Showing posts with label environmental vandalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label environmental vandalism. Show all posts

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

This private member's bill signals an ongoing threat to forests on the NSW North Coast and elsewhere in the state


This is Austin William Evans, NSW Nationals MP for Murray since 14 October 2018 when he won the seat on the back of a by-election after fellow Nationals Adrian Piccoli resigned.


On 18 October 2018 Evans introduced a private member’s bill in the NSW Legislative Assembly titled, National Parks and Wildlife Legislation Amendment (Riverina) Bill 2018 or An Act with respect to certain lands in the Riverina region reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 or dedicated under the Forestry Act 2012; and for other purposes.

As yet no text of this bill is publicly available.

However, there are no prizes for having guessed that this bill seeks to revert  the Murray Valley National Park to a state forest to allow timber harvesters back in.

According to state parliamentary records the Bill lapses in accordance with Standing Orders on 19/4/2019.



Make no mistake Evans’ bill represents the unsustainable native timber industry’s desire to make inroads into the wider national park system.

In fact it made sure it never really left the Murray Valley National Park, having received milling timber via so-called ''ecological thinning'' of sections of the park since 2012.

Given the number of national parks and reserves in the Northern Rivers region it is time to put pen to paper and remind Premier Gladys Berejiklian that growing the total area covered by the national park system, as well as reining in broad scale land clearance and/or extensive logging in rural and regional areas, is one of the easiest ways to mitigate against rising state greenhouse gas emissions.

The Berejiklian Government has already walked back from the transfer of 23,000 hectares of low productivity state forests to the national park estate and presented a whittled down version of the National Park Estate (Reservations) Bill 2018 which passed both Houses on 17 October 2018.

Although under this passed bill an est. 2,200ha of state forest will become part of the national park estate in January 2019 and and further est. 1,791 of state forest will be rededicated as state conservation areas, the total amount of protected viable koala habitat is limited.

In an effort to redress this, amendments were proposed which include the creation of the Great Koala National Park.

As of 18 October 2018 both NSW Greens and NSW Labor support the Great Koala National Park proposal and, if there is a change of government at the 23 March 2019 state election, we should see a genuine start to placing protection on enough viable habitat to begin to reverse the koala's decline towards local extinctions.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Adani Group has Morrison, Price, Littleproud & Taylor wrapped around its little finger


Since September 2013 the Australian Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government has been a rolling national disaster.

This latest episode appears to have its roots in the hard right's commitment to dismantle environmental protections.

Especially replacing Labor's "water trigger" amendment to the ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION ACT 1999 with a band-aid which fooled no-one.

ABC News, 25 September 2018:

A farmer has been denied access to a river system Adani plans on drawing 12.5 billion litres of water from in what activists are calling a "double standard", documents obtained under freedom of information laws show.

The mining giant plans to take 12.5 billion litres of water from the Suttor River every year, nearly as much as all local farmers combined.

Despite this amount, the documents show at least one irrigator had their application for a water licence rejected in 2011, leading activists to claim farmers were assessed more harshly than Adani.

The documents also show the modelling used by the company to predict the impacts of the water usage ignored the past 14 years of rainfall data and, despite planning to take water until 2077, it did not take into account the impacts of climate change.


"Altogether, this underscores how poor the decision was last week to allow 12.5 billion litres to be taken without assessment," Carmel Flint from anti-mining group Lock The Gate Alliance said. The group obtained the documents under Queensland's Right To Information laws.....

Monday, 24 September 2018

When it comes to protecting Clarence Valley water resources "Castillo's credibility is wearing very thin indeed"


This is a basic map clearly showing a historic cluster of small abandoned mine sites in the vicinity of the Mann River, one of the principal tributaries of the Clarence River which is the largest coastal river in New South Wales. 

The old Cangai Mine site is now part of a Castillo Copper Limited exploration lease and its proximity to the Mann River is apparent.

As the crow flies the distance between this site and the Mann River is estimated to be less than 4 kms and Cangi Mine is also bounded on three sides by three creeks which feed into the Mann.




Following North Coast Voices posting Castillo Copper Limited's Jackadgery Project: has spinning the truth already begun? on 17 September 2018 one Clarence Valley resident sent me an email which pointed out a curious ommission in Castillo Copper Limited exploration licence application this mining company:

"However, under Section 19.4 beneath the heading: “Surface water sources”, is the following requirement:

“Provide details of the existing surface water sources in the area that are likely to be affected by the activity. Provide details of the nearest watercourse/s and the distance between the proposed disturbance area/s and the nearest watercourse/s”.

Castillo's Response

“The proposed activity area bounded by Bobward creek from the west and Smelter creek from the east. The distance from disturbance area to Bobward creek is 550 – 620m; the distance to Smelter creek is about 500m. The water for drilling if required will most likely will be taken from Bobward creek. Permission has been sought and granted by the landowner”.

No mention of the Mann or Clarence in the entire document.

Talk about "dodgy". Castillo's credibility is wearing very thin indeed,"

BACKGROUND

North Coast Voices, 17 September 2018, Castillo Copper Limited's Jackadgery Project: has spinning the truth already begun?

Monday, 17 September 2018

Castillo Copper Limited's Jackadgery Project: has spinning the truth already begun?


On 15 September 2018 The Daily Examiner reported that:

Concerns  about the health of the Mann and Clarence rivers have been raised by community members following explorations by Castillo Copper at Cangai, near the historic copper mine….

It’s the high grade of the finding that has some community members concerned, with the prospect of a mine opening in the area becoming more likely.

At a meeting attended by about 20 people, NSW Parliament Greens candidate for the Clarence Greg Clancy and John Edwards from the Clarence Valley Environment Centre explained their concerns with mining so close to the river.

After having trouble getting in contact with Castillo through its website, Mr Edwards took his inquiries about the exploration to the mining regulator.

“I got an email from their managing director … and he said they were just out there doing some investigation and it wasn’t very much to worry about,” he said.

But this has not eased his concerns about the future of the Clarence Valley’s rivers.

“It would be good to get out there and see what they are actually doing,” he said.

“They’ve been talking up their exploration finds to date … maybe that is to just get investors’ money, but it’s certainly in a bad position where the river is and where all this siltation and run-off and toxic crap that runs off when they mine copper, silver...

“It’s not going to be easy for them when they are at the top of a hill overlooking a river.”

Mr Clancy said the group would need to get more information so they could understand exactly how the ore would be mined.

“There is loss of vegetation and threatened species on the hill. This is going to be an open cut mine … and the water table may not be up there, but once they’ve got an open cut mine it will gather water and they have to use water in the process to get the minerals out.

“They will be creating their own artificial ponds and we would have to explore this further, but I know with (extracting) gold they use arsenic.

“There are a whole range of chemicals they could be using. Whatever projections they are supposed to use, they often don’t work.”

The group is planning to do more research and attempt to make contact with the company before they hold another meeting in one month’s time at the Grafton library.
[my yellow bolding]

Castillo Copper Limited (ASX:CCZ) is a West Australian base metal explorer listed on the stock exchange which has four subsidiaries:

Castillo Copper Chile Spa, Total Minerals Pty Ltd, Queensland Commodities Pty Ltd  and Total Iron Pty Ltd.

Castillo Copper Limited holds three mining exploration leases as part of its Jackadgery Project:

EL 8625 (1992) 17-Jul-2017 17-Jul-2020 35 UNITS About 43 km WNW of GRAFTON TOTAL MINERALS PTY LTD est. at 155 km2
EL 8635 (1992) 21-Aug-2017 21-Aug-2020 52 UNITS About 41 km WNW of GRAFTON TOTAL IRON PTY LTD
EL 8601 (1992)  21-Jun-2017 21-Jun 2020 51 UNITS About 38 km SE of DRAKE QUEENSLAND COMMODITIES PTY LTD.

Castillo Copper is not characterising its activities on these leases as "just doing some investigation".

In fact it is indicating to its shareholders and the stock exchange that the company has clear intentions to mine at the old Cangai Mine site before the end of the exploration on these leases:

* “Road to fast-track production taking shape”

* “Preliminary metallurgical test-work on samples from the two McDonough’s stockpiles, along the line of lode, has demonstrated the ore can be beneficiated materially….. Discussions continue with prospective off-take partners interested in processing ore as relevant information comes to hand …. Meanwhile, the geology team have approached the regulator for guidance on the optimal way forward to remove the stockpiles from site and capture the economic benefits”

“…they are an asset and could potentially generate early cashflow”

* “The clear options are third party processing locally or a direct shipping ore product once regulatory clearance is secured”.

 Castillo Copper Limited images

So who are the people behind Castillo Copper Limited?

Well, the board is composed of:

Peter Francis Meagher, company director since 2 February 2018, from East Freemantle, West Australia - position Chairman;

Peter Smith, on the board as but not officially listed as a director of Castillo Copper Limited - position Non-Executive Director; and

Alan David Stephen Armstrong, company director since 1 August 2017, from Canning Vale West Australia - position Executive Director.

Listed company director who is not included at https://www.castillocopper.com/board/ is:

Neil Armstrong Hutchinson. company director since 1 August 2017, from Double View, Western Australia - position previously reported to be Technical Executive Director at Castillo Copper Limited since August 1, 2017. by Bloomberg.

NOTE; All three listed company directors appear to be shareholders in this miming company.

Castillo Copper Limited's Top 20 shareholders as of 20 September 2017 were:
Castillo Copper Limited Annual Report 2016-17


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Yet another opportunistic mining exploration company has the Clarence Valley in its sights: Public Meeting 2.30pm on 13 September 2018 at Grafton Regional Library


Having received approval from the NSW mining regulator in June 2018 Castillo Copper Limited (CCZ) has proceeded with its exploratory drilling program with a view to establishing an open cut mine at Cangai in the Clarence Valley.

Castillo Copper Limited image
This small West Australian base metal exploration company may be operating on a shoestring budget and currently trade at only $0.039 per ordinary share, however an open cut mine so close to the Mann River means that the greed of Messrs. Peter Meagher, Peter Smith And Alan Armstrong has the potential to severely damage the Clarence River system.

There is to be a community meeting and Clarence Valley residents are urged to attend:

2 hrs · 
Goodbye Mann and Clarence Rivers if this gets approval. The plan is to open cut mine and that involves removing a large hill and metal extraction usually involves highly polluting chemicals. This is no win for the Valley. It is a disaster. A meeting is being held at the Clarence Regional Library in Grafton at 2.30 PM on Thursday September 13 to discuss this threat to the Rivers. All welcome.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Stopping coal expansions in NSW that are bigger than Adani's proposed Carmichael Mine complex


Friday, 13 July 2018

Five to face Brisbane court over serious breaches of environmental law


It is thought that up to 320 square kilometres of agricultural land around Chinchilla may be at risk from contamination by chemicals and gases, due to alleged mismanagement of underground burning by Linc Energy Limited.

In November  2016 former Linc Energy chief executive Peter Bond along with four former staff members – Donald Schofield (managing director), Stephen Dumble (chief operations officer), Jacobus Terblanche (chief operations manager) and Darryl Rattai (former general manager) – were summonsed for breaching environmental law.

However their matters were adjoined until after The Queen v. Linc Energy Ltd was concluded and are all five are now due to face a committal hearing in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this month.

BRIEF BACKGROUND

ABC News, 11 May 2018:

A gas company has been fined a record $4.5 million for causing serious environmental harm at its underground coal gasification plant on Queensland's western Darling Downs.

Linc Energy was found guilty by a District Court jury in Brisbane last month after a 10-week trial.

The company was charged with five counts of wilfully and unlawfully causing serious environmental harm between 2007 and 2013 at Hopeland near Chinchilla.

Linc Energy mismanaged the underground burning of coal seams, which caused rock to fracture and allowed the escape of toxic gases which contaminated the air, soil and water on site.

The court heard the highest fine imposed upon a company so far in Queensland for similar offending was $500,000.

Linc Energy did not defend itself during the trial because it is now in liquidation.
Five executive directors have been charged with failing to ensure compliance of the company and are due to face a committal hearing in the Brisbane Magistrates Court in July.

Prosecutor Ralph Devlin told the court the company knew it was causing damage but pressed ahead with operations, and described its offending as "serious".

"The defendant acted in devious and cavalier way … its motivation was commercial gain," he said.

"It pursued commercial interests over environmental safeguards."

The court heard there would be monitoring and remediation of the site for decades to come, and it will take potentially between 10 to 20 years for groundwater to recover.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 April 2018:

“It was an undefended case, the liquidators chose not to defend it, so, of course, there is going to be a guilty verdict,’’ he [Peter Bond] told The Australian of Monday's court ruling.

“It means nothing; there was no one in court to call bullshit and there was a lot of bullshit to that case."

Excerpt from THE QUEEN v. LINC ENERGY LTD (IN LIQUIDATION), 11 May 2018, Sentence:

HIS HONOUR: On the 9th of April 2018, Linc Energy Limited in liquidation was found guilty by a jury of five counts of wilfully and unlawfully causing serious environmental harm. That followed a 10-week trial, and the offence is contained in the Environmental Protection Act. There was no appearance by the defendant in in  liquidation pursuant to an order of the Supreme Court under the Corporations Law. The liquidators did not have to appear. That caused particular difficulties during the trial and also has an impact on sentence proceedings as I have not been assisted by any submissions on behalf of the defendant in relation to penalty.

As the defendant is a corporation, the only penalties that are open are financial: either a fine or compensation. The provision in relation to the imposition of fines is covered by sections 45 to 48 of the Penalties and Sentences Act. The first aspect of that is that, pursuant to section 48(1)(a) and (b) and subsection (2) of that Penalties and Sentences Act, the Court must take into account:

 …so far as is practicable, the financial circumstances of the offender and the nature of the burden the imposition of the fine would have on the offender.

Section 48, subsection (2) provides the Court may fine if it is unable to find out the  matters referred to in subsection (1). There is no information before me as to the circumstances of the liquidation of the corporation. I am unaware of any of its assets or liabilities, or whether it will have the capacity to pay fines. As to the utility of imposing a financial penalty on a corporation in liquidation, there are no restrictions in law as to that. Indeed, the cases referred to me demonstrate it is appropriate, 25 whether as a need for denunciation or general deterrence of specific criminal conduct…..

In relation to counts 1 to 3, a combination of section 437 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and 45 section 181B of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 provides a maximum penalty of five times the 4165 penalty units, that is, a total of 1,561,875 thousand dollars for each of the offences covered in counts 1 to 3……

In my view, the defendant put its commercial interests well above its duty to conduct its processes in a way that safeguarded the environment. This is shown by its continued efforts to be seen as a successful Gas to Liquid producer on a commercial scale, where it operated gasifiers clearly above hydrostatic pressure to produce suitable gas for the GTL process, well knowing that contaminants were escaping widely and that damage to the land structure was occurring. As I have noted during the course of argument, there are varying degrees of wilfulness, which is an element of each offence.

The Prosecution have submitted that the appropriate way to approach the quantum is 45 by assessing the maximum and then reaching an appropriate proportion to address each offence. In terms of the section I earlier quoted in relation to the quantum of  fines, it seems to me the damage occasioned by each of these offences is significant and needs to be taken into account in the calculation of a quantum. In relation to each of counts 1 to 3, I accept the Prosecution’s submission that it is appropriate to impose 50 per cent of the maximum in relation to those.

In relation to each of counts 4 and 5, as I have noted, there are aggravating features. The defendant was well aware of the problems with the site and proceeded in disregard of its own experts. They had clearly advised the site was unsuitable because of the earlier gasifier operations; however, the defendant persisted simply 10 on a commercial basis.

In relation to the final count, the defendant purposely hid the issue of groundwater contamination from the regulator. I accept the Prosecution’s submission that fines in relation to each of those later offences should be at 75 per cent of the maximum.
I intend to reduce each of those fines to recognise the totality issues that I have spoken about, including the interplay between each offence and the damage that has actually been occasioned. On each of counts 1, 2 and 3, I fine the defendant the sum of $700,000. On each of counts 4 and 5, I fine the defendant the sum of $1,200,000. Convictions are recorded. The Prosecution does not seek its costs in relation to this Prosecution.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Japan finds threats and bribery not working as well as expected with member countries in International Whaling Commission – will seek to change voting rules


I’ve lost count of the times that Japan has threatened to leave the International 
Whaling Commission (IWC) and bribery allegations seem to have been floating 
around forever. 


However, it appears the Government of Japan is not satisfied with results to date 
and now want to see IWC voting rules changed so that it won’t take as many 
threats and bribes to get its way and recommence large-scale commercial whaling.

Kyoda News, 27 June 2018:

Japan is set to propose resuming commercial whaling of some species at a 
meeting of the International Whaling Commission in September as a ruling 
party endorsed the government plan on Tuesday.

Tokyo is targeting certain types of whales whose numbers are relatively 
abundant such as minke whales for the proposal, but it remains uncertain 
whether it can secure support from members of the IWC that are split over 
whaling.

Tuesday's approval by the Liberal Democratic Party came amid emerging 
calls from some government officials and ruling party lawmakers that Japan 
should weigh withdrawal from the IWC.

Their criticism is directed at the divisive and what they see as dysfunctional 
nature of the international body, with one ruling party source saying, "We 
are not going to drag this out."

At the meeting from Sept. 10 to 14 in Brazil, to be chaired by Japanese 
government representative Joji Morishita, Japan plans to make a packaged 
proposal that also calls for easing of the IWC's decision-making rules, a plan
seen as a tactic to court anti-whaling members.

Currently, approval from a majority of three-fourths of IWC members is 
needed to set a catch quota or a sanctuary where whaling is banned. 
The Japanese proposal is to lower the hurdle to a simple majority.

The potential easing of the rules will make it easier for anti-whaling members
to secure support for designating a new whale sanctuary.

Of the IWC's 88 members, 40 support whaling while the remaining 48 are 
against the practice, according to Japan's Fisheries Agency.

The IWC, which aims to manage whaling and conserve whales, was 
established in 1948. In 1982, it declared there should be a moratorium on 
commercial whaling and the ban came into force in 1986.

Japan stopped commercial whaling across the board in fiscal 1988. But it 
continues to hunt whales for "research purposes," drawing criticism 
overseas that the practice is a cover for commercial whaling.

Phys Org, 27 June 2018:

At September's meeting in Brazil, Japan "will propose setting a catch 
quota for species whose stocks are recognised as healthy by the IWC 
scientific committee", Hideki Moronuki, an official in charge of whaling at 
Japan's fisheries agency, told AFP.

Moronuki said the proposal would not specify which whale species and 
how many mammals Japan wants to hunt, but he said the IWC classifies 
several species as no longer depleted.

The moratorium has been in place since 1986, and Japan's previous 
attempts to win a partial lifting have been unsuccessful.

Japan will also propose measures to change the body's decision-making 
process, lowering the threshold for proposals to pass from three quarters 
of members to half.

"The IWC has not been functioning. We should get united to build a more 
cooperative system," Moronuki said.

Tokyo has continued to hunt whales despite the moratorium, exploiting a 
loophole allowing "scientific research". It says the research is necessary to prove whale populations are large enough to sustain a return to commercial 
hunting.

It makes no secret of the fact that meat from the expeditions ends up on dinner tables, despite a significant decline in the popularity of whale meat.

Whales were a key protein source in the immediate post-World War II years, 
when the country was desperately poor, but most Japanese now say they 
rarely or never eat whale.

But foreign pressure on Japan to stop whaling has hardened the positions 
of conservative activists and politicians.

Japan cancelled its 2014-2015 hunt after the International Court of Justice 
said permits being issued by Tokyo were "not for purposes of scientific 
research".

But it resumed the hunts in 2016, and conservationists were furious this 
year after Japan reported it had caught 333 minkes on its latest expedition, 
122 of which were pregnant.

Japanese officials said the high rate of pregnant whales showed the strength 
of the minke population.

Japan's last bid to ease the restrictions was in 2014, when the IWC voted 
down its request to hunt 17 minke whales in its coastal waters—where 
smaller whales which Japan claims are not regulated by the committee are 
already hunted.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

IT'S TIME TO #standup4forests AND TELL THE NSW GOVERNMENT TO LEAVE OUR FORESTS ALONE, Community Meeting, 5pm Saturday 30 June 2018, Grafton District Service Club



Conservationists Alarmed at NSW Government Plans for our Forests


Conservationists are alarmed about the NSW Government’s proposals to increase logging intensity in our public forests.

And while the Government is proposing drastic changes weakening logging rules, it is avoiding holding meaningful public consultations about their plans. North Coast conservationists had wanted to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to visit local forests to see first hand the damage that has already resulted from the current logging practices. The EPA refused to participate.

This is probably not surprising given that the EPA, which is charged with monitoring and ensuring compliance of logging operations in the State Forests, has failed in ensuring that the current regulations have been adhered to.  And on those occasions when it has determined that there have been breaches, the penalties it imposed have been of the “slap on the wrist” nature. So it is no wonder that the current rules have frequently been ignored.

The North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) and the North East Forests Alliance (NEFA) are countering the Government’s current consultation failure by holding their own meetings to explain to the community exactly what the Government has in mind for the future of our public forests. Several meetings have already been held on the North Coast with more planned, including one for Grafton at the Grafton District Services Club (upstairs) on Saturday June 30.

In a recent statement NCEC Vice-President Susie Russell outlined the consequences of the Government’s proposed changes.

“If the proposed rules are implemented, every population centre on the north coast will see its water yields drop as intensive land clearfell logging dries out the catchments. There will be increased erosion and sedimentation of streams from decreased stream buffers.
“The extinction cliff for many of our native animals and plants will be reached faster as there will no longer be a requirement to look for them prior to logging.

“The carbon storage capacity of our forest estate will be greatly diminished as logging intensity increases and the dense, young regrowth is more flammable than the mature forests it replaces.

“All this at a time when climate change is accelerating and the planet's temperature is rising. We need now to be protecting our future by maximising the shade, natural water and carbon storage, while connecting habitats to enable animals to move to more suitable areas,” she said.

The NCEC is concerned that areas that have been off-limits to logging for 20 years - old growth forest, stream protection buffers, and high quality koala habitat – will be sacrificed to meet wood contracts.

Our state Government needs to be reminded that State Forests belong to the people of this state – not to the timber industry or to a Government that seems hell-bent on damaging as much of the natural environment as it can while it is in office.

            - Leonie Blain

Friday, 1 June 2018

This barbaric whale slaughter must end!


Antartic minke whale in Science, Space and Robots blog, 23 April 2014

News.com.au, 30 May 2018:

The Courier-Mail can reveal that 95 per cent of the female whales slaughtered by the Japanese were carrying calves.

Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has slammed the Japanese whale hunt.

“The Australian Government is deeply disappointed that Japan continues to undertake so-called ‘scientific’ whaling,” he said.

“The Government has made representations at the highest levels to Japan – and will continue to do so…..

Japanese whalers killed 333 minke whales – plus 122 unborn calves – in the Southern Ocean last summer.

“Apparent pregnancy rate of sampled animals was high’’, the Japanese whalers stated in a new report to International Whaling Commission’s scientific committee meeting in Slovenia this month.

“One or two minke whales were sampled randomly from each … school using harpoons with a 30g penthrite grenade.’’

The whalers killed one in every three of the protected marine mammals they spotted.
Eleven whales managed to avoid the harpoons by hiding in water with high-density ice.

Over three months, two Japanese ships equipped with cannons hunted the whales for 12 hours a day – harpooning some whales 10m long.

Commercial whaling was banned more than 30 years ago but Japan continues to hunt by using a loophole to kill whales for “scientific research’’.

The Humane Society International (HSI) blasted the harpooning of pregnant whales as a “truly gruesome and unnecessary’’.

HSI senior program manager Alexia Wellbelove said the “scientific whaling’’ was a front for the meat trade, as the whales were taken back to Japan for human and pet food.

“The killing of 122 pregnant whales is a shocking statistic and sad indictment on the cruelty of Japan’s whale hunt,’’ she said yesterday.

Ms Wellbelove called on State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to use her trade visit to Japan this week to lobby its government to stop whaling.

“They claim it’s necessary to understand whale biology but that information can be obtained through a biopsy,’’ Ms Wellbelove said.

“The whales often get used for pet food.’’

The IWC report, written by employees of the Institution of Cetacean Research in Tokyo, the Kyodo Senpaku fishing company and Tokyo University, says the whales were killed to obtain data on the “age, sexual maturity and body length of the whales’’.

The Japanese analysed the stomach content to “estimate prey consumption’’ and measured blubber thickness to “study the nutritional condition’’ of the dead whales.

Minke whale surfaces through Antartic ice, vms.edu photo set