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March 4, 2016

Gunmen murder Honduran indigenous leader Berta Cáceres

Gunmen murder Honduran indigenous leader Berta Cáceres

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Berta Cáceres, a Honduran indigenous leader and environmentalist, was murdered in the early hours of yesterday when intruders entered her home in La Esperanza, Intibucá, in the west of the country. Police cited robbery as the alleged motive for the crime, but the activist’s family said she was killed in retaliation for her activities.

There have been nearly 80 murders of environmental activists in Honduras in recent years, according to remarks to the BBC by a representative of non-governmental organization Global Witness.

Cáceres served as coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). She had feared for her life, according to her mother, Aura Flores. Flores also reproached the government for not protecting Cáceres. She said the suggestion of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that precautionary measures be taken to look after Cáceres had not been followed.

As a leader of the lenca community, Cáceres was opposed in recent years to different acts related to natural resources affecting Honduran indigenous citizens. One she opposed was the dam of Agua Zarca, a construction affecting the Gualcarque river, considered sacred by the indigenous of the region. With the opposition of Cáceres and the lenca, Sinohydro, one of the biggest hydroelectric enterprises in the world, withdrew from the project, as did the World Bank.

Cáceres won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015.



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August 26, 2015

Guatemalan Supreme Court approves impeachment of President Molina

Guatemalan Supreme Court approves impeachment of President Molina

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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Yesterday in Guatemala, the Supreme Court approved the attorney general’s request to impeach President Otto Pérez Molina.

President Molina, pictured here in 2013, is accused of corruption.
Image: World Economic Forum.

The final decision on lifting Presidential immunity now falls to Congress. The case relates to a corruption scandal known locally as La Linea((en)) which has seen Vice President Roxana Baldetti arrested and charged with fraud and receiving bribes. Prosecutors allege Baldetti and Molina between them received half of all bribes in the case.

Congress previously refused to impeach Molina but the investigation has since broadened, with ministerial resignations. Molina, however, has stood firm in the face of widespread popular protests demanding he leave office. Elections are scheduled for September 6.

The Social and Popular Assembly, formed during protests in recent months, allege violations of electoral law by many parties, and want an electoral commission crackdown. One member organisation, the Committee for Campesino Unity, wants a delay until elections are reformed. They also seek a new constitution.

Molina is accused of conspiring to corruptly divert customs funds. He denies any misconduct.



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April 21, 2014

Wikinews interviews Paúl M. Velazco about new yellow-shouldered bat species

Wikinews interviews Paúl M. Velazco about new yellow-shouldered bat species

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Paul Velazco with a Vampyrum spectrum.
Image: Marco Tschapka.

Distribution range of species formerly ascribed to Sturnira lilium (gray tone) and the type localities (stars) of species in the S. lilium complex.
Image: Paúl M. Velazco.

Scientists at Chicago‘s Field Museum and New York‘s American Museum of Natural History have discovered three new species of yellow-shouldered bats, genus Sturnira, in the Neotropics. On Wednesday open-access journal ZooKeys published their paper on two of the new species, Sturnira bakeri and Sturnira burtonlimi. The two new species were previously confused with S. ludovici, and S. lilium and S. luisi, respectively. With the discovery, genus Sturnira now has the most species of any genus in family Phyllostomidae, the leaf-nosed bats.

Species S. bakeri was named after Dr. Robert J. Baker, who “has made enormous contributions to our [Authors of the ZooKey paper] understanding of bats, particularly to the evolution of Neotropical phyllostomids”; and S. burtonlimi after Dr. Burton K. Lim, who “collected the type series of this species and has made many other important collections throughout the Neotropics and beyond”, the authors noted in the paper.

Within the New World tropics, the distribution range of the genus, the new species’ known living areas are in Costa Rica and Panama for S. burtonlimi, and Western Ecuador for S. bakeri. The researchers identified differences between different specimens, including those in their teeth, skull shapes, and DNA sequences.

Wikinews interviewed one of the chiropterologists, Paúl M. Velazco of the American Museum of Natural History, about the study.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png The Sturnira genus now has 22 species, over 1.5 times larger than it was a year ago (14 species). Who contributed to this change? Did you participate throughout the entire process, or only the discovery of the last 2 species?

Paúl M. Velazco: The last Mammal Species of the World (Simmons, 2005) recognized 14 species for Sturnira. Since then three new species have been described [S. sorianoi Sánchez-Hernández et al., 2005; S. koopmanhilli McCarthy et al., 2006; and S. perla Jarrín-V. and Kunz, 2011] and one subspecies was elevated to the species level (S. hondurensis) by Gardner (2008). This brought the number of species of Sturnira to 18 by 2011. Along with my coauthor Bruce Patterson, we generated the most comprehensive phylogeny of the genus. For this we sequenced two nuclear and three mitochondrial genes from the liver or muscle tissue that had been frozen or preserved from each bat specimen, isolating nearly 5,000 base pairs of DNA. These sequences were obtained from specimens we have collected in the past (38) and from tissues we borrowed from different natural history collections. We published this phylogeny last year in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Results of this study found that two subspecies of Sturnira lilium should be recognized as valid species (S. parvidens and S. paulsoni). Additionally we found three new species, two of them described in the ZooKeys paper. The third one hopefully will be published later this year.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The genus is called Sturnira Gray in the paper. I’ve not seen extra adjectives in genus names, before. What is the context for such name?

PMV: Usually in papers that deal with taxonomy and nomenclature, the first time that a genus or species is mentioned in text is accompanied by the authority that describes that taxon. In the case of Sturnira, it was Gray in 1842 that named the genus.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What caused your initial interest in the question in the genus? When did you become interested?

PMV: I have been studying bats for the past eighteen years and I am especially interested in the family Phyllostomidae that is endemic to the Neotropics. This family includes more than 160 species. It is the most diverse family of bats in the Neotropics, which together exhibits more variation in morphological features and feeding ecology than any other family-level group of mammals. Phyllostomid bats exploit an unusually diverse array of feeding habits including sanguivory, insectivory, carnivory, omnivory, nectarivory, pollennivory, and frugivory. Because of all mentioned before, phyllostomids are a really interesting group to work with. Sturnira and Platyrrhinus are members of this family.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The paper mentions that the genus is now the most speciose genus in the Neotropical family Phyllostomidae. What genus did it beat? How many species does it include?

PMV: The other genus with the most species in the family is Platyrrhinus. Currently, it has 20 species, but soon it will increase to 21. Along with another colleague, Burton Lim, we have a paper in press describing a new species based on molecular and morphological data from the Guianan Shield.

Dorsolateral views of the left mandibular toothrows in Sturnira bakeri (A, QCAZ 14635 ♀) and S. burtonlimi (B, ROM 104294 ♂), illustrating taxonomic differences in the shape of the metaconid and entoconid of m1 and m2.
Image: Paúl M. Velazco.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What equipment did you use?

PMV: For the ZooKeys paper, we examined several specimens under the stereoscope. The molecular phylogeny gave us the separation between species, from there our job was to focus on finding morphological differences between these groups.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Did you conduct field study to identify the species’ habits? If so, where and how did you do that?

PMV: I have done fieldwork in Belize and Peru, and my coauthor did field work in Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru, where we collected several specimens of Sturnira (including the third species that has not been described yet). But the two species that were described in the ZooKeys paper are based on specimens collected by our colleagues Dr. Robert Baker from Texas Tech University and Dr. Burton Lim from the Royal Ontario Museum.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How do you isolate of the living area of the new species from the living area of the old species?

PMV: We used the phylogeny of Velazco and Patterson 2013 (Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution) as a framework for this.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How long did the study take? What has been the most time-consuming activity?

PMV: It took almost a year. The most time consuming part was spending several hours behind the stereoscope looking for the diagnostic characters.

Sturnira tildae
Image: Burton K. Lim.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Who participated in the study? What were their roles?

PMV: Dr. Bruce Patterson from the [American] Museum of Natural History and I. I was the one in charge of finding the diagnostic characters and together we both worked on the manuscript.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Who do you collaborate with internationally about your study?

PMV: For this study I collaborated directly with Dr. Bruce Patterson from the Field Museum of Natural History, but studies like this cannot be completed without the contribution of scientific collections. We used specimens from the American Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Louisiana State University, Museum of Southwestern Biology, Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad Nacional de San Marcos, Museo de Zoología of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley, Royal Ontario Museum, Texas Tech University, and the National Museum of Natural History.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What future research do you plan?

PMV: To keep doing what I love, which is going to the field, working at collections, and collaborating with the wonderful collaborators I have, all of this is an effort to try to understand bat diversity and evolution in the Neotropics, especially why phyllostomid bats are so successful at this. There is still much to discover, and hopefully we could, in time, implement conservation actions for species that have small distributions.



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August 26, 2013

Migrant train derails in Tabasco, Mexico

Migrant train derails in Tabasco, Mexico

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Monday, August 26, 2013

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At least five people have died and sixteen were injured in a train derailment in Tabasco, Mexico yesterday, according to the director of Tabasco civil protection. The cargo train is often used by migrants.

The derailment occurred at approximately 3:00 a.m local time (8:00 a.m UTC), with eight of the twelve cars overturning. The state government reported that at least 250 Honduras citizens were traveling on the train, which had a scrap metal cargo. The train company and rescue workers continue to search the wreckage and treat survivors, but the remote and marshy site hinders efforts. Two cranes have been dispatched to assist.

Mario Bustillos Borge, the Red Cross chief in Tabasco, noted that current information on the numbers deceased and injured was hard to confirm due to the complex nature of the rescue. “There are some very high estimates, and others that are more conservative,” he said. The first car and the engine, which did not overturn, were used to transport the injured to a local hospital in Veracruz.

The train, dubbed ‘The Beast‘ by locals, was headed north from the Guatemalan border at the time of the accident. Migrants regularly try to hitch a ride to the US by climbing onto its roof or in between cars. Preliminary reports suggest that the tracks had shifted following heavy rains.



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September 5, 2012

Magnitude 7.6 earthquake strikes Costa Rican coast, tsunami warnings issued

Magnitude 7.6 earthquake strikes Costa Rican coast, tsunami warnings issued

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

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The United States Geological Survey (USGS) are reporting a 7.6-Mw earthquake striking the Costa Rican coast, prompting the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) to issue tsunami warnings including the following countries in the region: Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru; and a tsunami watch in Chile.

The initial alert was based upon an evaluation of the earthquake, not on confirmation that a tsunami has been generated. Later reports indicate the alert was cancelled, the PTWC having predicted that any wave would have reached Puerto Sandino in Nicaragua shortly before 16:00UTC.

The epicentre of the quake was 140 kilometres west of the Costa Rican capital, San José. A 6.1-Mw quake in January 2009, just 30km from the capital, killed at least 34 amid mudslides, falling rocks and trees. The emergency response to that earthquake included over 400 volunteers and Red Cross workers.



Related news

  • “Strongest earthquake in 150 years hits Costa Rica” — Wikinews, January 10, 2009

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May 14, 2012

Mexico authorities find over four dozen corpses

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Monday, May 14, 2012

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President Felipe Calderón initiated the Mexican Drug War in 2006.

Authorities in Mexico have discovered 49 headless and dismembered dead bodies abandoned on the side of a road at the entryway to San Juan, a town located within Cadereyta Jiménez municipality. The bodies, six female and the other 43 male, were discovered by police at approximately 0400 CDT (0900 UTC) yesterday.

Speaking on behalf for security in the state of Nuevo León, Jorge Domene said, “We know from the characteristics that this is the result of violence between criminal gangs,” clarifying that this was not “an attack on the civilian population”. A spray-painted notice that read “100% Zeta,” referring to the Los Zetas drug cartel, was sighted on an archway where the incident occurred and is a sign that killings were linked to a dispute between drug cartels. Domene said the sign is typically a method Los Zetas uses when it takes responsibility.

Adrian de la Garza, a state prosecutor, has commented on the possibility of the individuals being killed as long ago as Friday and in a different location from where the bodies were discovered. He said he is still considering the possibility of those killed being migrants from Central America who intended to travel to the United States.

Both Domene and de la Garza said identification of the bodies will be difficult because the bodies were found headless and with their extremities removed. The corpses have been referred to the city of Monterrey for DNA profiling.

According to BBC News Online, Los Zetas is in a conflict with the Sinaloa Cartel and Gulf Cartel over drug transportation paths leading towards the United States, with all cartels attempting to gain control of the road paths. The road on which the discovery was made lies between Monterrey in the state of Nuevo León and the city of Reynosa, located close to the Mexico–United States border, in the state of Tamaulipas. National Autonomous University of Mexico security expert Raul Benitez Manaut described the conflict between the cartels as “the most definitive of all the cartel wars.”

On Wednesday, a discovery of a similar nature occurred when 18 beheaded and mutilated corpses were discovered within two deserted vehicles near the city of Guadalajara. In a separate incident on May 4, 23 corpses were found in the city of Nuevo Laredo, 14 of which were without heads. Over 47,500 fatalities have been recorded since the commencement of the Mexican Drug War in December 2006.

Map of Nuevo León within Mexico Image: Yavidaxiu.

Map of Nuevo León within Mexico
Image: Yavidaxiu.

Map of Tamaulipas within Mexico Image: Yavidaxiu.

Map of Tamaulipas within Mexico
Image: Yavidaxiu.

Map of Mexico highlighting the city of Monterrey Image: Mixcoatl.

Map of Mexico highlighting the city of Monterrey
Image: Mixcoatl.

Map of Mexico highlighting the city of Reynosa Image: Mixcoatl.

Map of Mexico highlighting the city of Reynosa
Image: Mixcoatl.



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May 13, 2012

The May 7-13 week in baseball

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

It’s been a busy week for baseball. Wikinews takes a look at some of the sport’s top stories over the last week.

Contents

Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels suspended for five games

In a game last Sunday Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, who intentionally struck Nationals rookie hitter Bryce Harper earned a 5 game suspension from Major League Baseball for his actions following a post-game confession during an interview. Hamels described his HBP as an “old-school” ritual-of-passage to welcome Harper to the MLB, saying “That’s something I grew up watching, that’s kind of what happened. So I’m just trying to continue the old baseball because I think some people are kind of getting away from it. I remember when I was a rookie the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything because that’s the way baseball is … But I think unfortunately the league’s protecting certain players and making it not that old-school, ‘prestigious’ way of baseball”.

Sources

Carlos Zambrano scores his first Marlins win/shutout

This past Monday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Venezuelan baseball pitcher Carlos Zambrano earned a win against Houston Astros in a shutout, his first ‘w’ since his off-season trade from the Chicago Cubs to the Miami Marlins. Zambrano dealt with various disciplinary incidents during his Chicago tenure, including some brawls with teammates, which led Chicago to unload him. Since arriving in Miami, he has had no disciplinary problems.

Sources

Josh Hamilton reached the 5-hit club, including record-tying 4 home runs

During Tuesday’s 10-3 road win against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Texas Rangers baseball player Josh Hamilton took the rare feat of hitting 4 home runs in a same MLB game, the hitter first to achieve this feat since 2003 when Toronto Blue Jays Carlos Delgado hitter accomplished it. His quality hitting continued in the game with a double, and finishing the game five hits.

Hamilton struggled with drinking affairs before and during his MLB career (for more, see Wikipedia’s article about the player).

In 2007 Hamilton played with Cincinnati, before being traded to Texas. After the game, the MLB leading home run hitter had hit 14 home runs, accumulated 36 runs batted in and held a .406 hitting average for the season, improving his career record to 128 home runs, 453 runs batted in and a .311 hitting average.

Sources

Wednesday pro Domincan baseball news

Dean Treanor, who manages in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system, has signed with the Licey Tigers in the Dominican League as their coach for the upcoming season. This news comes on the back of the league announcing next season’s schedule, with the season including 50 games per team.

Sources

Diagnosis of Mariano Rivera’s season-ending injury

Past Wednesday, Panamanian player Mariano Rivera received his diagnosis: it is a leg coagulum. The Panama City native is the MLB all-time saves leader with 608, apart of having 1,119 strikeouts and a 2.21 ERA.

Sources

Josh Beckett in jeopardy

Boston Red Sox’s Josh Beckett was put in a controversy after playing a golf round during an injury recovering. Last Thursday, Josh Beckett was victim of a first and second innings of a fierce offense from his home game’s rivals (the Cleveland Indians), at Fenway Park.

The perfomance was made after a pre-game tribute to car-crash died Fenway Park PA annoncer Carl Beane.

Sources


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 7-13 baseball week roundup

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It’s been a busy week for baseball. Wikinews takes a look at some of the sport’s top stories over the last week.

Contents

Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels suspended for five games

In a game last Sunday Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, who intentionally struck Nationals rookie hitter Bryce Harper earned a 5 game suspension from Major League Baseball for his actions following a post-game confession during an interview. Hamels described his HBP as an “old-school” ritual-of-passage to welcome Harper to the MLB, saying “That’s something I grew up watching, that’s kind of what happened. So I’m just trying to continue the old baseball because I think some people are kind of getting away from it. I remember when I was a rookie the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything because that’s the way baseball is … But I think unfortunately the league’s protecting certain players and making it not that old-school, ‘prestigious’ way of baseball”.

Sources

Carlos Zambrano scores his first Marlins win/shutout

This past Monday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Venezuelan baseball pitcher Carlos Zambrano earned a win against Houston Astros in a shutout, his first ‘w’ since his off-season trade from the Chicago Cubs to the Miami Marlins. Zambrano dealt with various disciplinary incidents during his Chicago tenure, including some brawls with teammates, which led Chicago to unload him. Since arriving in Miami, he has had no disciplinary problems.

Sources

Josh Hamilton reached the 5-hit club, including record-tying 4 home runs

During Tuesday’s 10-3 road win against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Texas Rangers baseball player Josh Hamilton took the rare feat of hitting 4 home runs in a same MLB game, the hitter first to achieve this feat since 2003 when Toronto Blue Jays Carlos Delgado hitter accomplished it. His quality hitting continued in the game with a double, and finishing the game five hits.

Hamilton struggled with drinking affairs before and during his MLB career (for more, see Wikipedia’s article about the player).

In 2007 Hamilton played with Cincinnati, before being traded to Texas. After the game, the MLB leading home run hitter had hit 14 home runs, accumulated 36 runs batted in and held a .406 hitting average for the season, improving his career record to 128 home runs, 453 runs batted in and a .311 hitting average.

Sources

Wednesday pro Domincan baseball news

Dean Treanor, who manages in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system, has signed with the Licey Tigers in the Dominican League as their coach for the upcoming season. This news comes on the back of the league announcing next season’s schedule, with the season including 50 games per team.

Sources

Diagnosis of Mariano Rivera’s season-ending injury

Past Wednesday, Panamanian player Mariano Rivera received his diagnosis: it is a leg coagulum. The Panama City native is the MLB all-time saves leader with 608, apart of having 1,119 strikeouts and a 2.21 ERA.

Sources

Josh Beckett in jeopardy

Boston Red Sox’s Josh Beckett was put in a controversy after playing a golf round during an injury recovering. Last Thursday, Josh Beckett was victim of a first and second innings of a fierce offense from his home game’s rivals (the Cleveland Indians), at Fenway Park.

The perfomance was made after a pre-game tribute to car-crash died Fenway Park PA annoncer Carl Beane.

Sources


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 8, 2012

Albert Pujols ends his worst homerun drought

Albert Pujols ends his worst homerun drought

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wikinews Sports
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Pujols hit a home run in Sunday’s baseball game between the Anaheim Angels and the Toronto Blue Jays
Image: Marianne O’Leary.

Dominican baseball player Albert Pujols earned his first home run after joining the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Besides hitting his 446th Major League home run, Pujols ended a personal drought by claiming his first regular-season long ball after 33 games and 139 plate appearances, including his last St. Louis Cardinals at-bats. Pujols snapped back at Anaheim and capped a 4-3 home-team win against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

The Dominican first baseman now has a career 1,336 runs batted in and a .326 batting average. Previously, Pujols had played for St. Louis for 11 seasons.

Since playing for the Angels, Pujols has been booed by Anaheim fans after his hits slipped to a .194 average over the past month. Pujols came to his new team with high expectations after signing a contract worth US$240 million.

For his part, Pujols offered the following explanation for his performance: “This game is about making adjustments and being patient…”



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July 7, 2011

Bahamas become fourth country to ban shark fishing

Bahamas become fourth country to ban shark fishing

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

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The Bahamas has become the fourth country to ban shark fishing
Image: Dr. James P. McVey, NOAA Sea Grant Program.

The Bahamas on Tuesday approved a law banning shark fishing in its waters, along with selling, importing and exporting shark products. This makes the Bahamas the fourth country to ban shark fishing, joining the Maldives, Honduras, and Palau. The 630,000 sq km of water around the Bahamas has now become an official shark sanctuary.

The ban is welcomed by many, including environmentalists. The President of the Bahamas National Trust, Neil McKinney, spoke about the issue saying, “They desperately need protection if we’re not going to drive them to extinction.” Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette also commented on the ban: “This is in keeping with the government’s commitment to pursue conservation policies and strategies in order to safeguard the marine and terrestrial environment.”

However, some feel that the ban will affect relations with China. Shark-fin soup is highly popular in China, with around 73 million sharks killed every year. To prepare shark-fin soup, the fins are often scraped off, and the body of the shark is thrown back into the water. A report published by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that shark populations have fallen by 70 to 80 per cent, with a third of all shark species being threatened or nearly threatened by extinction.



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