Archive for 09/28/2011

Jakarta Globe – 

A stampede on a docked ferry in Indonesia’s East Java left at least eight dead and dozens injured, an official said on Wednesday. More than 500 passengers panicked when they heard an explosion around dawn aboard the KM Kirana IX, docked at the Tanjung Perak port in the provincial capital of Surabaya.

“The people heard the sound and started rushing off the boat. At least three people have died, we are expecting more, and others have been taken to hospital,” port official Marzuki said.

The vessel’s owner, Bambang Haryo, told Metro TV that the blast occurred inside a truck onboard the ferry, causing a small fire to break out. The cause of the explosion was unknown.

“It was a small fire and it hasn’t caused any damage,” Haryo said.

On Monday, another ferry serving the same route to the city of Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan province on Indonesian Borneo collided with a tugboat and caught fire, killing three and injuring more than 100.

Full story…

Petrina Berry – 

Queensland Environment Minister Vicky Darling says it is up to the national pesticide regulator to look at bans on cancer-causing farm chemicals washing onto the Great Barrier Reef.

A study by scientists in her department have discovered traces of dangerous pesticides up to 50 times the levels deemed safe in waterways flowing onto the reef.

Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) scientists found three chemicals – atrazine, diuron and metachlor – were at toxic levels exceeding national standards for contamination of freshwater ecosystems at eight sites along the Great Barrier Reef coast.

The national chemical regulator, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), is already considering whether to allow the continued use of diuron.

Diuron is a known cancer-causing chemical that has been under review for nine years due to health and environmental concerns.

WWF Australia freshwater program leader Nick Heath says DERM’s study is the “smoking gun” and APVMA must ban diuron immediately.

The DERM team found “these very dangerous pesticides at 50 times the safe level” in rivers draining to the reef, causing concern for the whole ecosystem, Mr Heath said.

“These chemicals basically take out the bottom of the food chain.”

Mr Heath said the study found that diuron accounted for up to 97 per cent of the toxins in Barratta Creek, an important freshwater system in the Burdekin region.

Full story…

Ici.TF1 – 

Entre 1980 et 2010, 32 attaques de requins ont été enregistrées sur les côtes réunionnaises, dont 14 mortelles.

Depuis le début de l’année, les squales sont à l’origine de quatre attaques, dont deux mortelles. La dernière s’est produite le 19 septembre à Saint-Gilles où un moniteur de surf, Mathieu Schiller, 32 ans, a été happé par un requin à une vingtaine de mètres de la plage, suscitant une vive émotion et un début de polémique sur l’absence de mesures de sécurisation.

Malgré plusieurs jours de recherche à l’aide d’importants moyens, son corps n’a pas été retrouvé.

Face à l’émotion, le préfet de la Réunion Michel Lalande a annoncé lundi l’élimination dès cette semaine d’une dizaine de squales appartenant aux espèces les plus dangereuses.

Ces éliminations s’intègrent dans une vaste stratégie de réduction du risque requins “équilibrée et concertée”, a précisé le préfet.

“Le risque requin est un risque endémique à la Réunion et touche tous les pays baignés de mer chaude”, a rappelé M. Lalande. Jugeant “exceptionnelle et difficilement explicable” la concentration d’attaques de requins à Saint-Gilles, la zone la plus touristique de l’île, le préfet a annoncé la mise en place d’une stratégie de réduction de risques à court et long terme.

Toute l’histoire…

Virgil Lopez/Sunnex – 

Ten fishermen who were reportedly caught poaching off Apo Reef Natural Park in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, will soon face criminal charges, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said Thursday.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje issued the directive after a composite patrol team last September 18 caught them fishing and collecting marine products using hook and line without permit.

The Apo Reef is a “no-take zone”, making fishing illegal and punishable under Republic Act (RA) 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System (Nipas) Act of 1992.

“We have to convey to the public that we are serious in our fight against despoilers of our environment, especially of our coral reefs which provide habitat to a diverse species of fish and other marine mammals,” Paje said.

Arrested were a certain Rey Gesihan, Dalmacio dela Cruz, Michael Magayon, Rey Mangao, Marcial Duroy, Portacio Magramo, Rizalito Magayon, and Edrian Ramos, all residents of Barangay Sta. Lucia in Sablayan; Gilbert Celino and JR Collamar of Barangay Buenavista, also in Sablayan.

DENR-Mimaropa Technical Director Edgardo Galeon, of the Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Services, said the fishermen were brought to the Sablayan Municipal Police Station for investigation.

At present, the boats and fishing paraphernalia were seized and placed under the custody of the DENR station in Apo Reef Island pending the outcome of the investigation and charges filed with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

Full story…

BBC News – 

Endurance athlete Diana Nyad is continuing her bid to swim 103 miles (166km) from Cuba to Florida – after stopping to receive medical treatment.

She was given treatment on a support vessel after being stung, apparently by a jellyfish, around her face and eyes.

The 62-year-old set out from the Cuban capital Havana at 18:00 local time (22:00 GMT) on Friday.

The Los Angeles woman is looking to break her own record for open-water swimming without a shark cage. 

Her first attempt at the swim, in August, was cut short by an 11-hour asthma attack.

“She’s back in,” her team posted on her website, adding that she re-entered the water at 12.20 local time (04:20 GMT) on Sunday. “She is accompanied by three shark divers and the swim has resumed,” they wrote.


Earlier, they had posted a message from the International Swim Federation saying that Ms Nyad could continue her record-breaking swim attempt if she had been removed from the water for medical treatment only – and not to rest.

They said that, at just before 20:00 local time, she had been stung “by some kind of presumed jellyfish… her face and eyes and the area around her eyes are affected”.

Full story…

John Konrad – 

Built as the BEWA Discoverer in 1976, the vessel was sold to Adventure Cruises Inc. and renamed the World Discoverer.

The ship was then put on a long term charter to Society Expeditions Cruises. With a double hull construction, the vessel was classed for periodic voyages to Antarctic Peninsula region and carried a fleet of inflatable dinghies allowing passenger to move closer to ice floes for observation.

During the period from November through February, the ship conducted cruises in the Southern Hemisphere and visited places like Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, Chile, Ushuaia, Argentina.

While on a South Pacific cruise through the Soloman Islands’ Sandfly Passage in April 2000, she quickly, and unexpectedly, developed a 20 degree list.

Captain Oliver Kruess sent a distress signal to the Solomon Islands capital Honiara and passenger ferry was dispatched to the ship to transport the passengers to safety.

All escaped without injury. The captain then brought the ship into Roderick Bay after the ship began to list 20 degrees and grounded it to avoid sinking. After an underwater survey of the ship, the World Discoverer was declared a “constructive loss” and has remained in Roderick Bay ever since.

There were no reports of any oil, petroleum or other pollutant spills as a result of the impact and no reports on how much pollutant remains in her hull.

Full story…