Total Pageviews

Monday, February 27, 2012

Healing Onsens of Taiji/Kii Katsuura

Onsens helped to heal my injuries after a horrific injury by a chiropractor listed with the Canadian Sport Centre Ontario. It was only after spending time here that I was able to return to competition. And on this trip in December, the healing waters also helped to heal a hand injury from a training camp.  Although, I have not been able to save any of the dolphins of Taiji...they, the dolphins, brought me to this place of healing and they were salvation.

Taiji “Whale Farm” will open in 5 years

by Sayaka Nakamura on Monday, 27 February 2012 at 10:09 ·
Taiji “Whale Farm” will open in 5 years,  (Wakayama Pref.)
Yomiuri, 2012/2/27

Taiji, Wakayama, the birthplace of Japanese traditional whaling, is planning to open a “Whale Farm” where whales and dolphins are reared in a bay & visitors can interact with them. It is expected to open in 5 years time and draw 300,000 visitors per year. Criticised since (the premier of) a US movie which shot the traditional hunt with concealed cameras, Taiji is going to promote itself as “the town that coexisted with whales and dolphins for centuries.”

According to the plan, 40,000 square metres of Moriura Bay in the northwest of Taiji will be netted off to keep minke whales, pilot whales, and dolphins. Tourists will be able to interact with the whales & dolphins in a natural environment, where they can swim with trained dolphins or paddle about in sea kayaks.

The project is intended not simply to promote tourism, but also for research on cetaceans. It is planned to provide accommodation and research facilities, utilizing part of “Greenpia Nanki”, the closed resort facility near Moriura bay, and “Whale Beach Park” where Taiji Whale Museum stands. The idea is to designate the vicinity of the park as a “Research Area” open to researchers from Japan and abroad, while trying to breed cetaceans in the bay.

Taiji town authority will negotiate with the pearl farmers in the bay on the transfer of fishing rights.

As the first step of the plan, Kyo-maru No. 1 (812 tons), a decommissioned research whaling vessel that worked in the Antarctica, was put on display in the Whale Beach Park this month (Feb 2012). Over the next fiscal year, Taiji town will spend 250 million yen on improving the park and its surroundings.

Since Taiji’s drive fishery was criticised in the Oscar-winning US film “The Cove”, foreign anti-whaling groups have been harassing the fishermen.

“We would like to turn the criticism into an opportunity to tell the town’s history, and make the whole town into a whale-themed natural park and museum” said mayor Kazutaka Sangen.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Smart Chimp


Photo: Report shows Canada must do more for its oceans
You'd think the decline of the Northern cod fishery, largely caused by mismanagement, would have taught us something. (Credit: Hawkins Multimedia via Flickr)
By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Editorial and Communications Specialist Ian Hanington.

It's been 20 years since Canada's East Coast cod fishery collapsed, and we still have no recovery target or timeline for rebuilding populations. That's just one finding in a damning report from a panel of eminent Royal Society of Canada marine scientists.

Sustaining Canada's Marine Biodiversity notes that Canada has "failed to meet most of our national and international commitments to protect marine biodiversity" and "lags behind other modernized nations in almost every aspect of fisheries management."

For a country surrounded on three sides by oceans, with the longest coastline in the world, that's shameful. Beyond the jobs, recreational opportunities, food, medicines, and habitat that our oceans provide, they also give us life. Half the world's oxygen is produced in the oceans by phytoplankton, which are threatened by rising ocean temperatures and acidification because of global warming.

Successive federal governments have failed to recognize our oceans as much more than reservoirs of resources to exploit for short-term gain. You'd think the decline of the Northern cod fishery, largely caused by mismanagement, would have taught us something. Now, with some West Coast salmon fisheries on the verge of collapse, and little real effort to protect our oceans, it appears we can expect more of the same — unless we start demanding more from our government.

The Royal Society panel focused on climate change, fisheries, and aquaculture, "because of their potential for impact on Canada's marine biodiversity." The problem, it found, was not an absence of knowledge, science, or policy, but rather "a consistent, disheartening lack of action on well-established knowledge and best-practice and policies, some of which have been around for years."

Canada's Fisheries Act, which dates back to 1868, doesn't mention conservation. Our 1997 Oceans Act has yet to be effectively implemented. And the Species at Risk Act has been largely inadequate. Although Canada has made an international commitment to establish a protected network covering 10 per cent of our ocean territory, it has protected less than one per cent.

In fact, the federal government recently rejected millions of dollars in funding for a collaborative effort to establish a marine spatial plan and network of protected areas in Canada's Pacific North Coast waters. First Nations, industry, the provincial and federal governments, and environmental organizations, including the David Suzuki Foundation, had been making progress on the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) for years, but the federal government stymied the process by failing to invest adequate funding and by rejecting support from a philanthropic organization.

It's reason? The government was worried that marine protected areas and marine use plans based on ecosystem science might restrict oil tanker traffic. The loss of more than $8 million dollars from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation was a blow to the process, and the government has not stepped in to make up for the shortfall.

Rather than protect the Pacific's valuable resources, opportunities, and habitat on which 40 per cent of the world's marine mammal species and countless other plants and animals depend, it appears the government would rather risk it all by pushing the Northern Gateway pipeline project to ship crude bitumen from the tar sands through precarious Pacific Coast waterways to China and California.

The report also notes that climate change could drive some salmon species to extinction, that increasing acid levels could harm "everything from corals to mussels to lobsters", and that fish farming can harm wild stocks through spread of parasites and diseases and interbreeding.

Besides an apparent lack of interest on the part of government regarding the health of Canada's oceans, the report identifies a major problem that puts us behind most developed nations: a "major conflict of interest at Fisheries and Oceans Canada between its mandate to promote industrial and economic activity and its responsibility for conserving marine life and ocean health."

The panel offered a number of sensible recommendations, which include addressing the conflict of interest and living up to our national and international commitments to marine biodiversity.

Our government is gaining a reputation for ignoring or discounting the advice of scientists. Let's tell our leaders that our future depends on the future of the oceans and that this advice must be heeded. The science is clear: it's time to do more.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Champis - den vallande kaninen

Call for better control of ships after whale deaths

Updated at 10:51 am today
Environmentalists are calling for better control of ships coming in to and out of Auckland's Port after a second critically-endangered whale was hit and killed.
An investigation into the death of a 15-metre-long Bryde's whale, found floating near Waiheke Island earlier this week, has found it was struck by a ship.
Another Bryde's whale was killed in similar circumstances in September last year.
The Environmental Defence Society says this particular type of whale is living in the main shipping route into the Port of Auckland and at a shallow depth.
Spokesperson Raewyen Peart says urgent action is needed to save the mammals, such as slowing ships down or altering their course.
"These kind of animals are very long-lived and slow breeding, so when you have this kind of impact it can really affect the population.'
"This is an iconic species - Auckland is incredibly lucky to have our own resident population of whales and we need to look after them."

Dolphins take up residence in Japan bay