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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Maine regulators pave way for US tidal power

San Francisco Chronicle, by DAVID SHARP, Associated Press, April 24, 2012

Maine regulators on Tuesday put three utilities on the path to distribute electricity harnessed from tides at the nation's eastern tip, a key milestone in a bid to turn the natural rise and fall of ocean levels into power.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission set terms for a contract that would be in place for 20 years. The regulators also directed the three utilities to negotiate with Ocean Renewable Power Co. to put electricity onto the grid this summer, the first long-term power purchase agreements for tidal energy in the United States.

"It's a landmark in the commercialization of tidal energy in the U.S.," Chris Sauer, president and CEO of the Portland-based company, told The Associated Press.

Ocean Renewable intends to install its first underwater turbine unit this summer on Cobscook Bay under a demonstration project.

Power production will begin modestly, with the first unit producing enough electricity for 20 to 25 homes; the pilot program calls for additional units at sites off both Lubec and Eastport to bring production to 4 megawatts, enough to power up more than 1,000 homes by 2016.

All told, the company sees up to 50 megawatts of tidal power potential off Lubec and Eastport, home to one of the world's best tidal sites, where the tide rises and falls 20 feet twice a day.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission established what's called a contract term sheet for the project. It sets the rate to be paid for the tide-generated electricity at 21.5 cents per kilowatt hour, a subsidized rate that's far higher than the current standard offer of about 11 to 12 cents paid by most Maine residents.

Central Maine Power, Bangor Hydro Electric Co. and Maine Public Service Co. will negotiate a contract with Ocean Renewable under the framework established by regulators.

Richard Davies, Maine's public advocate, said there were some mixed emotions over setting a rate that's so much higher than the current cost of electricity.

But Davies and his staff came down in support of the project because the cost of energy produced by fossil fuels will likely grow much faster than the cost of tidal energy over the course of the 20-year contract. In fact, he said, the energy could become competitive within five years.

The 21.5-cent rate, which grows 2 percent a year over the contract, makes the project feasible, Sauer said. It'll be subsidized through a previously established state fund.

Ocean Renewable's Maine Tidal Energy Project is one of two tidal programs to receive pilot project licenses earlier this year from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The other company, Verdant Power, is working to advance its own tidal energy system in New York City's East River.

Verdant's design looks a lot like a wind turbine, only it's underwater. Ocean Renewable uses rotating foils that lend the appearance of a manual reel mower for cutting grass.

Officials in Canada are watching the Maine project with interest. Ocean Renewable and Nova Scotia-based Fundy Tidal Inc. hope to install the same units in waters off Nova Scotia, where Bay of Fundy offers even greater tidal power potential, officials have said.

Related Articles:

Isle of Wight Council to invest in tidal power

"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Lose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Pedal wheels), Wind)5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.)  New !    

Feds make 1st arrest in BP oil spill case

The Jakarta Post, Associated Press, New Orleans, Wed, 04/25/2012 

A BP engineer intentionally deleted more than 300 text messages that said the company's efforts to control the Gulf of Mexico oil spill were failing, and that the amount of oil leaking was far more than what the company reported, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

In the first criminal charges related to the deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in April 2010, the Justice Department arrested Kurt Mix and charged him with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying evidence sought by federal authorities, officials announced in a statement.

The charges came a day before a federal judge in New Orleans was to consider preliminary approval of a $7.8 billion settlement between BP and a committee of plaintiffs in a civil case. Shrimp processors have raised objections, saying the settlement does not adequately compensate them.

Having an accurate flow-rate estimate is key to determining how much in civil and criminal penalties BP and the other companies drilling the Macondo will face under the Clean Water Act.

In an emailed statement, BP said it would not comment on the case but is cooperating with the Justice Department and other investigations into the oil spill. "BP had clear policies requiring preservation of evidence in this case and has undertaken substantial and ongoing efforts to preserve evidence," the statement said.

Mix, 50, of Katy, Texas, appeared before a judge in Houston and was released on $100,000 bail. Mix, who no longer works for BP, said very little during the hearing, answering routine questions about the charges. His attorney declined comment after the hearing. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.

The engineer deleted more than 200 messages sent to a BP supervisor from his iPhone in October 2010 containing information about how much oil was spilling out - and then erased 100 more the following year after receiving numerous legal notices to preserve the information, the Justice Department said in a news release.

On the first day BP began to use the "top kill" method to plug the leaking well, Katy estimated in a text to his supervisor that 15,000 barrels of oil per day were spilling - an amount greater than what BP said the method could likely handle. The "top kill" method involved pumping heavy mud into the blown-out well head to cap it, and it was one of many unsuccessful attempts to plug the well. The well was ultimately capped July 15, 2010.

The BP-leased rig Deepwater Horizon exploded the night of April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and setting off the nation's worst offshore oil disaster. More than 200 million gallons of crude oil flowed out of the well off the Louisiana coast before it was stopped.

As the spill grew into weeks and months, and soiled fishing grounds, beaches and coastal marshes, independent scientists questioned the official flow rates. Academics, environmentalists and federal investigators accused the Obama administration of downplaying scientific findings and misrepresenting data as well as misconstruing the opinions of experts it solicited.

A deepwater drilling moratorium was also put in place, a painful move for the industry and the Gulf states that rely on drilling for jobs and tax revenue.

Meanwhile, BP chief executive Tony Hayward was forced to step down after making a series of gaffes related to the spill. BP's attempts to create an environmentally friendly image were crushed, and independent gas station owners with BP-branded stations lost business from upset customers.

Recently, scientists said they have found fish in the Gulf with open sores, parasitic infections and chewed-up fins - injuries they suspect are from the effects of the petroleum. The evidence is not conclusive, but it could mean that the environmental damage to the Gulf from the BP disaster is still unfolding and the picture isn't as rosy as it might have seemed just a year ago.

Two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists are finding trouble in the oiled Gulf of Mexico: Fish with lesions and evidence of contamination. But no link has been found between the sick fish and the oil spill. (April 18)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Slip ups in the Russian oil fields, 23 April, 2012

An oil spill is seen in the waters of Siberian Yenisei River
(Reuters/Ilya Naymushin)
The Russian oil industry is coming under fire from the government for pollution. A week after TNK-BP was accused of causing hundreds of oil spills in Siberia, Russian oil major Lukoil reported a significant oil spill in the Arctic.

Some 2,200 tonnes of oil could have leaked as a result of an accident at the Trebs oil deposit in the Nenets Autonomous District in Russia. The field holds about 153 million tons of oil and is being developed by Bashneft Plus, a joint venture between Russia’s largest oil producer Lukoil and the smaller Bashneft.

Interfax news agency has quoted an unnamed source in the district administration, saying a total of 400 cubic meters of oil, or some 800-900 tonnes leaked daily, with the spill continuing for more than 2 days.

It has reportedly now been contained with the spilled oil temporarily kept in a special storage facility. The exact area and amount of damage are still being determined. Lukoil shares dropped more than 2 per cent in midday trade in Moscow, which is within the market general downward trend.

Last week Russia’s Natural Resources and Ecology Minister praise of Lukoil has apparently brought the evil eye. Yury Trutnev ordered a lawsuit against the Russo-British oil venture TNK-BP over its numerous oil spills in Siberia saying TNK-BP reported 784 accidents in 2011 compared with around 20 by its rival, Lukoil.

According to Trutnev each year up to 500,000 tons of oil and oil products are leaked into the Russian Ob and Yenisei river basins with TNK-BP being the biggest offender. Trutnev accused the company of paying too generous dividends instead of investing in the infrastructure and improving the poor state of the company’s pipelines. The British part of the company- BP is said to have received $19 billion in dividend payouts since the joint venture was formed in 2003.

Trutnev gave the company one month to clean up the spills from the polluted 2,200 hectares.

The shares of Moscow-traded TNK-BP closed down 4.5 percent after the comments, underperforming the broader market, which was down only 0.3 percent. The shares of oil major BP, which owns half of TNK-BP were down 1.3 percent.

The action is another headache for TNK-BP's legal problems and represents a new headache for BP, which failed last year to secure a lucrative deal to drill in the Arctic with state-controlled oil major Rosneft.

However, oil and gas analyst from Gazprombank, Alexander Nazarov says the news will not have a long-term negative impact on TNK-BP’s shares. “It’s all about the money. The short-term drop in the company’s shares is caused by investor concern over dividend payouts. The company will need to allocate up $1.5bln to $2.5bln to clean up the spills. Compared to the big money the firm pays in dividends this sum looks insignificant”.

This current spill at the Lukoil-Bashneft deposit is not the largest though it certainly adds to worries over pipeline safety coupled with increased calls from environmentalists spurred by the latest Arctic deal between Rosneft and US giant Exxon Mobil. Ecologists say offshore production in the Arctic would destroy the natural habitat.

Nazarov is not inclined to exaggerate the negative repercussions for nature. “Oil spills in Russia are not the largest – nor in terms of the amount of oil spilled or in terms of the environmental consequences. Unlike the US which mostly drills off-shore Russia’s oil production is 90% onshore. And an onshore oil spill is nothing like when it happens offshore,” he maintains.

Related Articles:

Rare white killer whale spotted off Russian coast

Sighting in waters off Kamchatka peninsula is believed to be first time an adult white orca has been spotted in wild, Ian Sample, science correspondent, Monday 23 April 2012

Footage of the white orca in the wild Link to this video

Scientists have glimpsed a white adult orca, or killer whale, while on a research expedition off the far eastern coast of Russia.

The sighting in waters off the Kamchatka peninsula is believed to be the first time such a whale has been spotted in the wild.

Researchers said the marine mammal, whom they nicknamed Iceberg, was swimming with its mother and siblings, and appeared to be fully accepted by its 12-strong family.

White whales are not unheard of, but only young white orcas are thought to have been recorded by marine conservationists before.

The whale was spotted by a group of scientists on a research cruise co-led by Erich Hoyt of the Far East Russia Orca Project.

"We've seen three white orcas in the past few years, but this is the very first time we've seen a mature animal that is all white," Hoyt told the Guardian.

Hoyt, a senior research fellow at the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, said the whale was last spotted in August 2010. The team is returning to the same waters next month to try to track it down again.

The scientists hope to confirm whether or not Iceberg is an albino by photographing his eyes. "If we can get a full close-up of the eyes and they are pink, it would confirm Iceberg is an albino, but we don't know much about albinism in orcas," Hoyt said.

Fully albino orcas can have weak immune systems and die young, but partial albinos can live into adulthood. Iceberg appears to be white all over and, judging by his two-metre dorsal fin, is at least 16 years old, Hoyt said.

"We've photographically identified 1,500 orcas in the region in the past 12 years there," Hoyt said. "If we see any of his pod and he's not there, we'll know he's gone."

During the expedition from May to September, researchers will lower hydrophones into the sea to record the sounds the whales make. There are believed to be three to four "clans" of whales in the waters the team surveyed, each with its own distinctive dialect.

Related Articles:
Scientists discover 'hybrid sharks' off Australia

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..)Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Boy's football lost in tsunami found in Alaska

BBC News, 23 April 2012

Related Stories 

David and Yumi Baxter alerted
 US officials to the discovery of
the ball
A football swept away by last year's tsunami and found on a remote Alasakan island is to be returned after its teenage Japanese owner was identified.

Sixteen-year-old Misaki Murakami's name was written on the ball that was swept out to sea in March 2011.

David Baxter found it more than a year later on Alaska's Middleton Island, 70 miles (112km) from the mainland.

Mr Murakami told Japanese media he was sure the ball was his and would be happy to have it back.

"I'm very grateful as I've so far found nothing that I'd owned," he told broadcaster TBS on Sunday.

Mr Murakami lives in the town of Rikuzen-takata, which was very badly hit by the tsunami.

On the day of the disaster the school boy was at home sick, but fled to higher ground when the earthquake struck, Kyodo News reported. His home was then swept away.

The ball - given to him by his classmates in 2005 when he moved schools - was found by US man David Baxter on a beach in Middleton Island.

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Mr Baxter's Japanese wife translated the writing on the ball, which included a school name and a "good luck" message.

"This may be one of the first opportunities since the March 2011 tsunami that a remnant washed away from Japan has been identified and could actually be returned to its previous owner." 

The couple reportedly plan to send back the ball to Mr Murakami. They also found a volleyball but have not been able to identify the owner.

NOAA has been monitoring floating debris from the tsunami over the past year.

The shrimping boat Ryou-Un Maru, which was traced to the Japanese island of Hokkaido, also drifted to Alaska.

The US Coast Guard sunk the crewless ship, which was first spotted off the coast of the Canadian province of British Columbia on 23 March.

Four Russian warships leave Vladivostok for joint exercise with China   15 April 2012

Starting ceremony of Russia-China joint naval exercise

VLADIVOSTOK, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Four warships from Russia's Pacific Fleet, as well as its support vessels, warplanes, helicopters and naval infantry, left Vladivostok Sunday for a joint exercise with Chinese navy.

The Russian warships -- the guided missile cruiser Varyag and three large antisubmarine, Marshal Shaposhnikov, Admiral Panteleyev and Admiral Vinogradov -- are expected to arrive in China next Sunday for the exercise slated for April 22-27 in the Yellow Sea.

More than 20 Russian and Chinese warships and support vessels will be involved in the war game.

Since 2005, China and Russia have conducted several joint military exercises within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

US, Russian energy giants cooperate for Arctic resources

Deutsche Welle, 21 April 2012

Two years after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, energy groups Exxon and Rosneft plan to cooperate in exploiting the Arctic's oil reserves. It's a big challenge - not least for the region's vulnerable ecosystems.

Some 13 percent of the world's untapped oil reserves and almost a third of untapped gas reservoirs are estimated to be stored in the Arctic - a region that was long deemed inaccessible to the machinery needed to extract the resources.

But since climate change has caused sea ice to melt, there has been a virtual oil rush by the industry's giants to tap these reserves. Rising oil prices and the desire to be independent from oil imports are adding to a growing wish to extract new sources of energy.

Cooperation in the cold instead of 'Cold War'

An agreement between Russian state group Rosneft and BP was cancelled last year. After a year of negotiations, Rosneft signed a deal Monday with American giant Exxon, agreeing to concessions in the field of energy taxes and tariffs.

"Experts describe the project as just as ambitious as manned space travel or the journey to the moon," Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said at a presentation in New York.

Energy groups Exxon and Rosneft plan to invest a total of more than 380 billion euros ($502 billion) in their cooperation. At least 15 sea platforms would be built on the Arctic Kara Sea, Sechin told reporters. The Kara Sea is estimated to hold 36 billion barrels of recoverable reserves.

"Today Rosneft and Exxon Mobil enter offshore projects of unprecedented scale," said Rosnef President Eduard Khudainatov.

Oil rigs used in the Arctic Ocean have to be iceproof - like here in the
Caspian Sea

Environmental groups have warned about the dangers of a possible oil disaster in the region with its sensitive ecosystems. According to Greenpeace, the Arctic ecosystem is the ultimate loser in the deal between Rosneft and Exxon, which was initially made public in August 2011 and has only now been presented with all its details.

"An oil spill like the one we saw in the Gulf of Mexico would have far worse consequences in the Arctic," said Greenpeace's oil expert Jörg Feddern.

Scientists blame the chemicals that were used to dissolve the oil after the accident for reports about diseases and disfiguration of fish and shrimps in the Gulf of Mexico. And more than 20 years after the Exxon Valdez spill the waters in Alaska still carry traces of oil.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
killed many animals
A study by the international insurance company Lloyds warned about the high risks entailed in economic endeavors in the Arctic. Charles Emmerson of the Chatham House think tank which conducted the study on behalf of Lloyds, said there are "imminent costs, environmental risks, and uncertainties" to developing the Arctic and that strong political guidance, risk management and enhanced scientific research are necessary to cope with the project's unique risks and challenges.

Education vs. extraction

John Farrel, CEO of the US Arctic Research Commission, said additional data about the Arctic needed to be collected. The region is warming up twice as fast as the rest of the planet and he added that research was losing in significance as the race for resources picked up speed.

Aqqualuk Lynge, a Greenlander and chairman of the Inuit organization Circumpolar Council, which represents some 160,000 Inuit who live in the Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Chukotka (Russia) and calls for caution and sustainability when accessing the Arctic's natural resources, criticized the speed with which the project has been pushed forward. He said he doubted the technology was in place to drill safely in Arctic waters without harming seals and whales.

Infrastructure with flaws

Safety and infrastructure represent big challenges when drilling and transporting oil across the Arctic, according to Jörn Harald Andersen, a consultant with Norwegian Clean Seas Association (NOFO), which supports the operating companies in Norwegian waters in charge of cleaning away oil spills. 

Less ice because of climate change
 means the Arctic is more accessible
"The further north we go for work the less daylight there obviously is in winter," Andersen said, adding that the companies also have to deal with restricted visibility because of fog, low temperatures and a lack of proper infrastructure.

"We have to transport lots of equipment and staff there. There's hardly any local support and logistics is more difficult than elsewhere," he said. But he also said he is convinced that his group could cope with a potential oil spill in the Arctic.

Ecosystem under pressure

Environmental groups, however, disagree. WWF and Greenpeace both said they doubt the oil industry is sufficiently prepared for a large oil spill in the Arctic.

Signing a sea rescue operation agreement by the Arctic Council last year is not enough to guarantee safety when expanding oil exploitation and oil transport activities in the Arctic, according to Frida Bengtsson of Greenpeace Norway.

The Arctic's enormous territory is difficult to access, making it difficult to react appropriately in the event of an oil disaster caused by drilling activities or tanker transport, she said.

"I think it's the biggest imminent threat to the Arctic ecosystem," Bengtsson said.

Author: Irene Quaile / nh      

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fishermen Blast Premier Dive Sites Off Indonesia

Jakarta Globe, Jacob Herin, April 20, 2012

In this May 15, 2010, a Pinnate batfish swims among other fish in Tatawa
 Besar in the waters of Komodo islands, Indonesia. Coral gardens that  were
 among Asia's most spectacular, teeming with colorful sea life just a few months ago,
 have been transformed into desolate gray moonscapes by fishermen who use
explosives or cyanide to kill or stun their prey. (AP Photo/Robert Delfs)  
 Related articles

Komodo Island, Indonesia. Coral gardens that were among Asia’s most spectacular, teeming with colorful sea life just a few months ago, have been transformed into desolate gray moonscapes by fishermen who use explosives or cyanide to kill or stun their prey.

Dive operators and conservationists say the government is not doing enough to protect waters off the Komodo Islands in eastern Indonesia. They say enforcement declined greatly following the exit of a US-based conservation group that helped fight destructive fishing practices.

Local officials disagree, pointing to dozens of arrests and several deadly gunbattles with suspects.

Michael Ishak, a scuba instructor and professional underwater photographer who has made hundreds of trips to the area, said he’s seen more illegal fishermen than ever this year.

The pictures, he said, speak for themselves.

When Ishak returned last month to one of his favorite spots, Tatawa Besar, known for its colorful clouds of damselfish, basslets and hawksbill sea turtles, he found that a 200-square-meter reef had been obliterated.

“At first I thought, ‘This can’t be right. I must have jumped in the wrong place,’” he said, adding he swam back and forth to make sure he hadn’t made a mistake. “But it was true. All the hard coral had just been blasted, ripped off, turned upside down. Some of it was still alive. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The site is among several to have been hit inside Komodo National Park, a 500,000-acre reserve and U.N. World Heritage Site that spans several dusty, tan-colored volcanic islands and is most famous for its Komodo dragons — the world’s largest lizards. Its remote and hard-to-reach waters, bursting with fluorescent reds and yellows, contain staggering levels of diversity, from iridescent corals and octopuses with lime-green banded eyes to black-and-blue sea snakes.

They are supposed to be protected, but fishermen are drawn there by locally popular fish like fusiliers and high-value export species like groupers and snappers.

Fishermen can be seen in small wooden boats, some using traditional nets or lines. Others have been captured on video blasting sites with “bombs” — fertilizer and kerosene mixed in beer bottles. Breathing through tubes connected to air compressors at the surface, young men plunge to the bottom and use squeeze bottles to squirt cyanide into the coral to stun and capture fish.

Dive operators are increasingly seeing dead fish on the sea floor or floating on the surface.

“The biggest problem is that fishermen seem to be free to come into Komodo, completely ignoring the zoning and resource use regulations,” said Jos Pet, a fisheries scientist who has worked with numerous marine conservation groups in the area in recent years.

He said they are “quite simply fishing empty this World Heritage Site.”

Sustyo Iriyono, the head of the park, said problems are being exaggerated and denied claims of lax enforcement. “It’s only part of the black campaigns against us by those who are hurt by our rules and orders,” he said without elaborating.

He said rangers have arrested more than 60 fishermen over the past two years, including a group of young men captured last month after they were seen bombing waters off Banda island in the western part of the park.

One of the suspects was shot and killed after the fishermen tried to escape by throwing fish bombs at the rangers, Iriyono said. Three others, including a 13-year-old, were slightly injured.

“You see?” said Iriyono. “No one can say I’m not acting firmly against those who are destroying the dive spots!”

He added that the park is one of the few places where fish bombing is monitored with any regularity in Indonesia, a Southeast Asian nation of more than 17,000 islands.

Divers, however, say enforcement has dropped dramatically since 2010, when the government reclaimed sole control of operations.

For two decades before that, The Nature Conservancy, a U.S.-based nonprofit, had helped the government confront destructive fishing practices there. “No-take zones” were created, protecting spawning areas, and coastal areas also were put off limits.

Patrols using park rangers, navy personnel and local police were key to enforcement.

In 2005, the government gave a 30-year permit to Putri Naga Komodo, a nonprofit joint venture company partially funded by The Nature Conservancy and the World Bank to operate tourist facilities in hopes of eventually making the park financially self-sustaining.

Entrance and conservation fees — just a few dollars at the time — went up several tenfold for foreign tourists. With around 30,000 local and international visitors annually at the time, that would have given the park a budget of well over $1 million, but outraged government officials demanded that the funds go directly into the state budget. The deal collapsed in 2010, when Putri Naga Komodo’s permit was yanked.

“They had no right to directly collect the entrance fees from the tourists,” said Novianto Bambang, a Forestry Ministry official.

Dive operators and underwater photographers have asked The Nature Conservancy and similar organizations like WWF Indonesia, to return to Komodo and help with conservation efforts there.

Nature Conservancy representative Arwandridja Rukma did not address that possibility, saying only that the organization operates in Indonesia upon the invitation of the government.

Associated Press
Related Article:

BP faces legal action over Russian oil spills

Shares in TNK-BP slump after meeting chaired by Putin heard how action seeking damages was being prepared over leaks, Terry Macalister, Thursday 19 April 2012

TNK-BP offices in Moscow. Photograph: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images

BP has stepped into a new row over oil spills – this time in Russia – less than 24 hours after announcing it was going to pay out $8bn in America for polluting beaches with the Deepwater Horizon blowout.

Shares in TNK-BP, the Russian joint venture, slumped 5% after a meeting chaired by Vladimir Putin heard how legal action seeking damages was being prepared over leaks from pipelines into the Ob and Yenisei rivers. Natural resources and ecology minister Yuri Trutnev, whose ministry has a track record of successfully stripping companies such as Shell of their assets over ecological misdeeds, told Putin he was planning to go to court.

"I ordered Rosprirodnadzor [the environmental regulator] to prepare a lawsuit to seek damages and offered the company to lay out a plan on overhauling their pipeline system," he said, according to the meeting transcripts published on the government website on Thursday. "Please, act in line with the law," Putin was reported to have said in response.

TNK-BP denied it was suffering any self-inflicted environmental problems and said it had long been implementing a comprehensive programme for improving and modernising its pipeline infrastructure.

"The company has also undertaken a programme for remediation of legacy lands contaminated in the Soviet period when hydrocarbons were produced without due regard to environmental protection," it said in a statement.

But while some industry watchers said BP could be caught up in political manoeuvring in the Kremlin, the company will be aware of the problems that hit Shell in 2006. The Anglo-Dutch oil group was accused of breaking various environmental laws at the Sakhalin-2 gas project and was then forced to sell down its 55% stake to state-owned Gazprom in what was seen as a display of resource nationalism.

BP has in the past tangled with Rosprirodnadzor and at one stage two years ago faced having its operating licence revoked on the Kovykta field in Eastern Siberia.

But BP has more recently has been fighting its own Russian partners inside TNK after they objected to the British company trying to tie up an independent share swap and Arctic exploration deal with a second Russian company, Rosneft. The deal fell through and BP has had its place taken by ExxonMobil, but the TNK shareholders are variously trying to take legal action against BP for alleged breach of the shareholder agreement and other issues.

The wider climate surrounding international oil companies has got worse as a result of increased resource nationalism and tougher action triggered by the Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

Argentina has become the latest country to try to seize assets. Earlier this week the government in Buenos Aires announced plans to renationalise the YPF company controlled by Repsol of Spain.

At the same time Chevron of the US and its rig owner Transocean have been charged with environmental crimes related to a November oil spill at the Frade field off Brazil.

A drilling accident caused an estimated 2,400 to 3,000 barrels of oil to seep from cracks in the seabed but a prosecutor has already confiscated the passports of 17 staff and threatened fines totalling $11bn.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Scientists: Fish Sick Where BP's Oil Spill Hit

Associated Press, Apr 18, 2012

Two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists are finding trouble in the oiled Gulf of Mexico: Fish with lesions and evidence of contamination. But no link has been found between the sick fish and the oil spill. (April 18)

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Blue energy: water power

RNW, 16 April 2012, by Thijs Westerbeek van Eerten

Afsluitdijk, The Netherlands

Blue Energy, the power generated by the difference between fresh and salty water molecules, could provide for the entire world’s energy needs. That’s right, 100%.

But 'could' is the operative word; researchers at the Wetsus institute in Leeuwarden say they would be quite pleased if they could produce 10%. They’re currently carrying out large-scale tests near the Afsluitdijk in the north of the Netherlands.

The Afsluitdijk, a major causeway separating the salty Wadden Sea and the freshwater IJsselmeer lake, is an ideal spot to experiment with this blue energy, which results from creating a tension between fresh and salty water.

Extensive testing in laboratories has proven that Blue Energy works. And, of course, it's very sustainable - the resources are virtually inexhaustible and production doesn’t require much space. Researchers are now ready to carry out a large-scale test on the Afsluitdijk. Wetsus has already secured the necessary permits to build the first experimental power station.  

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Four Russian warships leave Vladivostok for joint exercise with China   15 April 2012
VLADIVOSTOK, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Four warships from Russia's Pacific Fleet, as well as its support vessels, warplanes, helicopters and naval infantry, left Vladivostok Sunday for a joint exercise with Chinese navy.

The Russian warships -- the guided missile cruiser Varyag and three large antisubmarine, Marshal Shaposhnikov, Admiral Panteleyev and Admiral Vinogradov -- are expected to arrive in China next Sunday for the exercise slated for April 22-27 in the Yellow Sea.

More than 20 Russian and Chinese warships and support vessels will be involved in the war game.

Since 2005, China and Russia have conducted several joint military exercises within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.