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Sea Shephard Halts Japanese Whaling Fleet

“The factory ship (Nisshin Maru) turned on their water cannons and were surprised when the Steve Irwin responded with a more powerful water cannon that had a couple of the whalers diving for the bridge doors,” said the group.

The Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker have successfully escorted the Japanese whaling fleet out of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

After repeated orders from Sea Shepherd to desist their illegal activities and remove themselves from the Southern Ocean Whaling fleet, the Nisshin Maru, Yushin Maru, Yushin Maru #2 and Shonan Maru #2 have crossed north of sixty degrees and continue to head North by Northwest.

“We did not actually expect them to follow our orders to quit the Whale Sanctuary but they have indeed exited and are now running outside the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.” Said Captain Paul Watson. “They have not killed a single whale since February 5th. We intend to turn four whaling free days into weeks.”

At 0500 Hours on February 7th the Nisshin Maru was intercepted by the Steve Irwin at 64 Degrees 2 Minutes South and 80 Degrees 11 Minutes East. The whaling fleet then ran Northeast for 95 miles on a course of 060 Degrees and then changed course at 1600 Hours on February 7th to 260 Degrees began to run Northwest for 260 miles. The whaling fleet left the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary at 1830 Hours (Sydney Time) at 60 Degrees South and 77 Degrees East. (February 9th, 2010)

The Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin and Bob Barker continue to chase the Japanese whaling fleet.

“We intend to keep on their tail and to prevent any whaling operations for as long as our fuel reserves last and that should be for another few weeks at least,” Said Bob Barker captain Chuck Swift.

The Sea Shepherd ships are with the entire whaling fleet except the Yushin Maru #3. That ship has not been seen since the collision with the Bob Barker on February 6th.

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Landmark Climate Change Report

United Nations — The great weight of science still supports the findings in a landmark 2007 report from a United Nations-backed panel of experts that global warming is man-made, the head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said today following recent attacks from climate change sceptics over a mistake in the assessment.

Defending the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) against criticism for a mistake made in its 2007 report over the rate at which the Himalayan glaciers would melt, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said that the panel has drawn upon the expertise of thousands of the best scientific minds for some 22 years.

“It is quite right to pinpoint errors, make corrections, and check and re-check sources for accuracy and credibility,” Mr. Steiner wrote in an opinion piece published in Turkey’s English-language Today’s Zaman.

However, the “time has really come for a reality check,” said Mr. Steiner, noting that the IPCC has acknowledged the need for stringent and transparent quality-control procedures to minimize any such risks in future reports.

“The overwhelming evidence now indicates that greenhouse-gas emissions need to peak within the next decade if we are to have any reasonable chance of keeping the global rise in temperature down to manageable levels,” he said.

“Any delay may generate environmental and economic risks of a magnitude that proves impossible to handle.”

Mr. Steiner warned that even without climate change the fact remains that a global transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient future is necessary, given the world’s population is rise from 6 billion to 9 billion in the next 50 years.

“We need to improve management of our atmosphere, air, lands, soils, and oceans anyway,” he said. “What is needed is an urgent international response to the multiple challenges of energy security, air pollution, natural-resource management, and climate change.”

He concluded that rather than undermining the IPCC’s work, efforts should be re-doubled to support its task in assembling the science and knowledge for the fifth assessment report in 2014.

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Invasive Alien Species: Zebra Mussels

Zebra Mussels Invade Lough Bresk
Northern Ireland Environment Agency

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency confirmed that the Zebra Mussel, has been found for the first time at Lough Bresk, County Fermanagh. The first sighting in Northern Ireland was in 1994 at Lough Erne and they have since been reported in Lough Neagh. Zebra Mussel’s have significantly altered fish communities in Lough Erne and are a major risk to the future of some freshwater fisheries.

The Most Unwanted
Zebra Mussels

The zebra mussel is a stripey, freshwater mussel native to Eastern Europe. They spread naturally in water currents within connected lakes and river systems. Outside connected waterways they are spread mainly by recreational activities such as boating and fishing.

They form large colonies that attach to almost any hard surface such as rocks, boat hulls and jetties. Northern Ireland is one of the most recent regions to have been invaded by Zebra Mussels. They originate from the Caspian and Black Sea and spread across canal networks in Europe in the late 18th century, reaching England by 1824 They didn’t arrive in Ireland until 1994, and spread rapidly throughout the Shannon-Erne waterway and connected navigable water bodies. In 2005, they were found in Lough Neagh.

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