SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Alaska Public Media] by Liz Ruskin August 10, 2017
A bill targeting plastic waste in the ocean and other marine debris cleared the U.S. Senate last week. Alaska’s junior Senator, Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, sponsored the legislation.
“What is particularly troubling about the marine debris challenge and crisis … is that the majority of marine debris in the world’s oceans come from five countries in Asia: China, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam Indonesia and South Korea,” Sullivan said.
The bill calls on the State Department to engage other countries to find solutions. It would also reauthorize the Marine Debris Program for another five years, with up to $10 million a year.
Kevin Allexon, senior manager of government relations at the Ocean Conservancy, said his group has worked with Sullivan’s office on the bill. He calls it “small but significant.” Small, he said, because it’s the first item on the to-do list. And significant, he said, because it could unleash the power of the State Department to “engage with those countries, bilaterally, multilaterally, to begin a dialogue or continue a dialogue that is really kind of in its infancy right now on what to do.”
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Balton described the waste deluge as a casualty of rapid growth for the countries most responsible.
“Their pace of economic development is just moving ahead so much more rapidly than their waste-management capabilities,” Balton said at a Senate hearing on the bill last month, “so to get a handle on this we really need to help them improve waste management processes.”
Sullivan’s 21 cosponsors span the ideological spectrum, from Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla, and far to his left , Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.
Booker praised the bipartisanship but said every time he reads a report on plastic waste in the ocean, he sees the situation is more dire than most people realize. He cited massive growth in the production of plastics, and the unabated use of the material for packaging.
“This is a crisis of global proportions and we’re acting as if the little tiny bit that we’re doing is somehow going to stop our grandchildren from experiencing a world where there is more plastic … in our ocean than all of the fish and marine wildlife,” Booker said.
Booker and others say the problem isn’t just the fault of far-away countries.
Nancy Wallace directs the Marine Debris Program for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She confirmed the top five contributors of marine debris are in Asia.
“But the United States is No. 20, and we are the No. 1 generator of waste in the world. So we are contributing to this problem,” Wallace said.
The bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent, without a rollcall vote. Alaska Congressman Don Young sponsored an identical version in the House. It has also attracted a raft of co-sponsors from both parties, but the House has no hearings scheduled yet.
The Office of the Ocean County Prosecutor ...
EAGLESWOOD FATAL CRASH UPDATE
On 8/9/2017 at approximately 3 pm, the New Jersey State Police responded to Callaway’s Restaurant (Route 9 South, Eagleswood,NJ) for a report of a vehicle striking the building. Upon arrival, Troopers observed a 2009 GMC Acadia against the south east corner of the restaurant with substantial front end damage.
The driver, Patty Rulon, was removed from the vehicle and subsequently pronounced deceased at the scene. The front seat passenger, Albert Rulon, was flown to Atlanticare for multiple traumatic injuries. While in transit, he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased. The rear passenger side occupant, Juliette Adomaa, was partially ejected from the backseat and suffered from shoulder and head injuries but is stable at this time. Lastly, the rear drivers side occupant, a 15yo male, was flown to Jersey Shore Medical Center for possible broken ribs and internal injuries and is stable at this time.
Further investigation revealed that the driver, Patty Rulon, was traveling northbound on Route 9 when she allegedly lost consciousness and slumped over the steering wheel with her foot on the accelerator. She then accelerated across the southbound lane, up a short bank of shrubs and bushes, and impacted the corner of Callaway’s Restaurant. There is nothing to indicate anything criminal regarding this case.
Below are the vehicle occupant identifiers. All individuals in the vehicle were related with the exception of Ms. Adomaa who was a caregiver for Albert Rulon.
Vehicle: 2009 GMC Acadia
V#1 Driver: Patty Rulon, DOB 1/23/63 of 76 W. Lakeshore Dr., Manahawkin, NJ
Front Pass: Albert Rulon, DOB 3/13/26 of 230 N. Green Street, Tuckerton, NJ
Rear Pass #1: Juliette Adomaa, DOB 10/16/72 of 230 N. Green Street, Tuckerton, NJ
Rear Pass #2: 15 years old
Stafford Township Administrative Assistant
609-597-1000 ext 8559
Residents of Stafford Township:
We have been monitoring the water quality issues in Beach Haven West for the last ten days. At this time, and after consultation with the Ocean County Health Department, we offer the following:|
1. The time of heightened awareness and concern appears to have past.
2. Recreational activity can resume in the lagoons.
3. It is always recommended by the Ocean County Health Department that swimming take place in protected areas where water quality is regularly checked. Use of the lagoons for recreational swimming is at your own risk and not recommended.
4. Recreational crabbing and fishing is permitted but it is recommended that only crabs taken from approved harvest areas are considered safe to eat. No lagoon would be considered an approved harvest area.
The township continues to monitor the water quality issues in the lagoons. We thank all of our residents for their assistance in reporting these issues.
THE state’s first crustacean cruelty conviction will stand after Nicholas Seafood at Glebe lost an appeal in the District Court.
The conviction was recorded after photographs emerged of a staffer (pictured right) carving up a lobster without first stunning it at the store’s Sydney Fish Markets premises.
The store had appealed the “severity” of a $1500 fine imposed by the Sydney Downing Centre Court in February relating to a charge of an act of animal cruelty.
It had been enforced after a member of the public recorded a fishmonger killing the lobster without any attempt to stun the animal to mitigate its suffering.
The footage shows the lobster struggling as the monger attempts to butcher it.
It remained alive after its tail was cut off and its head was fed through a band saw 20 seconds later.
The RSPCA issued the company a fine but the owner instead opted to take the matter to court where Nicholas Seafood was subsequently found guilty.
In the District Court on July 17, the judge dismissed the appeal, citing longstanding Department of Agriculture guidelines regarding the humane killing of crustaceans.
The appellant claimed that the publicity garnered from the original conviction had affected business, and submitted the RSPCA’s media release as an exhibit.
However, the judge rejected the submission stating that courts were open to the public and the public was entitled to be informed of the dealings therein.
Crustaceans were added to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in 1997 after it was scientifically proven that they feel pain and stress.
“This case sets an interesting precedent,” RSPCA NSW chief inspector David O’Shannessy said.
“The media from this initial conviction even made it to the Washington Post, and we’ve since seen groups in the UK lobby for similar legislation.”
California Crops Rot as Immigration Crackdown Creates Farmworker Shortage
Vegetable prices may be going up soon, as a shortage of migrant workers is resulting in lost crops in California.
Farmers say they're having trouble hiring enough people to work during harvest season, causing some crops to rot before they can be picked. Already, the situation has triggered losses of more than $13 million in two California counties alone, according to NBC News.
The ongoing battle about U.S. immigration policies is blamed for the shortage. The vast majority of California's farm workers are foreign born, with many coming from Mexico. However, the PEW Research Center reports more Mexicans are leaving the U.S. than coming here.
To make the jobs more attractive, farmers are offering salaries above minimum wage, along with paid time off and 401(k) plans, but even that's not proving enough.
It's unclear exactly how widespread the labor shortage is for farmers throughout the country, which would have a bigger impact on prices consumers pay. Ultimately, drought and flooding have a more significant impact on farms. Low oil prices could also offset any impact of the worker shortage.
But for farmers, who have seen net farm income fall 50% since 2013, any lost income could be potentially devastating.