The fight against transboundary wildlife crime received a boost at the recently concluded G8 Summit held from 17 to 18 June 2013 at Lough Erne.1 G8 Leaders recognized the need to tackle criminal trafficking and to strengthen border security, including in relation to illegal trafficking of wildlife noting the links to governance and the rule of law and sources of funding for terrorists.
In the final communiqué of the meeting2, G8 Leaders placed the fight against the illegal trade in wildlife alongside fighting corruption, transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking of drugs and people. Recognizing the threats posed by such trafficking, Leaders agreed to “… also take action to tackle the illegal trafficking of protected or endangered wildlife species.3”
CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon, commenting on the outcomes of the G8 Summit stated that “the support shown by G8 Leaders to combatting the illegal trafficking of wildlife is timely and welcomed, especially given the links between illegal trade in ivory and funding criminal gangs like the Lord’s Resistance Army4. Africa is experiencing increasingly dangerous levels of illegal trade in many of its iconic species. This illegal trade is driving these species to extinction at the local or regional level and is affecting national security and economies. Such high-level support could not have come at a better time and it builds upon the outcomes of the APEC Leaders’ Summit in Vladivostok5 and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)6, both held in 2012, as well as other high-level commitments.7”
The encouragement by G8 Leaders for the work of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)8 and the offer of political and practical support to those regional and international organisations leading efforts to enhance the ability of countries to monitor and control their borders and to tackle facilitating factors such as corruption, transnational organised crime lends further support to the efforts of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC)9 to assist national and regional enforcement agencies and networks to fight illicit trade in wildlife.
Leaders also recognized the benefits provided by internationally recognized environmental and social standards in ensuring sustainable use of natural resources in developing countries. “The recognition shown by G8 Leaders is in line with the benefits provided by CITES through its regulation of international wildlife trade in a sustainable, legal and traceable manner. This conserves wildlife while also providing sustainable livelihoods for indigenous and local communities that rely on the use of biodiversity.” said John E. Scanlon.
How about some degenerative brain disease with your bowl of tasteless sharks fin?
The destruction of sharks for shark fin soup has helped put many wild species of the fish on the road to extinction. Now, new research suggests this costly meal may harm humans, too.
An analysis of shark fins from Florida waters found high concentrations of β-N-methylamino-L-alanine, or BMAA, a neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. The find raises concerns that consuming shark meat and cartilage may put consumers at risk.
“The concentrations of BMAA in the samples are a cause for concern, not only in shark fin soup, but also in dietary supplements and other forms ingested by humans,” study co-author Deborah Mash, who directs the University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank, said in a statement.
The researchers tested seven species of shark for the study: blacknose, blacktip, bonnethead, bull, great hammerhead, lemon and nurse sharks. The scientists clipped tiny fin samples off of living animals so as not to harm their subjects.
Reporting in the journal Marine Drugs, the authors found BMAA concentrations ranging from 144 to 1,838 nanograms per milligram. According to Mash, those levels are similar to the levels found in the brains of Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease patients. Earlier research has linked the eating of BMAA-rich fruit bats in Guam with degenerative brain diseases, suggesting that consuming the toxin could affect human health.
The researchers hope the findings will help discourage the practice of shark-finning, in which as many as 70 million of sharks per year have their fins sliced off and are dumped back into the ocean to die.
“Not only does this work provide important information on one probable route of human exposure to BMAA, it may lead to a lowering of the demand for shark fin soup and consumption of shark products, which will aid ocean conservation efforts,” said study co-author Neil Hammerschlag, a University of Miami professor of marine affairs and policy.
SINGAPORE: The World Bank on Friday said the world’s oceans were at risk and called for a coalition of governments, NGOs and other groups to protect them, aiming to raise $1.5 billion in five years.
“The world’s oceans are in danger,” from over-fishing, marine degradation and loss of habitat, World Bank president Robert Zoellick said. “Send out the S-O-S: We need to Save Our Seas.”
About 85 percent of ocean fisheries are fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted, including most of the stocks of the top 10 species, he told the World Oceans Summit in Singapore.
This is a really great idea, even if only for their tagline: THERE IS NO PLAN BEE! LOL!
OK, we made that up. But so are dozens of customs that purport to usher prosperity and longevity into our lives.
The fact of the matter is this – sharks’ fins do not add any flavour to your soup – it’s the other ingredients that make the soup taste what it tastes like. Stay away from it, and the whole marine eco-system will thank you for it, and you never know, you might be making your own luck by doing just that.
“We will seriously solve this problem,” Songtham Suksawang said yesterday in his capacity as the head of DNP nationalparks division. Many diving sites at famous marine national parks in the Andaman Sea have been closed to tourists since January 21 after coral bleaching killed a large portion of reefs.
“We will propose zoning for diving attractions,” Songtham said.He added that admissionfee hike and the ceiling on the number of tourists each day might also be used to protect the coral reefs.Songtham was speaking during a brainstorming session on the coralbleaching crisis.
A headline-making UN scheme to preserve the world’s sharks has been a resounding failure, according to a report on Thursday that pins the blame on Indonesia, India, Spain and Taiwan and 16 other major catchers of the fish.