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plunder and thunder down under

environment

plunder and thunder down under

A couple of interesting stories from Australia and New Zealand

Plunder
One of the world’s biggest fishing trawlers with a history of over exploiting fish stocks, the FV Margiris, wants to trawl for small pelagic fish – some of the most critical species in our marine ecosystem. Small pelagic fishing around Tasmania already has a bad record. The surface schools of jack mackerel that were once common off southeast Tasmania have not returned after the collapse of that fishery over 20 years ago.

The fish are a vital food source for important species like the critically endangered southern bluefin tuna, marine mammals, seabirds and game fish. Trawlers like this not only catch the target species, they also get tonnes of bycatch – unwanted marine life like dolphins, seals and seabirds, that gets thrown back dead.

This fishing trawler is the opposite of the fishing activities we need to ensure healthy oceans and healthy communities – we need better valued seafood that doesn’t rely on government subsidies, sustainable employment for local fishermen, science based fisheries management, and no unwanted by-catch. Sign the petition to stop it here.

Thunder
A huge cluster of floating volcanic rocks covering almost 26,000 square kilometres (10,000 square miles) has been found drifting in the Pacific, the New Zealand navy said Friday.

The strange phenomenon, which witnesses said resembled a polar ice shelf, was made up of lightweight pumice expelled from an underwater volcano, the navy said.

An air force plane spotted the rocks on Thursday about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) offshore from New Zealand and warned a navy warship that it was heading towards them.

Lieutenant Tim Oscar said that while he knew his ship the HMNZS Canterbury was in no danger from the pumice, which is solidified lava filled with air bubbles, it was still “the weirdest thing I’ve seen in 18 years at sea”. Read on.