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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gone fishin’—piloting community supported fisheries at Google

Google Green blog, 7/29/11
(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

I've always loved the ocean—I was born in Shanghai, which means "upon the sea.” And as a chef, I'm always drawn to food that claims a spirit of place. After moving to California, near Half Moon Bay, I began visiting the docks to buy seafood, and got to know the fishermen.

Over time, it became evident to me that this part of our food supply is broken: many consumers purchase stale, unsustainably-raised fish from chain grocers. Meanwhile, fishermen often sell their diminishing catch to wholesalers at a very low profit, meaning their livelihoods are no longer sustained by their catch. There’s also the environmental factor to consider: Overfishing and illegal practices cause worldwide decline in ocean wildlife populations and wreak havoc on underwater habitats—not to mention the carbon footprint of transporting seafood far from its origin.

Google’s chefs have long been committed to sourcing food for our cafes as locally, seasonally and organically as possible. And in our Mountain View headquarters, many employees cook with the same ingredients at home thanks to on-site Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. When I joined the team as an executive chef in Mountain View, I wanted to make a difference in our purchasing program for seafood. For the five years leading up to then, I wrote a column for the San Francisco Chronicle called “Seafood by the Season,” and I knew it could be done. In early 2010, we began a push to apply the most rigorous standards to our seafood-buying practices, and respond to the in-the-moment fluctuations of the catch from small, independent fishermen.

Things took off from there. My colleague Quentin Topping dreamed of providing the same high-quality seafood we serve in our cafes for Googlers to take home to their families. That idea became the Google Community Supported Fishery (CSF), which we launched in May 2011. In this program, Googlers sign up to purchase a weekly supply of local, sustainable seafood, supplied through a partnership with the Half Moon Bay (HMB) Fisherman’s Association.

The Google Culinary team on a visit with fishermen in Half Moon Bay,
Calif. — Quentin and I are the second and third from the left, in black.

We tend to think on a massive scale at Google—whether it’s how to deliver instant search results around the globe or help thousands of small businesses get online—but when it comes to feeding our employees at work and at home, it really comes down to a local touch. Knowing where our seafood, meat and produce come from, as well as knowing how they’re raised, farmed or harvested, makes all the difference in the on-the-ground work of sustainability. We see many bright spots ahead for our Community Supported Agriculture and Fishery programs, such as expansion to other offices and adding a grass-fed beef and pasture-raised poultry program. It’s exciting to work someplace where we can think big and local.

We know of two CSFs in the Bay Area. The Half Moon Bay Fishermen’s Association supplies only Google at the moment, but will soon add public drop-off sites—keep posted by visiting The other is CSea out of Bodega Bay. If you live elsewhere, we hope you’ll consider stepping up to create one in your area.

And even if you don’t live near the ocean or have direct access to fresh-caught seafood, the choices you make about what fish to purchase or order in restaurants can make a real difference. You may want to consider following the guidelines that we used for our Google Green Seafood policy: Whenever possible, purchase species caught locally and in-season, by small, independent fisher-families, using environmentally-responsible methods. We think it’s important to be responsive to the fluctuations of catch too, and source from fisheries that enforce catch limits or are guided by ecosystem-based management programs. As for us, we’ll continue to research and source responsibly managed farmed seafood, and always keep transparency and Googler health at the center of our program.

Posted by Liv Wu, Executive Chef

Friday, July 29, 2011

Indonesian fishermen find body of American surfer

The Jakarta Post, Associated Press, Jakarta | Fri, 07/29/2011

Washed ashore: This May 2008 file photo provided by family friend Maurice
 Mitchell shows Daniel Bobis on his wedding day in Point Lookout, N.Y. Bobis,
 32, a math teacher and coach at Long Beach High School in New York,
 disappeared during an apparent surfing accident off the coast of western
 Indonesia on July 24, 2011. Local fishermen say they found his body about 20 miles
 (30 kilometers) from where he's last been seen.  (AP/courtesy of Maurice Mitchell,
Allison Caviness)

Local fishermen Thursday found the body of an American surfer who went missing last weekend in waters off western Indonesia.

Daniel Bobis apparently hit another surfer's board after emerging from the barrel of a powerful, 10-foot (3-meter) wave. His leash broke and his board washed to shore. A member of the search and rescue team said Bobis' body was found about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from where he'd last been seen.

Bobis, 32, was a math teacher and coach at Long Beach High School in New York. He had been vacationing with his wife, Rachel, on Sumatra island. She did not wish to comment.

Friends in Long Beach, a seaside community on Long Island, said Bobis had seemingly boundless energy. He played drums in a band, taught karate and was an environmental activist. At the school, he started a competitive surf team and was head coach.

"Everybody's mourning," said Teresa Greifenberger, 53, whose son Jonathan is on the surf team.

School staff members were calling bereaved students to let them know counselors were available, she said. Some of the surfers were planning to paddle into the surf Thursday evening and observe a moment of silence, she added.

Sean Pearsall, 32, called Bobis a close friend. He said the news was devastating but there was a measure of relief that his body was found.

"He was such a staple in the community," he said. "There were just so many people whose lives he touched. He did more in 32 years than most people do in 80. He definitely lived his life to the fullest and that's how he was every day."

His friends are planning a benefit for the family in September. Pearsall said they already had an overwhelming response from individuals and businesses eager to donate items for a raffle.

"He knew the power of the ocean," Pearsall said, adding that Bobis was an extremely experienced surfer and swimmer.

"It just goes to show you that Mother Nature calls the shots, unfortunately."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Following the sun

The Jakarta Post, Associated Press, Manila, The Philippines, Wed, 07/27/2011

Following the sun: A solar-powered boat, M/S Turanor Planet Solar, is docked
for a welcoming ceremony at the Philippine Navy headquarters in Manila on
Wednesday. The multi-hulled vessel is in the Philippine Islands on its continuing
 voyage that began on September 27, 2010 in Monaco, in an attempt to
circumnavigate the world using only solar power. 
(AP/Bullit Marquez)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cat and Dolphins playing together (Video)

Seventeen yachts competing to reach finish line in Ambon

Antara News, Tue, July 26 2011

Ambon (ANTARA News) - Seventeen yachts in their international race from Darwin (North Australia) to Ambon, Maluku province are competing to reach the finish line in the coast of Amahusu village, Nusaniwe sub-district, Ambon.

"The participants are competing making use of the strong wind to reach the finish line in the Amahusu village coast," coordinator of the Darwin-Ambon Yacht Race & Rally 2011 Hellen de Lima told ANTARA on Monday.

He said the monitoring committee disclosed that the sail boat Fantasia with skipper Andrew Stransky was leading the race.

Since the flag off at Darwin port, Fantasia from Brisbane, Australia, managed to lead the race.

Since entering the Indonesian waters, Fantasia of the Racing Multihull category made use of the wind velocity of 13.45 knots per hour.

But since passing the waters between Babar Island and Romang Island, Southeast Maluku regency, Fantasia sailed with a wind velocity of only 10.52 knots per hour.

Another participant Walk On The Wild Side with skipper Garth Curran and Australian Maid (John Wardil) are second and third.

Walk On The Wild Side moved with the wind blowing at a velocity of 9.20 knots per hour, while Australian Maid 9.51 knots per hour.

The two sail boats were known to win various international yacht races, the last before the Darwin-Ambon Yacht Race & Rally 2011, the two won Visit Indonesia Fremantle-Bali International Yacht Race 2011.

In the meantime, Freedom Express with skipper Ross McCombe, the third as Racing Multihull category in the Darwin-Ambon Yacht Race & Rally 2010, was fourth of the total of 17 participants in the event.

Freedom Express sailed with the wind blowing at a velocity of 9.40 knots per hour, followed by Sue Sea (Brian Todd) 9.29 knots per hour.

Game Set (John Mulkearns) was trailing with the wind blowing at a velocity of 8.49 knots per hour, followed by Even Karma (John Hard) 8.44 knots per hour.

"Most of the participants have entered Southwest Maluku regency waters and the Banda Sea, where some of the participants may have reached the finish line to night (Tuesday) or Wednesday morning," Hellen said.

The annual event was held to fill this year`s Darwin-Ambon sister city cooperation program followed by 19 participants, in which 18 participants dame from Australia, and the other one from the Netherlands, covering 634 nautical miles, the equivalent of 1,174.68 kilometers.

The flag off of the participants was marked with start sign from on board the HMAS Ararat (89) patrol boat in Darwin port by Ambon Mayor Jopi Papilaja and Darwin Governor Tom Pauling on July 23, 2011.

The yacht race is competing four categories, namely racing monohull (IRC) followed by six yachts, racing monohull cruising (six yachts), racing multihull (five) and rally (two).

The race is to win the cup of the Indonesian Minister of Culture and Tourism, was for the first time held in 1976 in an attempt to establish cooperation between the Darwin and Ambon administrations.

In 2009 the number of participants reached 100 yachts, but was later canceled as Ambon and Maluku were involved in a social conflict, and revived only in 2007.

Editor: B Kunto Wibisono

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gaza fishermen: 'They will fire bullets and shoot water at me' - video

Our reporters experience first hand Israeli efforts to intimidate Gaza fishermen and keep their fishing trips ever closer to shore, Harriet Sherwood and Mat Heywood, Sunday 24 July 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Maritime countries agree first ever shipping emissions regulation

But campaigners warn rules only apply to new ships replacing older ones – and developing countries have six-year waiver

Guardian, John Vidal, environment editor, Monday 18 July 2011

Maritime countries have agreed to regulate shipping emissions – but
 campaigners warn the rules don't go far enough. Photograph: David
Levene for the Guardian

Countries have taken a first step towards reducing climate emissions from shipping with a global agreement to reduce energy use in new vessels from 2013 onwards.

The belated action on Friday by 55 of the world's biggest sea-faring nations meeting at UN's international maritime organisation in London will force all ships over 400 tonnes built after 2013 to improve their efficiency by 10%, rising to 20% between 2020 and 2024 and 30% for ships delivered after 2024. The first ever regulation of emissions in shipping is expected to lead to greenhouse gas emission reductions of 45-50m tonnes a year by 2020.

But China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and South Africa have secured a six and a half year delay for new ships registered in developing countries, which could mean the first guaranteed effective date of the reform will be in 2019. Shipping accounts for 3-4% percent of man-made CO2 emissions worldwide and this figure is expected to rise to 6% by 2020, with emissions doubling by 2050 if no action is taken. Shipowners, who traditionally do not pay for the fuel that their ships use, have long resisted any regulation despite increasing pressure from environmental groups and reformers within the industry.

Environmental NGOs welcomed the tightening of the energy efficiency design index (EEDI) standard but cautioned that because it only applies to new ships replacing older ones at the end of their long lives, the full effects of today's decision will take a long time to have any major impact. There is a significant danger, said some, that many shipowners will elect to have their new ships flagged in developing countries that provide a waiver.

"Today's decision should result in fuel savings of $5bn a year by 2020 and CO2 reductions of 22m tons. This is an unprecedented economic and environmental opportunity and the IMO has taken an important step forward", said Peter Boyd, COO of Carbon War Room.

If the same standards were applied to the existing fleet of more than 30,000 ocean-going ships it could save $50bn a year in fuel and 220m tons of CO2, he said.

"There will be no change to existing ships which are currently pumping out a billion tones of CO2 each year, and for new ships it will take another dozen years until the EEDI is really delivering benefits. Operational changes could be delivering major benefits today," said Jacqueline Savitz, the senior campaign director for the marine conservation NGO Oceana.

The efficiency improvements are expected to be met through better engine design, more efficient hull shapes, improved waste heat recovery systems and the use of hull coatings to make ships more "slippery".

The deal is not likely to satisfy the European Commission that the maritime organisation is successfully regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The EC is therefore expected to proceed with its threat to bring shipping into the Emissions Trading Scheme, as it is doing in aviation, where there have been recent legal challenges from non-European countries.

In a separate development on Friday, the European Commission said it plans to tighten ship fuel sulphur regulations, which should lead to public health savings of billions of dollars, especially in countries like Britain and Holland that border busy sea lanes. The proposal would cut the maximum permissible sulphur content of fuels to 0.1% from 1.5% from 2015 in sensitive areas such as the Baltic Sea and the Channel, and to 0.5% from 4.5% in all other areas from 2020.

Shipping burns some of the most polluting fuels, and the proposal is expected to fine particle emissions from ships by up to 80 percent, the commission said.

The expected cost to the shipping industry of the new standards is between €2.6bn and €11bn ($3.7-$15.6bn), which the EU executive argues would be far outweighed by public health savings, of up to €34bn

Waiting game: Tankers moored off Devon waiting for
oil prices to rise even further

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Govt to build marine conservation school in Wakatobi

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 07/16/2011

Indonesia will establish the School for Marine Conservation (SMC) in Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi, to produce experts who will help the country preserve its natural resources, especially the ocean.

Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Fadel Muhammad laid the foundation stone for the center's building, marking the start of construction on Saturday.

He said the center would train many new officers to manage water conservation areas nationwide, which are expected to reach 20 million hectares by 2020 according to government plans.

“We will need up to 5,000 competent and professional people to manage the conservation areas,” Fadel was quoted as saying Saturday by Antara news agency.

He said the training center would offer students three major fields of study: conservation management, biodiversity and ocean engineering.

“The school will accommodate 400 students, 50 lecturers, 50 members of staff and 2,000 trainees,” Fadel said.

He added that the government chose Wakatobi as the site for the school as it sat at the center of world’s coral triangle and had rich natural resources. Wakatobi is also home to a 1.39-hectare national marine park with diverse coral reefs.

Alaskans smuggled walrus tusks and polar bear hides

BBC News, 16 July 2011

Related Stories 

Two Alaskans have pleaded guilty to illegally trading the tusks of about 100 walruses with Eskimo hunters.

Indigenous Alaskans are allowed to hunt
walruses for food
The pair were arrested in April with the ivory tusks, along with two polar bear hides.

They had swapped the animal parts with the hunters in exchange for money, guns, cigarettes and at least one snowmobile.

Indigenous Alaskans are allowed to hunt walruses but they are not permitted to sell the tusks.

The state prosecutor declined to comment on whether the hunters would also be charged, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Prosecutors say this is Alaska's biggest wildlife trafficking case for nearly two decades.

A third defendant is expected to plead guilty to similar charges next week.

The three had obtained about 500 pounds (227kg) of walrus tusks from Yup'ik Eskimo hunters in the village of Savoonga, court documents say.

The pair pleaded guilty under a plea bargain and prosecutors have asked for prison terms of at least five years.

Two of the defendants asked for permission to get married before they are sentenced in November.

They fear that if they are not married, they will not be able to send letters to each other in separate prisons.

The judge said he would try to accommodate their request.

Europe committed to sustainable fishing

RNW, 15 July 2011, by Willemien Groot

(Photo: Clipart)

Unless action is taken, the last fish in the Mediterranean could be on our plate within a matter of years. Europe's fishermen now have to make a real shift towards sustainability insists the European Commission. A new package of sustainable fishing measures is now on the table. And these measures will also apply outside European waters, so that Africa and Latin America will also reap the benefits.

Overfishing is a global problem, but the situation in European waters is especially serious. According to European Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, 83 percent of all species in the Mediterranean Sea are overfished, as are 63 percent of stocks in the Atlantic Ocean.

Brussels is setting its sights high: it wants the fishing grounds to have recovered to such an extent in 2015 that responsible fishing is once again possible. A survival plan for all fish species will be developed to guarantee their long-term future.

Recovery plan

For proof that the recovery of heavily exploited species is possible, we need look no further than the increase of plaice, herring and mackerel in the North Sea. Dutch fishermen, conservation groups and the Ministry worked together on a recovery plan. And the Netherlands should be doing more to advertise the success of the plan says Irene Kingma of Ocean2012, a platform for around 100 NGOs that advocate sustainable fishing.

We should be demonstrating how it can be done. That's one of our main appeals to the Minister: do your best to promote this in Europe. Because you know that the Spanish minister will present a very different story, with a starring role for the poor fisherman who can't earn a crust anymore.

European trawlers’ association PFA is also advocating the widespread acknowledgement of Dutch practices. PFA trawlers catch shoal fish such as herring and mackerel and freeze them on board. The association works closely with environmental groups. “It would be good to draw on the experiences of the people who actually do the work when developing a management plan,” says PFA chairman Gerard van Balsfoort.

Illegal fishing

Now that fish stocks in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic are under threat, fishermen are casting their nets wider and heading for the West African coast. There, Spanish and Asian factory ships in particular form a growing threat to the livelihood of local fishermen.

In 2009, Greenpeace discovered that half the vessels fishing in these waters were there illegally. Most of the offenders were Chinese and Korean. The environmental group says the illegally caught fish is routed via the Canary Islands and ends up on the European market.


The members of the PFA came up with solutions that can profit both the fishing industry and the local authorities. One such solution is in Mauritania, where freezer trawlers catch herring and mackerel off the coast, species that are of little or no interest to local fishermen. In exchange for these fishing rights, Mr Van Balsfoort explains, Mauritania receives payment that accounts for “between ten and twenty percent of GNP”.

Mauritania channels part of this revenue into developing its local fisheries. “We fish in Mauritania under an EU agreement which contains so many guarantees that the fishing can be described as well controlled, and even includes scientific practices. Our fishing in Mauritania is sustainable.”

International allure

If the European Commission gets its way and the individual member states impose sustainable measures on their fishermen, Irene Kingma of Ocean2012 believes that this will have major repercussions. The Union also communicates its internal stance to the wider world, within the United Nations for example. “The EU is actively exerting pressure on Asian countries to adapt their fishing practices. And that’s having a favourable effect on West Africa’s coastal states.”

Irene Kingma hopes that the EU will keep a close eye on its agreements with third countries. This is particularly important for the Latin American region, regarded as a growth market by European fishermen. Spanish trawlers have been sighted there with increasing frequency and the Netherlands is also keen to explore the possibility of fishing there. But everything must be done to ensure that the decimation of Mediterranean fish stocks is not repeated in other parts of the world.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Saving Valentine: a Humpback's Tale (Video)

Michael Fishbach narrates his encounter with a humpback whale entangled in a fishing net. Gershon Cohen and he have founded The Great Whale Conservancy to help and protect whales. Visit their website, facebook page, and join them in helping to save these magnificent beings.

Whaling commission agrees to anti-corruption reforms

Deutsche Welle, 14 July 2011  

Sperm whales are among target
species for Japan's research whaling
The International Whaling Commission passed a measure intended to increase transparency and address allegations of vote-buying. But this comes at the cost of scuttling a proposal to increase civil society participation.

On the Channel Island of Jersey, the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission, or IWC, was dominated by discussion over the proposal to eliminate cash payments for membership dues.

Proposed by the United Kingdom and backed by a number of countries including Germany, the proposal passed through a rare consensus decision.

Conservation groups hailed the passage. "It's a huge success," said Nikolas Entrup, head of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society in Germany, WDCS.

German WDCS head
Nikolas Entrup
But Entrup also criticized the commission, and especially a European Union bloc within it, for its failure to allow non-governmental organizations greater participation.

And polarization within the commission is affecting its ability to make decisions, said Despina Simons of the European Bureau for Conservation and Development.

As the commission's deliberations concluded, some NGOs continue to question both the legitimacy of current whaling, and the commission's effectiveness in controlling it.


It's believed that payment of membership dues in cash allowed wealthy countries with strong pro- or anti-whaling interests to purchase the votes of other nations.

Japan, a country with an appetite for seafood, including whales, was accused of having bought the votes of smaller – and poorer – nations.

An investigative report published in the Sunday Times claimed that Guinea, for example, not only receives financial support to vote on the IWC with Japan, but that Japan also recruited it onto the commission in the first place, in order to add to its voting power.

The report also alleges that Japan paid Guinea's nearly 9,000-euro membership fee to the commission, as well as covering travel costs.

The Sunday Times previously reported that the UK paid Belize's IWC dues of around 11,000 euros when its membership had lapsed. Belize then cast a decisive vote with an anti-whaling bloc.

Japanese academic Atsushi Ishii told Deutsche Welle that vote-buying was "very likely," but added, "I would not call it corruption."

More transparency, less participation

The 27-nation EU, acting as a bloc, helped win over the rare consensus decision for transparency in membership fees among the 89 countries that belong to the IWC.

Dues for the commission must now be paid via bank transfer from government accounts.

This will "very strongly prevent the selling of votes" on the commission, Entrup told Deutsche Welle.

Chris Butler-Stroud, chief executive the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, indicated that countries' knowing where the money has come from could allow for better conservation of whales. "There's no place for anyone to criticize that," Shroud said.

But the conservation group did criticize Denmark for blocking a part of the proposition aimed at allowing more civil society participation.

Greenland wants to increase aboriginal subsistence quotas
for humpack whales

The UK proposal had also suggested that NGOs be allowed to add their views at commission meetings more often. But Denmark, acting on behalf of Greenland, refused to agree to the membership fees point until the NGO speaking suggestion had been dropped.

"One country should not be able to block 26," Entrup asserted. "This absolutely goes against democracy and consensus," Entrup said, also pointing out that Greenland is not an EU member.

Greenland wants to increase quotas for indigenous subsistence whaling, although whale conservation groups claim this is a backdoor for it to gain commercial whaling capacity.

Status of whales

Many whale populations around the world were severely depleted by hunting over previous centuries.

The International Whaling Commission has upheld a ban on commercial whaling since 1982. Killing whales for scientific research purposes, and indigenous subsistence, continues to be allowed.

The IWC, in reviewing of the status of global whale stocks during this year's meeting, described how some populations of blue and humpback whales seem to be recovering, although other populations such as that of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale suffered a number of ship strikes and entanglements in 2010.

The scientific committee for the commission also reported that more data are needed on Antarctic minke whales, and a gray whale population off the coast of Russia where oil and gas activities are currently taking place. In addition, the IWC hailed a new survey program, which has begun its second ocean foray.

Critics say polarization within the
 commission adds to difficulties
in decision-making
A report this month from the Environmental Investigation Agency and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society asserts that an Icelandic company is engaging in illegal trade of whale products, in clear violation of international law and IWC rules.

"The whaling commission would be well advised to devote themselves to the problem of the annual killing of hundreds of whales and the increasing trade in whale products," WDCS head Entrup said.

That Iceland appears to not be heeding the ban on commercial whaling points to a deeper problem within the commission: its lack of enforcement power.

Crisis of legitimacy?

Despina Simons from the European Bureau for Conservation and Development said that polarization within the IWC is making it increasingly difficult for the commission to reach decisions.

"The whole thing has become so polarized, the pro-whaling and anti-whaling countries trying to bring in new countries, new votes," Simons told Deutsche Welle.

Areas of trust that have broken down add to friction, which distracts the commission from looking at conservation, Butler-Stroud said.

The polarization fuels a perception that the IWC is becoming dysfunctional – which affects its credibility as well, Ishii indicates.

"I think the countries still have some possibility to slow down the credibility deficit, by for example agreeing on a Southern Atlantic Sanctuary," Ishii stated.

In the end, Entrup thinks the commission must be given enforcement powers, which would make its decisions truly binding.

"The IWC needs to be given teeth – protection on paper isn't good enough."

Author: Sonya Angelica Diehn / Robin Powell
The whaling body finds itself entangled in
conflict - some would say hopelessly so

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dolphins 'carried body of drowned victim to shore' in July Fourth tragedy

Daily Mail, 6th July 2011

July Fourth weekend ended in tragedy for one family when a man drowned after being caught in an undertow.

The body of 47-year-old Luis Arturo Polanco Morales, of Denham Springs, was found by authorities about ten to 15 feet from the shore line.

At first they believed the tide had washed Mr Morales up but witnesses to the sad event at Grand Isle, Louisiana, reported the body had been carried to shore by dolphins.

Did they help? Witnesses at Grand Isle, Louisiana, reported the
drowned body of Luis Arturo Polanco Morales had been carried
to shore by dolphins

Tragic: Mr Morales, a young girl and another man had been fishing
 on rocks in Grand Isle when the girl fell in, left, while right, dolphins
are often spotted off the shoreline at the beach

Washed up: Grand Isle Fire Chief, Aubrey Chaisson, gestures to
 where Mr Morales' body was found drifting about ten to 15 feet
out to sea

Could be: For Cesar Zuniga, a
 holidaymaker from McAllen, Texas,
 reports of dolphins bringing the
 body to shore is credible. 'They're
 keeping an eye on us,' he said
'I guess it could be possible,' Cesar Zuniga a holidaymaker from McAllen, Texas, told ABC26 News.

'They're mammals. I think they're intelligent enough to do stuff like that.'

Mr Morales, a young girl and another man had been fishing on rocks when the girl fell in, witnesses told Coroner's investigator Tommy Evans.

Both men jumped in to rescue the girl.

The other man made it out with her, but Mr Morales was dragged off by the current.

After three hours authorities called off the search.

'About an hour later, we got a phone call when the tide brought him in, and actually, he was 10-15 feet he had drifted in,'  Grand Isle Fire Chief, Aubrey Chaisson, said.

For Mr Zuniga the story about the dolphins is genuine.

'I guess I call it a miracle, right?' he said. 'I mean, I'm sorry somebody lost their life, but for them to do that to bring the body shore, they’re keeping an eye on us.

'They're keeping an eye on us.'

Chief Chaisson's advice for anyone stuck in an undertow is not to panic.

The water will take you a way out, but go with it and it will eventually release you.

Outrage at Drilling Permit for Australia Reef

Jakarta Globe, July 08, 2011

Australian green activists expressed outrage at a government decision to allow energy giant Shell to drill for gas at a pristine reef that was listed as a World Heritage site just two weeks ago.

Shell has been given permission to drill for gas at
 an Australian reef that has been listed as a World
Heritage site
Ningaloo Reef is considered a natural wonder, sprawling some 260 kilometres (155 miles) along Australia's west coast and teeming with hundreds of tropical fish and coral species.

The UN's cultural body UNESCO listed the remote Ningaloo coast as a World Heritage site late last month due to its reef, sea turtles and white whales.

But environmentalists say it could be under threat after the Australian government green-lighted a proposal from Shell to explore for gas nearby.

"We are very concerned that the Australian government is even allowing the oil and gas sector to operate so close to the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef," WWF's Paul Gamblin told ABC Radio

"It really beggars belief that they aren't requiring a full environmental estimate of Shell's latest drilling proposal."

Gamblin said the Shell operations would run along the side of the reef itself, a "new frontier" for drilling, which has previously been confined to its northern corner.

Shell issued a statement saying it was "mindful of the significant biodiversity and heritage values of the Ningaloo region and we continue to plan our operations accordingly," noting its long safety record in the region.

"The proposed exploration well is targeting gas and would be around 70km from the Ningaloo Reef and 50km from the boundary of the Ningaloo Marine Park and World Heritage Area," the energy firm said.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said Australia had beefed up its regulatory processes since the Montara oil spill in the Timor Sea two years ago, which saw thousands of barrels of crude spew into west coast waters over 10 weeks.

"Since the Montara incident, the department has adopted a more rigorous process for the assessment of offshore petroleum activities and the approval conditions," Burke told AFP in a statement.

"Shell's proposal to undertake exploration drilling west of Ningaloo Reef was considered on its merits in accordance with national environment law," he added.

Burke said Australia was "committed to protecting Australia's unique environment including our oceans" and the Shell approval was consistent with similar projects.