Bluefin Tuna. You know what they are. They are delicious, they cherished, they are expensive. And in huge demand worldwide. The Japanese, in particular, prize them above all other fish for use in sushi and sashimi. But so great is the Japanese demand that it is driving fisherman to pursue catches that go well beyond what scientists consider to be safe limits. In this effort, they are also driving the Bluefin Tuna towards commercial extinction.

It is imperative that we make every effort to save this fish, however, a vital opportunity to pull the bluefin back from the brink was missed when the official body charged with preventing the stock from collapsing agreed to allow catch quotas for 2009 far higher than its own scientists recommended. Does this anger you? It should. Even with a chorus of protests and expressed dismay from conservationists, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas ( ICCAT), meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, endorsed a total allowable catch (TAC) of 22,000 tonnes for next year – while ICCAT’s own scientists had recommended a TAC ranging from 8,500 to 15,000 tonnes per year, warning there were real risks of the fishery collapsing otherwise.

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I got this online at Scoop Independent World News, a New Zealand website. It totally disgusted me so I thought I’d pass it along. I had just read a report about a group of whalers who had captured and killed a mother whale with babies in tow and dragged her away to slaughter, leaving the pups to struggle alone. It broke my heart, in fact made me tear up and I never forgot that image. And then I heard this report and the conservationist and conservative in me just cried out in pain. How on earth can this waste just go on?

According to Greenpeace, in Tokyo, Japan, 85 tons of whale meat may soon have to be discarded. Likely the meat of young mothers like the one I saw in the video; killed needlessly, it seems. Because of bureaucratic bungling, which makes the whole thing even more sordid. According to Greenpeace, the Japanese Government has not received the proper application for import of the meat and this means it’s going rancid in the mean time and will have to be tossed. In my opinion, this is among the worst anti-life violations I find in the world around me. Mom was killed for nothing and her pups probably died, too.

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This is a great new item I picked up online. The reports are now saying that fishermen will be recycling junk into power and scrap metal. This program has started in Hawaii and is currently being started in New England, as well. It is a great concept that will greatly improve earth and ocean conditions. So much junk is lost off fishing boats, from fishing tackle to huge nets. These lost items, from ropes to traps, end up on the bottom of the ocean for decades as destructive debris. Nets and ropes are notorious for suffocating life on the ocean floor as well as snaring fish and drowning them. Not to mention getting twisted in the propellers of other boats at sea.

This new program introduced in New England this year makes better use of this garbage. The idea is to start cleaning the ocean up by collecting everything from nylon nets to wooden lobster traps and burning this debris to generate electricity. In the article I saw, they referred to a fisherman named Frank Mirarchi of Scituate who says he spends hours untangling discarded gear from his nets. It can be dangerous if heavy pieces snap free of the net. Getting it out of the ocean is essential, he was quoted as saying. Turning it into electricity is a bonus. He was also quoted as saying that “right now, anything we can do to avoid burning foreign oil makes me feel pretty good, actually.”

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