- Marine Life Risk Could Shut Down Aussie Super Trawler
- Chinese Shipwreck Yields Nearly 30,000 Antiques
- WWF Donates Research Vessel to Indigenous Australian Groups
A Dutch-owned super trawler seeking an Australian license to fish the deep waters off its shores for small pelagic fish has been warned by Environment Minister Tony Burke that if its activities pose a substantial risk to dolphins, sea lions, and other marine life, it will be banned from Australia’s waters altogether. Opposition has been mounting against the super trawler since it first arrived, with both conservationists and the fishing industry aligned against it. Seafish, the company who will be harvesting and processing the fish to be sent to Africa as a much-needed protein source, has been conducting research for the last 12 months using cameras in the net. The footage has been used to develop exclusion devices in the net for non-target species to escape. Seafish maintains that their 18,000 ton quota of small pelagic species will not have an impact on Australian fisheries.
An ancient merchant vessel that sank more than 500 years ago off the coast of the Guangdong Province in China has been the focus of an ongoing archaeological mission, which so far has yielded approximately 30,000 pieces of antiques over the course of the past few months. Among the salvaged antiques were porcelain and copper coins, which will be on display with 10,000 other items at the Nan’ao Museum in Shantou, a major city of Guangdong. The ship was initially found by local fishermen in May of 2007, buried in silt about 90 feet below the surface. Some experts believe this ship is hard evidence that there was once a “Maritime Silk Road” in the South China Sea.
In a bid to help Australia’s indigenous peoples manage their own marine resources while simultaneously tracking sea turtles, the WWF has donated a research vessel to the Gudjuda Reference Group, which represents several indigenous tribes of the region. These rangers will be vetted with the task of catching, tagging, and noting the condition and health of sea turtles as part of the WWF’s Turtle Rescue Mission Program. The ongoing mission begins with the vessel’s deployment today on the Great Barrier Reef.