Day: October 19, 2007

Small-Scale Fisheries Bycatch Jeopardizes Loggerheads


This is almost a 1000 juveniles killed in a year in Baja California alone. The authors mention that over 99% of all fisherpeople are employed in small scale fisheries, which surprised me.

PLoS ONE: Small-Scale Fisheries Bycatch Jeopardizes Endangered Pacific Loggerhead Turtles:

Although bycatch of industrial-scale fisheries can cause declines in migratory megafauna including seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles, the impacts of small-scale fisheries have been largely overlooked. Small-scale fisheries occur in coastal waters worldwide, employing over 99% of the world’s 51 million fishers. New telemetry data reveal that migratory megafauna frequent coastal habitats well within the range of small-scale fisheries, potentially producing high bycatch. These fisheries occur primarily in developing nations, and their documentation and management are limited or non-existent, precluding evaluation of their impacts on non-target megafauna.

This is a surprising and unexpected finding because you would expect smaller fishing boats to have smaller impacts. I guess smaller scale fishing fleets in Mexico (and other developing nations) have not been targeted for education, awareness and enforcement of turtle safe fishing practices.

The good news from the study is that a major source of mortality has been identified and the authors point to recent efforts to increase awareness in the community about turtle safe fishing. But it will be a long and hard fight to be tackled all over the world.

Benazir survives midnight carnage


Benazir Bhutto survives, others weren’t quite so lucky.

Benazir survives midnight carnage: Twin blasts cast shadow over homecoming. At least 125 dead -DAWN – Top Stories; October 19, 2007

Over 125 participants of a procession led by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto upon her return to the country lost their lives on Thursday night after two powerful blasts rocked the slow-moving motorcade edging its way past the Karsaz bridge, on Sharea Faisal.

At least 100 people were injured in the explosions.

Former FIA chief Rahman Malik told a private television channel that the explosions clearly targated Ms Benazir’s specially-built vehicle. He added that many top PPP leaders were injured.

Well, it’s probably too early to say who’s responsible. Terrorists, the ISI, who knows… but blaming “Al Quaeda” at this point in time is clearly premature. There are many terrorist groups based in Pakistan, most of them with no AQ links… Benazir Bhutto pointed fingers at the supporters of long dead former president Zia ul Haq, which seems puzzling. I did not know he still had supporters, having been dead since 1988.

Of course, in the short term, this will only increase Ms. Bhutto’s popularity.