off coast of Malaysia

DutchNews, July 8, 2019 

An unnamed Dutch submarine during the Second World War. Photo: Wikipedia

Two Dutch Second World War shipwrecks have disappeared from Malaysian waters, months after the two countries agreed to step up efforts to protect war graves. 

The two submarines are suspected to have been recovered illegally for their scrap metal value. Debris from one was found on the sea bed, while at the other site only the imprint of the wreck was visible. 

‘This news has hit us very hard,’ said defence minister Ank Bijleveld. ‘These shipwreck locations are the last resting places of those who served on them and are a place of remembrance. The relatives have been informed. 

‘Out of respect for the survivors a commemoration has been held at both sites by members of the expedition.’ 

Last year foreign affairs minister Stef Blok signed a deal with his Indonesian counterpart to locate and protect vulnerable wrecks in the Java Sea, after it emerged that three sunken ships had disappeared.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Thailand's orphaned baby dugong becomes conservation star

Yahoo – AFP, 3 July, 2019

Female dugongs usually breastfeed their babies while they are swimming, so vets
at Phuket Marine Biological Centre cradle the oprhaned baby Mariam instead
(AFP Photo/Sirachai ARUNRUGSTICHAI)

Trang (Thailand) (AFP) - Cuddles at feeding time are one of many techniques vets in Thailand are using to raise an orphaned baby dugong named Mariam, and which have helped spread interest in ocean conservation in the process.

Found stranded on a beach in May at six months old, the ocean mammal has been receiving daily care from park officials, local conservation groups, and veterinarians at Phuket Marine Biological Centre.

Her star took off after photos showing her being cradled by the vets went viral on social media, and the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) has posted frequent updates on her condition.

Vet Pathompong Kongjit told AFP that Mariam -- who now lives in the waters around Ko Libong island of Trang province -- has become a symbol of the dire need for a clean-up in Thailand's plastic-choked seas.

"Mariam has ignited the interest among Thai people to care about marine animals, Thai seas and nature in general," he said.

But so far, her biggest challenge is feeding herself, as she has trouble digging out the seagrass buried in the ocean floor.

"Mariam can only eat the protruding seagrass," he told AFP, adding that she's "getting better" at it.

Female dugongs also usually breastfeed their babies while they are swimming -- something the vets cannot do.

Mariam the baby orphan dugong swims in the waters around Libong island in 
southern Thailand (AFP Photo/Sirachai ARUNRUGSTICHAI)

"So we hold her while feeding her milk, and after that we have to get her to swim around to exercise her digestion system," Pathompong said.

Her caretakers also use an orange canoe -- nicknamed "Mother Orange" -- for her to follow around in the water for exercise.

Despite Mariam's seeming dependence on her human friends, Pathompong said she's "learned to adjust to the environment" and no longer gets stranded on the beach.

But "it doesn't matter how many marine animals we can save... if their sea homes are in bad conditions," said the vet, adding that Mariam will likely be under their care for at least another year.

The avalanche of public interest in Mariam's progress has prompted the DMCR to set up a livestream for the growing baby, expected to be broadcast at the end of this week.

Another baby dugong was also found stranded in Krabi earlier this week.

The Phuket Marine Biological Centre said in a statement that dugongs get stranded on beaches because of fishing and other human activities.

Southern Thailand's waters are home to about 250 dugongs.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Whaling ships set sail as Japan resumes commercial hunts

Yahoo – AFP, Harumi OZAWA, July 1, 2019

Japan whaling ships set sail for the first commercial hunts in over three decades,
with their harpoons covered while in port (AFP Photo/Kazuhiro NOGI)

Kushiro (Japan) (AFP) - Whaling ships set sail on Monday from Japan as the country resumed commercial hunts for the first time in decades after withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission.

Five ships from whaling communities around the country left port in northern Japan's Kushiro with their horns blaring and grey tarps thrown over their harpoons.

Japan's decision to withdraw from the IWC was slammed by activists and anti-whaling countries, but the resumption of commercial hunts has been welcomed by Japanese whaling communities and the departure from Kushiro was celebrated with a send-off ceremony.

"My heart is overflowing with happiness, and I'm deeply moved," said Yoshifumi Kai, head of the Japan Small-Type Whaling Association, addressing a crowd of several dozen politicians, local officials and whalers.

"This is a small industry, but I am proud of hunting whales. People have hunted whales for more than 400 years in my home town."

Whaling vessels will also leave Monday morning from other ports including in Shimonoseki in western Japan.

The country's Fisheries Agency said Monday it had set a cap for a total catch of 227 whales through the season until late December.

The quota includes 52 minke, 150 Bryde's and 25 sei whales, the agency said.

"I'm a bit nervous but happy that we can start whaling," 23-year-old Hideki Abe, a whaler from Miyagi region in northern Japan told AFP before leaving.

"I don't think young people know how to cook and eat whale meat any more. I want more people try to taste it at least once."

Whaling has long proved a rare diplomatic flashpoint for Japan, which says the practice is part of the country's tradition and should not be subject to international interference.

As an IWC member, Japan was banned from commercial hunts of large whales, though it could catch small varieties in waters near its coastline.

But it also exploited a loophole in the body's rules to carry out highly controversial hunts of whales in protected Antarctic waters under the banner of "scientific research".

Activists said the hunts had no scientific value, and Japan made no secret of the fact that meat from whales caught on those hunts ended up sold for consumption.

With its withdrawal from the IWC, Tokyo will now carry out high-seas whale hunting off Japan, but will end the most controversial hunts in the Antarctic.

New Zealand bans single-use plastic bags

Yahoo – AFP, Neil SANDS, July 1, 2019

Companies that break New Zealand's plastic bag ban will face heavy penalties
(AFP Photo/Drew Angerer)

Wellington (AFP) - New Zealand officially banned single-use plastic shopping bags Monday, introducing hefty fines for businesses that continue to provide them.

Plastic pollution has become a growing global concern, with a million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals injured or killed every year by becoming entangled in packaging or ingesting it through the food chain.

Companies that break New Zealand's ban will face heavy penalties, including fines of up to NZ$100,000 ($67,000).

"New Zealanders are proud of our country's clean, green reputation and want to help ensure we live up to it," environment minister Eugenie Sage said.

"Ending the use of single-use plastic shopping bags helps do that."

Under the new rules, thin plastic single-use shopping bags can no longer be supplied -- but the law allows reusable carriers to continue being provided.

The legislation -- which was announced in August last year and came into force on Monday -- will have little practical effect, as New Zealand's major supermarkets have already voluntarily banned the bags.

However, Sage said it was putting the issue of recycling on the agenda.

"(The ban) doesn't go far enough, but what is really great is it's started the conversation," she told Radio New Zealand.

A million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals worldwide are injured 
or killed every year by plastic packaging (AFP Photo/Silke Struckenbrock)

"People are now talking about single-use plastics and how we can phase them out."

Britain's Royal Statistical Society estimates 90.5 percent of all plastic waste -- some 6,300 million metric tons -- has never been recycled and is either in landfill or accumulating in the natural environment.

If current production and waste management trends continue, the ocean of plastic waste is estimated to almost double to 12,000 million metric tons by 2050.

More than 80 countries have already introduced bag bans similar to New Zealand's, according to the UN Environment Programme.

While it praised such initiatives, it said more needed to be done to minimise other sources of plastic waste including microbeads and single-use items such as straws.

Canada last month announced plans to ban disposable plastic items such as straws, cutlery and stir sticks from 2021.

The Pacific nation of Vanuatu will implement a ban in December on disposable diapers, which not only have non-biodegradable plastic linings but also use chemical absorbents which leach into the environment.

Sage said the New Zealand government was committing NZ$40 million ($27 million) to find ways to reuse plastic waste instead of sending it to landfill overseas.

"We have been sending our waste offshore for too long," she said.

"China and other countries refusing to take our waste is the wake-up call we need."

The issue of wealthy developed nations using poorer countries as trash dumps was highlighted this week when Canada had to accept back tonnes of rubbish it shipped to the Philippines years ago.

For years, China received the bulk of scrap plastic from around the world, but closed its doors to foreign refuse last year in an effort to clean up its environment.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Canada takes garbage back from Philippines, ending long dispute

Yahoo – AFP, Alia Dharssi, June 29, 2019

A ship carrying dozens of containers of Canadian trash left in the Philippines for
years has arrived back home (AFP Photo/Don MacKinnon)

Vancouver (AFP) - Tonnes of Canadian garbage left in the Philippines for years arrived back home Saturday, putting an end to a festering diplomatic row that highlighted how Asian nations have grown tired of being the world's trash dump.

A cargo vessel loaded with about 69 containers of rubbish docked in a port on the outskirts of Vancouver, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

The trash will be incinerated at a waste-to-energy facility, local officials said.

The conflict dates back to 2013 and 2014, when a Canadian company shipped containers mislabeled as recyclable plastics to the Philippines.

The shipment actually contained a mixture of paper, plastics, electronics, and household waste, including kitchen trash and diapers, even though Philippine law prohibits imports of mixed plastics and household trash.

Some of the waste was disposed of in the Philippines, but much of it stewed in local ports for years.

The issue polluted bilateral relations for years, but tensions came to a head in April when Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to "declare war" against Canada unless it reclaimed the garbage.

Canada missed a May 15 deadline to repatriate the rubbish, but then made arrangements soon thereafter to move it back to Canadian soil.

Canada's Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told reporters on Thursday: "We committed with the Philippines and we're working closely with them."

Global concern over plastic pollution has been spurred by shocking images of waste-clogged rivers in Southeast Asia and accounts of dead sea creatures found with kilos of refuse in their stomachs.

Environmental activists in the Philippines had protested outside the Canadian 
embassy in Manila to speed up the removal of the tonnes of Canadian trash (AFP 
Photo/maria Salvador Tan)

For years, China had received the bulk of scrap plastic from around the world, but closed its doors to foreign refuse last year in an effort to clean up its environment.

Huge quantities of waste plastic have since been redirected to Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia and -- to a lesser degree -- the Philippines.

In November 2016, Canada amended its regulations on waste disposal to prevent incidents like the one with the Philippines.

Canadian exporters now need a permit to export hazardous waste and can only obtain it if the other country consents to the import, Jenn Gearey, a spokeswoman for the Canadian environment ministry, said via email.

Even so, challenges remain.

In May, Malaysian officials criticized Canada after a shipping container filled with contaminated plastic bags from major Canadian grocery chains was shipped to Kuala Lumpur by a private company.

Canada produces more waste per capita than other countries with comparable levels of economic development, ranging from the United States to Japan, according to a study by the Conference Board of Canada.

The majority of it ends up in landfills.

Environmental advocates argue that developed countries should stop exporting their trash and figure out how to handle it domestically.

"The way forward is to drastically reduce the amount of waste we generate, especially plastic waste," said Vito Buonsante, plastics program manager at Environmental Defense in Toronto.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Palau changes ocean sanctuary plan to allow Japan fishing

Yahoo – AFP, June 17, 2019

Fish stocks are overexploited around the world, the UN's Food and Agriculture
Organization has warned (AFP Photo/CHARLY TRIBALLEAU)

Koror (Palau) (AFP) - The Pacific nation of Palau has amended plans to create a huge marine reserve so Japanese fishing boats still have partial access to its waters.

Fish stocks are overexploited around the world, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization warned this year, and Palau has long been regarded as a pioneer in ocean conservation.

The island nation will close 80 percent of its exclusive economic zone -- a 500,000 square kilometre (193,000 square mile) area roughly the size of Spain -- to commercial fishing from next year.

The remaining 20 percent was to be reserved for Palau fishing boats only, but President Tommy Remengesau said Japan -- one of Palau's major foreign aid donors -- asked for the plans to be changed.

In response, the government last week passed legislation that will allow some foreign long-line vessels into the area.

Remengesau said the changes were to accommodate vessels from the southern Japanese island province of Okinawa, which have fished the waters for generations.

"We're close to Japan and we want to accommodate them where we can," Remengesau said.

Natural Resources Minister Umiich Sengebau said the changes would not undermine the sanctuary's conservation value.

"Japan has come out and actually endorsed the amendment and that's good for Japan, but it was really something we want to do for Palau to have an industry that we can sustain," he said.

The country created the world's first shark sanctuary in 2009 and will next year introduce a ban on reef-toxic sunscreens.

Remengesau said his nation -- renowned as one of the world's top diving spots -- was prioritising tourism when he announced the plan in 2015.

The tourist industry accounts for about 50 percent of the country's economy, above the tuna fishing industry.

Tokyo-based charity The Nippon Foundation donated a patrol vessel to Palau last to help prevent illegal fishing in the vast ocean reserve.

Environment group Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy, which helped formulate the blueprint for the sanctuary, said it was examining the changes introduced last week.

"While we are still working to fully analyse the legislation, we continue to support Palau as a world leader in ocean conservation," the group's senior manager Ashleigh Cirilla said.

Monday, June 17, 2019

G20 agrees marine plastic pollution deal

Yahoo – AFP, Kyoko HASEGAWA, June 16, 2019

Campaigners say the only long-term solution to the plastic waste crisis is for
companies to make less and consumers to use less (AFP Photo/JOSEPH EID)

Tokyo (AFP) - The Group of 20 major economies said they agreed a deal to reduce plastic waste that is choking the seas at a meeting in Japan on Sunday.

Under the agreement, G20 member countries committed to reducing plastic waste but gave little detail on how that would be done. They added that the steps would be voluntary and progress would be reported once a year, according to local media.

The Japanese government hopes to hold the first meeting in November, said newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.

"It is great that we were able to make rules for all, including emerging and developing countries," Japanese environment minister Yoshiaki Harada said after the two-day meeting of the G20 environment and energy ministers' meeting.

Plastic pollution has become a global concern, particularly after bans imposed by China and other countries on the import of plastic waste from overseas.

Many countries, including Japan, have seen their waste pile up as a consequence.

Microplastics -- tiny pieces of degraded waste -- have attracted particular attention.

They absorb harmful chemicals, accumulating inside fish, birds and other animals, and are difficult to collect once in the water.

Plastic pollution has become an increasing international concern (AFP Photo/
Boris HORVAT)

The framework agreed at the meeting in the central mountain resort of Karuizawa would be the first to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean involving not only rich nations but emerging economies as well.

'Legally binding' rules needed

The deal would be "the first step" to tackling plastic waste, Hiroaki Odachi of Greenpeace Japan said in a statement.

"However, it is insufficient to rely on countries' voluntary actions" to resolve the crisis, he said.

Only an estimated nine percent of plastics ever produced are recycled and campaigners say the only long-term solution to the plastic waste crisis is for companies to make less and consumers to use less.

"G20 countries should clearly announce that they will prioritise reducing generation of single-use plastics" along with recycling and reusing materials, Odachi said.

"Legally binding international rules with clear timelines and goals" are needed, similar to those in the Paris Agreement on climate, he added.

The 2015 Paris agreement commits signatories to efforts to cap global warming at "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).

Japan will demand businesses charge for plastic shopping bags next year to help reduce waste, said Japanese industry minister Hiroshige Seko on Saturday.

Many countries in the world already charge for single-use bags or ban them outright.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

First dead endangered right whale of 2019 spotted in Canada waters

Yahoo – AFP, June 5, 2019

A critically endangered North Atlantic right whale swims off the coast of the
northeastern US state of Massachusetts near Cape Cod Bay (AFP Photo/Don Emmert)

Ottawa (AFP) - The first dead critically endangered North Atlantic right whale of 2019 has been spotted in Canada's Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the fisheries and oceans department said Wednesday.

The ministry said in a release that the animal carcass had been spotted drifting in the channel during an aerial surveillance flight on June 4.

"We are currently assessing the recovery and necropsy options," it said.

The Canadian government stepped up tracking of right whales after more than a dozen were found dead in 2017 in the busy seaway and off the coast of New England in the United States, which had prompted concern from marine biologists.

The area is home to nearly one quarter of the world's last 411 right whales, according to the most recent government figures.

The Marine Animal Response Society, which is working with the department, identified the deceased animal as a nine-year-old male known to researchers as Wolverine.

No deaths were reported last year.

Ottawa last year restricted snow crab fishing and the speeds of boats travelling in the Saint Lawrence seaway to prevent more deaths.

Conservation officials say that North Atlantic right whales are among the most threatened species in the world.
Related Article:


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Eritrean man picked up in North Sea on home-made raft

DutchNews, June 3, 2019

Photo: Ko van Leeuwen

The Dutch sea rescue services on Sunday rescued an Eritrean man who was trying to cross the North Sea to England on a home-made raft. 

The KNRM said it picked up the man on Sunday morning near IJmuiden, the port to the west of Amsterdam, close to a busy shipping route. 

The triangular raft had been made out of tree trncks and plastic plant pots filled with plastic bottles and polystyrene for buoyancy and tied together with rope. It had a plastic sail, and carried a jerrycan of water and a solar panel to power a mobile phone. 

According to the Noordhollands Dagblad, the man wanted to take advantage of the ebb tide to reach the wider sea and was completely reliant on wind and the tides for the 190 kilometre crossing. 

The man, said to be 26 years old, is being questioned by border police. 

‘I have never seen anything like this and I hope it is the last time I do,’ KNRM captain Walter Schol said. ‘The raft is not at all seaworthy and he was very lucky with the weather, otherwise this could have ended very differently.’

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Netherlands, Russia agree deal on Arctic Sunrise compensation

DutchNews, May 17, 2019 

Photo: Salvatore Barbera via Wikimedia Commons

The Netherlands and Russia have reached a settlement in the Arctic Sunrise case, in which Russian officials boarded a Greenpeace protest ship in international waters and arrested the crew in 2013. 

As part of the deal Greenpeace will get €2.7m from Russia to pay for damage to the ship, additional costs and compensation for the 30-strong crew. 

The Arctic Sunrise, which sailed under the Dutch flag, was seized in September 2013 and its crew arrested on piracy charges following a protest at a Russian drilling rig in Arctic waters. The crew were released in December that year after Russia agreed to an amnesty. The ship was kept in Russia for 11 months. 


In 2015, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ordered Russia to pay the Netherlands compensation over the incident but Russia said at the time it would not recognise the ruling. 

Greenpeace Nederland said in a reaction to the ruling that they welcome the Dutch government’s persistence. 

‘The right to peaceful protest is part of democracy,’ said Faiza Oulahsen, who was on the ship when it was taken over. ‘Although Greenpeace is not part of the deal, we are pleased the Russian authorities are now underwriting the essence of the tribunal ruling.’

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Russia to release killer whales in new habitat, despite expert advice

Yahoo – AFP, Maria ANTONOVA, May 15, 2019

The animals are being kept at a holding facility in Srednyaya Bay in the Far
Eastern town of Nakhodka (AFP Photo/Sergei PETROV)

Moscow (AFP) - Russia is to free captured killer whales over the next month, but will not return them to their original habitat despite expert advice, a scientist said Wednesday.

The animals will instead be released from their pens in Russia's Far East and may "disrupt vacationers" at resorts nearby, said Vladislav Rozhnov, who was involved in talks over their fate.

Nearly 100 belugas and orcas were captured last summer and kept in small pens by commercial firms who had planned to deliver them to aquariums, including in China where the industry is booming.

Ten killer whales, or orcas, will be released "in late May to early June", Rozhnov said during a briefing at the Russian environment ministry.

He said it would be more ideal to transport them to where they had initially been captured, as Russian and foreign scientists have advised, but this was deemed too costly.

Instead they will be freed in the bay where they have been held near the town of Nakhodka -- more than 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) south from where they were actually caught in the Sea of Okhotsk.

There is a risk that the whales will "stay near the pens where they were fed" and bother humans, he said.

"Science gives recommendations, but the decision is taken by government authorities," said Rozhnov, who heads the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Environment and -- with other agencies -- is part of a council on the fate of the whales.

Last month Greenpeace activists produced an image of an orca in Moscow in 
protest against keeping orcas and beluga whales crammed into small enclosures 
in the Far Eastern town of Nakhodka (AFP Photo/Yuri KADOBNOV)

"We hope that the released animals will go north and return to their native waters," he said.

'Aggressive' orcas

The environment ministry said in a statement that transporting the animals to the Sea of Okhotsk could injure the animals and cause stress. Constructing rehabilitation enclosures at a faraway release site would be too complicated, it added.

"Due to constraints of time, the realisation of this is difficult," the ministry said.

Russian officials last month met with US-based conservationists Jean-Michel Cousteau and Charles Vinick, who visited the facility with the killer whales and 87 beluga whales, also captured last year.

Rozhnov said there was no precise decision on the beluga whales, but that scientists now were looking into genetic evidence of family ties between the captured juveniles and known beluga groups in the wild.

In a statement Wednesday, Cousteau's team warned that releasing the killer whales near the facility where they were being held carried a "high number of significant risks". They included potential conflict with people and boats in the area due to "aggressive behaviours observed in some of the orcas".

Such a release "leads to likely long-term costs and diminished potential for survival", the team said. They said the whales should be taken to where they were captured following an "acclimatisation period" in remote enclosures.

Russia is the only country still catching wild orcas and belugas. The controversial trade of marine mammals has boomed in recent years together with the aquarium industry in China, which uses Russian animals in its new marine parks.

Although some fisheries officials have defended the capture as a legitimate industry, scientists argue it threatens the species' populations.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Stricken ship refloated after Solomons oil spill

Yahoo – AFP, 11 May 2019

The ship was carrying more than 700 tonnes of heavy fuel and leaked a huge
amount of oil into the sea

The ship at the centre of an environmental disaster near World-Heritage listed waters in the Solomon Islands was refloated Saturday after being stranded on a coral reef for more than three months.

The MV Solomon Trader ran aground on February 5 while loading bauxite at Rennell Island, about 240 kilometres (149 miles) south of the capital Honiara.

The 225-metre (740-foot) ship was carrying more than 700 tonnes of heavy fuel and leaked a huge amount of oil into the sea, sparking an international effort to contain the spill.

"They have been trying to refloat the vessel since Thursday but because of low tide they have not been able to, until today", the chairman of the Solomons National Disaster Council, Melchior Mataki, told AFP.

An oil slick more than six kilometres long has spread along the shoreline, destroying the livelihoods of islanders who rely on waters in the ecologically delicate region.

Rennell Island is the largest raised coral atoll in the world and includes a UNESCO World Heritage site which extends kilometres out to sea.

Authorities have said the site was not affected by the spill, although Mataki said a detailed environmental assessment will be undertaken now that the vessel is out of the way.

"There is a preliminary report but the full report will be made known once assessments and investigation findings are compiled properly", he said, adding the government would likely seek compensation for environmental damage.

The Australian government had sent salvage experts to assist the response and vowed to help the Solomons make sure those responsible for the spill are held to account.

The Hong Kong-registered ship was chartered by Indonesian-based Bintan Mining and was loaded with almost 11,000 tonnes of bauxite at the time of the incident.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Indonesia to sink scores of boats to deter illegal fishing

Yahoo – AFP, May 4, 2019

Indonesian authorities sink an impounded Vietnamese fishing boat at Datuk
island,on May 4, 2019. (AFP Photo/LOUIS ANDERSON)

Pontianak (Indonesia) (AFP) - Indonesia began sinking dozens of impounded foreign boats Saturday to deter illegal fishing in its waters, a week after a naval vessel clashed with a Vietnamese coastguard near the South China Sea.

Up to 51 foreign boats -- including from Vietnam, Malaysia and China -- will be scuttled at several different locations over the next two weeks, officials said.

Over a dozen were scuttled Saturday near Pontianak, in West Kalimantan province.

Fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti said the action was necessary to warn neighbouring countries that Indonesia was serious about fighting illegal fishing.

"There's no other way," she said. "This is actually the most beautiful solution for our nation, but yes, it's scary for other countries."

She said Indonesia suffered great economic loss from lax regulations that gave leeway for foreign boats to fish in Indonesian waters.

Since president Joko Widodo took office in 2014, hundreds of captured foreign fishing vessels have been sunk -- more than half from Vietnam.

The practice was suspended for several months, but has resumed since last week when a Vietnamese coastguard boat rammed an Indonesian navy ship attempting to seize an illegal trawler.

A dozen fishermen were detained and remain in Indonesian custody.

"If we don't act firm, they will be even more daring. I believe these collisions will get worse one day, this will escalate," Pudjiastuti said.

Jakarta claims the area in the southernmost reaches of the South China Sea as its exclusive economic zone and two years ago changed its name to the North Natuna Sea in a bid to show sovereignty.

More recently, it inaugurated a new military base in the chain of several hundred small islands to beef up defences. The moves prompted criticism from Beijing, whose claims in the sea overlap Indonesia's around the remote Natuna Islands.