The next six months are shaping as a grim time for the environment based on recent events.
While Julia Gillard and Christine Milne duke it out over jobs or the environment, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke appears to have lost his reformist urge and has been overwhelmed by his attempts to reconcile the schizophrenic impulses of his party.
Which at times wants to be seen as the friend of the planet, or the workers, but never the same thing at any one time.
In light of yesterday’s hilarious blobfish image on Tory Shepherd’s story, The Punch team couldn’t stop looking at pictures of blubbery fish yesterday.
So here’s something a bit different.
It’s Wednesday! What’s on those minds of yours?
The decision to allow the super trawler Margiris to fish in Australian waters has aroused a wave of opposition.
A coalition of environment groups has taken out a full page ad in The Australian. A flotilla of over 200 boats sailed up the Derwent River in protest. A 35,000 signature petition opposing the trawler has been presented to Parliament, and in a recent reader poll in the Adelaide Advertiser, 92 per cent of respondents were opposed to the ship being allowed to fish in Australian waters. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has referred to issue to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
The opposition is not surprising. It’s hard to believe the huge nets of the factory ship won’t trap large quantities of by-catch, unwanted species which usually die before they are released. The trawler could locally deplete the fish population, reducing the food available to southern bluefin tuna, dophins and seals in certain locations.
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Puns abounded after a PR stunt involving goldfish went totally belly up this week. Advantage SA sent 55 live goldfish to clients around the country, urging them to “test the water and be the big fish in a small pond” in Adelaide. But, Mumbrella reported, at least some of the fish were DOA.
It’s the sort of story that will probably end up in marketing textbooks. Someone probably got their arse kicked. CEO Karen Raffen sounded genuinely apologetic on radio. No one was insensitive enough to crack jokes about Adelaide as the murder capital of the world, but that’s just a matter of time.
Advantage SA’s mea culpa included the promise of donations to the Animal Welfare League and the RSPCA to make amends for any distress caused to the fish. Begging the question: Since when did we, as a society, care about fish?
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Is the end nigh?
After all, 100,000 fish have washed up dead in Arkansas; 5,000 red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky on New Year’s Eve in the community of Beebe, northeast of Little Rock; 500 dead birds were discovered in Louisiana; 100 jackdaw birds were found lying dead in the street in Sweden; several hundred birds found dead in Kentucky; 100s of dead snapper wash up on a beach in New Zealand; 40,000 dead crabs wash up on the beach in the UK; an estimated 200 fish wash up on the shores in Maryland; 100 tonnes of sardines are found on beaches in Brazil.
Finally, in possibly the strangest turn of events of recent times, North Korean state television broadcast the first ever Western movie to be shown in the dictatorial state- and chose Bend It Like Beckham.
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We need marine parks.
That very statement is going to land me in hot water with thousands of Australian recreational anglers, whose pasttime, and in some cases livelihood, is under genuine threat from the implementation of marine sanctuaries and no-fishing zones around the country.
I say it, though, to make it known right off the bat that I am an environmentalist, and have been a Greens voter in the past. You won’t find many anglers who believe that protecting our oceans isn’t crucial, and it is in this sense the truth has been lost in an ongoing heated debate.
The ‘us and them’ battle for access to fishing spots has painted us bloodthirsty murderers and the Marine Parks Authority as knights in shining green armour.
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People are discovering that food costs are soaring, electricity and government charges including water charges are on the increase and many families are needing to find savings in the family budget.
If recent reports by the United Nations are any indication then the savings can come from this unexpected phenomenon.
The worlwide non-profit initiative to promote Meatless Mondays and Fishless Fridays is encouraging the voluntary rationing of certain foods. This is not new as rationing was common practice during both World Wars.
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Up to the minute Twitter chatter
@Kittu64 That's true. Pretty sure I referred to "high salaried" women.
@michelangeloruc not at all mate it is a great story and photo
@nswpolice very polite and helpful officers manning the Pyrmont road closures this morning
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