- Australian Fishermen Upset with Marine Reserve Proposals
- Supertrawler an Indicator of Global Fish Shortage
- Bangladeshi Turtle Successfully Breeds on Artificial Beach
Australia’s Environment Minister Tony Burke is expected to finalize plans for new marine reserves that would stretch around the entirety of Australia and limit commercial and recreational fishing. “Multiple-use zones” will remain, in which fishing, mining, and other activities will be allowed, but the majority of the reserves will largely prohibit fishing. Australia’s Commonwealth Fisheries Association is frustrated with the new regulations, as some of the new reserves will still allow oil and gas exploration while keeping fishermen out. If approved, the regulations will create the world’s largest marine protected area, including an altogether new marine reserve in the Coral Sea that will extend beyond the Great Barrier Reef.
A new trawling vessel set to begin roaming the the waters of the Tasman sea is the largest to ever sail in Australian waters at a monstrous 142 meters in length and weighing 9600 tons. The vessel, called Margiris, will target small pelagic fish that are normally the prey for larger pelagic species like tuna and marlin, with a quota of 17,500 tons annually. A coalition of global, national, and state environment groups have called upon Australia’s Fisheries Minister to ban the Margiris due to the ecological impact it will make on local fishermen, in particular those who practice subsistence fishing. A spokesman for a large seafood distributor told the National Times that the supertrawler would actually be taking less than 5 percent of small pelagic fish stocks, based on surveys conducted on the egg production of the targeted species.
The northern river terrapin, a critically endangered turtle species found in tiny numbers in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia has successfully bred a new generation following the efforts of wildlife groups to create an artificial environment for the turtle to breed safely. The beach was built on the banks of two connected ponds in Bangladesh’s Bhawal National Park, where turtles that had been captured from the wild bred and produced 25 eggs, all of which hatched alive and healthy. The species is considered extinct in the wild in Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Vietnam. This breeding success using an artificial beach is the first of its kind.