The Real Price of Farmed Salmon

bear-catching-salmon-low-alex-morton

Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, 10 Nov (IPS)

Salmon aquaculture is devastating the world’s oceans and an international coalition of scientists, Canadian First Nations and tourism operators have called for a global moratorium.

‘We’ve seen a regional collapse of all sea life in the 20 years since the salmon farms moved in,’ said Chief Bob Chamberlin of the Kwicksutaineuk Ah-kwa-mish Canadian First Nation in the province of British Columbia on Canada’s west coast.

‘I can only shake my head in bewilderment that this is allowed to continue,’ Chamberlin told IPS from Gilford Island in the Broughton Archipelago, where 20 salmon farms are in operation. Continue reading

Say Goodbye to Coral Reefs

severely-degraded-reef-flat-at-kelso-reef-great-barrier-reef-australiaimage-c2a9-cathie-page-very-sml

Coral reefs will be the first global ecosystem to collapse in our lifetimes.

By Stephen Leahy

GIJON, Spain, May 22 (IPS) – The one-two punch of climate change that is warming ocean temperatures and increasing acidification is making the oceans uninhabitable for corals and other marine species, researchers said at a scientific symposium in Spain.

And now other regions are being affected. Acidic or corrosive waters have been detected for the first time on the continental shelf of the west coast of North America, posing a serious threat to fisheries, Richard Feely, an oceanographer with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told attendees in Gijon, Spain Wednesday.

More than 450 scientists from over 60 countries are participating in the “Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans” symposium.

“Surface waters off the coast of San Francisco had concentrations of carbon dioxide that we didn’t expect to see for at least another 100 years,” Feely told IPS. Continue reading

Is Your Old TV Poisoning a Child in China? Where Your e-waste Goes

guiyu-china-breaking-open-monitor-exposes-toxic-dust-basel-action-network-smlBy Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Nov 14 (IPS)

Is your old TV poisoning a child in China? Or your old computer contaminating a river in Nigeria?

Without a law banning export of toxic electronic waste in the United States, there has been no way to know if old cell phones, computers or televisions originating there didn’t end up in some poor village in the developing world, where desperate people pull them apart by hand to recover some of the valuable metals inside.

A small group of people have now allied with a few responsible recyclers to ensure e-waste can be treated responsibly by creating an e-Stewards certification programme. Announced this week, e-Stewards are electronics waste recyclers that are fully accredited and certified by an independent third party.

Such accreditation is crucial in an industry that often makes fraudulent claims. Currently even when e-waste (electronic trash) goes to a “green” recycler, the chances are high that toxic stuff from the developed world ended up in a huge pile in the middle of some village. Continue reading

Top Ten Worst Pollution Problems That Kill Millions – Including Ones You’ve Never Heard Of

By Stephen Leahychromium-a-carcinogenic-commonly-used-in-the-tanning-industry-noraiakheda-kanpur-india-photo-by-blacksmith-institute-sml

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Oct 23 (IPS)

Gold mining and recycling car batteries are two of the world’s Top 10 most dangerous pollution problems, and the least known, according a new report.

The health of hundreds of millions of people is affected and millions die because of preventable pollution problems like toxic waste, air pollution, ground and surface water contamination, metal smelting and processing, used car battery recycling and artisanal gold mining, the “Top Ten” report found.

“The global health burden from pollution is astonishing, and mainly affects women and children,” said Richard Fuller, director of the New York- based Blacksmith Institute, a independent environmental group that released the list Tuesday in partnership with Green Cross Switzerland.

“The world community needs to wake up to this fact,” Fuller told IPS.

Continue reading