Showing posts with label oceans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oceans. Show all posts

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Next time you use a plastic bag or throwaway cups and utensils - think about this

Friday, 21 October 2016

Say No To Shark Nets and watch turtle release at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina at 10am Sunday 23 October 2016

Shark nets are not the answer.
Fundamentally shark nets don't keep people safe and 80% of what they kill will be harmless to humans.
Proponents of shark nets will tell you that there have been no shark attacks at a netted beach in NSW since 1937. Wrong.
NSW Dept of Primary Industries report 27 attacks including one fatality at netted beaches.
Assoc Prof Laurie Laurenson of Deakin University studied 50 years of data from shark mitigation programs (culling and netting). He found no statistical difference in the rate of shark attack and the density of sharks in an area.
The only shark mitigation measure in the world that has proven to be 100% effective is the Shark Spotters program in Cape Town, South Africa. Eleven years and not a single attack, in a very popular beach area with an abundance of White Sharks.
Shark attack is an incredibly rare event. 6 people in a year across the entire planet died from sharks in 2015. Almost everything else you can think of kills more people. More people died taking selfies.
Over the years, I've done a fair number of media interviews. But I have experienced nothing even remotely close to the media feeding frenzy that follows a shark attack.
I was there the day Cooper Allen was bitten a few weeks ago. Even as he was carried down the beach toward the surf club it was clear he would be OK. But still, within an hour, every major news outlet in the country was on the beach, posting hourly updates, gathering enough footage to lead the evening news bulletin. Totally out of proportion to what had actually just occurred.
There is no doubt our community is spooked. There is a genuine fear among our surfers. I regularly hear, "but something must be done". I agree.
We cannot ignore the impact on our community, on the town's reputation, on our tourism and hospitality industries which contribute so much to our local economy.
But we need to look at what hasn't been done yet and what might actually work.
Surf clubs have applied for funding for watch towers. A basic that has still not been funded.

A trial of paid professional shark spotters at Byron Bay was discontinued after no ongoing funding.

The Shark Watch group formed locally with no assistance from Council or the State Government. Specifically designed to keep watch on our surfers 
from headlands using volunteers and drones, the group is still waiting to hear on a funding application for $50,000 to provide equipment and training.
Where are the shark alarms we were promised?
Where are the shark bite first aid kits?
Why do we have a funding program for innovative responses, but the one company that has developed an effective deterrent, Shark Shield, is getting no assistance from government to get their product to market?
All of these things are far more effective in preventing shark attack than nets. But still we wait.
Shark nets are a fishing device, not a barrier. The nets in NSW are 150m long, 6m high and are placed in water 10-12m deep. As a fishing device they 
have the highest by-catch rate of any technique available.
I've spent the last 9 years of my life trying to protect and save our local sea turtle population through Australian Seabird Rescue. All species of sea turtle are at risk of extinction. Everything I've done will be wasted if we introduce shark nets. Quite simply the nets will kill more turtles than we have been able to save.
The 60 bottlenose dolphins that make up the Richmond River pod face decimation, with DPI staff estimating that up to 20 could be killed in the first few months of shark nets.
These are some of the reasons why I'll be joining my colleagues from Seabird Rescue at Lighthouse Beach at 10am this Sunday (23/10).
We'll be releasing Kimba the green sea turtle after 3 months in care. Back to the ocean, where the sharks also live. But the greatest threat to Kimba isn't sharks. It's humans.
Please join us in saying no to shark nets.
* Image from Facebook

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Be Shark Smart This Summer

Was about to have a quick swim at Lennox Head but came across this only a few feet from shore.
Changed my mind!
Mark Thomas, Lennox Head NSW, Monday 3 October 2016
Reported in  The Huffington Post, 6 October 2016

The NSW Government has a Twitter account @NSWSharkSmart (hash tag #SharkSmart) which tweets rolling alerts when aerial patrols or a NSWDPI shark team sight sharks in New South Wales coastal waters.

A useful inclusion on that mobile phone tossed into the beach bag as you head out for a day of sun, sand and surf.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Abbott Government's mindless obeisance to foreign-owned multinational commercial fishing corporations has had the inevitable result

The 100% Dutch-owned subsidiary of Parlevliet & Van der Plas Beheer B.V. the Australian registered Seafish Tasmania and its super trawler hired from the parent company, the now rebranded Geelong Star, have been found to have committed the inevitable environmental crime associated with large factory ships – killing prohibited species as part of their by-catch.

The Abbott Government would have been well aware that classifying commercial fishing trawlers on length of vessel and not freezer storage capacity would lead to adverse environmental impacts but, in its mindless rejection of any measure put in place by the former federal Labor government, Tony Abbott & Co have shown that far-right ideology is more important that preserving sustainable food resources and biodiversity of marine life for the benefit of present and future Australian citizens.

The Guardian, 3 May 2015:

The Australian environment minister, Greg Hunt, has condemned as “unacceptable and outrageous” the killing of a dozen dolphins and seals by a factory fishing trawler.
The Geelong Star, a ship that environmental groups and some MPs wanted banned from fishing Australian waters, voluntarily returned to its home port after catching four dolphins and two seals on its second local outing.
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) had previously said the ship would face stricter controls after it also caught and killed four dolphins and two seals in its nets on its first trip.
Hunt released a statement on Sunday saying he was “absolutely appalled” by the news, ABC reported.
Hunt said he would write to the AFMA and to Tasmanian senator Richard Colbeck, the parliamentary secretary for fisheries and a strong defender of the trawler’s methods.
The Geelong Star has factory freezer capabilities but escapes a permanent ban on so-called super trawlers because at 95 metres it is under the 130-metre size limit.
Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said the government should cancel the trawler’s fishing licence and management plan immediately.
“They’ve failed twice. The regulator has failed in its job to protect dolphins and seals and who knows whatever other marine life and the boat needs to go home,” he told ABC.
Colbeck released his own statement saying the further deaths of marine mammals was “very bad news and is not welcomed by anyone”.
He said the decision of operators Seafish Tasmania to “voluntarily return to port is appreciated”….

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Something to think about when disposing of all that festive season packaging

The estimated amount of plastic in the world's ocean represented by Blue Whales, the largest creature in the sea reaching up to 100 feet (30 meters) long and weighing over 200 tons (181 metric tons).
2150bluewhales From Grist 10 December 2014

Monday, 7 May 2012

It would appear that NSW Nationals MP for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, doesn't respect the CSIRO, BOM, NASA or any reputable climate scientist

One of the worst kept secrets on the NSW North Coast is that NSW Nationals MP for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, is a climate changer denier.

The Lower Clarence Valley, which knows this former shire councillor and land developer better than most, would be unsurprised by this claim – given that he is already anecdotally famous for stating words to the effect that removing mature trees from riverbanks would reduce or eliminate erosion of said banks.

What his latest claim about sea levels clearly demonstrates is that Chris Gulaptis either hasn’t bothered to read authoritative reports on the subject, does not understand the science or refuses to respect the science.

To illustrate the political ignorance that is being displayed by the parliamentary representative of an electorate with such a long coastline, here are some quotes.

This is what the Australian CSIRO stated in 2011 about sea level impacts:

Sea level rise will be felt both through changes in mean sea level, and, perhaps more importantly, through changes in extreme sea level events. Even if there are no changes in extreme weather conditions (for example, increases in tropical cyclone intensity), sea level rise will result in extreme sea levels of a given value being exceeded more frequently. This change in the frequency of extreme events has already been observed at many locations. The increase in frequency of extreme events will depend on local conditions, but events that currently occur once every 100 years could occur as frequently as once every few years by 2100.
Global Mean Sea Level increased by 210mm between 1880 and 2009, and is continuing to rise at a fairly steady rate of just over 3mm/year. This rate of rise is undoubtedly contributing to the flooding problems of low-lying island states like Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Maldives.
This is exacerbated in some areas (e.g. Gippsland, Victoria and the Gulf coast of the U.S.) where large-scale land subsidence causes a rate of rise relative to the land which is substantially higher.
Correspondingly, some areas have seen less impact because they are rising. Australia is rising at about 0.3-0.4mm/year due to Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA), but is still starting to feel the effects.
In addition, the continuing rise in mean level causes a corresponding increase in the frequency of extreme events, as detailed on the next page…..
The effect of rising mean sea levels will be felt most profoundly during extreme storm conditions when strong winds and falling pressure bring about a temporary and localised increase in sea level known as a storm surge. Storm surges occurring on higher mean sea levels will enable inundation and damaging waves to penetrate further inland increasing flooding, erosion and the subsequent detrimental impacts on built infrastructure and natural ecosystems. In the tropics storm surges are caused by tropical cyclones while elsewhere mid-latitude storms and their associated cold fronts are the main cause of storm surges.

This is what the Australian Bureau of Meteorology states in its State of the Climate Report 2012:

State of the Climate 2012 also highlights the increase in global sea level and notes sea-level rise around Australia since 1993 is greater than, or equal to, the global average. Our observations show that sea-surface temperatures around Australia have increased faster than the global average.

This is what the United States NASA was saying in 2011 about sea levels:

Like mercury in a thermometer, ocean waters expand as they warm. This, along with melting glaciers and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, drives sea levels higher over the long term. For the past 18 years, the U.S./French Jason-1, Jason-2 and Topex/Poseidon spacecraft have been monitoring the gradual rise of the world's ocean in response to global warming.

This is what NASA’s Chief Scientist states in 2012:

Sea level rise is one of the most readily recognizable manifestations of climate change, because it is directly observable without the aid of instrumentation, with very visible effects. Sea level rise is not as rapidly variable as many of the other indicators of climate change, such as temperature or precipitation. Rather it evolves relatively slowly and presents a clear expression of the integrated elements of our changing climate [ Statement of Dr. Waleed Abdalati, Chief Scientist, National Aeronautics and Space Administration before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources United States Senate,19 April 2012]

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Faark, she's back!

La Niña conditions have returned and will continue into 2012 according to NOAA. Will there be widespread flooding for Christmas this year? Has anyone warned Santa that he might need a flood boat for Northern NSW and Queensland deliveries?

NOAA La Nina Advisory