Arctic and Antarctic

Les milieux polaires sont les aimants de la Terre. Ils ont commencé par attirer les explorateurs, les chasseurs de baleines, de phoques et d’ours polaires. Ils ont ensuite captivé les scientifiques et les militaires, attiré les touristes, les concessions minières et les extracteurs d’hydrocarbures. La grande pêche s’y déchaine. L’Océan Glacial Arctique n’est protégé par aucune convention internationale. En Antarctique il faut empêcher la destruction du statut protecteur, en Arctique il faut le construire.

Polar Bears Betrayed by the European Union

5 Mar 2013

Polar Bears Betrayed by the European Union

In Doha, Qatar in 2010, Europe played a deciding role in the rejection of the American proposal to add Ursus maritimus to Appendix I. Because Europe voted against it, the proposal failed.

In Bangkok, three years later, the E.U. tries again to block the U.S. proposal. Instead of supporting the U.S. proposal, like Russia, the E.U. proposes keeping the polar bear under Appendix II, which authorises the international trade of polar bears and their parts. This compromise suggested by the E.U. is actually more like the status quo. The E.U. presented its proposal several requirements already expressed by specialists, environmental NGOs and certain range states, claiming it would be best to first understand the state of sub-populations, investigate smuggling networks, and to evaluate the effects of the capture and the hunting of the species.

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Is Coca Cola in favour of Polar Bear trade ?

21 Feb 2013

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

The Coca-Cola Company

One Coca-Cola Plaza

Atlanta, Georgia 30313


Dear Mr. Chairman Kent,

Robin des Bois is an NGO working for the protection of Man and Environment, based in Paris and has been an observer at CITES, (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) since 1988. Fear not, we are not asking for money, we are simply writing to you today with the hope of receiving a response.

We are well aware of the deep-seeded affection your company expresses for polar bears and your interest in their future. With this in mind Coca Cola has established a scientific and economic partnership with WWF. This partnership has raised millions of dollars with the goal of reinforcing efforts towards the protection of polar bears.

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A Dark Future for Polar Bears

18 Feb 2013

A Dark Future for Polar Bears

The hunting of polar bears is now in full force. The Canadian tourist agencies responsible for organizing hunting trips in Nunavut, the North West Territories, and in Manitoba are completely booked until 2014. In order to respond to such high demand, Nunavut increased the hunting quotas in the Hudson Bay area, without taking into account the disapproval of the Polar Bear Specialist Group from the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). Instead of the elephant, the polar bear is now the « ultimate target ». The polar bear finds itself in the challenge of the century, at the summit of the world. « For our European Clients, we recommend at least the caliber 8 x 57mm, but the best is 9.3 x 74mm ». Having reached the top, you can return with the most prestigious of trophies, with some help from the best taxidermists in Canada.

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Polar Bears: Left Out in the Cold

5 Feb 2013

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a marine mammal that lives off of the other marine mammals inhabiting the artic ice pack, and the surrounding ice flows and ocean. The polar bear is thus an excellent swimmer. The artic ice pack, home of the polar bear, is disappearing. The vulnerability and mortal risks faced by polar bears are increasing.

The polar bear, beloved by many, has become the martyr employed by governments and NGOs to symbolize the fight against global warming. It has become a fundraising symbol and a top-model.

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(Français) 13 associations exhortent la France à s’opposer au commerce international des ours polaires et de leurs parties

13 Dec 2012

Only in French.

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The Nisshin Maru: not to Catch but to Scrap

26 Sep 2012

The Japanese government has announced that they are considering “major repairs” of the Nisshin Maru, the mother factory ship of the whaling fleet that works in Antarctica in the name of science. The work will be superficial because the Nisshin Maru should be ready in time for the departure to Antarctica which happens every year in November. The Japanese Fisheries Agency hopes that this fast cosmetic repair will resist 10 years.

However, the Nisshin Maru is old. She is fragile. She was launched in 1987.

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Life jacket for the French Ambassador in the Arctic

2 Sep 2011

Once more, he could not say no to the invitation of a ship owner with a polar cruise. Michel Rocard, French ambassador for the Arctic and Antarctic poles embarks September 4th from Iqaluit in the Canadian arctic for eleven days aboard the Boréal.

This voyage is not without risks for the passengers and the environment. A year ago exactly, in the same waters, the Clipper Adventurer ran aground on a reef. The 197 passengers and crew members had to wait forty-eight hours on the ship, in distress, before beginning to be evacuated. Means of assistance and salvage from Canada like other coastal states of the icy Arctic Ocean are inadequate. The ship owner sued the Canadian government for mistakes in the mapping surveys. Today, only ten percent of the Arctic Ocean is correctly charted.

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There is movement in the Arctic

22 Jul 2011

There is movement in the Arctic

On July 7th 2011 a maritime border agreement between Russia and Norway entered into force. This new dividing line ends a 44 year dispute over 175,000 square kilometres in the Barents and Arctic seas and opens up the former so called “grey zone” for exploration. The day following the entry into force Norway deployed the Harrier Explorer (Imo 7807380) a seismic vessel to start exploration in the zone.

This border agreement follows a Treaty on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic on May 12th 2011. It is the first legally binding treaty under the circumpolar intergovernmental forum the Arctic Council and was signed in Nuuk Greenland by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States of America. The Treaty so called the “Nuuk Agreement” is focused on saving lives. It is an important step towards policy-making as there is an increasing amount of traffic venturing into the Arctic, which includes tankers and passenger ships of which a number were not constructed to navigate in ice-covered waters.

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Whales, Nagoya Blabla

29 Oct 2010

Whales, Nagoya Blabla

The Conference on Biodiversity taking place in Nagoya Japan ends today while, in November, the Japanese whaling fleet will leave for Antarctica to catch 1,000 whales. Since 1986, when the moratorium on commercial whaling entered into force Japan has killed, in the name of science, 13,210 whales of which close to 10,000 were caught in Antarctica, a whale sanctuary since 1994. Considering the state of the Japanese whaling fleet, the entire Antarctic ecosystem is threatened by an oil spill.

The mother-ship, Nisshin Maru, ex Chikuzen Maru was launched in 1987. She was initially a stern trawler in American waters. She was quickly converted into a whaling factory ship. She works in the Antarctic Ocean without a double hull or reinforcement against ice and with only one engine. In February 2007, while the Nisshin Maru was sailing in the Ross Sea, a major explosion occurred aboard killing a crewmember and immobilising the vessel leaving her to drift for several days in the ice-infested Southern Seas. According to New Zealand authorities, the incident is one of the most serious to have occurred in the region. The Japanese did not immediately send out an SOS. The Nisshin Maru is also a little tanker with a capacity of holding 2,600 tons of fuel.

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A new contaminated site in Arctic ? (*)

2 Sep 2010

Since Friday 27th August, the Arctic Ocean is threatened by the Clipper Adventurer. This ferry converted into a cruise ship was built in 1975 in ex-Yugoslavia. She is flying the Bahamian flag. She ran aground a reef along the Nunavut shoreline. Salvage operations are considered.

The state of Bahamas has not signed the MARPOL annex IV on the prevention of pollution by sewage from ships. The owner is based in Miami.

This warning incident demonstrates that all nautical and juridical precautionary measures are not implemented to avoid pollution in the Arctic Ocean.

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