Senate President Pete P. Reyes has introduced a bill calling for the preservation of natural resources in the Northern Islands.
Senate Bill 16-32, which creates a “Northern Islands Commonwealth Conservation Area,” is seen as a response to the marine monument proposal for the Marianas' northernmost islands.
In his bill, Reyes said it is necessary to reaffirm the constitutional protection of the northern islands because “recently people have called into question the Commonwealth's dedication to environmental stewardship.”
Pew Charitable Trusts, a not-for-profit organization, is lobbying for the designation of a Mariana Trench Marine National Monument around the islands of Uracas, Maug, and Asuncion.
The Fitial administration and the Legislature have publicly opposed the proposal, citing concerns about the CNMI's future ability to fish and utilize other resources available in the islands.
“We have been 'federalized' enough. We don't need any more people coming in and telling us how we should manage our natural resources,” said Reyes, alluding to the recent passage of a law allowing the federal government to seize control of the CNMI immigration.
Reyes said that his bill, which mainly codifies what's already in the Constitution, has the same intent as that of the Pew proposal: to protect the environment.
“Rather than giving up one-third of our land to the federal government's control, why not protect it ourselves? We can accomplish the same thing and maintain control at the same time,” he added.
Angelo Villagomez, a local coordinator of Pew Charitable Trusts, said he welcomes all conservation efforts in the community. But he pointed out that a national marine monument declaration could offer much more environmental protection than the local measure could.
“This bill is different from the Mariana Trench Marine Monument proposal in that it only pertains to the emergent lands. There is language in the bill about submerged lands, but that issue has already been resolved. This bill has the potential to work in conjunction with the Marine Monument proposal to protect both the land and the water,” Villagomez said.
He praised a provision in the bill that would create a conservation fund. But he said the language should be strengthened to keep the money in the fund from being used for non-conservation purposes.
Villagomez also urged the Senate to hold public hearings on the bill, as the Pew group has done since March, to allow for community input.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Senate President Pete P. Reyes has introduced a bill calling for the preservation of natural resources in the Northern Islands.
In a surprising new development, George Bush and members of his administration have been given the opportunity to oversee one of the largest conservation programs in history.
If launched, the program could protect vast stretches of U.S. territorial waters from fishing, oil exploration and other forms of commercial development. The initiative could also create some of the largest marine reserves in the world — far larger than national parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon.
While the details of the possible initiative are still “under review,” the idea seems to be drawing strong supposrt from those who have typically been very critical of the Bush camp and its policies.
Conservationists say that White House Council on Environmental Quality officials invited a small number of ocean advocates to an unusual, closed-door meeting to discuss the idea last year. The CEQ asked them to help identify potential reserves in waters within the United States’ “exclusive economic zone,” which extends 200 nautical miles out from the mainland and U.S.-owned islands around the world.
The idea, says Jack Sobel, a senior scientist for the Ocean Conservancy, was to highlight areas where President Bush could create “marine monuments” under the Antiquities Act of 1906. It seem s that political conniving may have its uses, because this law gives the president broad powers to protect areas of “historic or scientific interest” without congressional approval.
The groups eventually developed a “wish list” that included about 30 potential marine monuments. They ranged from small reserves in U.S. coastal waters to vast swaths around U.S. territories in the Central Pacific. The candidates stretched “from Bar Harbor, Maine, to Dutch Harbor, Alaska” and beyond, says Jay Nelson of the Washington-based Pew Environment Group.
The final list, which has now been shortened to about 5 by the White House, has not yet been released to the public. However, some of the leading nominees have been identified.
The biggest proposal is the protection of more than 600,000 square miles around a number of small, mostly uninhabited islands in the Central Pacific. The islands — including Palmyra, Howland and Baker — are surrounded by biologically rich coral reefs and are home to huge seabird colonies. If implemented, the reserve would be among the largest in the world and about three times as large as the Hawaiian monument.
Another proposal calls for protecting more than 100,000 square miles of notoriously rough waters around the Northern Mariana Islands, in the Western Pacific. The area includes the 36,000-foot-deep Marianas Trench.
What is most astounding is the possibility of Bush becoming the “Teddy Roosevelt of the Seas,” a title that he would ultimately earn if the programs succeed. A bit late in his career as commander-in-chief, the Bush programs would aim to create a “blue legacy,” most likely to balance out the other rather unfortunate trails that Bush will leave behind when he leaves office in January of next year.
Better late than never, right?
Friday, May 23, 2008
(NPR.org, May 23, 2008) The Bush administration is considering launching one of the biggest conservation programs in U.S. history.
If implemented, President George W. Bush could, with the stroke of a pen, protect vast stretches of U.S. territorial waters from fishing, oil exploration and other forms of commercial development. The initiative could also create some of the largest marine reserves in the world — far larger than national parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon. More...
WASHINGTON, May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a letter sent
yesterday, Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina asked President George
W. Bush to protect the unique deep sea coral reefs off the South Carolina
coast by establishing the area as a marine national monument. These
spectacular, but largely unexplored, reefs cover an area nearly the size of
South Carolina and stretch from North Carolina to Florida.
"This deepwater coral ecosystem constitutes a national treasure on par
with Yosemite Valley and the Northwest Hawaiian Islands in its beauty and
deserves protection," wrote Governor Sanford in the letter to the
The governor was backed by 121 marine scientists who today released a
letter calling on the president to "expand protection for these corals and
commit the necessary resources to understand this important and vulnerable
"It's impossible to overstate how spectacular this area is and that's
why Governor Sanford's action is so important and visionary," said Dr. Doug
Rader, a marine biologist with Environmental Defense Fund. "Scientists have
only recently come to realize just how unusual these coral reefs are. We
now know that the reefs are one of the most important areas in the world
for marine life. There's nothing else like it and it's in our own
The fragile nature of these slow-growing and long-lived corals makes
them highly vulnerable to disturbance. Preserving these reefs - thriving
since our forefathers first entered this land - will provide a safe haven
that will help them adapt to the changing oceans and ensure their survival
for our grandchildren and great grandchildren.
"Every time we visit the reefs we see places no human has ever seen
before, and find new species," said Dr. Steve Ross, a researcher at the
University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Ross leads expeditions to the
reefs using submarines especially equipped to handle the intense pressures
of the deep ocean. "We now believe that worldwide deepwater corals cover
more area than shallow-water corals, and that the world's greatest
concentrations of deepwater corals exists here off the U.S. Southeast."
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is working with the
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to provide partial protection for
this coral ecosystem using existing authority. A monument designation would
support this process and extend durable, long-lasting protections. This is
an important step that will allow non-damaging fishing to continue while
preserving the unique coral habitats.
"What a legacy Governor Sanford would leave if the president agrees
with his request to permanently protect this magnificent system of towering
corals and exotic fish," said Nancy Vinson, program director at the Coastal
Many of the coral reefs lie 1,000 feet or more below the ocean's
surface. Some of the coral colonies may be more than 2,000 years old and
some coral mounds may be more than one million years old.
"From a scientific point of view, we've struck it rich - we've found a
treasure trove of marine biodiversity that we didn't know existed until
fairly recently," said Dr. Lance Morgan, Chief Scientist, Marine
Conservation Biology Institute. "With adequate protection, scientists will
be busy for decades finding new species and unlocking the secrets of these
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WASHINGTON - Carbon dioxide spewed by human activities has made ocean water so acidic that it is eating away at the shells and skeletons of starfish, coral, clams and other sea creatures, scientists said on Thursday.
Marine researchers knew that ocean acidification, as it's called, was occurring in deep water far from land. What they called "truly astonishing" was the appearance of this damaging phenomenon on the Pacific North American continental shelf, stretching from Mexico to Canada.
"This means that ocean acidification may be seriously impacting our marine life on our continental shelf right now, today," said Richard Feely of the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, part of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Other continental shelf regions around the world are likely to face the same fate, he said.
Plenty of natural activities, including human breath, send the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but for the last 200 years or so, industrial processes that involve the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum have pushed emissions higher.
Oceans have long been repositories for the carbon dioxide, absorbing some 525 billion tonnes of the climate-warming substance over the last two centuries -- about one-third of all human-generated carbon dioxide for that period.
But the daily absorption of 22 million tonnes of the stuff has changed the chemistry and biology of the oceans, turning it corrosive and making it difficult or impossible for some animals to produce their calcium carbonate shells and skeletons, the researchers said.
CHURNING OCEAN WATERS
This change has been observed over the last three decades, the scientists said in research published in the journal Science.
The acidic waters are coming up onto the continental shelf -- the shallow area near a big land mass like North America -- because of a long-term churning ocean pattern that moves cold deep water up toward the surface in the spring and summer, the scientists said.
The carbon-loaded waters that are now near the US West Coast took about 50 years to get there, starting somewhere on the ocean surface and absorbing their share of carbon dioxide, then sinking deep down and eventually welling upward.
The natural process called ocean respiration could not explain the high levels of carbon dioxide that caused the corrosive water the scientists found on the continental shelf; the addition of human-generated carbon dioxide did.
This acidic water is corroding the shells of clams, mussels, starfish and the free-floating sea-snails called pterapods that nourish young salmon, the researchers said, citing data from a 2007 research cruise.
Corrosion occurred in water that absorbed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in 1957, when levels of this gas were considerably lower than they are now, the researchers said.
"This means that even if we were to stop instantaneously the current rate of rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the corrosivity of these upwelling waters would increase for the next 50 years," said Burke Hales, a professor of chemical oceanography at Oregon State University.
(Editing by Will Dunham and Philip Barbara)
Story by Deborah Zabarenko
HONOLULU (AP) — Once hunted to the brink of extinction, humpback whales have made a dramatic comeback in the North Pacific Ocean over the past four decades, a new study says.
The study released Thursday by SPLASH, an international organization of more than 400 whale watchers, estimates there were between 18,000 and 20,000 of the majestic mammals in the North Pacific in 2004-2006.
Their population had dwindled to less than 1,500 before hunting of humpbacks was banned worldwide in 1966.
"It's not a complete success, but it's definitely very encouraging in terms of the recovery of the species," said Jeff Walters, co-manager of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
The study, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is the most comprehensive analysis ever of any large whale population, said David Mattila, science coordinator for the sanctuary.
At least half of the humpback whales migrate between Alaska and Hawaii, and that population is the healthiest, Mattila said.
But isolated populations that migrate from Japan and the Philippines to Russia are taking a longer to recover after whaling operations ceased, he said.
"Whales are long-lived and give birth one at a time .... so if the population gets pushed too low, it may take quite awhile to come back. Maybe that's what's happening in the west," Mattila said.
The whales are protected under federal laws that include the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Their resurgence could spark a debate over whether they should still be considered endangered, said Naomi McIntosh, superintendent for the humpback sanctuary.
"Those discussions are bound to happen, and we knew that going into the study, we anticipated it," she said. "I think it's too early to make that call."
The number of collisions between whales and boats has been increasing, probably because the population is larger, Walters said. Whale entanglements in marine debris, fishing gear and aquaculture structures also are a growing concern.
The whale count was made based on data collected from Hawaii, Mexico, Asia, Central America, Russia, the Aleutians, Canada and the United States' northwest coast.
The study used a system of photographing whale flukes — the lobes of a whale's tail — in six different feeding and breeding areas around the world, and then matching the pictures with whale flukes photographed in wintering areas.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
By Gemma Q. Casas
Variety News Staff
AN environmentalist from Hawaii says the CNMI people should put more weight on the pride that the proposed marine monument comprising the northern islands of Maug, Asuncion and Uracas would bring to their islands, rather than on the economic benefits that might be reaped from the yet to be established fishing industry.
William L. Aila Jr., harbor agent at Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources-Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, said there’s been some misinformation spread around the CNMI about how the Hawaiians perceived their own marine monument.
“There have been certain misrepresentations here in the Northern Marianas that the Hawaiians did not support the monument project. We’ve come here to set the record straight and talk about the benefits of the Papahânaumokuâkea Marine National Monument, formerly known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. It is the largest marine sanctuary in the world,” he said.
If the CNMI agrees to turn its three uninhabited northernmost islands as another marine sanctuary, it will become the second largest in the world.
“It should bring the people of the CNMI a higher level of pride because you have protected a very pristine area adjacent to and including the Marianas Trench which is one of the wonders of the world,” Aila said.
Discovered in 1951 by the Royal Navy, the Marianas Trench is the deepest in the world with a maximum depth of about 6.8 miles.
“The money should be really secondary though. I mean the idea of recognizing a resource that you only have and the protection of that resource for future generations really should be the driving force and the economics as good as it should be just secondary,” Ailas said.
The visiting Hawaiian environmentalist said the CNMI government’s argument that the project is bad for the local fishing industry has no basis at this time.
“There’s no fishing industry going out there now. There’s nothing to lose. There’s no additional layer of federal jurisdiction because the federal government already claims the high water marks up to 200 miles. And in fact the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council has already been managing that area,” said Aila.
Thomas Iverson, economics professor of the University of Guam, said there are indirect and direct economic benefits if the CNMI agree to declare its three islands as a marine sanctuary.
“There would be some federal jobs and some local jobs. Whenever you have new money coming into the system people also spend them into the economy, to the businesses,” he added.
He said there are also foreseen benefits on the islands’ tourism industry as well as for commercial fishing if the three islands are declared a sanctuary.
“My understanding is that the deep-sea fish is particularly in need of protection because of their lifespan. The sanctuaries would give that indirect benefit. And there’s a benefit that comes to the commercial fishing outside of the protected areas as well,” he said.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Pacific Means Business And Bans High Seas Tuna Fishing: Greenpeace
Wednesday: May 21, 2008
Greenpeace has applauded a decision to ban tuna fishing in high seas areas, as a landmark for tuna conservation and biodiversity protection by the eight Pacific Island Countries of the Palau Nauru Agreement (PNA) group meeting in Palau this week
Foreign fishing vessels will not be allowed to fish in the two major high seas pockets in the Pacific. The first is north of Papua New Guinea, its boundary shared by the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau. The boundary of the larger second area is shared by PNG, Nauru, Marshall Islands, FSM, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands.
Foreign fishing boats will also be required to retain their full catches, regardless of whether or not they are tuna stock and to carry observers onboard at all times.
The use of Fishing Aggregation Devices (FADs), a device used to intensify overfishing will be banned in the third quarter of each year. An agreement formalizing these measures will be in force from June 15, 2008.
“This is a historical moment for the Pacific, its people, and the health of biodiversity of the seas,” said Lagi Toribau Greenpeace Australia Pacific Oceans Campaigner.
“We also commend the unwavering support of Cook Islands and Vanuatu in continuing to back the PNA measures and urge the remaining Forum Fisheries Agency member countries to stand together on this front.”
Toribau said the Pacific region means business.
“Distant water fishing nations (DWFN’s) like Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China that have resisted the protection of the regions tuna stocks at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) need to respect this bold but necessary move and adopt similar measures,” he said.
The Director of Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Asterio Takesy commended the new measures: “this is indeed a defining moment for fisheries conservation in our region and a giant step in the right direction for the sake of our present generation and generations to come. As a fellow Pacific Islander I am proud of you. As Director of SPREP, with all due respect I humbly urge you the rest of FFA members to follow suit.”
The scientific update also informed the countries that for the two key stocks, yellowfin now has a higher risk of overfishing while the bigeye stocks already has overfishing occurring.
Next week the global Conference of Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) will start in Bonn Germany and the criteria for the establishment of a worldwide network of Marine Reserves will be discussed.
“Once we begin to see the value in no longer fishing in High Seas areas, it is only a matter of time before they can be proclaimed as Marine Reserves” said Seni Nabou, Greenpeace Pacific Political Advisor who will be at the meeting.
Parties to the Convention on Biological diversity have committed to create a worldwide network of marine protected areas by 2012. But there are no such reserves in international waters yet, and less than 1% of the world’s oceans are adequately protected. Implementation of the Pacific commitment can start now and these areas can be officially closed this year.
“The Pacific has shown that even though our countries are large ocean states with limited capacity, we continue to lead the way in defining how our traditional conservation worldviews can and should shape both fisheries and biodiversity policies. Pacific countries now need the support of the rest of the world for this bold proposal,” said Nabou.
The number of monk seals born on Oahu in a year hits a record
Two monk seals were born this week on Oahu, delivering a new record -- three -- for seals born within a year on the island, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The young seals also raised the total number of pups born in the main Hawaiian Islands since the beginning of the year to 10, compared to seven at this time last year, which saw a total of 13 newborn pups.
"This is going to be a busy pupping season," said Tracy Wurth, monk seal sighting coordinator for the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Region, in a news release. "We are expecting several more births in the coming months as we have already identified several pregnant females out there."
Endangered monk seals, which have a population estimated at fewer than 1,200, usually give birth between February and July, with a peak between April and June.
Previously, the record for pups born in one year on Oahu was two.
On Wednesday, a seal gave birth to a pup at a North Shore beach and both appeared to be behaving normally. The pup's sex has not been determined yet, the release said.
Two days earlier, another monk seal gave birth to a male pup at an undisclosed beach on the North Shore. That pup appears to be doing well, the release said.
The same female gave birth to a seal on the North shore in 2006, prompting more than 40 volunteers to keep watch over the pair for seven weeks until the pup was weaned. A few months later, however, the pup died in a gill net off Rabbit Island.
The first pup this year was born on Rabbit Island, the news release said.
As for the newborn pup abandoned by its mother on Kauai on May 2, it continues to do well, weighing in at 37 pounds. Since scientists took him into custody nearly two weeks ago, he has gained about 5 pounds.
The pup was active, swimming in a pool at the NOAA Fisheries Kewalo Research Facility, said NOAA spokeswoman Wende Goo.
Humans blamed for sharp drop in wildlife
- Story Highlights
- The world's wildlife has declined by 27 percent since 1970 because of humans
- WWF: Terrestrial, freshwater, marine species all under threat
- Pollution and overall climate change are other factors causing loss of wildlife
(CNN) -- The world's wildlife has declined by 27 percent since 1970 because of the human impact on the environment, the World Wildlife Fund said Friday.
The WWF's latest Living Planet Index shows terrestrial, freshwater and marine species all suffered declines in their populations between 1970 and 2005, with freshwater species experiencing the biggest drop.
The index is included in a report called "2010 and Beyond: Rising to the Biodiversity Challenge," which the WWF prepared for an international biodiversity conference in Germany later this month.
"No one can escape the impact of biodiversity loss because reduced global diversity translates quite clearly into fewer new medicines, greater vulnerability to natural disasters, and greater effects from global warming," said James Leape, director-general of WWF International.
The Living Planet Index measured 4,000 populations of 1,477 vertebrate species, which the WWF says is a good indicator of overall biodiversity trends.
Terrestrial species in both temperate and tropical areas fell by an average of 25 percent during the 35-year period, the WWF said.
Marine species fell by 28 percent in the same period, with a dramatic decline between 1995 and 2005, the WWF said.
"Many marine ecosystems are changing rapidly under human influence, and one recent study estimates that more than 40 percent of the world's ocean area is strongly affected by human activities while few areas remain untouched," the WWF report said.
Freshwater species in both temperate and tropical regions fell by 29 percent between 1970 and 2003. The WWF said that is especially significant because despite covering only about 1 percent of the total land surface of the planet, inland waters are home to more than 40,000 vertebrate species.
In tropical regions, freshwater species were especially hard-hit; the index shows they suffered a 35-percent drop between 1970 and 2000.
The WWF said it had insufficient data to chart tropical freshwater species beyond 2000 and temperate freshwater species beyond 2003.
The causes of the declines are varied but ultimately stem from human demands on the biosphere, such as consumption of natural resources or the displacement of ecosystems, the WWF said.
The dominant threat to marine life is overexploitation -- harvesting or killing animals or plants beyond the species' capacity to replace itself, the WWF said. Overfishing is one example.
Overexploitation is also a threat to terrestrial species, according to the report, which cites the hunting of tropical forest mammals. Overharvesting of timber is also a major factor, it said.
Invasive species, whether introduced deliberately or not, are another threat, especially in freshwater ecosystems, where they are thought to be the main cause of extinction among endemic species, the WWF said.
Pollution and overall climate change are other factors causing a loss of biodiversity, it said.
The WWF called on governments attending this month's conference to take urgent action to reduce the rate of loss by 2010.
It wants governments to establish protected areas, particularly those areas important for food security, water supply, medicine, and disaster mitigation, and to commit to zero deforestation by 2020.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
By NATALIE ANGIER
I was about to meet a walrus for the first time in my life, and I felt fabulous. After all, Ronald J. Schusterman of the University of California, Santa Cruz, who has studied them for years, had assured me over the phone that to meet a walrus was to fall in love with walruses — the mammals were that smart, friendly and playful. “They’re pussycats!” he said.
Just as we were entering the walrus house at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif., however, Dr. Schusterman tossed out a bit of advice. “The first thing the walruses will do when they come over is start pushing at you, pressing their heads right into your stomach,” he said. “Don’t let them get away with that. No matter how hard they push, you have to stand your ground.”
I stopped short, confused.
“If you don’t stand your ground, you’ll be knocked over or backed against a wall in no time,” Dr. Schusterman said.
But but ... I sputtered. How was I supposed to stand my ground against an animal the size of a Honda Civic? This sounded less like “friendly and playful” than “aggressive and possibly dangerous.”
“Just push back on the snout with the palm of your hand and blow in its face,” Dr. Schusterman instructed. “A walrus really likes to be blown in the face.”
But suddenly there I was in the pen, time expanding as I watched Sivuqaq, a 2,200-pound adult male, roll toward me like a gelatinous, mustachioed boulder and head straight for my solar plexus. Somehow, either out of professional pride or rigid terror, I managed to stay standing and stuck out my palm; when Sivuqaq nuzzled against it, all my fears fell away. I stroked his splendid vibrissae, the stiff, sensitive whiskers that a walrus uses to search for bivalves through the seabed’s dark murk, and that feel like slender tubes of bamboo. Then I blew in his face, and he half-closed his eyes, and I huffed and puffed harder and he leaned into my breath, all the while bleating and grunting and snorting for more.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Early yesterday morning NOAA Fisheries dispatched a team of recovery experts to follow up on reports of an abandoned monk seal pup in a remote area on Kaua'i.
Spokeswoman Wende Goo said that when the team arrived they found the pup alone on the beach and estimated that the pup is a male about one to two days old. Shortly afterwards, a female and male joined the pup. Attempts to reintroduce the pup to the female were unsuccessful as she exhibited aggressive behavior toward the pup and seemed more interested in the presence of the male. This female is the same one that abandoned a pup last year at about this time in the same location. The recovery team determined that the pup, if left alone, would have no chance of survival and made arrangements to transport it to O'ahu for captive care rehabilitation. As they have done in the past, the U.S. Coast Guard provided transportation for the animal from Kaua'i to O'ahu on a C-130 early this afternoon.
A baby Hawaiian monk seal abandoned by its mother on Kaua'i is eating well and maintaining its weight, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said yesterday.
The team caring for the newborn seal said he remains in stable condition, said Wende Goo, a NOAA spokeswoman.
"He's moving around and pooping a lot," Goo said. "Although this is good news, NOAA Fisheries remains guardedly optimistic about his chances."
The seal pup was found last week on a beach in a remote area of Kauai's North Shore. A team arrived and found the pup alone. A male and female monk seal joined the pup but attempts to get the female to accept the pup were unsuccessful.
By Brianne Randle - KOHN Channel 2
At only twenty-four hours old, this pup was living the island life. Just him and his mom.
"At first when we put them together they touched nose to nose, and we were hoping that there would be that bond there," says David Schofield, Marine Mammal Response Coordinator.
That hope soon dwindled.
"Then the mother started biting the pup on the head," says Schofield.
And aggression turned into abandonment.
Read more and watch video.
May 05, 2008 06:22 PM
The youngest monk seal pup ever rescued from the wild is being cared for by Hawaii marine experts on Oahu.
They are giving the newborn a 50 percent chance of survival.
He's vocal but still very weak. This baby monk seal, just 5 days old is being kept in quarantine because he is suseptible to infection.
"It's in really critical shape right now, this is a critical time because it doesn't have a strong immune system," said Charles Littnan, NOAA Fisheries, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.
The pup was rescued on a remote Kauai beach after his mother abandoned him.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
MONTREAL — The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization will assess the impact of bottom trawling on several fishing grounds outside Canada's 200-mile limit and close them if it finds the fishing method harms vulnerable sea life, the fisheries management group announced Wednesday.
Environmentalists at a NAFO meeting in Montreal praised the decision after years of arguing that bottom trawling or dragging destroys corals, sea mounts, sponges and other marine life and habitat. More...