Green news for the day:
Aggro over aquaculture. The UN recently called for an increase in fish farming in order to ease pressure on wild stocks, a suggestion not received well by many environmental groups, according to Discover magazine:
Environmental groups say the report appeared to ignore the huge environmental problems posed by fish farms: particularly the need to “hoover up” vast quantities of smaller fish like blue whiting, anchovies, sardines and sand eels, and more recently even krill, to feed the farmed fish [The Guardian]. Critics also worry that water-borne antibiotics and hormones used in fish farms are polluting the ocean, and say that farmed fish are more likely to catch infectious diseases, which escapees can transmit to wild schools.
Earlier this yeah, the WWF announced they will be forming a new council to regulate global standards for responsible seafood farming. As the BBC‘s Richard Black reports, it has caused a bit of a spat amongst environmental groups — the debate centering around the question: “should green groups engage with something that on balance they’d rather not have around, or should they simply campaign against it?”
A coalition of environmental and indigenous groups argue “it will both fail to remedy the environmental problems with industrial aquaculture and exclude from the decision-making process local communities who are most damaged by the industry.”
Are we better off encouraging more but better-regulated fish farming, or trying to abolish the industry altogether?
In other news:
Antelopes under threat. A quarter of the world’s antelope species is under threat of extinction, according to Reuters. Hunting and damage to their habitat has resulted in 25 species as being listed as “endangered”, with the scimitar-horned oryx rated as extinct in the wild and now only existing in captivity.
Coal protesters face chilly reception. Protesters picketed a Washington DC coal plant on Monday in what was billed as “the nation’s largest act of civil disobedience to fight climate change”, with the aim of highlighting the role of coal in global warming, but faced freezing temperatures (oh the irony, etc). Whether the rally was a success seems to depend on who’s reporting it: The Daily Green indicate it was, claiming the event closed the plant; CNN seem pretty neutral but quote a police officer as saying it “didn’t affect the operations of the power plan”; while Fox declared the event a “wet blanket“.