Weekly Press Review – 18 March 2016

Indonesian authorities have made headlines this week with the bombing of a Nigerian-flagged vessel wanted internationally after years of illegal toothfish poaching.

According to the press the vessel was seized by the Indonesian Navy in late February. Yesterday the vessel was bombed in an attempt to send a strong message to would-be poachers entering Indonesian waters.

The Viking was one of six vessels, named the Bandit 6, known to be illegally catching toothfish in the Southern Ocean. The vessel, along with five others, was closely followed by NGO the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who alerted authorities when the Viking entered Indonesian waters.

Fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti said, “This is to serve as a deterrent to others. You may go freely in the rest of the world, but once entering Indonesian waters this is the consequence.”

The Two Oceans Aquarium and the seals of Cape Town have a new hero. According to the press, Two Oceans Aquarium specialist technician, Vince Calder, takes to the waters of the Cape Town harbour at 7am each morning to check on the safety of seals in the harbour area. His check includes making sure that none of the seals have been caught in fishing lines or plastic bags.

Over a two-year period, Calder has come to the aid of over 20 seals. “Each day that I don’t discover a seal in distress due to fishing line or plastic is a good day,” says Calvin.

Calvin says that we can all make a difference by starting with one small act in our homes. Before you throw away any plastic bags, simply cut the handles of the plastic bag to make sure that it does not get caught around the head of an unsuspecting seal. “Cut a loop, save a life” is the aquariums motto and one we can all easily adopt as our own.

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