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Britain announces marine 'planning' zones

by Staff Writers
London (UPI) Oct 28, 2010
An area of the North Sea has been chosen as the first region off England's coast to be subject to a marine planning system, authorities say.

The first area extends 125 miles off the country's east coast, and the marine plan aims to subject ocean projects to the same level of planning approval required for efforts on land, the BBC reported Thursday.

The zone will be the first of 10 eventually forming a complete marine planning system around England.

Marine activities including wind farms, oil and gas exploration, cable laying, commercial shipping, fishing and recreational use, would be subject to planning approval.

"England's marine area is extremely crowded in terms of existing activities and the pressure and competition for space are going to increase," Steve Brooker, head of marine planning for the Marine Management Organization, said.

"Marine planning will enable the MMO and others to balance and integrate the vast range of competing activities and aspirations," he said.

earlier related report
Logbooks show extensive Malaysian pangolin trade: TRAFFIC
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Oct 28, 2010 - Seized logbooks from a wildlife trafficking syndicate show it killed and trafficked 22,200 pangolins in Malaysia between 2007 and 2009, according to a wildlife watchdog Thursday.

Wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC said an average of 1,585 pangolins were killed monthly by that gang alone during 14 months in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah on Borneo.

In a report the organisation analysed logbooks seized from the trafficking syndicate last year by the Sabah Wildlife Department.

"The detailed record-taking by this criminal syndicate has given us a unique insight into the volumes of endangered pangolins being illegally traded in the region," said TRAFFIC senior programme officer Noorainie Awang Anak.

She said the number could be even higher since the logbooks ran from May 2007 to January 2009, but eight months' worth were unavailable.

"Whether this is because the books were missing or because there was no smuggling during the period is not known," she added.

The Sabah Wildlife Department gave TRAFFIC access to the logbooks, which detail the volume, weight, source and prices of pangolins purchased by the syndicate during the period.

The Sunda pangolin, the species the syndicate were dealing in, is considered endangered and is protected under Malaysian law.

Pangolins are indigenous to the jungles of Indonesia, parts of Malaysia and areas of southern Thailand, and their meat is considered a delicacy in China.

International trade in any Asian pangolin species is banned under the UN's Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, but they are widely hunted and trafficked for their supposed medicinal properties.

Last year, Malaysian wildlife authorities rescued 130 pangolins and arrested two men attempting to smuggle the animals out of the country.

In 2008, Vietnamese customs seized 23 tonnes of frozen pangolins in a single week, most of them believed to be destined for China.

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Pacific fisheries face collapse by 2035: study
Wellington (AFP) Oct 27, 2010
Pacific island fisheries face collapse in the next 25 years as overfishing, population growth and climate change threaten one of the region's main economic resources, a study warned Wednesday. The report, published by the Noumea-based Secretariat of the Pacific Community, said the two billion US dollar a year industry was poorly managed, with a lack of coordination between the 22 island nati ... read more

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