Scotland’s farmed salmon industry stinks

http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/opinion/columns/second-opinion/scotlands-farmed-salmon-industry-stinks/548955.article

23 Feb 2017 | Joanna Blythman

Scotland’s salmon farming industry is being eaten away by sea lice, the parasite that stalks large concentrations of farmed fish. Latest figures from Marine Harvest, the Norwegian multinational that owns most of the Scottish ‘farms’, show that despite its self-styled reputation as a clean, green country, Scotland has by far the worst sea lice problem of any producer nation. In 2014, 28% of sites were affected; by 2015 that figure had jumped to 49%. Equivalent levels on Norwegian and Irish farms were 5% and 18% respectively.

No technical fix can control Scotland’s now endemic lice, not even dosing every tonne of fish with 42 litres of hydrogen peroxide. The Thermolicer, a machine that immerses fish briefly in warm water, was presented as a solution until last year, when it cooked to death 95,000 fish in one incident. And no wonder lice are having a field day. These caged fish are already weakened by endemic amoebic gill disease, which generous doses of antibiotics barely contain.

Any image of Scottish aquaculture as a job-creating cottage industry has been washed away. Its business story is poor also. Politicians once cited the 6,000 jobs it sustained directly, but the true figure now stands at 2,200. Reduced output, combined with a hefty bill for drugs and chemicals, is making the industry less profitable, yet pushing up prices.

The gloss is off the Scottish salmon brand. Fewer and fewer aspiring restaurants put farmed salmon on their menu. Its image is dull at best, highly contentious at worst, and because it’s so flabby and oily, even the best chefs toil to make something of it.

Yet Fergus Ewing, the Scottish secretary for the rural economy, backs the Norwegian salmon industry’s plan to double its business in Scotland by 2030. And the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency is considering proposals to site the world’s biggest salmon farm in Orkney or Shetland, even though by its own calculation, the faecal waste from the two million-fish mega-farm would be equivalent to the sewage from a city the size of Glasgow.

It’s time for politicians to learn from experience. Scotland is already mired into dirty salmon farming. Don’t make matters worse by going in any deeper.

Joanna Blythman is a journalist and author of Swallow This

World’s Biggest Sockeye Run Shut Down as Wild Pacific Salmon Fight for Survival

     Climate

 Salmon have been swimming in Pacific Northwest waters for at least 7 million years, as indicated by fossils of large saber-tooth salmon found in the area. During that time, they’ve been a key species in intricate, interconnected coastal ecosystems, bringing nitrogen and other nutrients from the ocean and up streams and rivers to spawning grounds, feeding whales, bears and eagles and fertilizing the magnificent coastal rainforests along the way.

Salmon have been swimming in Pacific Northwest waters for at least seven million years.iStockFor as long as people have lived in the area, salmon have been an important food source and have helped shape cultural identities. But something is happening to Pacific coast salmon.

This year, British Columbia’s sockeye salmon run was the lowest in recorded history. Commercial and First Nations fisheries on the world’s biggest sockeye run on British Columbia’s longest river, the Fraser, closed. Fewer than 900,000 sockeye out of a projected 2.2 million returned to the Fraser to spawn. Areas once teeming with salmon are all but empty.

Salmon define West Coast communities, especially Indigenous ones. The West Coast is a Pacific salmon forest. Today, salmon provide food and contribute to sustainable economies built on fishing and ecotourism. West Coast children learn about the salmon life cycle early in their studies.

Salmon migrations, stretching up to 3,000 kilometers, are among the world’s most awe-inspiring. After spending adult lives in the ocean, salmon make the arduous trip up rivers against the current, returning to spawn and die where they hatched. Only one out of every thousand salmon manages to survive and return to its freshwater birthplace.

So what’s going wrong? Climate change is amplifying a long list of stressors salmon already face. Sockeye salmon are sensitive to temperature changes, so higher ocean and river temperatures can have serious impacts. Even small degrees of warming can kill them. Low river flows from unusually small snowpacks linked to climate change make a tough journey even harder.

Oceans absorb the brunt of our climate pollution—more than 90 percent of emissions-trapped heat since the 1970s. Most warming takes place near the surface, where salmon travel, with the upper 75 meters warming 0.11 C per decade between 1971 and 2010. Although ocean temperatures have always fluctuated, climate change is lengthening those fluctuations. A giant mass of warmer-than-average water in the Pacific, known as “the blob,” made ocean conditions even warmer, with El Niño adding to increased temperatures. Salmon have less food and face new predators migrating north to beat the heat.

Beyond creating poor environmental conditions for salmon, climate change increases disease risks. Warm conditions have led to sea lice outbreaks in farmed and wild salmon, and a heart and muscle inflammatory disease has been found in at least one farm. Scientists researching salmon movement through areas with farms are finding wild fish, especially young ones, with elevated parasite levels. Diseases that cause even slight deficiencies in swimming speed or feeding ability could make these marathon swimmers easy prey.

More: http://www.ecowatch.com/wild-salmon-climate-change-2011395747.html

UK to ban fishing from a million square kilometres of ocean

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/15/uk-to-ban-fishing-from-a-million-square-kilometres-of-ocean

Government creates marine protected areas around four islands in the Pacific and Atlantic, with commercial fishing banned in some areas
One of the world’s biggest marine protected ares will be created around the Pitcairn Islands

Adam Vaughan
Thursday 15 September 2016 06.

In total, the government is creating marine protected areas around four islands in the Pacific and Atlantic, including the designation this week of one of the world’s biggest around the Pitcairn Islands.

A 840,000 sq km (320,000 sq mile) area around Pitcairn, where the mutineers of the Bounty settled, becomes a no-take zone for any fishing from this week. St Helena, around 445,000 sq km of the south Atlantic ocean and home to whale sharks and humpbacks, is now also designated as a protected area.

The foreign office said it would designate two further marine protection zones, one each around two south Altantic islands – Ascension by 2019 and Tristan da Cunha by 2020.
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Sir Alan Duncan, minister of state for Europe and the Americas, said: “Protecting 4m sq km of ocean is a fantastic achievement, converting our historic legacy into modern environmental success.”

Commercial fishing will be banned in all of Pitcairn’s zone – excepting ‘sustainable’ local fishing – and half of the 445,390 sq km Ascension protected area. Fishing will be allowed in the other areas, but activities such as oil drilling will be prohibited.

Conservationists welcomed the new protections. “By protecting the vast array of marine life within these rich waters, the United Kingdom has solidified its position as a leader in ocean conservation,” said Joshua S Reichert, of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which is working with the UK on technology to monitor the Pitcairn area.

Jonathan Hall, the RSPB’s head of UK Overseas Territories, said: “This is simply enormous and shows world-leading vision.”

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The UK announcement, at the Our Oceans summit in Washington, came as the White House said the US would ban fishing in a 5,000 sq km area in the Altantic, known as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts marine national monument. That followed Barack Obama’s expansion last month of the Papahānaumokuākea monument off Hawaii.

In his speech at the Washington conference, Duncan quipped: “this was going to have been my big moment, because until last week the Pitcairn MPA would have been the largest in the world. But President Obama sort of rather blew that out of the water by announcing an even bigger MPA in Hawaii – trust the Yanks to indulge in a bit of one-upmanship over us poor Brits.

“But we’re happy as our loss is the world’s gain and we congratulate the United States.”

This week, scientists warned that humanity is driving an unprecedented extinction of the largest marine creatures that could affect ocean ecology for millions of years. Experts said the large range required for such creatures meant large-scale marine protected areas would be a key part of addressing the problem.

Sarah Palin Endorses Anti-Climate Change Film

Sarah Palin Endorses Anti-Climate Change Film (EXCLUSIVE)

by


<!–Film Reporter–>


Sarah Palin Anti Climate Change Movie

Picture Perfect/REX/Shutterstock

April 11, 2016 | 08:12AM PT

Fathom Events and SpectiCast are giving a major push to the anti-global warming documentary “Climate Hustle,” with plans for showings at nearly 400 theaters on May 2.

Variety has learned exclusively that former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is participating in the event. The screening of the documentary, produced by Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and Marc Morano’s ClimateDepot.com, will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Palin, with opening remarks by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

The discussion will be moderated by Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center. Bill Nye, best known as “the science guy,” is also scheduled to appear. The invitation-only panel discussion will take place Thursday in Washington, D.C., following a screening of “Climate Hustle.”

“I’m very passionate about this issue,” Palin told Variety. “We’ve been told by fearmongers that global warming is due to man’s activities and this presents strong arguments against that in a very relatable way.”

Palin noted that, while governor in 2008, she sued the U.S. government over placing the polar bear on the threatened species list because of the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice. Palin pointed to the high population of polar bears in 2008 and dismissed climate models that predict continued loss of sea ice as “unreliable,” “uncertain” and “unproven,” but a federal judge backed the government scientists’ finding in 2011.

“I wanted facts and real numbers,” Palin said. “The polar bear population is stable, if not growing and the designation would have stymied Alaska’s pursuit of developing its natural resources.”

The “Climate Hustle” presentation by Fathom, which specializes in presenting live events for theatrical chains, represents a departure from its usual fare of music and family films.

Among the largest past presentations for the company, co-owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings and Regal Entertainment Group: “The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary” at 800 locations; “Finding Noah: An Adventure of Faith” screened at 637 sites; “Ed Sheeran: Jumpers for Goalposts” at 584 theaters; and “Chonda Pierce: Laughing in the Dark,” a documentary about Christian comedian, at 512 locations.

Palin said “Climate Hustle” offers a countering view to Al Gore’s global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which grossed nearly $50 million and won Academy Awards for best documentary feature and original song.

“People who do not believe in American exceptionalism have made this into a campaign issue, so it’s vital that the other side be heard,” she added. “I’m very pleased that this is written and spoken in layman’s terms. My dad taught science to fifth and sixth graders, and it was very important to him that science be presented in an understandable way.”

Marc Morano, host of “Climate Hustle” said, “This film is truly unique among climate documentaries. ‘Climate Hustle’ presents viewers with facts and compelling video footage going back four decades, and delivers a powerful presentation of dissenting science, best of all, in a humorous way. This film may change the way you think about ‘global warming.’”

The film profiles Georgia Tech climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, former NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John Theon, and French physicist and Socialist Party member Claude Allègre.

“Climate change is certainly one of the hot-button issues at the forefront of some of the fiercest political debates. This event aims to shed light on varied perspectives and initiate healthy and timely conversation around this important topic,” said Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh.

“‘Climate Hustle’ is an extremely timely event, especially given the relevant political discussion surrounding global warming,” said Mark Rupp, co-founder and president of SpectiCast Entertainment. “We feel it is important to share all viewpoints on the climate change issue and ‘Climate Hustle’ provides a perspective not generally shared with the public at large in an informative and engaging way.”

Morano founded the anti-climate change website Climatedepot.com in 2009. Media Matters for America, a politically progressive media watchdog group, named Morano the “Climate Change Misinformer of the Year” in 2012.

Sea Shepherd Intercepts Fleet of Illegal Fishing Vessels in the Indian Ocean – High Seas Pursuit Now Underway. .

– High Seas Pursuit Now Underway.

The Sea Shepherd ship, under the command of Captain Siddharth Chakravarty, has now engaged in a pursuit of on…Show more

Sea Shepherd Global - Sea Shepherd Intercepts Fleet of Illegal Fishing Vessels in the Indian Ocean preview image

Sea Shepherd Global – Sea Shepherd Intercepts Fleet of Illegal Fishing Vessels in the Indian Ocean

High Seas Pursuit Now Underway The Fu Yuan Yu 076, currently on the run from the Steve Irwin. Photo: Tim Watters Sea Shepherd’s

 

How Fish Communicate

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/15/science/how-fish-communicate-even-using-noise.html?_r=0

Credit Victoria Roberts

It is well known that fish communicate by gesture and motion, as in the highly regimented synchronized swimming of schools of fish.

Some species use electrical pulses as signals, and some use bioluminescence, like that of the firefly.

Some kinds of fish also release chemicals that can be sensed by smell or taste. In 2011, a scientist in New Zealand suggested that what might be called fish vocalization has a role, at least in some ocean fish.

In the widely publicized work, done for his doctoral thesis at the University of Auckland, Shahriman Ghazali recorded reef fish in the wild and in captivity, and found two dominant vocalizations, the croak and the purr, in choruses that lasted up to three hours, as well as a previously undescribed popping sound.

The sounds of one species recorded in captivity — the bigeye, or Pempheris adspersa — carried 100 feet or more, and the researcher suggested it could be used to keep a group of fish together during nocturnal foraging. Another species, the bluefin gurnard, or Chelidonichthys kumu, was also very noisy, he found.

“Vocalization” is a bit of a misnomer, as the sounds these fish make are produced by contracting and vibrating the swim bladder, not by using the mouth. question@nytimes.com

We assumed fish didn’t care about each other. We were wrong.

Researchers have long thought fish were heartless and cold, incapable of the relationships mammals cultivate, but new research among fish in coral reefs suggests fish can work in long-term paired relationships.

  • close
    A diver snorkels in the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s Queensland state. Rabbitfishes from a coral reef have just been found to exhibit reciprocal cooperation, meaning they are the first fish known to take care of each other.
    Fish living in the vast network of coral reefs near Australia are already known to moviegoers for their devotion, thanks to the loving clownfish father-and-son pair in Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.”

But in reality, marine researchers have long thought fish were a bit cold and self-centered. A recent study published Friday indicates that their temperament is warming by a few degrees.

Clownfish like Marlin and Nemo do have a symbiotic relationship with anemones, according to PBS, but another inhabitant of the coral reef – the rabbitfish – shows the first-observed signs of what researchers call reciprocal cooperation. This means one fish helps another, and the effort, no matter how small, is somehow returned.

We Need to Stop Eating the Oceans

Yana Rusinovich Watson

by Captain Paul Watson

For centuries, the oceans have fed humanity. But in the last century, humans has destroyed oceanic eco-systems with an ecological ignorance that is insane.

The fisherman has now become one of the most ecologically destructive occupations on the planet. It’s time to put aside the outdated image of the hardy, independent, and hard-working fisherman working courageously to feed society and support his family.
No longer does the typical fishermen go to sea in dories with lines and small nets. Today’s industrial fishermen operate multi-million dollar vessels equipped with complex and expensive technological gear designed to hunt down and catch every fish they can find.

One manufacturer of electronic fish locators (Rayethon) even boasts that with their product, “the fish can run but they can’t hide.
And for the fish, there is no safe place as poachers hunt them down mercilessly, even in marine reserves and sanctuaries.

We humans have waged an intensive and ruthless exploitation on practically every species of fish in the sea and they are disappearing. If we don’t put an end to industrialized fishing vessels and heavy gear very soon, we will kill the oceans and in so doing, we will kill ourselves.

Scientists revealed that widespread malnutrition is affecting the fish, bird, and animal populations of our oceans. Not only are we depleting their populations, we are starving the survivors.

We are feeding fish to cats, pigs, and chickens, and we are sucking tens of thousands of small fish from the sea to feed larger fish raised in cages. House cats are eating more fish than seals; pigs are eating more fish than sharks; and factory-farmed chickens are eating more fish than puffins and albatross.

With other factors like global warming, chemical pollution, and ozone depletion causing plankton populations to decline, we are waging a global assault on all life in our oceans. The fish cannot compete with our excessive demands. We have already removed 90% of the large commercial fish from the sea. Chinese demand for shark fins is destroying practically every species of shark in the ocean.

Whereas the fishing industry once targeted and destroyed the large fish, they are now focusing on the smaller fish, the fish that have always fed the larger fish. Of the top ten fisheries in the world today, seven of them now target the small fish. If the fish are too small to feed to people, they are simply ground up into fishmeal to feed domestic animals and farm raised salmon or tuna.

And now Japanese and Norwegian fisheries are extracting tens of thousands of tons of plankton from the sea to convert into a protein rich animal feed.

Recently a report on the State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture released by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) concludes that 80% of all marine fish stocks are currently fully exploited, overexploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion; including stocks of the 7 largest prey fisheries. Very few marine fish populations remain with the potential to sustain production increases, and more have now reached their limit than ever before.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is based on the ecological reality that commercial fishing is destroying our oceans.

We all know this. We are all aware of this diminishment. We feel it in our gut. The ecological reality is not only staring us in the face. The problem is that we are in absolute denial and we refuse to acknowledge that by stripping life from the seas, we will be undermining the foundation for our survival on land.

The public is becoming aware of the gravity of the ecological predicament that threatens life in the sea. And this is very encouraging. I can’t think of anything more important than the preservation of diversity in our oceans. Perhaps we can adapt to global warming, and perhaps we can survive a mass extinction even of species on land. But I know one thing to be an ecological certainty and that is if we kill the oceans – we kill ourselves.

In diversity is the preservation of life.

We must stop eating the oceans. Eating fish is for all intents and purposes – an ecological crime. There are no oceanic sustainable fisheries – not a one. That little sustainability card that some people carry around to pretend to be ecologically correct.

Some may think that a call to ban all commercial fishing is radical. Sea Shepherd view it as a very conservative and essential policy that we must implement to save the oceans and ourselves.

It looks like the fish are turning the tables on humanity. Not by choice but because ecological realities have boomeranged back upon humankind.

Tins of tuna fish now contain warnings that the product should not be eaten by pregnant women or young children because of high levels of mercury and other toxic heavy metals.

Farm raised salmon contain antibiotics, growth hormones and even a dye to colour the flesh a pleasing pink while still alive.

Long-living fish like halibut, cod, orange roughy and swordfish contain large amounts of heavy metals. When you can live over a century like a halibut, you accumulate decades of toxins. When you live high up on the food chain, you build up mercury and other heavy metals.

Orcas in the Pacific Northwest of the United States are the most chemically contaminated animals in the world. Beluga whales in the St Lawrence River are treated as toxic waste when they die.

We treat the oceans like sewers and then act surprised that the fish that is eaten is polluted.

Humans can be wilfully blind and deliberately ignorant when it comes to food. We would never eat a piece of fish sitting in a bowl of mercury, arsenic and PCBs garnished with a lump of human fecal material on top.

Yana Rusinovich Watson's photo.

Fish Smarts: Why Fish Are More Than Just Streams of Protein

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201507/fish-smarts-why-fish-are-more-just-streams-protein

Fish are smart, sentient, and know a lot about themselves and others
by Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on Jul 05, 2015 in Animal Emotions

I’m always looking for interesting and “surprising” discoveries about animal cognition and emotions to share with readers and today I learned about two excellent and brief summaries of some of the latest news about the cognitive lives of fish — what they know about themselves and others. In the past I’ve written a lot about fish sentience because fish often get the short end of the stick when people write about the cognitive and emotional lives of vertebrates (please also see “Fish have feelings too: Expert claims creatures experience pain in the same way humans do – and should be treated better (link is external)” in which it is noted, “Fish have good memories, build complicated structures and show behaviour seen in primates – as well as feeling pain like us”). Indeed, fish were omitted from the list of animals mentioned in the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, issued in July 2013 (please see “Scientists Finally Conclude Nonhuman Animals Are Conscious Beings“) when they should have been included. At the time the declaration was issued we knew a lot about fish sentience and cognition and their omission is regrettable and indefensible..

An excellent review of research on fish cognition and emotions can be found in Macquarie University’s Culum Brown’s (link is external) essay called “Fish intelligence, sentience and ethics (link is external),” published in the peer reviewed journal Animal Cognition. A very interesting and important interview with Dr. Brown by Farm Sanctuary’s Bruce Freidrich (link is external) can be read here (link is external).

The abstract for Dr. Brown’s essay reads as follows: Fish are one of the most highly utilised vertebrate taxa by humans; they are harvested from wild stocks as part of global fishing industries, grown under intensive aquaculture conditions, are the most common pet and are widely used for scientific research. But fish are seldom afforded the same level of compassion or welfare as warm-blooded vertebrates. Part of the problem is the large gap between people’s perception of fish intelligence and the scientific reality. This is an important issue because public perception guides government policy. The perception of an animal’s intelligence often drives our decision whether or not to include them in our moral circle. From a welfare perspective, most researchers would suggest that if an animal is sentient, then it can most likely suffer and should therefore be offered some form of formal protection. There has been a debate about fish welfare for decades which centres on the question of whether they are sentient or conscious. The implications for affording the same level of protection to fish as other vertebrates are great, not least because of fishing-related industries. Here, I review the current state of knowledge of fish cognition starting with their sensory perception and moving on to cognition. The review reveals that fish perception and cognitive abilities often match or exceed other vertebrates. A review of the evidence for pain perception strongly suggests that fish experience pain in a manner similar to the rest of the vertebrates. Although scientists cannot provide a definitive answer on the level of consciousness for any non-human vertebrate, the extensive evidence of fish behavioural and cognitive sophistication and pain perception suggests that best practice would be to lend fish the same level of protection as any other vertebrate.

This weekend I learned about an essay by Abigail Geer called “5 Incredible Fish Behaviors That Show Just How Intelligent They Really Are (link is external)” that nicely summarizes some of the latest research on fish cognition. Ms. Geer writes about mutual cooperation, how fish cheat others, how they form hunting partnerships, how they signal to others using their body, and how they know to eat food that will disappear shortly. She concludes her essay as follows: “As humans, we have developed a very self centric view of the world, where we judge all other species by our own perception of them. For us to develop into a more compassionate society, which is not responsible for the murder of billions of animals each year, we must learn to understand and respect each and every animal on the planet for who they are.”

Primates aren’t all that special 

Ms. Geer’s essay is based mainly on the work of noted fish researcher Redouan Bshary (link is external), who’s groundbreaking research is summarized in an essay by Alison Abbott called “Animal behaviour: Inside the cunning, caring and greedy minds of fish (link is external)” published in the prestigious journal Nature. Both Ms. Geer and Ms. Abbott’s essays are easy reads and I highly suggest them. Research on the cognitive and emotional lives of fish are showing that non-human primates aren’t all that special. Emory University’s world renowned primate researcher Frans de Waal (link is external)notes, “Primate chauvinism may now be poised to decline, thanks in large part to Bshary’s fish work.” Claims about nonhuman primate and human exceptionalism must be carefully re-evaluated because this sort of speciesism can be seriously called into question based on solid scientific research.

Fish should be included in our moral circle

So, what does the latest research on fish cognition and emotions mean in terms of how we treat them? In her very interesting book called Do Fish Feel Pain? (link is external) Victoria Braithwaite (link is external) concluded, “I have argued that there is as much evidence that fish feel pain and suffer as there is for birds and mammals — and more than there is for human neonates and preterm babies.” (page 153).

It’s high time that we use what we know on behalf of fish and other animals who are used and abused in the countless billions. Fish clearly are not things nor disposable objects or mere streams of protein, but rather sentient and feeling beings, a point stressed in Farm Sanctuary’s “Someone, Not Something (link is external)” project.

In a recent interview with Hope Ferdowsian (link is external) I noted, “There still is a lot of work to be done but there is no doubt in my mind and heart that we can make the world a much better place – a more compassionate home — for nonhumans and humans. It isn’t going to be easy but that’s just the way it is. Every one who can do something positive must do what she/he can do. We need to be activists, not slacktivists. We all must walk the talk and not expect others to do what we can and should do. I remain optimistic because of all the wonderful people who are out there working for all animals and their homes. We must remember that compassion begets compassion and violence begets violence. I love the saying, ‘The world becomes what you teach,’ espoused by the Institute for Humane Education (link is external).”

It is essential that a broad audience knows what we are learning about fish from detailed empirical research. As noted above, Dr. Brown concludes his essay as follows: “Although scientists cannot provide a definitive answer on the level of consciousness for any non-human vertebrate, the extensive evidence of fish behavioural and cognitive sophistication and pain perception suggests that best practice would be to lend fish the same level of protection as any other vertebrate.” I couldn’t agree more. Fish and all other animals need all the help they can get and we need to use what we learn from empirical research on their behalf.

Note: I just learned of a most valuable essay by B. Wren Patton and Victoria Braithwaite called “Changing tides: ecological and historical perspectives on fish cognition (link is external),” the abstract of which concludes, “Never before has the field had such a wide array of interdisciplinary techniques available to access both cognitive and mechanistic processes underpinning fish behavior. This capacity comes at a critical time to predict and manage fish populations in an era of unprecedented global change.” You can also watch an interview with Dr. Braithwaite here (link is external) about why fish need to be treated humanely.

Marc Bekoff’s latest books are Jasper’s story: Saving moon bears (with Jill Robinson), Ignoring nature no more: The case for compassionate conservationWhy dogs hump and bees get depressed, and Rewilding our hearts: Building pathways of compassion and coexistenceThe Jane effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall (edited with Dale Peterson) has recently been published. (marcbekoff.com; @MarcBekoff)

Paul Watson: Costa Rica Trying ‘To Imprison Me For Saving Sharks’

https://www.thedodo.com/paul-watson-costa-rica-petition-1133526041.html

Thank you — 20,000 signatures in just three days is a good start. I need your help to send a strong message to the Costa Rican government that the continued pursuit of the bogus charge against me needs to stop; this is a politically motivated charge.

In 2002, at the request of Guatemalan authorities, Sea Shepherd stopped an illegal shark-finning operation by a Costa Rican-flagged fishing boat well inside the territorial waters of Guatemala. The boat was not damaged and no one was hurt. The entire confrontation was filmed by Rob Stewart as he was making the film “Sharkwater.”

The Sea Shepherd vessel Farley Mowat had two independent film crews and 35 crewmembers onboard as witnesses. The fishing boat with eight fishermen and without cameras presented no evidence backing up their charges. When I arrived in Costa Rica, I was charged with eight counts of attempted murder. We presented our witnesses and our video evidence to the court. The charges were dismissed and I was given clearance to depart from Costa Rican waters; I did so, and heard nothing more about this incident until 10 years later, when I landed in Germany in 2012. There, in Frankfurt, I was detained on a Costa Rican warrant for the charge of alleged “shipwreck endangerment.”

No one was injured nor was property damaged, and yet Japan and Costa Rica managed to place me on the INTERPOL Red List — a list meant for serial killers and war criminals. Japan wants me for alleged “conspiracy to trespass on a whaling ship.”

The government’s own charge contradicts itself; the official accusation states that the incident took place in international waters, yet the same accusation gives the exact coordinates at which the incident took place, and that position is well within the territorial waters of Costa Rica.

You have to wonder why a government that conveniently lost the evidence for the trial of the narco-poacher killers of sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval is spending so much money and making such an effort to imprison me for saving sharks from poachers?

If you have not already done so, please take a few moments to sign and share the petition at the link below for me, provided in both English and Spanish. It will be presented to the government of Costa Rica.

Thank you, Merci, Gracias and Mahalo.
— Captain Paul Watson

Please sign and share the petition here.