Dr. Vikash Tatayah, the director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation has reported that the oil has encircled the islet like a noose. “It’s a disaster,” Tatayah said. “Never in my wildest nightmares would I have imagined something like this.”It is an ecological disaster but we have not only imagined it, we have seen this happen over and over again for decades and it will continue to happen over and over again for years to come.Sea Shepherd volunteers have responded to these disasters for decades. We were there in the Galapagos in January 2001 when the tanker Jessica ran aground.
Our crews were on the beaches in Prince Edward Sound, Alaska in March of 1981 after Captain Joseph Hazelwood ran the Exxon Valdez aground. Our crews were on the beaches in Brittany in 1999 when the tanker Erica sank dumping 30,000 barrels of heavy oil into the sea.And we were back on site in Brittany just last year in 2019 when the Grande American caught fire and was leaking oil into the Bay of Biscay.And we were in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon disaster occurred. That was Sea Shepherd Gulf Rescue, a campaign where we were threatened by the Coast Guard for rescuing animals and birds.
Rescuing and cleaning birds and animals, cleaning the slime from the rocks, sopping up the stinking oil, raking up the tar balls and enduring the stench and the skin irritations, all without compensation from governments or the responsible corporations.And each and every time, we warned that it would happen again. And again and again. And once again the response from governments and the oil companies is inadequate as if the spills are just part of their business.I still remember the words of British Columbia’s Highway Minister in the Seventies, a corporate ass kisser named Phil Gaglardi. This is a direct quote. “Some chick gets a little oil on her bikini and everyone screams pollution. That’s the smell of money buddy and I ain’t met nobody who don’t like money.”
And that is the bottom line: That stench is the smell of money.So what’s to be done about Mauritius? Local people will rise to the occasion and they will get their hands dirty and suffer the health consequences. The Japanese oil company will pay some fines. No one will go to jail. The Japanese government will provide a foreign aid package to Mauritius to shut them up and the oil shipping business will carry on towards another incident that we can’t imagine will happen again.
The volunteers have ignored a government order to leave the clean-up operation to local officials, potentially risking a fine or other punishment. NGOs asked volunteers on Tuesday not to risk their health cleaning up the oil on the coast but to concentrate on boom-making instead.
High winds and waves are pounding the Japanese bulk carrier, which is showing signs of breaking up and dumping its remaining cargo into the waters surrounding the postcard-perfect island off the east coast of Africa.
Nearly 2,000 metric tons of oil, diesel and petroleum lubricants could inundate the lagoon if the Wakashio breaks apart, and experts believe it’s a matter of hours.
“The situation is very critical. Cracks have expanded over the course of the day,” said Dr. Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, the island’s premier oceanographer.
“The situation’s about to get 10 times worse. It’ll be a major catastrophe,” he said.
The oil is traveling up the coast, Kauppaymuthoo told NBC News, which could lead to huge stretches of lagoon being affected.
“It’ll take decades to rehabilitate the lagoon, and it’ll never be as it was before the spill. We have thousand-year-old coral here, protected species in our waters,” he added.
“I’m so sad, so angry. Larm koule,” he said in creole. The phrase means “tears run down my face.”
Tourism has long been at the heart of the country’s economy, with a string of luxury hotels punctuating every coastline.
The country had emerged from the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic two months ago relatively unscathed, with only 344 total cases and 10 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins’ Coronavirus Resource Center. The government recently launched a fresh series of tourist campaigns in an effort to revive business.
But now schools in the region have been closed because of the overwhelming smell of petrol and dead fish that permeates the air.
There’s concern that residents near the coast where the ship is stranded, among several sites of great ecological importance, may have been exposed to hazardous substances washing ashore.
“I can’t smell it anymore,” said Sauvage, who has barely left the waterfront since the spill.
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has declared a state of emergency and appealed for international help. He said the spill “represents a danger” for the country of 1.3 million people.
Japan on Sunday said it would send a six-member team of experts to assist. French experts have arrived from the nearby island of Reunion.
But pressure is mounting on the government to explain why it did not act sooner to avert the environmental disaster.
The opposition and activists are calling for the resignation of the environment and fisheries ministers.
“We’ve seen the trailer but not the movie yet, of the crisis to come,” said Dr. Vikash Tatayah, director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.
He’s been leading rescue efforts on Ile aux Aigrettes, an islet central to conservation efforts, evacuating species of plants and animals to safety.
The oil has encircled the islet like a noose.
“It’s a disaster,” Tatayah said.
“Never in my wildest nightmares would I have imagined something like this.”
Lions, wherever they live, play an important ecological role, and they deserve better at our hands. We need to learn to coexist with these rare and magnificent animals and do our best to end their persecution wherever it occurs. Photo by Audrey Delsink
Today, on World Lion Day, we celebrate lions as an iconic wild cat species, and we recommit to our campaigns to halt their exploitation and destruction in the United States and abroad. We are giving it all we’ve got.
In the wild, of course, this iconic species is among the most imperiled of all with as few as 20,000 left in range nations.
In South Africa, a particularly grim industry has emerged to take advantage of tourists’ affinity for lion cubs. An estimated 11,000 lions are held captive there in more than 300 facilities, and…
More than 100 people were arrested Monday following a night of looting and unrest that left 13 officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city, authorities said. CBS Chicago reports Police Superintendent David Brown said it was “an incident of pure criminality” that was prompted by the shooting of a person by police the previous day in the city’s Englewood neighborhood.
At one point early Monday, shots were fired at police and officers returned fire, but no injuries were reported. Brown said a heavy police presence is expected in the downtown area until further notice.
“This was straight up, felony criminal conduct,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “This was an assault on our city.”
Those arrested were expected to face charges including looting, disorderly conduct, battery against police. Lightfoot said that the city has activated a…
Recently engaged, Tracy Leong, 31, and her fiancé hoped 2020 or 2021 might be the year to start their family. A lifelong New Yorker, she felt sure that with lots of support from her parents, a sister and cousins who still live nearby, she could also keep her job in communications.
But when the coronavirus, lockdown measures and social distancing came to New York, her plans changed. Pregnancy was put on hold.
“The pandemic has totally thrown off what we’ve envisioned our family to be like,” Leong said in a telephone interview with CBS News. “This isn’t it.”
Leong isn’t alone. About a third of women say they’re delaying pregnancy or want fewer children because of the pandemic, according to a recent study published by the Guttmacher Institute. It’s a shift in sentiment that could…
Moral panics emerge when people perceive an existential threat to themselves, society or the environment. When in the grip of a moral panic, the ability to think clearly and act responsibly is compromised. While the moral panic over cats arises from valid concerns over threats to native species, it obscures the real driver: humanity’s exploitative treatment of the natural world. Crucially, errors of scientific reasoning also underwrite this false crisis.
THE (SHAKY) CASE AGAINST CATS — Conservationists and the media often claim that cats are a main contributor to a mass extinction, a catastrophic loss of species due to human activities, like habitat degradation and the killing of wildlife.
As an interdisciplinary team of scientists and ethicists studying animals in conservation, we examined this claim and found it wanting. It is true that like any other predator, cats can suppress the populations of their prey. Yet the extent of this effect is ecologically complex.
FAULTY SCIENTIFIC REASONING — In our most recent publication in the journal Conservation Biology, we examine an error of reasoning that props up the moral panic over cats.
Scientists do not simply collect data and analyze the results. They also establish a logical argument to explain what they observe. Thus, the reasoning behind a factual claim is equally important to the observations used to make that claim. And it is this reasoning about cats where claims about their threat to global biodiversity founder. In our analysis, we found it happens because many scientists take specific, local studies and overgeneralize those findings to the world at large.
Even when specific studies are good overall, projecting the combined “results” onto the world at large can cause unscientific overgeneralizations, particularly when ecological context is ignored. It is akin to pulling a quote out of context and then assuming you understand its meaning.
WHAT’S NEXT — So how might citizens and scientists chart a way forward to a more nuanced understanding of cat ecology and conservation?
First, those examining this issue on all sides can acknowledge that both the well-being of cats and the survival of threatened species are legitimate concerns.
Second, cats, like any other predator, affect their ecological communities. Whether that impact is good or bad is a complex value judgment, not a scientific fact.
Third, there is a need for a more rigorous approach to the study of cats. Such an approach must be mindful of the importance of ecological context and avoid the pitfalls of faulty reasoning. It also means resisting the siren call of a silver (lethal) bullet.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Yet there are many options to consider. Protecting apex predators and their habitat is fundamental to enabling threatened species to coexist with cats. In some cases, people may choose to segregate domestic cats from vulnerable wildlife: for instance, with catios where cats can enjoy the outdoors while being kept apart from wildlife. In other cases, unhomed cats may be managed with trap-neuter-return programs and sanctuaries.
Finally, contrary to the framing of some scientists and journalists, the dispute over cats is not primarily about the science. Rather, it evokes an ongoing debate over the ethics that ought to guide humanity’s relationship with other animals and nature.
This is the root of the moral panic over cats: the struggle to move beyond treating other beings with domination and control, toward fostering a relationship rooted in compassion and justice.
Joann Lindenmayer, DVM, MPH is an associate professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University and contributed to this article.
There are lines that must never be crossed. For the Tesla community, one such line was crossed recently, after a video was shared on Twitter showing a fellow Tesla owner abandoning a yellow labrador at Orchards Park in Vancouver, WA. The clip was quite shocking, as it showed the dog’s owner seemingly tricking the pooch before coldly leaving it behind.
The incident spread across the Tesla community over the weekend, and it did not take long before numerous netizens were calling for the dog’s owner to be reprimanded. KATU News reporter Kellee Azar took to Twitter to voice her frustration at the incident as well, stating that “no dog, animal or person should be treated this way.”
Fortunately, the incident was recorded by a neighboring resident’s surveillance camera. Amidst the video’s spread on social media, an investigation was promptly started and…
(KUTV) — Four Utahns had their hunting or fishing licenses suspended after a hearing by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) that took place June 2. The individuals had all previously been convicted in the district or justice court system for poaching.
License suspension hearings take place at the Utah Department of Natural Resources building in Salt Lake City on the first Tuesday of each month and are open to the public. However, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the June hearing happened via telephone to follow social distancing guidelines.
During the hearing, details of the cases are reviewed and it is determined whether the hunting or fishing licenses are to be suspended of those accused. For a hunting or fishing license to be suspended, the hearing officer…
A bear attacks a woman. She fights it off — with her laptopWhile bear attacks are rare, their behaviors can be unpredictable and an attack can lead to serious injuries or death, according to the NPS.To avoid an encounter with a bear, hike and travel in groups, do not allow bears access to your food and leave the area if you see a bear.If you are attacked by a brown or grizzly bear, leave your backpack on and play dead by laying flat on your stomach with your hands behind your neck and legs spread. If the bear continues to attack you, fight back by hitting the bear in the face.If you are being attacked by a black bear, do not play dead but instead try to escape to a secure place or if you can’t, fight back using any available object, according to NPS.