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Gillnet Fishing Blamed for Killing Up to 100 Baby Hammerhead Sharks in Honolulu
Authorities at the state's Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement have opened an investigation after the baby sharks were discovered by the La Mariana Sailing Club, according to local media.
The Keehi Lagoon is known as a breeding ground for hammerhead sharks, but state officials said it is not natural for shark pups to be found ashore in such large numbers, the Star Advertiser reported.
Andrew Rossiter, director of the Waikiki Aquarium, told Honolulu's KHON that the young sharks were probably caught in a gillnet and then dumped on land by a fisherman.
"To breathe they have to keep moving, so once they're in the net for even two to three minutes, they're unable to breathe and they suffocate," he explained.
Rossiter said the state should have tougher laws to prevent such killings.
"When it's the pupping season and it's a pupping area, then maybe they should restrict or ban the use of gillnets just for a couple of weeks to give them a chance," he said.
Democrat Hawaii state Sen. Mike Gabbard, who co-sponsored a bill to ban synthetic gillnets, was devastated by the news.
"I'm sick to my stomach about what's happened today," Gabbard told KHON-TV. "It's really giving me the incentive to make sure that this bill gets passed in 2019."
The bill passed in the state Senate but has stalled in the House.
Gillnet fishing has been found to be destructive to fish populations and to other marine species that get caught as bycatch, particularly sharks. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found roughly half of the sharks that are caught and sold were caught as bycatch in the high seas longline fisheries. Each year, tens of millions of sharks are caught as bycatch, according to estimates.
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Ethics investigations have been opened into the conduct of senior Trump appointees at the nation's top environmental agencies.
The two investigations focus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and six high-ranking officials in the Department of Interior (DOI), The Hill reported Tuesday. Both of them involve the officials' former clients or employers.
"This is demonstrative of the failures at the very top of this administration to set an ethical tone," Campaign Legal Center Ethics Counsel Delaney Marsco told The Washington Post of the DOI investigation. "When people come to work for government, they're supposed to work on behalf of the public. It's a betrayal of the public trust when senior political appointees seem to give privileged access to their former employers or former clients."
By Dipika Kadaba
We've known for more than 50 years that smoking cigarettes comes with health hazards, but it turns out those discarded butts are harmful for the environment, too. Filtered cigarette butts, although small, contain dozens of chemicals, including arsenic and benzene. These toxins can leach into the ground or water, creating a potentially deadly situation for nearby birds, fish and other wildlife.
By Wenonah Hauter
Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.
Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.