For the first time, political motivations overruled science – and wolves were removed from the Endangered Species Act with their “management” turned back to the states: Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and the Great Lakes states.
Since then, it’s been open season on wolves – brutally killing pups, moms and entire families. About 1500 wolves have been murdered after decades of government action to coax their return from near extinction.
And that’s from a population high of 350 wolves in Wyoming, 625 in Montana – about 1600 in the Rockies states – and about 4000 in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. Wolves had returned to just 5% of their original range.
States are required to maintain a population of at least 150 wolves, including 15 breeding pairs, to prevent being put back on the Endangered Species List.
Because of public outrage, the Fish & Wildlife Service has agreed to hold public hearings on their plan to remove wolves from the Endangered Species List in all lower 48 states.
If you care about wolves and the critical role they play in healthy ecosystems, please either attend a meeting (or tell your friends) and submit your comment via email.
Sept. 30 – Washington, D.C.
Oct. 2 – Sacramento, California
Oct. 4 – Albuquerque, New Mexico – this hearing also focuses on reintroducing the Mexican wolf.
Good News for Sharks, TunaHong Kong has released guidelines for food served at government events which specifically bans serving shark fin and bluefin tuna because the fish are so endangered. China’s ban for government events goes into effect in 2015.
Hong Kong is the world’s largest shark fin market, consuming about 50% of the global trade.
“The Government is determined to take the lead and set a good example on this front that goes beyond the minimum expectation as laid down in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),” says a government spokesperson. Using these items arouses international and local concerns, the person says.
“The Government will keep in view the local and international trends on green living in line with a sustainability-conscious lifestyle and update the list of items from time to time,” the spokesman says.
Global shark populations are being decimated by the demand for shark fin soup, responsible for the slaughter of 100 million each year. Fins are torn off sharks and the fish is thrown back into the water to slowly die. Sharks mature slowly and produce few young, making the population very vulnerable to overfishing.
Since 2009, nine countries have established shark preserves to help the species recover and banned the sale, trade and possession of shark fins and products, reports Pew Environment Group. Five species of sharks and manta ray received protection under CITES this year.
The US Congress passed a 2010 law that requires all vessels that catch sharks to bring them to land in tact. That year, Hawaii passed a bill prohibiting possession, sale or distribution of shark fins.Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for Bluefin tuna, possibly the most critically endangered fish in the world, down to a mere 4% of its population. This favored sushi fish continues to be severely overfished (mostly sold to Japan) – with no catch limits in the western Pacific and the very first limits on eastern Pacific fish this year. Juveniles comprise over 90% of the catch for Northern Pacific bluefin.
Just one Pacific bluefin tuna sells for almost $2 million at auctions in Japan. The black market for Eastern Atlantic Bluefin tuna is estimated at $4 billion. Europe finally banned large-scale fishing for bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean and east Atlantic in 2010
“We call on the major countries fishing this species – Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and the United States – to immediately take necessary conservation and management actions for Pacific bluefin,” says Amanda Nickson of Pew Environment Group.
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