Marine Life & Conservation
Violent Seal Killers Threaten Sea Shepherd UK Crew – Caught on Camera
Here’s the latest press release from Sea Shepherd:
As predicted by Sea Shepherd on Good Friday, the killing team of the Scottish Wild Salmon Company escalated tensions in the Scottish seal killing grounds with an unprecedented attack on a member of Sea Shepherd UK’s campaign crew.
As residents of Gardenstown were preparing for breakfast on Easter Monday, Sea Shepherd crewmembers were already being threatened with violence by the Scottish Wild Salmon Company’s seal killers.
In a dramatic 8 a.m. confrontation which took place away from the Harbour in the town’s New Ground, three employees of the Scottish Wild Salmon Company, one carrying a rifle, cornered just one of our crewmembers, leaving him fearful of extreme violence.
The crewmember had the presence of mind to keep his camera running throughout, and the situation was saved when other members of the Sea Shepherd campaign crew arrived with their own cameras. Realizing that any further illegal acts on their part were being recorded, the thugs backed away and returned to their command base.
Sea Shepherd UK has now reported the situation and shown video footage to the Scottish Police. Sea Shepherd UK is confident that charges can now be brought against the ringleader of the Scottish Wild Salmon Company’s out-of-control thugs.
Given the escalating situation, Sea Shepherd UK has now asked the Hunt Saboteurs Association to reactivate their undercover teams as well as introduce new covert operatives to the area. Other Sea Shepherd volunteers and specialist intervention teams are also now heading to Banffshire in order to defend Scottish seals from these violent people.
The Scottish government issues companies such as the Scottish Wild Salmon Company with licenses to shoot seals, which they claim threaten fish stocks. However the legislation requires that seals may only ever be shot as a last resort after all other methods of control have been applied. The actions of these companies themselves are drawing seals to the salmon. Seals in this area do not normally eat salmon, but when salmon netting companies trap wild fish in large numbers, it is only natural that the captured fish attract seals. As we’ve seen with the sea lions on the Columbia River on the Oregon/Washington border here in the U.S., these animals are being targeted for the simple “crime” of eating fish. Moreover, the wild salmon that are heading up the coast are being caught by fishermen before they have a chance to spawn, so the fishing itself is killing this particular fishery and is therefore completely unsustainable.
The non-lethal solution is to deploy Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs), which the Scottish Wild Salmon Company does have available to them. Unfortunately, lethal bullets are cheaper than the non-lethal alternative, and so, without effective policing by Marine Scotland (the agency responsible for the seal killing licenses), it is left to Sea Shepherd to once again uphold national and international laws which governments neither can’t nor won’t enforce.
For more information, visit www.seashepherd.org.uk.
Marine Life & Conservation
The Shark Trust Great Shark Snapshot is back!
The last week of July will see the return of the Shark Trust’s citizen science initiative that invites divers and snorkelers, all around the world, to record the sharks and rays that they see between the 22nd and 30th. After the success of the first event, this year is going to be even bigger and better.
Information about the species and numbers of sharks and rays the participants find over the week will be added to the Shark Trust’s Shark Log. This global shark census will, over time, allow shark scientists to build a picture of species distribution and any changes that occur. Sharks are threatened by destructive fishing, climate change and habitat loss. The data collected during the Great Shark Snapshot will help scientists put effective conservation plans in place.
Dive clubs, centres, and liveaboards can sign up to show their support for this event and advertise their planned dives on the Great Shark Snapshot registration page. Divers looking to join an event will be able to use the map to find Great Shark Snapshot dives taking place near them. As well as gathering vital data, the event will provide a chance to celebrate the incredible shark and ray species that live close to you.
Caroline Robertson-Brown, Marketing Coordinator at the Shark Trust said: “It was wonderful to see so many divers take part in our first event last year. What is even better is seeing those dive centres and liveaboards returning to take part again this year, along with many more signing up for the first time.”
With the event still 2 months away, dive centres and liveaboards from over 20 countries have already signed up to take part. From Palau to Costa Rica. From the UK to Australia. Whether you are diving your local dive site, or on the diving trip of a lifetime. You can take part in the Great Shark Snapshot.
It is easy to join in. Just go diving between 22nd and 30th July and record every shark, ray and skate that your dive group sees. If possible, take photos and some video footage too. The Shark Trust really wants to see what species you encounter on your dives. Then make sure that you record your sightings on the Shark Trust Shark Log recordings website or by using the Shark Trust app.
The Great Shark Snapshot is a way for divers to get together, go diving, and do something to help shark conservation. Why not dive in?
Find out more here: www.sharktrust.org/snapshot
Fourth Element now planting a tree for every online order
Global dive brand Fourth Element has announced the launch of their “Plant for the Planet” initiative, a commitment towards offsetting their carbon footprint and supporting environmental conservation through tree planting and mangrove restoration.
As a brand dedicated to sustainability and environmental conservation, Fourth Element has partnered with Ecologi, a leading platform for climate action, to plant a tree for every online order received. By working with Ecologi, Fourth Element ensures that the trees and mangroves planted are part of verified reforestation projects around the world that have a positive impact on local communities and biodiversity.
Trees play a crucial role in the health of our planet, absorbing carbon dioxide and providing oxygen, while also supporting biodiversity. In addition, mangroves, which grow in coastal areas, are essential in protecting our oceans and mitigating climate change. They absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and provide habitat for a wide range of marine life. However, both trees and mangroves are under threat from deforestation and development.
“Plant for the Planet” reflects Fourth Element’s commitment to taking responsibility for their impact on the environment and promoting sustainability in their business practices. By choosing to shop with Fourth Element, customers are also supporting the company’s efforts to protect the environment and promote positive change.
“We believe that it is our duty as a business to take action and make a positive impact on the planet,” said Paul Strike, CEO of Fourth Element. “Through our partnership with Ecologi and our ‘Plant for the Planet’ initiative, we are taking steps to offset our carbon footprint and support reforestation and mangrove restoration projects, which are critical for the health of our oceans and the planet as a whole.”
Fourth Element’s “Plant for the Planet” initiative is part of their ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. The company continues to explore ways to reduce their environmental footprint and promote responsible practices within the dive industry.
For more information about Fourth Element and their “Plant for the Planet” initiative, please visit www.fourthelement.com/plant-for-the-planet.
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