Open Letter to the Honorable Premier of Western Australia, Mr. Colin Barnett
Dear Mr. Premier,
I’m writing to you about the Australian Shark Cull Policy, which targets various shark species, including the endangered great white. This policy was initiated late last year following a spate of fatal attacks in 2011. Despite widespread criticism in Australia, you have refused to back down, claiming your catch-and-kill policy is justified. Continue reading “Open Letter: Aussies Stop Killing The Great White Shark”
It’s amazing to see the changes that have taken place in the last six months, on the the Bot River Estuary.
Everywhere the banks of the estuary are taking on a more beach-like appearance. On clean white sand, sea shells, sea weed, red-bait and cuttlefish are in evidence. The water tastes salty and it’s not unusual to see large shoals of tiny fish being preyed upon by diving sea birds, kestrels and duikers. Continue reading “Dramatic Changes On The Banks Of The Bot River Estuary”
Here on the southern tip of Africa it’s 7:50pm and the sun is sinking on the beautiful Bot River Estuary.
One can just make out the estuary mouth at extreme left on the horizon. The estuary mouth remains closed to the sea for long periods, sometimes years, before it opens naturally to start a new breeding cycle for the many species of fish that populate the estuary.
One beautiful sunny morning, a few days ago, while walking the long stretch of beach named Grotto Beach near Voëlklip on the Hermanus coastline, I came across this amazing sight — the after-birth of a Southern Right Whale, washed up on the beach. At least, that’s what I think it was.
The whale that is seen most often in Walker Bay is the Southern Right Whale, so my assumption is that it once belonged to a Southern Right. However, other species do make an appearance occasionally so one can’t be certain.
It seems that Fishing in the Bot River Estuary, one of the largest estuaries in the Cape Province, is not as straight forward as one would think.
This vast expanse of water is the subject of a study carried out by researchers of the Department of Zoology at the University of Cape Town in the mid 1980’s. The estuary teems with over 32 varieties of fish.
On Thursday this week a nationwide class action lawsuit was settled. The historic Keepseagle settlement agreement requires the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to pay $680 million in damages to thousands of Native Americans and to forgive up to $80 million in outstanding farm loan debt.
The Indians filed the Keepseagle class action lawsuit 11 years ago. They alleged that for three decades Native American farmers were denied the opportunity to obtain low-interest rate loans and loan servicing from the USDA. The Indians alleged that this resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in economic losses for Indian farmers. They said that these loans were given instead to their white neighbors. Continue reading “Native Indian Class Action Lawsuit Scores $680 Million From USDA”
With the Earth’s population exploding and nearly every arable acre already cultivated, the future of farming is a looming concern. For inspiration science is looking to the leaf-cutter ant which has mastered single crop agriculture and represents the apex of ant agriculture.
Monoculture crops are the rule in modern agriculture. This is why modern crops are especially vulnerable to disease. A pathogen that can infect one plant will likely be infectious to the rest.
Today at sunset I strolled down to the “lagoon” otherwise known as the Bot River Estuary. Lo and behold, the wild horses were grazing on the grassy banks in the distance about 200 meters (650 feet) away.
The Bot River Estuary lies at the edge of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve near Hermanus in the Western Cape of South Africa. Fortunately I had my camera with me and I decided to get nearer and take some photos. As I approached them the three stallions in the herd watched me carefully before deciding that I was not a threat. In the fading light I was able to take a few — uploaded here for your enjoyment. Continue reading “Wild Horses at Sunset on the Bot River Estuary”
In South Africa, home to 90% of the world’s population of rhinos, a war against internationally funded rhino poachers is losing ground.
Last year 333 were killed, nearly half of them in the Kruger National Park. The year before that it was 209. The year before that, in 2008, the total jumped to a staggering 83 rhinos from a previous year total of only 17. The accelerating numbers are a real cause for concern. In the first three months of 2011 it’s already reached 81. This is in spite of some rigorous countermeasures. Continue reading “Rhino Massacre in South Africa Continues”