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, August 31, 2010

WWF to help Indonesian govt designate, manage new marine conservation areas, August 26, 2010 11:23 am

PADANG, Aug. 26 – The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is to help the Indonesian government establish 700,000 hectares of new marine conservation areas that will kept well managed, a fisheries official said.

"The target is part of a cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) and WWF to improve the sustainable management of fishery resources," Soen`an H. Poernomo, head of the KKP`s data, statistics, and information division, said in a press release on Wednesday.

Soen`an quoted KKP Secretary General M. Syamsul Maarif as saying WWF was also encouraging reform in the fisheries sector by initiating sustainable fisheries projects, especially for tuna, grouper, snapper, and shrimp cultivation.

For the fishery production sector, WWF would provide guidance on best fishery management practices with the final goal of obtaining an ecological certificate from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

"The cooperation between the two institutions is intended to manage marine and fisheries resources inside and outside the conservation areas in sustainable and responsible ways and to strengthen KKP`s efforts in implementing its policy on food security and food sustainability in fishery products," he said.

The cooperation would cover efforts to boost environmentally friendly and responsible fishery practices by developing best management practices, fishery policy research, and education and campaigns regarding conservation of endangered marine ecosystems and marine wildlife.

"The cooperation will last four years and be evaluated annually. Every project under the cooperation will be implemented based on a special legal accord and must be compatible with technical needs," he added Soen`an said KKP had adopted the vision of making Indonesia the biggest fish producing country in the world by 2015.

WWF with its capacity as a nature conservation institution would also help the government through joint research programs and n training of its personnel in public campaign management and implementing plans.

The marine and fishery sector contribute 3.12 percent of Indonesia`s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009 or up from 2.75 percent in 2008.

Indonesia`s income from fishery product exports reached 2.4 billion US dollars in 2009 and its fisheries provide jobs for 6.43 million people in 2008.

In recent years, cultivated fish production had grown more significantly than catch fish production.

Cultivated fisheries are considered strategic because they will be KKP`s mainstay in maintaining the availability of affordable protein. (PNA/Antara)

Greenpeace protesters shut down 'dangerous' oil drilling rig in Arctic

Daily Mail, By MAIL FOREIGN SERVICE, 31st August 2010

Environmental campaigners today claimed to have shut down a 'dangerous' oil drilling operation by a British energy company in the Arctic.

Greenpeace said four expert climbers in inflatable speedboats had evaded Danish navy commanders to climb up the inside of the Cairn Energy oil rig off Greenland.

The four campaigners are now hanging from the rig 15m above the icy Arctic ocean in tents suspended from ropes, halting its drilling operation, Greenpeace said.

Protest: A Greenpeace boat passes near the Cairn Energy Stena Don rig. For activists have climbed into the rig to prevent drilling operations

The campaigners, who are protesting against what they claim are the 'huge risks' energy companies are taking with the environment by drilling for oil in deep water, say they have enough supplies to occupy the tents for several days.

They claim that if they halt drilling for a short time, Cairn will struggle to meet the deadline to complete exploration before the winter conditions set in, forcing the company to abandon the search for oil off Greenland until next year.

Sim McKenna, from the US, who is one of the climbers, said: 'We've got to keep the energy companies out of the Arctic and kick our addiction to oil, that's why we're going to stop this rig from drilling for as long as we can.

'The BP Gulf oil disaster showed us it's time to go beyond oil.

'The drilling rig we're hanging off could spark an Arctic oil rush, one that would pose a huge threat to the climate and put this fragile environment at risk.'

Firm rejects RI’s claim on spill damage

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 08/31/2010 9:52 AM

After two rounds of negotiations, Indonesia and Thai rig operator, PTTEP Australasia, failed to reach an agreement on whether the Montara oil slick polluted the Timor Sea. Indonesia has proposed a compensation payment of US$2.2 billion.

After the meeting, the PTTEP said in its statement the company found no verifiable evidence presented by Indonesia’s team to support the claims.

Indonesia said that the report submitted to the PTTEP had gone through analysis by a team of experts set up in Jakarta. “The data has been scientifically proven,” Indonesian advocacy team chief Masnellyarti Hilman told reporters Monday.

Indonesia’s team displayed maps of areas impacted by the oil spill which allegedly covered 70,341 square kilometer in the Timor Sea, affecting nine regencies in the area.

The map of affected areas was determined by satellite images and water samples collected in several locations.

“The impacted areas can be visibly seen,”Masnellyarti said.

Polluted water samples taken from the Timor Sea matched the oil finger print taken from Montara’s rig, she added.

The second meeting was held last week in Perth, Australia, where Indonesia had hoped the company would agree to a US$5 million down payment to repair environmental damage and pay compensation to affected local fishermen. Indonesia has so far spent Rp 1.9 billion ($ 213,483) on operational costs such as surveys, meetings and visits to Perth.

“The PTTEP still questions the methodologies used by Indonesia to take samples and calculate the financial compensation,” Masnellyarti said. “The company also question the accreditation of laboratories assessing water samples from the Timor Sea.”

Indonesia was also asked to submit a full report of findings and claims before scheduling new talks.

“We hope to finish the English-version of the report this month,” she said.

Masnellyarti declined to reveal Indonesia’s exact claim figures, but earlier Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi, who is also the Ocean Oil Spill Emergency Situations National Team chief, said the claim had reached $2.2 billion.

Indonesian officials have repeatedly said the PTTEP had agreed to pay compensation to Indonesia.

In the statement sent to The Jakarta Post, the PTTEP did not mention whether or not it agreed to pay compensation to Indonesia.

“We received claims for damages from the Montara incident in the Timor Sea. The company evaluated the oil slick during the incident and its after effects and found that the spread of the slick was limited to only an area surrounding Montara, PTTEP President and CEO Anon Sirisaengtaksin said, adding that the incident is under control.

The PTTEP and the Australian authorities have studied the long term environmental effects of the spread of oil from Montara in the Timor Sea.

Related Article:

Riau Islands touted as haven for illegal foreign fishermen

Fadli, The Jakarta Post, Batam | Tue, 08/31/2010 10:04 AM

The recent case of illegal fishing in Riau waters, Malaysia’s response to which triggered protests in Indonesia, is just the tip of the iceberg, a government official says.

Riau Islands
The true number of poaching cases involving foreign fishermen in the Riau Islands was much larger than those reported, Batam Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Agency Yulisbar chief said.

Inadequate facilities and the authorities’ lack of commitment to preventing fish poaching were the main reason for the continued rampant thefts by foreign fishermen in the province, he said.

Malaysian Marine Police arrested three Batam Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Agency (KKP) officers — Asriadi, Selvo Wewengkang and Erwan — and detained them at Kota Tinggi prison in Johore Baru, Malaysia, from Aug. 13 to Aug. 17, after Indonesian officials had caught Malaysian fishermen accused of fishing illegally in Indonesian waters.

Fish thefts in Riau Islands by foreign fishermen are regarded as commonplace.

Fishermen from neighboring Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines have often been caught red-handed in the area, especially in Natuna and Anambas regencies.

According to Yulisbar, the Batam KKP has only eight personnel and a patrol boat to oversee 715 square kilometers of territory.

“Ideally, sea patrols should be conducted four times a month, but we don’t have the means for that,” Yulisbar said.

He added that foreign fishing boats, particularly from Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, usually caught fish in the open sea, in Natuna and Anambas, for example.

The low competence of local fishermen was another reason for continued thefts, Yulisbar said.

Between January and July this year, 10 foreign fishing boats were detained by Indonesian authorities. The total number of impounded illegal fishing vessels this year is expected to exceed that of last year.

Earlier, Batam Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Agency raised its concerns over the presence of foreign fishermen working in the local fishing industry because of limited skills of local fishermen.

Agency supervisory affairs chief Dasril Talani said the volume of fish caught within four nautical miles of the coast had less economic value than that caught beyond 12 nautical miles.

However, most of the vessels fishing 12 miles off the coast of the Riau Islands were foreign, since local fishermen only went out up to 4 miles, he said.

The chief of the Riau chapter of the Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Institute (LKPI), Andi Zulkarnain, said the recent arrests of Malaysian fishermen by KKP officers showed the low bargaining power of Indonesia compared to that of its neighbor.

Monday, August 30, 2010

BP accepts blame for Gulf of Mexico spill after leaked memo reveals engineer misread pressure reading

Daily Mail, By DANIEL BATES, 30th August 2010

BP has for the first time admitted that it made mistakes which led to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to U.S. reports.

The oil giant’s internal investigation found that managers misinterpreted data that told them a blowout was imminent on the very day the disaster happened.

Hours later the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 men and causing the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

Mistakes: A leaked internal memo from BP found that engineers
misread pressure data on the Deepwater

Horizon rig which could have alerted them to the blow out

BP has long avoided shouldering the blame for the accident as it grapples with the legal and financial fallout.

Now its own internal probe, which it began immediately after the spill began, found that on April 20 managers misread pressure data and gave their approval for rig workers to replace drilling fluid in the well with seawater.

The seawater was not heavy enough to prevent gas that had been leaking into the well from firing up the pipe to the rig, causing the explosion.

The investigation has also asked why John Guide, an engineer with BP and the team leader overseeing the project, ignored warnings about weaknesses in cement outside the well which could have prevented the gas from escaping.

BP intends to release details of the 200-page report in the next week or so.

Compensation: The BP report into the spill - caused by an explosion
on the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20 - is due to be published next week

It was led by Mark Bly, its head of safety and operations and involved interviews with staff ranging from engineers up to vice presidents and a review of internal documents.

The conclusion was that BP was partly to blame, as was Transocean, which owned the rig.

BP faces a string of other probes by U.S. authorities including the U.S. Justice Department and several Congressional Committees.

Since the spill happened, BP has vowed to take full responsibility for the clean-up and has set aside £13.5billion for compensation claims after coming under pressure from the Obama administration to do so.

The company has been forced to suspend dividends as its value plunged by more than half.

Beleaguered chief executive Tony Hayward has also been forced to hand in his resignation after a string of gaffes.

BP has refused to comment on the leaked memo.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Indonesian, Malaysian Foreign Ministers Discuss Sea Boundary on Sep. 6

Jakarta Globe, August 27, 2010

Demonstrators sing songs of patriotism during a protest outside the Malaysian embassy on Thursday. Activists from a number of youth organizations staged a rally to protest against a recent incident that saw Indonesian naval officers arrested by Malaysian authorities in the disputed waters off Riau Island. (Reuters/Supri)

Related articles

Kuala Lumpur. Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa will meet with Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman on Sept 6 in Kota Kinabalu, capital of East Malaysia state of Sabah, to discuss the sea boundary between the two countries.

Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Da’i Bachtiar said the bilateral meeting would also find the best solution to avoid a repeat of incidents that could affect the close relations between the two neighbors.

“We will all learn from the incident to speed up the processes that are still pending especially with regard to the boundary between Malaysia and Indonesia which frequently causes conflicts,” he said at a press conference at the Indonesian Embassy.

On Aug 13, the enforcement division of the Indonesian Marine and Fisheries Ministry detained seven Malaysian fishermen in the Malaysian-Indonesian waters near Bintan, Riau Islands, while the Malaysian Marine Operations Force detained three enforcement officers of the Indonesian ministry.

The case had resulted in various reactions where 37 members of the Indonesian Bendera movement demonstrated in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta on Monday and hurled human feces as ‘gifts’ to Malaysia, which was alleged to have tarnished Indonesia’s image in an even worse manner.

Da’i had personally expressed regret on the feces-throwing incident and attributed the demonstration to the anger and dissatisfaction of the Indonesian people accumulated over cases involving the two countries in the past.

“In terms of ethics, I certainly don’t agree to the throwing of feces, but in terms of jurisdiction, are there any legal provisions that the police can use to prosecute in court, the demonstration is considered as an accumulation of past cases,” he said.

He said the Indonesian government also gave an assurance on the security of Malaysian nationals and other nationalities residing in Indonesia and the police were also raising security measures at the embassy and the official residence of the Malaysian Ambassador in Jakarta.

Related Articles:

Indonesia may gain additional marine territory west of Aceh

Antara News, Friday, August 27, 2010 17:37 WIB | National

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia may get 4,000 square kilometers of additional water territory beyond its 200-mile maritime zone off Aceh Province`s western coast, a foreign ministry official said.

"Indonesia has been proposing recognition of its right to additional water territory west of Aceh province since 2008 on the basis of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea which says that a coastal country can claim a water territory outside its 200-mile maritime zone if it can prove geologically that the sediment in the proposed territory is similar to that inside its 200-mile maritime zone," said Havaz Oegroseno, director general for international treaties and laws at the foreign ministry here on Friday.

He said a joint team consisting of officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Coordinating Agency for Land Surveys and Mapping (Bakosurtanal), Indonesian Navy, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) had conducted an initial study which showed that Indonesia had the potential right to expand its water territory namely in the west of Aceh province, south of Sumba island and north of Papua province.

"The claim was reported to the United Nations in 2008 and we have attended several meetings discussing this matter with UN representatives. The last meeting at sub-commission level which was held in New York from August 12-17 approved our claim on the waters in the west of Aceh province. A meeting at commission level will be held next week and hopefully by September 2010, Indonesia`s claim will have been fully approved," Havaz said.

According to the initial study, he said, many economic assets were contained in the 4000-square-kilometer water area in the west of Aceh province, namely polimetalic nodules (minerals useful for industrial purposes such as manufacture of mobile phone parts), minerals for biotechnological purposes and diamonds.

Specifically with regard to diamonds, Havaz could not yet confirm the existence of the precious stones in the claimed area since the Indonesian team still had to conduct a comprehensive survey on it.

"We cannot yet confirm the existence of diamonds there. However, according to the experience of several other coastal countries, diamonds are usually to be found outside the 200-mile maritime zones. We will do a full survey as soon as the UN commission approves our claim," he said.

Bintan waters` rich fish resources motive behind recent incident

Antara News, Friday, August 27, 2010 04:51 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The rich fishery resources in Bintan Island waters are believed to be the motive behind the recent sea border incident with Malaysia in which three Indonesian fishery officers were arrested by the neigboring country`s police.

"The waters (around Bintan) are rich fishing grounds as two different currents, hot and cold, meet there. This condition enables production of phyto-planktons for fish to feed on," said Eddy Sudartanto, head of the Marine Resources and Fisheries Ministry`s Data, Statistics and Information bureau, said here Thursday.

Such a marine condition, he said, in fact was not only to be found on the Indonesian side of the border but also on the Malasyian side. He hinted that this condition may have encouraged foreign fishermen to intrude into Indonensian waters.

He was referring to the incident on August 13 when three Indonesian Marine and Fisheries patrolmen were arrested by Malaysian Marine Police inside Indonesian marine territory. They were caught when performing their duty in catching Malaysian fisherman deemed to have fished illegally.

According to data collected in 2010 by the ministry, a total of 112 foreign boats, including a number from Malaysia, were caught poaching in Indonesian waters up to last June.

Research conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2003 had found that there were large areas of shallow water around Bintan with the water level in many places at low tide only reaching a height of 1-5 meters providing excellent locations for fish traps and for development of fish farming using pens or for mollusk farming using off-bottom methods.

The water color observed was uniformly light green with low transparency with underwater visibility of 0.5-1.5 m indicating the existence of moderately high phytoplankton levels.

Bintan waters were also believed to be the habitat of expensive fish, including several species of groupers (kerapu) that include epinephelus and Plectropomus and four species of tauvina, malabaricus, maculatus and leopardus.

Related Article:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Up to 40 New Plant, Animal Species Discovered in Indonesian Waters

Jakarta Globe, Robin McDowell | August 26, 2010

A deep-sea Chimaera, whose evolutionary lineage branched off from sharks nearly 400 million years ago. A United States and Indonesian underwater expedition may have uncovered as many as 40 new species. (AP Photo/NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program)

Related articles

Jakarta. Scientists using cutting-edge technology to explore waters off Indonesia were wowed by colorful and diverse images of marine life on the ocean floor _ including plate-sized sea spiders and flower-like sponges that appear to be carnivorous.

They predicted Thursday that as many as 40 new plant and animal species may have been discovered during the three-week expedition that ended Aug. 14.

More than 100 hours of video and 100,000 photographs, captured using a robotic vehicle with high-definition cameras, were piped to shore in real-time by satellite and high-speed Internet.

Verena Tunnicliffe, a professor at the University of Victoria in Canada, said the images provided an extraordinary glimpse into one of the globe’s most complex and little-known marine ecosystems.

“Stalked sea lilies once covered the ocean, shallow and deep, but now are rare,” she said in a written statement. “I’ve only seen a few in my career. But on this expedition, I was amazed to see them in great diversity.”

Likewise, Tunnicliffe has also seen sea spiders before, but those were tiny in comparison, all around one-inch: “The sea spiders ... on this mission were huge. Eight-inches (20-centimeters) or more across.”

One animal captured on video looks like a flower, covered with glasslike needles, but scientists think it is probably a carnivorous sponge. The spikes, covered with sticky tissue, appear to capture food as it passes by.

Scientists used powerful sonar mapping system and the robotic vehicle to explore nearly 54,000 square kilometers of sea floor off northern Indonesia, at depths ranging from 240 meters to more than 1.6 kilometers.

The mission was carried out by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ship, the Okeanos Explorer. An Indonesian vessel, the Baruna Jaya IV, also took part, collecting specimens that, together with all rights for future use, will remain in the country.

Confirmation that a species is new involves a scientific peer review and other steps and can take years.

Associated Press

Related Article:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Indonesia to Seek $2.2 billion in Damages for Timor Sea Oil Spill

Jakarta Globe, Olivia Rondonuwu & Wilawan Pongpitak | August 25, 2010

The Indonesian government is reportedly seeking $2.2 billion in damages caused by the 2009 Timor Sea oil spill, well up on its previous estimate of $55 million.

Jakarta. Indonesia plans to seek at least $2.2 billion in compensation from Thailand’s state-controlled PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP) for damage caused by a 2009 oil spill in the Timor Sea, a government source said on Wednesday.

But PTTEP chief executive Anon Sirisaengtaksin said the claim was not supported by evidence of economic damage from the oil that spilled for two months into Indonesian and Australian waters after a rig operated by PTTEP Australasia caught fire.

The size of compensation, if any, from one of the worst oil spills in Australian history is likely to be watched closely during the massive cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico from BP Plc’s blown-out offshore deepwater well.

“We have the final claim now and it will be above Rp 20 trillion ($2.2 billion), roughly,” said the Indonesian source, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private.

“That is what we will put on the table. We understand that we will need to prove the claim based on scientific argumentation.” The impasse comes as PTTEP officials and Indonesian government representatives plan to meet in the Western Australia city of Perth to discuss compensation for the one of the worst oil spills in Australian history.

Indonesia’s claim is higher than analysts had expected. It initially asked for $55 million to pay in damages to local people and fisherman in the area.

PTTEP’s Anon said the Thai company had conducted its own studies and found there was not enough evidence of economic damage to justify paying compensation claims proposed by Indonesia.

“I believe there’s not enough,” he said. “We have gathered all evidence from the site ... There should be facts to support the claim.”

PTTEP Australasia’s West Atlas rig about 250 kilometers off the coast of Western Australia state spilled about 400 barrels of oil per day into an area known for diverse sea life.

The spill also drew calls in Australia for a suspension on new projects and tighter industry regulations.

The West Atlas drilling unit is located in PTTEP’s Montara development, where the start of production has been delayed to the middle of next year from late 2009. The rig is owned by Norway’s SeaDrill Ltd but operated by PTTEP Australasia.

PTTEP has said it is testing the development well for safety before demolishing the West Atlas rig and removing the existing wellhead platform. It plans to install a new platform and processing system.

Agence France-Presse

The aftermath of the West Atlas rig explosion, seen in this file photo, and the massive oil spill that came as a result is being assessed by ministers from Indonesia and Australia. (AP Photo/PTTEP Australasia)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

SeaWorld fined $75,000 after death of animal trainer

CNN, August 23rd, 2010

SeaWorld has been fined $75,000 by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for three safety violations, including one classified as willful, after the death of one of its animal trainers in February.

The agency's investigation "revealed that SeaWorld trainers had an extensive history of unexpected and potentially dangerous incidents involving killer whales at its various facilities, including its location in Orlando," said an OSHA statement Monday. "Despite this record, management failed to make meaningful changes to improve the safety of the work environment for its employees."

There was no immediate response from SeaWorld to the announcement.

– From CNN's Dugald McConnell

Former SeaWorld safety chief Linda Simons claims she was fired for talking
too much to federal investigators following the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau (r.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Inuit villages sue to stop seismic tests for oil, gas

Above the Arctic Circle in Canada near Greenland, five Inuit villages have won a court order that blocks a German icebreaker from conducting seismic tests of an underwater region that abounds with marine life — and possibly with oil, gas and minerals.

The Seattle Times, By Renee Schoof, McClatchy Newspapers, August 21, 2010

Inuit men are hunting for fish and seals (CNN)

WASHINGTON — Above the Arctic Circle in Canada near Greenland, five Inuit villages have won a court order that blocks a German icebreaker from conducting seismic tests of an underwater region that abounds with marine life — and possibly with oil, gas and minerals.

For the villagers who live in this mostly treeless region of fjords, icebergs and polar bears, the case was a victory that forces the national and territorial governments to consult them over the use of their homeland.

The decision comes as Canada, Alaska and other Arctic regions are deciding whether to allow oil and gas development in Arctic waters that are covered by ice for nine or more months each year.

"We've been saying all along that we aren't anti-development, we aren't anti-science," said Okalik Eegeesiak, the president of Qikiqtani Inuit Association, which asked the court of Nunavut Territory to block the geological study. "But we want to be involved, to be sure our environment and our wildlife are protected as much as possible."

Many Inuits depend on hunting, fishing and trapping to feed their families, both for cultural reasons and because food shipped above the Arctic Circle is so expensive. After the Canadian government told the people on Lancaster Sound — the villagers' traditional hunting area — that it planned to conduct the seismic tests, everyone who attended meetings in May opposed the testing, Eegeesiak said.

They were concerned about the immediate impact of the tests on wildlife, but the BP oil blowout also was on everyone's mind, she said.

"We saw every day on TV how difficult it was to contain the spill in the Gulf of Mexico," she said, noting that a spill in the ice and minus-40-degree temperature of winter would be impossible to stop.

Canada, like the U.S., is wrestling with how quickly to push into the Arctic for oil and gas.

Climate change is happening much faster at the high latitudes of the Arctic, giving more opportunity for drilling in ice-free water. The world's addiction to oil, meanwhile, is driving development deeper into the ocean, in places such as the Gulf of Mexico, and into the far north of Alaska and Canada.

Quite possibly, Lancaster Sound, a place that teems with wildlife, will be spared. The government of Canada announced in December that it planned several years of study to determine whether to make the region a marine conservation area.

Most of the world's tusked narwhals and some 40 percent of its beluga whales travel through the sound and feed and give birth in its waters. Rare bowhead whales are there, too, along with many walruses and seals. Millions of birds of many species nest nearby in great concentrations, including ivory gulls, phalaropes and snow geese.

Tourists visit to see the birds, whales, polar bears and icebergs, ride dog sleds over the ice or hunt for musk ox and polar bears.

Canada's minister in charge of environmental affairs and parks, Jim Prentice, said in July that the government remained committed to the idea of a marine park but wanted to go ahead with the seismic mapping to help determine its boundaries.

"The mapping of undersea geology is essential to making better decisions on land use and economic development in the north," Leona Aglukkaq, who represents Nunavut in Parliament, said when the government announced the seismic survey.

On Aug. 8, however, the Nunavut Court of Justice blocked the seismic mapping in Lancaster Sound a day before the icebreaker Polarstern was scheduled to begin its work.

Wegener officials have said the seismic study planned on the Polarstern wasn't the type needed for targeted oil and gas explorations.

The Pew Environment Group, which advocates creating the marine-conservation area, argued that seismic testing wasn't necessary to create a marine park. The Inuit association said underwater mapping for a park already was done in 1989. The Inuit have rights under their land agreement with Canada to continue hunting, fishing and trapping and to be part of decision-making.

"This is a controversy about oil and gas," said Scott Highleyman, the director of Pew's Arctic program. "Now that the judge has ruled, we're looking forward to working constructively with both the Inuit and the government on creation of a park in Lancaster Sound — something we are all in agreement about — to prevent this kind of conflict in the future."

Meanwhile, the next move on Arctic drilling in Alaska is expected soon.

The Interior Department is expected to announce whether it will make any changes to the Bush administration's five-year plan for offshore drilling, which runs from 2007 to 2012.

The Obama administration must decide whether it will sell any more leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, whether to withdraw Bristol Bay from potential leasing and whether to leave in place 215 leases that were sold to oil companies for the Chukchi Sea in 2008.

Related Article:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

NZ rescuers refloat 11 whales stranded on beach

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Wellington | Sat, 08/21/2010 3:23 PM

(Photo: ANP)

Rescuers refloated 11 beached pilot whales Saturday after a mass stranding on an isolated northern New Zealand beach in which 47 of the mammals died. Some of the survivors still appeared to be in trouble.

All 11 survivors initially headed out to sea and were being monitored to ensure they did not return to the beach, said Carolyn Smith, a spokeswoman for the Department of Conservation.

But within an hour, Smith said four of the survivors were in trouble.

"Of the eleven whales that were released, seven appear to be in good health, while four are experiencing difficulties," she said. "The department is concerned because they haven't left the immediate area and we are closely monitoring the situation."

The 58 pilot whales that beached Thursday night on remote, storm-tossed Karikari Beach were stranded for up to 12 hours before they were discovered - the reason so many died, Smith said.

On Friday, conservation department workers and trained volunteers from the Far North Whale Rescue group struggled to refloat the survivors by crane and body sling, hindered by heavy seas and wind, and then transport them half a mile (a kilometer) to Matai Bay, a sheltered location with calmer waters.

Officials had earlier said 73 whales beached but revised the number Saturday after a new count of the carcasses.

A pod of 101 pilot whales stranded on the same beach in 2007.

New Zealand has one of the world's highest rates of whale strandings, mainly during their migration to and from Antarctic waters. Since 1840, the Department of Conservation has recorded more than 5,000 strandings of whales and dolphins around the New Zealand coast.

Rescuers attempt to refloat 15 stranded pilot whales at Karikari beach in the far north of New Zealand. (CNN)

Related Article:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Indonesia's coral reefs dying at alarming rate

The Jakarta Post, Associated Press, Jakarta | Fri, 08/20/2010 4:00 PM

Sea wealth: In this file photo small fish swim around coral reefs at Waha in Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi. -- JP/Arief Suhardiman

Coral that survived the 2004 tsunami is now dying at one of the fastest rates ever recorded because of a dramatic rise in water temperatures off northwestern Indonesia, conservationists said, warning that the threat extends to other reefs across Asia.

The Wildlife Conservation Society deployed marine biologists to Aceh province, on the tip of Sumatra island, in May when surface waters in the Andaman Sea peaked at 93 degrees Fahrenheit (34 degrees Celsius) - a 7 degree Fahrenheit (4 degree Celsius) rise over long-term averages.

The teams discovered massive bleaching, which occurs when algae living inside coral tissues are expelled. Subsequent surveys carried out together with Australia's James Cook University and Indonesia's Syiah Kuala University showed 80 percent of those corals have since died.

Though the scientists have yet to submit the data for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, they and others say the speed and extent of mortality appears to exceed that of other bleachings in recent history. The cause appears to be the warming seas, which to some degree can be blamed on global warming.

"This is a tragedy not only for some of the world's most biodiverse coral reefs, but also for people in the region," said Caleb McClennen, the New York-based group's marine program manager for Indonesia, noting that many depend on the rich marine life for their food and money earned through tourism.

Coral formations were severely damaged by El Nino-linked warming in 1997 and 1998.

They were just bouncing back when a Dec. 26, 2004, earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries. The disaster damaged more than a third of Aceh's reefs, but scientists said they recovered faster than expected, thanks largely to natural colonization and a drop in illegal fishing.

"It's a disappointing development, particularly in light of the fact that these same corals proved resilient to other disruptions to this ecosystem," Stuart Campbell of the Wildlife Conservation Society wrote on their website.

"It is an unfortunate reminder that international efforts to curb the causes and effects of climate change must be made if these sensitive ecosystems and the vulnerable human communities ... that depend on them are to adapt and endure," Campbell wrote.

Related Article: