Sydney Morning Herald August 27th, 1998
Palikir, Micronesia: Japan launched a major diplomatic offensive to wreck plans for a South Pacific whale sanctuary by arguing that whales would devestate the region's fish stocks if they were not killed, a leaked diplomatic cable revealed.
The 29th South Pacific Forum in the Federated States of Micronesia endorsed plans for the sanctuary yesterday, but only after a last-minute bid by Palau to give Japan the right to veto the sanctuary was rejected.
Media Release August 25, l998 Senator Robert Hill, Minister for the Environment, Australia.
An Australian and New Zealand initiative to increase protection for great whales has been supported by the South Pacific Forum.
The Forum meeting this week in the Federated States of Micronesia, has reiterated its support for the moratorium on commercial whaling and
a proposal to establish a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary for great whales to complement the existing Indian and Southern Ocean sanctuaries.
Australia - August26, 1998 <Picture>
CALL FOR WHALE SANCTUARY
Australia is calling for a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary, and along with New Zealand, will promote the idea at the next South Pacific Forum summit, as a step towards creating a global sanctuary.
Despite opposition from Japan, the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, will urge other countries to support the idea at this week's forum in the Federated States of Micronesia.
After nearly two years of doggedly pursuing the Karnali-Chisapani hydroelectric project in Nepal, the US gas and energy giant Enron Corp pulled out of the project earlier this summer, citing "changing trends in the international financial and power markets." Enron's bombshell decision came a mere 4 months after the company submitted a request for a licence to survey the 10,800 megawatt Karnali project. Back in September 1996, Enron had proposed investing US 6-9 billion dollars to develop the project with the intention of exporting the power to India and China.
On July 24th, 1998, the Center for Coastal Studies 'Rapid Response' whale rescue team successfully freed a severely entangled right whale in Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts, USA. That morning, the local Harbourmaster received calls from local residents about two whales spotted near the entrance to Sesuit Harbour. He notified the Coast Guard that both were right whales and one was entangled. The Coast Guard alerted the CCS rescue team and, within hours, the team was bobbing beside the whale, in their inflatable.
Adapted from 'A Song of Exile' (a Celtic verse):
I sit on a knoll,
All sorrowful and sad,
And I look on the grey sea,
In mistiness clad,
And I brood on strange chances
That drifted me here,
Where Marijke and Holly and Liz and Rachel and Kelly and Justine and Kirsti and Chris and Martin and the crew,
[The original concluding lines read 'Where Scarba and Jura and Islay lie near']
Saturday 15th August
Thursday 13th August.
Mexico - August11, 1998
The National Fisheries Institute (INP), together with the USNational Marine Fisheries Service, are investigating whether purse seining nets used for fishing yellowfin tuna are affecting dolphin populations in the Pacific Ocean.
On 31 July, the US Senate lifted the tuna embargo on Mexico and other Latin American countries, but will still not allow yellowfin tuna which is caught with purse seining nets to be marketed with the "Dolphin Safe" label.
The recent rupture of the Ecuadorian oil pipeline has affected the ecological sanctuary of the Colombian island of Gorgon, where hundreds of humpback whales gather every year to mate.
More than 500 whales arrive in the area between July and December and it is feared that the oil spill may block the whales' breathing system.
A confused whale which thwarted an attempt to rescue it by returning to the banks of the River Mersey has now been towed out to sea.
Harnesses were attached to the 20ft long minke whale, christened 'Widnes Willy'.
Divers used a boat to tow the giant eight miles up the river into the Irish Sea.
The operation got under way just after midnight at high tide on Saturday night.
Police, RSPCA officers and firefighters had already spent 12 hours at the previous high tide trying to free Widnes Willy from Hale Bank in Widnes, Cheshire.