It’s less than a year until the major UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen – where the nations of the world are meant to settle on an agreement that will take us the next step on from the Kyoto Protocol. In the lead-up to Copenhagen, nations have been meeting at Poznan in Poland to prepare the ground.
Sharks have had a pretty bad rap for a long time. Now a new film, busts the myths about sharks and highlights the dire situation for shark populations around the world.
Rob Stewart, an underwater photographer, set out to show the beauty of sharks in his film ‘Sharkwater’, but stumbled instead onto the billion dollar shark fin industry. He found sharks having their fins cut off and their bodies thrown back in the ocean on a large scale. All to supply the demand for shark fin soup in Asia.
I went to see the film, then tracked down the director – who was in Paris on his way to Cannes – to flesh out the story. Click here to listen to the interview with the PR Manager for sharks, Rob Stewart.
Check out the trailer and the making of the Sharkwater film.
And if you want to help, you can adopt a shark through the Nature Conservation Council. They’re one of the few organisations campaigning to protect sharks in Australia.
Posted in Conservation, Editor's Pick, Films, Oceans, Podcasts
Tagged conservation, environment, film, movie, oceans, podcast, sharks
Another year begins and whaling is in the news again, with two activist groups disrupting the activities of Japanese whaling vessels.
Both Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd argue the Japanese whalers are carrying out commercial operations in what has been designated by Australia as a whale sanctuary. But the Japanese don’t recognise Australia’s territorial claim or the sanctuary and continue to argue strongly their culling of whales is for scientific purposes, a line that’s hotly contested by the green groups.
I’ve been following the whaling story for awhile and have been intrigued by the sheer determination of the Japanese fishing fleet to continue whaling despite strong opposition from many quarters, including Australia, a nation that would normally be an ally of Japan.
I spoke to Junichi Sato, Oceans Project Leader for Greenpeace Japan, to get a better understanding of why these Japanese are so hell-bent on whaling.
Whaling interview – with Junichi Sato Greenpeace Japan
Sea Shepherd tangle with Japanese Whalers in the Antarctic
Paul Watson is a man on a mission. He has played a leading role in alerting the world to what he calls the illegal actvities of Japanese whalers. In 2007 I spoke by satellite phone to Paul in the Antarctic, the day after his ship the Farley Mowatt had chased down and collided with a Japanese whaling vessel. Click on the link above to play this podcast.
Following is a link to an emotive video posted by Watson’s organisation Sea Shepherd on YouTube. It explains where he’s coming from:
Wikipedia sums up some opposing views on Watson:
“Paul Watson has been denounced as an ecoterrorist. Some former colleagues in Greenpeace have distanced themselves from him. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Jim Bohlen, one of the founders of Greenpeace, said: ‘I’ve known the guy for 15 years, and he’s absolutely insane’.”
“Thus far, all attempts at prosecuting Watson have failed. Watson defends his actions as falling within international law and Sea Shepherd’s right to enforce maritime regulations against illegal whalers.”
What’s the latest? Well, the new Rudd government in Australia appears to be taking Watson’s outcries more seriously, recently sending a large Australian Customs vessel to monitor the Japanese whalers and gather evidence which may be used in international courts against them.
There’s more on the new Australian government’s stance in this ABC story just prior to Christmas. Click here.
Expect to see Paul’s ship tangling again with the Japanese on a TV screen near you. They’re down there now. How he finds them, I don’t know. Next interview.
A compacted view of what commerce is doing to the planet.
Actually, I do have a Commerce degree, and I have worked in the corporate world, but this commercial is pretty good and pretty telling.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. If business worked more like nature (in a cyclical instead of linear way), we’d all be better off. Check out the ‘Ecology of Commerce’ by Paul Hawken for more detail on how and why. And there are businesses which are right now learning from nature. Interface Carpets is probably the most well known.
I intend to feature this kind of new entrepreneurship on The Show this year.
The key issues in the Gunns Pulp Mill controversy, as discussed with Sean Cadman from The Wilderness Society.
Late last year the Australian government gave the go-ahead to building what will be one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest pulp mills. The Gunns Pulp Miill is planned for the state of Tasmania, the scene of many epic environmental battles due to its pristine nature. Prior to the recent election, both major parties in Australia supported the mill.
The previous Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, emphasized his decision to approve the mill was based on science. What the minister didn’t emphasize was the limited terms of reference of the review by the Commonwealth’s Chief Scientist.
His review concentrated on threatened and migratory animal species and the effect on marine environment. According to critics such as The Wilderness Society, important issues remain untested. These include the impact of the mill on Tasmania’s wild forests (the source of timber for the mill), emissions from the plant and the impact of the mill on local business. And many still have doubts about the mill’s effect on the marine environment
Following is a link to the video ‘Pulp Friction’ which was posted on YouTube. It attempts to address both sides of the argument.
And this is a link to The Wilderness Society video on Gunns, also on YouTube:
All of which begs the question, what will the new environment minister do? (For our international readers, that’s the bald bloke who formerly fronted the band Midnight Oil.) Peter Garrett ‘played the game’ during the recent federal election in order to win power, but now he’s there what will he do with it? The Gunns story has gone quiet now the election is over, but for how long?