STOP ANIMAL CRUELTY AT MARINELAND
STOP CORKSCREW SEAL SLAUGHTER
FIGHT ILLEGAL FISHING IN U.S. WATERS
DEMAND SHUTDOWN OF IRRESPONSIBLE, INHUMANE AQUARIUMS
BY RACHEL MACIEL
Target: US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Goal: Shut down aquariums owned by the Covino brothers, whose facilities have a history of inhumane treatment and excessive death tolls
Brothers Ammon and Vince Covino currently own two aquariums in Portland and Idaho, and are working on opening a third in Austin, Texas. The problem with these aquariums is a “death log” from the Portland location showing that 200 animals have died in the nine months it has been open to the public. This log lists a variety of species dying, due to causes of “starvation, infection, attacks, power losses and extreme high temperatures in their enclosures.” Numerous other fish were pronounced dead after being found “stuck in drain.”
At least two animal care professionals terminated their relationships with the Aquarium as a result of the excessive death tolls and consistent neglect of animals, unable to deal with the owners’ disregard for their professional counsel and expertise in favor of the facility’s bottom line.
The US Department of Agriculture regulates all animal exhibition facilities except those featuring cold-blooded species – a loophole allowing the Covino brothers, who have no experience with marine biology themselves, to operate their aquariums without licenses, accreditation, or inspections from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. So far, although Texans are beginning to organize boycotts in protest of the upcoming Austin facility, no official action has been taken against the Covino brothers or their existing aquariums. The Oregon Humane Society is undertaking an investigation of the Portland Aquarium, but the USDA needs to step up and create regulations against mistreatment of cold-blooded animals, closing existing loopholes to make sure all captive creatures are treated humanely and respectfully. The Covino brothers’ blatant disregard for their own animal cruelty must be punished, and further incidents curtailed, by strengthening these regulations.
By signing this petition, you are calling on the Secretary of Agriculture to investigate and shut down these facilities. You are urging Secretary Vilsack and his colleagues to create and enforce regulations under the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to prosecute irresponsible owners of captive marine animals, and to hold them accountable to standards of facility licensure and accreditation.
PROTECT THE OCEAN'S DEPTHS
FROM DEEP SEA TRAWLING
SAVE BLUEFIN TUNA
PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE ~
FOR ATLANTIC BLUEFIN TUNA
Atlantic bluefin tuna can live about 40 years, and they mature late -- at around 9 years old. This long lifespan is impressive, but it also means that threats like overfishing, climate change and oil and gas developments take a large toll on populations.
It's obvious that these dwindling populations need help: In 2011 the feds identified bluefin tuna as a "species of concern." They fell short of protecting the giant fish under the Endangered Species Act but promised to revisit the decision in 2013 -- or as soon as information was available on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
Crude oils are highly toxic to developing fish embryos, and many pelagic fish were spawning in the northern Gulf in the months before oil spill's containment. We can't wait for more information.
The government has a new proposal for bluefin fishing management. And although it takes a step in the right direction, the proposal falls short on protections bluefin tuna need to make a comeback. Some very basic measures didn't make the chopping block -- including protecting all spawning grounds for the duration of the bluefin spawning season and requiring independent observers to verify reported data for all commercial fishing vessels.
Thankfully there's still a chance to put these necessary regulations into place. Please take action using the form below to urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to end overfishing of bluefin tuna through key fishery management measures.
SIGN HERE AND SHARE PLEASE ~ THANK YOU!
ADD MY NAME TO THE PETITION:
But as you know, the Fight for the Reef is only just beginning, and plans for mega-ports and millions of tonnes of dredging and dumping are still on the table.
It seems like a no brainer – you just don’t dump on a World Heritage icon. You wouldn’t dump millions of tonnes of sludge on the Sydney Opera House. And you certainly wouldn’t try to fill the Grand Canyon with waste.
And yet that’s the fate facing the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The Reef is at serious risk of becoming a dumping ground for millions of tonnes of sludge, to make way for bigger ports and allow thousands more coal ships to plough through its pristine waters.
With a national election in eight days, we have a critical opportunity to let the next Australian government know that it’s not okay to treat the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area as a dumping ground.
Add your name to this petition, and let Australia’s next government know that you’re looking for leadership to give the Reef the protection it needs.
We’ll personally deliver the petition in the first 100 days of the new government – an important time when they’ll be making big decisions.
Thanks again for your support Heidi,
P.S. There’s already a proposal to dump three million tonnes of sludge in the Reef’s waters, just 50 km from the Whitsunday Islands, and more proposals are coming that would see 40 million tonnes of seabed and rock dumped over the next five years. Add your name to this petition if you agree: The Reef is not a dump.
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The world's most iconic coral reef is under dire threat and the World Heritage Committee has given the Queensland and federal government of Australia just one year to act on its recommendations to save the Great Barrier Reef from joining the Unesco danger list.
Threats include climate change, coastal developments, agricultural runoff, ocean acidification and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish – and are not helped by mining companies treating the Great Barrier Reef as a dumping ground for waste.
Here are the best news stories, multimedia, teaching resources and websites to help explore the coral reef peril as well as wider issues in the world's oceans.