Tag: Suffering

Breaking! Whale Entanglement Prevention Act Aims To End The Suffering & Death Of Endangered Marine Life Off The Coast Of California

This week, Assemblymember Rob Bonta, along with co-sponsors Social Compassion in Legislation and The Center for Biological Diversity introduced AB 534, The Whale Entanglement Prevention Act.

The measure was created because of changing ocean conditions and the fact that while California has long been a leader in wildlife conservation and sustainable fishing operations, the crabbing industry continues to use antiquated trapping gear that needlessly kills and injures critically endangered whales, sea turtles, and other marine species.

This critical bill will require the California Dungeness crabbing industry, and other trap fisheries, to use ropeless gear by November 1, 2025, effectively making California a leader in whale protection.

“California is a global leader in technology and innovation, yet we continue to trap crabs with archaic technology that puts our cherished marine wildlife at risk,” Assemblymember Bonta said in a statement sent to WAN. “As we move into the future, we can have both productive crabbing operations and oceans that are safe for whales and sea turtles. Whale-safe ropeless crabbing gear is already available; now we’re just implementing a deadline that crabbers can work with to make the necessary transition.”

Ropeless gear is the only way to eliminate the risk of entanglement while permitting crabbing to continue. The gear allows traps on the seafloor to be remotely called to the surface and removes the static vertical lines in the water column that entangle whales, sea turtles, and other marine animals.

Either a stowed rope and buoy, or a lift bag, sits on the seafloor attached to a trap which contains an acoustic modem and GPS that records its location. When fishers return to that location, a signal from a second paired modem on their boat using high-frequency sound waves triggers the buoy or lift bag to come to the surface. The traps can then be hauled up using traditional crabbing practices.

“It is heartbreaking that so many whale entanglements are happening off the coast of California,” stated Leah Sturgis, Vice President of Wildlife Protection, Social Compassion in Legislation. “It’s unbelievable that we have tolerated the loss of so much marine life, in particular the endangered pacific blue whale, of which there are only a few thousand left. So many lives could be saved with the use of this technology.”

Following several years of record-breaking numbers of entanglements reported off the coast of California, the Department of Fish and Wildlife recently enacted regulations to reduce the number of endangered blue whales, humpback whales, and leatherback sea turtles becoming entangled in commercial Dungeness crabbing gear.

However, the regulations have not eliminated entanglement risk and rely heavily on constant data collection and analysis to inform the implementation of potential risk-reduction measures. This may only trigger management actions after entanglements occur, and also rely on closures, including delaying the start of the season or ending it early, as the primary way to reduce risk which creates uncertainty for crabbers about where and when they will be able to crab.

“Whales and other marine life have long been exploited by humans, nearing the point of extinction,” said Judie Mancuso, CEO and Founder of Social Compassion in Legislation. “It’s time we prioritize and protect our most magnificent ocean creatures and put whale entanglements in the past.”

Various types of ropeless crabbing gear are currently being tested in Canada and on the East and West Coasts of the United States, and such gear is currently being used in a lobster fishery in Australia.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Breaking! Whale Entanglement Prevention Act Aims To End The Suffering & Death Of Endangered Marine Life Off The Coast Of California appeared first on World Animal News.

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African Wildlife Foundation Launches Virtual Safaris This Month To Help With The Loss That Tourism In Africa Is Suffering Due To The Pandemic

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has been closely monitoring the difficult situation for safari operators in Africa since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic  when travel bans and government closures began impacting protected areas and local communities on the front lines of wildlife conservation.

In April, AWF convened a meeting of 12 CEOs of leading safari companies operating in Africa to update the impact that COVID-19 was having on their core business operations as well as the threats to wildlife conservation areas. The goal was to determine the best ways for organizations, like AWF, to assist the tourism industry in order to help keep wildlife protected and communities afloat that rely on tourism.

An overarching concern during the pandemic is that people in wildlife communities, who typically gain from tourism dollars, will loosen their commitment to conservation behaviors as they seek alternatives to provide for their families, and that three decades of conservation progress may now be threatened.

“During our process of identifying how to assist our partners in the safari industry, we recognized the opportunity to share the information with donors through virtual safaris,” said AWF Safari Program Manager Carter Smith in a statement. “Many tourists have been introduced to the concept of virtual safaris, to experience wild animals and wildlands from the comfort of an arm chair. Our blue print was to reverse-engineer events to help both the safari-goers, who are grounded from international travel, and the communities in Africa on the front lines of wildlife conservation.”

The virtual safaris need to give participants an insider’s view into the wildlife conservation work on the ground, and introduce them to the heroes who are working tirelessly to defend Africa’s wildlife and wildlands. By pivoting to virtual safaris, wildlife tourists have a chance to hear stories of perseverance, develop meaningful connections, and learn how they can support the communities and field programs protecting wildlife directly.

AWF is engaging its donors though virtual safari offerings and offer them tangible takeaways as to how their donations support livelihoods and wildlife. The virtual safari-goers can go on a wildlife drive and chat with their guide or meet a ranger on a patrol with one of their sniffer dogs. They liken it to a fireside chat. These are not webinars. They are an enriching cultural experience, which is also informative and entertaining.

“We are designing virtual safari series around our 2021 safari portfolio to showcase our group safaris that will launch in October. Our guests will be transported to safaris in Uganda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. There will be local guides on each safari as well as our Country Directors to speak about the programmatic and emergency response work we are doing in each country,” concluded Smith.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post African Wildlife Foundation Launches Virtual Safaris This Month To Help With The Loss That Tourism In Africa Is Suffering Due To The Pandemic appeared first on World Animal News.

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