Conservation: August 2008 Archives

Don't eat tuna.

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tuna.pngThere's no excuse. Greenpeace have done a report (1.7Mb pdf) on Britain's tuna-eating habits, and it's truly appalling. 

I never understood the "but it's dolphin-friendly" argument when tuna themselves are so endangered. I may be a smug vegetarian, but surely, my meat-eating friends, there have to be some limits? Would you eat a rhino? A polar bear? A mountain gorilla?

The report's key findings include:

  • The UK is the second biggest tuna market in the world, consuming 700 million tins in 2006.
  • There are twenty-three tuna populations in the world, and nine are fully fished, four are over-exploited, three are critically endangered, three merely endangered, and three are vulnerable to extinction. 
  • 90% of the global population of predatory fish (like tuna and shark) has already been wiped out.
  • The use of long lines in the Pacific is one of the factors behind a 95% loss of leatherback turtles over the last three decades.
  • Between half a million and 1.4 million sharks die on long lines in the Western Pacific alone.
  • For every thousand tonnes of tuna caught in so-called Fish Aggregation Devices, one hundred and eleven thousand other animals were caught, including sharks, rays, marlins and sea turtles.
Even the Japanese, the biggest tuna consumers, are cutting down because of stock collapse, while here it's sold for cat food.

Commerce or conservation?

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pandawwf.jpgThe First Minister has admitted that the plan to bring Chinese pandas to Edinburgh Zoo is "primarily a commercial transaction", not conservation. We knew that already, of course. 

Pandas have been misused this way for centuries, as far back as the reign of Wu Zetian in the 7th century AD. Taiwan came under Panda Attack in 2006, and in 2007 the Chinese claimed they were giving up the habit, but actually they just started charging more.

Exactly what the Royal Bank of Scotland get out of it is unclear, but don't bet against some additional access to Chinese markets.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Conservation category from August 2008.

Conservation: September 2008 is the next archive.