Science & Nature
June 23, 2018 - June 29, 2018
Conservation groups’ pact
will help save Atlantic salmon
Farm-raised Atlantic salmon move across a conveyor belt as they are
brought aboard a harvesting boat near Eastport, Maine. Two conservation
groups say a deal has been struck with commercial fishermen in Greenland
and the Faroe Islands to protect thousands of vulnerable Atlantic
salmon. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
(AP) - Two conservation groups said Tuesday a
deal has been struck with commercial fishermen in Greenland and the
Faroe Islands that will help thousands of vulnerable Atlantic salmon
return to rivers in the United States, Canada and Europe.
for Atlantic salmon is prohibited in the United States, where the fish’s
Gulf of Maine population is listed under the Endangered Species Act. But
the Atlantic Salmon Federation and North Atlantic Salmon Fund said their
new deal with Greenland and Faroe Island fishers is a major step toward
recovery because it will dramatically reduce fishing.
and the waters off the Faroe Islands are important feeding grounds for
salmon. Fishermen who work those waters take fish that originate in both
jeopardized populations in Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, and healthy
places new limits on fishing, including ending the Faroe Islands
Here’s a look at
the agreement and the status of Atlantic salmon in the United States and
Fish in trouble
Atlantic salmon are
well known to seafood fans because they are raised extensively in
aquaculture - a controlled farming environment - but their wild
counterparts are in trouble in some parts of the world. The fish are
born in freshwater streams, head to sea for one or more years and return
to their natal streams to spawn.
The most productive
river for the salmon in the U.S. is the Penobscot River in Maine, which
is the only U.S. state left with native Atlantic salmon populations.
Less than 850 returned to the Penobscot in 2017. The number was above
1,000 per year in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
The decrease in the
fish’s populations is due to factors such as overfishing, habitat loss
and pollution. U.S. and Canadian environmentalists and marine managers
have long sought cooperation from Greenland, which has a significant
harvest of the fish.
Terms of the deal
ASF and NASF said
in a statement that Greenland and Faroe Islands delegations to the North
Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization will agree to a commercial
salmon quota of zero at a summit meeting this month in Portland, Maine.
Greenland will retain a harvest of no more than 20 metric tons for
personal and family consumption, the groups said.
conservation groups said they have pledged to “financially support
alternative economic development, scientific research, and education
initiatives focused on conservation” in exchange. ASF President Bill
Taylor declined to name the cost of the initiative but said it would be
in line with the market value of the salmon that the fishermen are
agreeing not to harvest.
The agreement would
last 12 years. The groups said the money was raised from private donors.
a financial consultant for Association of Fishers and Hunters in
Greenland, said the agreement can go into effect when Greenland’s
government approves it.
Hope for the future
In the meantime,
conservationists in the U.S. and Canada state that the deal is an
important step toward saving salmon. The agreement will be a major topic
of discussion at the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization
meeting scheduled for June 12 to 15 in Portland.
“Any reduction in
the fishery is welcomed,” said Tommi Linnansaari, Atlantic salmon
research chair at the University of New Brunswick. “The salmon
population, especially here on the North Atlantic side, is on its last
legs and any effort is welcome.”
June 16, 2018 - June 22, 2018
Pompeii: New find shows man crushed trying to flee eruption
Anthropologist Valeria Amoretti works with a brush on a skeleton of a
victim of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, which destroyed the
ancient town of Pompeii, at Pompeii' archeological site, near Naples, on
Tuesday, May 29, 2018. The skeleton was found during recent excavations
and is believed to be of a 35-year-old man with a limp who was hit by a
pyroclastic cloud during the eruption. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)
Milan (AP) - Officials at
the Pompeii archaeological site have announced a dramatic new discovery,
the skeleton of a man crushed by an enormous stone while trying to flee
the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
Pompeii officials on
Tuesday released a photograph showing the skeleton protruding from
beneath a large block of stone that may have been a door jamb that had
been "violently thrown by the volcanic cloud."
The victim, who was over
30, had his thorax crushed. Archaeologists have not found the victim's
head. Officials said the man suffered an infection of the tibia, which
may have caused walking difficulties, impeding his escape.
The archaeological site's
general director, Massimo Osanna, called it "an exceptional find," that
contributes to a better "picture of the history and civilization of the
June 9, 2018 - June 15, 2018
Residents riding out Hawaii
lava told to escape torrents
Saturday, May 26, 2018, image released by the U.S. Geological Survey HVO
shows an aerial view of fissure 22 looking toward the south, as Kilauea
Volcano continues its eruption cycle near Pahoa on the island of
Kilauea, Hawaii. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)
Honolulu (AP) - Rivers of
lava have been flowing toward the ocean on Hawaii’s Big Island, forcing
officials to knock on doors and urge residents holding out in evacuated
neighborhoods to flee right away.
Molten rock trapped at least one
person who was rescued by authorities. The Kilauea volcano has been
unleashing danger on the remote, rural southeastern side of the island
for nearly a month, displacing thousands of residents, destroying 37
houses and forcing businesses to shut down.
A section of a key rural highway
closed after a lava flow came within about 100 yards (90 meters),
according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The two-lane highway
connects Pahoa, a small town near the evacuation zones of the Leilani
Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods, to the east coastline and
links two other small highways that run north and south.
Lava was shooting up from cracks in
the ground and blowing strands of volcanic glass.
Explosions at the summit were
sending small bursts of volcanic ash as high as 15,000 feet (4,570
Wind was carrying volcanic glass,
gases, pollution and ash particles to other parts of the island.
Authorities on Tuesday advised residents to minimize exposure to avoid
irritation to skin and eyes and breathing problems.
A new fissure has opened, bringing
the total number of cracks spouting lava to 24 since the volcano began
erupting on May 3, Hawaii County Civil Defense said.
Lava also has covered two wells at
a geothermal plant. County officials said the plugged wells were stable
and being monitored, and no dangerous gases have been released, such as
hydrogen sulfide - a colorless, flammable gas that can be emitted by
volcanoes or when organic matter and waste break down.
Ormat Technologies, a Nevada
company that owns the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, said it could not
assess the extent of the damage to the wells. The facility produces
roughly one-quarter of the Big Island’s daily energy supply.
After weeks of scientific updates
on the volcano, the U.S. Geological Survey took a lighter tone as it
responded to a question on Twitter about whether it would be safe to
roast marshmallows over volcanic vents.
“We’re going to have to say no,
that’s not safe,” the agency’s volcanos account replied Monday, saying
if the vent was belching volcanic gases, such as sulfur dioxide or
hydrogen sulfide, the roasted marshmallows “would taste bad.” The gases
generally smell like rotten eggs.
Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park
has been closed and has no water due to damaged utility lines, said
Jessica Ferracane, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service.
Associated Press journalist
Audrey McAvoy contributed to this report.
June 2, 2018 - June 8, 2018
Experts: China far side lunar mission potentially historic
launched a relay satellite as part of a groundbreaking program to land a
probe on the far side of the moon this year. The China National Space
Administration said on its website that the satellite lofted into space
early Monday, May 21, aboard a Long March-4C rocket will facilitate
communication between controllers on Earth and the Chang’e 4 mission. (Cai
Yang/Xinhua via AP)
Beijing (AP) - China’s ambition to soft-land a
spacecraft on the far side of the moon later this year faces considerable
challenges, but if successful would propel the country’s space program to
the forefront of one of the most important areas of lunar exploration,
China hopes to be the first country to complete such a
landing. On Monday, it launched a relay satellite to facilitate
communication between controllers on Earth and the upcoming Chang’e 4
The moon’s far side is also known as the dark side
because it faces away from Earth and remains comparatively unknown.
Creating the ability to explore the far side of the
Moon is an impressive achievement, John M. Logsdon of George Washington
University’s Space Policy Institute said in an email.
“Spacefaring countries around the globe are focusing a
great deal of attention on lunar exploration, and this far side capability,
if it comes into being, will put China in a leading position with respect to
that objective,” Logsdon said.
However, getting the relay satellite into the proper
position will be tricky and marks only a first step in pulling off the
landing, he said.
“Doing things in space, especially at a far distance
from Earth, remains hard, so success is far from assured, Logsdon said.
A far side soft-landing would be a “world historical
first,” said Bernard Foing, head of the European Space Agency’s
International Lunar Exploration Working Group, which has collaborated with
the Chinese program.
That would offer a “deep science opportunity to study
the far side,” which has a different composition from sites on the near
side, where previous missions have landed, Foing said.
However, he too warned of the difficulties ahead,
saying it would be a “great challenge using the relay orbiter for control
Such a communications relay link is needed for
communication with a spacecraft on the far side because the moon’s rocky
bulk would otherwise block contact with Earth.
China previously landed its Jade Rabbit rover on the
moon and plans to land its Chang’e 5 probe there next year and have it
return to Earth with samples - the first time that would be done since 1976.
China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003,
making it only the third country after Russia and the U.S. to do so, and has
put a pair of space stations into orbit.
Upcoming missions include the launch of the 20-ton core
module for the still orbiting Tiangong 2 station, along with specialized
components for a more-than 60-ton station that is due to come online in 2022
and a Mars rover planned for the mid 2020s.
Additionally, China has already obtained the
“technological basis” to put astronauts on the moon, the chief designer of
the manned space program, Zhou Jianping, told a conference last month.
“We have had in-depth discussions with many experts
about manned lunar exploration, and conducted research on key technologies
in recent years,” Zhou said.
Although China’s space program is largely military-run,
the Chang’e 4 mission underscores how it is a developing “an ambitious
civilian, science-based space effort alongside building up the country’s
national security space capabilities,” Logsdon said.
A number of Chinese commercial satellite launchers have
also sprung up in recent years on the model, if not the scale, of private
U.S. companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin.
Last week, Beijing-based OneSpace Technologies became
the first private spaceflight company to send a rocket into space, launching
its relatively small 9-meter (30-foot) OS-X for a test flight that ended
with it falling back to Earth.