Archive for the Environment Category

Seems like the fishing industry in Japan is taking a step in the right direction. The largest fishing co-operative in Japan that has 230 longline tuna-fishing vessels have decided to stop fishing for short periods of time. This time will make up 2 months of the next 2 years and are estimated to cut 5% of the catch.
That doesn’t sound much at all as the worldwide tuna stocks have dramatically dropped in recent years, but it also include efforts to reduce tuna fishing in China, South Korea and Taiwan.
Earlier this summer the European Union stopped early the tuna fishing in the Mediterranean sea because they were afraid the extensive fishing would make the species go extinct.
The main reason for this extensive fishing is said to be the global popularity of sushi and sashimi. Maybe it is time for rich western yuppies (and yuppies in other parts of the world) to stop feeding on threatened species..

Lets hope these are the first steps at protecting the tuna worldwide and that is not too late!

A new study done with data from the last 25 years in England show that migrating birds seem to move further north in Europe. The researchers looked at 42 rare bird species in Britain and some of the birds that was rarely seen in the south of Britain has been spotted more often. These birds include the Dartford warbler, Cirl bunting, little egret and Cetti’s warbler. Other species, like the fieldfare, redwing or Slavonian grebe, that are more common in Britain saw a decrease in their numbers. The researchers filtered out other factors that could mess up with the observations.
The study done by Durham University, Cambridge University and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds clearly show that there is clear relation with higher temperatures and the migration of birds. Butterflies and birds are species that early adopt to climate changes so this study show that there really is global warming.

This means that I might see new bird species here in Northern Norway in the future. I’m a bit of birdwatcher so it will be cool to see new species, but I don’t want human made global warming to destroy the arctic ecosystem.

Some not so good news from England. According to an article on the biggest puffin colony in England has seen an unexpected decline in numbers. The colony on the Farne Islands has dropped by a third during the last five years and it is puzzling the researches since they was expecting an increase in the population this year.
The puffins seem to die during the eight months they are out on the sea and there needs to be done more research to discover what is really happening on the North Sea.

I haven’t heard any reports about the status of the puffin colonies here in Norway, but they have been very up and down the last years. In my non-scientific opinion we need to stop fishing the small fish that the puffin and much of the other birds and larger fish eat. If we remove big parts of their main food sources how are they expected to survive? This might be the reason the population of puffins in England is decreasing.
We should keep our greedy hands off this part of the ecosystem so we wont cause a total collapse.
Here is a picture from my photoblog of an Atlantic puffin that I met out on the sea during the winter in 2007. Hope to see more of these beautiful birds as they are pretty rare in my part of Northern Norway.
Picture of Atlantic Puffin

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Germany planing on building 30 offshore wind farms. Today Reuters can report that the country already next week will start with the building of the first windmills in the North Sea.
A company called DOTI got granted 180 million euro from the German government earlier this month. They are planing to build the wind turbines 45 km north of an island called Borkum. The first wind farm will consist of 12 turbines each capable of producing megawatts and the power production might start up already this year.
Seems like some government control can be a good thing..

Hopefully this will help turn Europe into using more renewable energy sources. I also hope that they have done some proper research so the wind farms wont end up killing lots of migrating birds.

Millions of baby oysters dying at the French coast

Some worrying news from the coast of France. According to an article by millions of baby oysters are dying at the French coastline. On some parts of the coast entire generations of oyster have died within a few days and the oyster farmers are loosing millions of euros.
The reason for the mass extinction is unknown and it is a bit puzzling that only the young oysters are dying, and that the older shellfish survives.
But the main suspect is that ocean outside France has become a bit warmer and this causes blooming of toxic algae. Another suspect is that a big increase in plankton that the oyster eat cause the young oysters to over-eat.
No matter what the reasons are, this is very worrying. What if this hurts the shellfish in the wild? This could cause serious problems in the eco-system.

Here in Northern Norway there has lately been some incredible growth of plankton and the same thing happened last year. The plankton colors the ocean light green and there is about no sight. Some fish species don’t like that there is no sight so I don’t come into the fjords as they usually do t
As a result I have not caught much coalfish this year. Coalfish usually come into my fjord in huge numbers and is an important food source for us during the summer/autumn. I hope there will be less plankton later in the summer so I can catch some yummy coalfish.

Pick up the trash!

I was walking the shoreline today and I was annoyed by all the trash that lays around. I don’t understand how anyone can throw their trash into our precious ocean where we get so much food. Are we trying to poison ourselves?

All the trash has ended up in the ocean for many reasons, but what can we do to make it stop and clean all the crap up?
I have been thinking about this for a long time and the other day an idea popped into my brain. Wouldn’t a worldwide campaign help?
Maybe I should start a website called where I try to get people from all over the world to pick up trash at their coastlines. People could take pictures of the trash they picked up and then upload pictures to the website showing the world that they have done something.
It would not end the problem, but every little thing helps..

Ecological nightclub opened in London

A nightclub in London called “Surya” claims to be the first ecological nightclub in the world. Among the aspects to make the nightclub eco is free admission for walkers and cyclists.
The club has a cool dance floor that produces electricity when the clubbers are dancing on it. The floor is based on something called piezoelectricity where crystals and ceramics generate electricity. Read more about piezoelectricity on Wikipedia.
Among other things that make the club more ecological are usage of solar panels, wind turbine, waterless urinals and low flush toilets.
The clubbers also have to sign a pledge that they will try to reduce their carbon emissions to help against global warming.

According to Reuters there is another concept in Netherlands called Sustainable Dance Club that says they will be the world’s first eco-club when they open a club in September since the London-based club is not fully sustainable.

Honestly this seems like a stunt from someone wanting to make a quick buck on all the environmental hype, but kudos to Andrew Charalambous (the owner of Surya) if he actually is able to make a difference.

Germany planing to build 30 offshore wind farms

Good news from Germany! According to Spiegel Online Germany are planing to build 30 offshore wind farms containing 2,000 windmills in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The wind farms are supposed to help Germany reach their goal of getting more energy from renewable sources. As Germany are planing to phase out their nuclear plants by 2020 they really need to find some alternative energy sources. Since the current government is pretty right wing I doubt that they are keen about closing down all the nuclear plants.

I wrote earlier about that Norway are planing on building some enormous wind parks. Seems like the North Sea will be crowded with windmills.
I hope it will make a difference!