Friday, March 25, 2016

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: "Heartbreaking Images Can Be Seen For MILES,... AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE,..." - Fish Are Dying In Mass In Florida; El Nino, Warmer Temperatures, And Toxic Algae Are Leading To ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER?! [VIDEO]

Alex Gorichky via CNN

March 25, 2016 - FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - Florida may be the fishing capital of the world, but you'd never know it from the latest scenes around the state's Indian River Lagoon.

Usually idyllic beaches, waterways and estuaries near the massive, biodiverse ecosystem along central Florida's Atlantic coast are littered with scores of dead, rotting fish; an estimated hundreds of thousands of them are floating belly up in brackish, polluted water as far as the eye can see.

"The heartbreaking images can be seen for miles," said Mike Conner, who has been fishing the area since the 1970s. "All up and down the coast, it's the same story, and it could get worse before it gets better."

But the devastation isn't merely what is visible on the surface; it runs far deeper.

El Nino has soaked Florida recently, even during its usual "dry season."

In January, parts of central Florida received triple the amount of rain they normally do for the month. All that rainwater eventually made its way into estuaries via urbanized neighborhoods, picking up fertilizer and other pollutants along the way.

But that's not all.

Temperatures were warmer than usual during the winter, allowing a toxic algae bloom and brown tide to deplete the water of oxygen.

Ed Garland, a spokesman for the St. John River Water Management District, said officials can't determine the effect from the brown tide on the seagrass yet since the water is too cloudy. In 2011, more than half of the seagrass reportedly died off, and there are still damaged areas from that die-off.

These scenes are no doubt jarring to the eyes -- and not to mention the nose -- but state environmental officials said they have happened before.

"Fish kills happen all the time," said Kelly Richmond of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. "This is a massive kill, but there are fish kills all over the state."

However, Richmond conceded, "We have had brown tide there before but nothing to this extent."

The impact extends beyond the shores of the Indian River Lagoon -- comprised of the Mosquito, Banana River and Indian River lagoons -- and into the pocketbooks of Floridians, especially those in the state's two most profitable industries: tourism and fishing.

"Our oysters are dead, seagrasses are dead," said Conner, the fisherman. "It (will be) hard to recover. You never fully recover."

WATCH: Fish are dying in mass in Florida.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Mount Nyiragongo In Congo Showing Signs Of Imminent Eruption - Aircrafts Cautioned Against Flying Over The Volcano!

 Mount Nyiragongo's lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history

March 25, 2016 - CONGO - Rwanda Red Cross has warned of a possible Nyiragongo volcano eruption in the near future, the country's daily The New Times has reported.

Nyiragongo is one of the eight volcanic mountains in the Virunga Massif. The volcano is located near the town of Goma in eastern DR Congo, close to the Rwandan border.

Press reports from Kigali, indicate that local researchers have reported that that since February 28, 2016 Nyiragongo volcano increased signs of imminent eruption.
The New Times quoted, Dr Dyrckx Dushime, the head of Red Cross in Rubavu District, saying that the active volcano has recently released magma from one hole to another of two kilometers that form smoke on the top of it.

He explained that the volcano now releases polluted gas in the air between 5000 and 50,000 tonnes, per day which include a lot of sand.

Although he said people should not panic, he however cautioned aircrafts against flying over the volcano for fear of engine damage.

Dushime also warned residents in neighbouring areas against using unclean water, especially from rain and to wash vegetables before cooking.

The newspaper also reported that Rwanda's Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs' personnel were monitoring developments in the Virunga Massif

The Nyiragongo volcano last erupted in 2002, causing a lot of damage in both countries and displacing about 400,000 people. - New Vision.


EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: Freak Hail Stones The Size Of Golf Balls Pound Dallas, Texas! [VIDEO]

© LaRue Johnson

March 25, 2016 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - Freak storm  with hail stones, the size of golf balls fall in Dallas.

WATCH: Freak storm hits Texas.

- YouTube.


WAR ON MOTHER NATURE: Human Devolution And Vampirism - 23 Bald Eagles Have Been Killed By Americans So Far This Year; And Japanese "Scientific" Expedition Kills 333 Whales, Including 200 Pregnant Females?!

This eagle was one of five found dead or dying in Delaware this month, after apparently being poisoned. © Delaware Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
March 25, 2016 - EARTH - Here are two stunning cases of mankind's relentless war on Mother Nature: Americans have killed at least 23 bald eagles since the start of this year and Japan's latest 'scientific' whaling expedition has ended with more than 300 animals slaughtered.

23 bald eagles killed by Americans so far this year

I discovered that stunning number while working on a story about the dietary habits of eagles in coastal Alabama. (They like turtles! Watch for the story next week.) Doing some research online, stories about dead eagles just kept popping up.

Someone shot one in Kentucky around New Year's Day. Two more were shot with a high-powered rifle along the shores of a lake in Idaho. Another was killed in Missouri, again with a rifle. And someone killed one early this month near Rome, Georgia.

Then comes the most distressing story. Thirteen eagles have been found dead or dying in Maryland within the last month. Authorities are still unsure what sort of poison was used to kill them, but they have ruled out natural causes. Meanwhile, five more eagles were found dead in Delaware in March.

In 17 years of covering the environment, I can recall a single story about a teen who shot an eagle with a new gun he got for Christmas back in 2008. I remember the photos of the bird, its white feathers soaked in red blood. The kid shot it just to try out his new gun. The whole episode was so depressing.

But 23 eagles in less than three months! That is a lot of dead birds, and puts 2016 on pace to have more eagle killings than any year in decades.

These stories of dead eagles are particularly troubling for anyone who lived through the 1950s, 60s, or 70s, when eagles were so rare that few Americans had ever seen one. At one point, there were fewer than 500 pairs of eagles in the entire country, mostly in remote areas. I was 20 years old before I laid eyes on a bald eagle, and that was in Canada. I didn't see a bald eagle in Alabama until the year 2,000.

Like many birds, eagles were pushed to the brink of extinction by a combination of hunting, habitat loss and DDt, a pesticide that caused the thinning of egg shells, particularly of fish-eating birds, such as eagles, or pelicans. Their recovery since DDt was banned has been dramatic.

The most recent national survey suggests there are at least 10,000 breeding pairs of eagles in the nation. More than 100 of those pairs are here in Alabama. I know of five nests within 10 miles of my home, scattered around Mobile Bay, Weeks Bay and in the coastal rivers. North Alabama is home to many more eagles. I saw three eagles on Monday in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, parents with their young eaglet, who was nearly as large as mom and dad but still couldn't fly.

For anyone who has seen a bald eagle soaring overhead, or crashing down on a fish, it is hard to understand the reasoning behind shooting one. Or poisoning more than a dozen. For those dead birds found around Chesapeake Bay, I suppose someone poisoned them because they had become a nuisance. Perhaps eating catfish out of a farm pond, or stealing chickens from one of the giant commercial chicken farms in Maryland.

Maybe the message to take from all the killings isn't that there are a lot of crummy people out there. Maybe the better message is that there are so many eagles flying around today that they can be sometimes considered a nuisance. Consider this: When I was born in 1970, there were perhaps 500 pairs in the nation. Today, there are about 1,300 pairs in Florida and Alabama alone.

That's a pretty remarkable recovery. Give some credit to the Endangered Species Act, and some to the ban on DDt. But most of the credit goes to the fact that most of us - whether we are hunters, farmers, birders, nature buffs or people who rarely walk on anything but a city street -- are simply awestruck when we see on of these giant, gorgeous birds soaring through the air.

And the last thing we can imagine doing is killing one. - AL.

Japanese 'scientific' expedition kills 333 whales, including 200 pregnant females

Crew of a whaling ship check a whaling gun or harpoon before departure at Ayukawa port
in Ishinomaki City on April 26, 2014. 
© Getty Images

In total, 333 minke whales - including 200 pregnant females - were killed, Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research confirmed.

Despite international criticism of the country's whaling activities, Japan sent four ships to the Antarctic region for 115 days on December 1.

In 2014, the UN ruled that the activity in the Southern Ocean, south east of Australia and New Zealand, was a front for commercial hunts.

But the practice has resumed, with Mr Kindleysides urging the Australian government to take action.

Darren Kindleysides, director of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, said the 2014/15 summer was the first time in 70 years Japan stopped its whaling activities.

He said: 'That puts the onus on the Australian government to make sure this is the first and the last season of Japan's new so-called scientific program.'

In December, the Australian government said Japan's decision to continue whaling was 'deeply disappointing'.

But conservation group Sea Shepherd said the Japanese fleet had faced little or no scrutiny over the summer and Australia and New Zealand seemed unwilling to send a ship to intercept them.

Sea Shepherd Australia's managing director Jeff Hansen said: 'Once again false promises from the Australian and New Zealand governments have resulted in whales being killed illegally in the Australian Whale Sanctuary.

'The majority of Australians wanted the Australian government to send a vessel to oppose the slaughter. They did not.'

Australian Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson accused the government of doing little to prevent the 'sickening' illegal activity.

'Not in 40 years has an Australian government done so little to prevent whaling on our watch and in our waters,' he said.

Japan claims it is trying to prove the whale population is large enough to sustain a return to commercial hunting. - Metro.


EXTREME WEATHER: More Signs Of Increasing Magnetic Polar Migration - Lightning Strikes Kill 3 In Tanzania!

March 25, 2016 - TANZANIA - Three people died in separate incidents yesterday after being struck by lightning in Sumbawanga and Bukoba districts.

In Sumbawanga, lightning struck and burnt to ashes, a Standard Four pupil, Maria Pangani (14) from Swaila Primary School in Mkwamba Ward, Nkasi Distrct, Rukwa Region on Tuesday evening.

The deceased was studying through the Memkwa programme at the school.

In Bukoba two children from the same family died on the spot when they were struck by lightning in Kumubuga village, Murusagamba ward, in Ngara District.

Rukwa Regional Police Commander (RPC), Mr Jacob Mwaruanda, confirmed that the incident occurred on March 22, this year, at around 5:00 pm at Swaila Village in Nkasi District in the region.

Reports from the scene of incident had it that disaster struck when the deceased's mother threatened to punish her daughter after discovering that she was secretly possessing a Techno smartphone.

It was further alleged that the deceased's mother grilled her daughter seeking to know where she got that expensive phone. However, her daughter refused to reveal the person who had given her the device.

Narrating the incident, the Swaila Village Chairman, Mr Juvernary Mmanzi, said that on that material evening the deceased's mother demanded an explanation from her daughter who had given her the smart phone.

According to the deceased's mother, she was baffled and greatly shocked after discovering that her daughter was in possession of a smartphone. She declared that she (the mother) could not afford to purchase it.

"The perturbed mother grilled her daughter who refused to disclose where she got the phone. It was at that juncture the the mother threatened to accuse her to the village local government.

The defiant girl fled and went to hide in the bushes for fear of being sentenced to jail, " added Mr Mmanzi. Suddenly, a lighting that accompanied heavy rains struck the girl who was hiding in the bush and reduced her into ashes.

The reports had it that shortly later anxious villagers mounted a search for the girl and found her burnt body in the bush but her skirt was intact.

They also found the smartphone and some guava fruits in the pocket of the skirt. Mr Mwarunda said postmortem reports had confirmed that lightning was the cause of her death.

Her body was then given to relatives for burial. In Bukoba , The Medical Officer in-charge for Murusagamba Hospital, Dr Jacob Henry, identified the deceased as Dativa Cosmas (8), who was in Standard Two at Kumubuga Primary School and Bahati Cosmas (5).

Moreover, the medical officer said two people were admitted to the hospital in connection with the lightning incident. He named them as Cosmas Tingabangwa (36) and Deogratias Cosmas (12), who were in stable condition.

Three weeks ago, three students at Kanazi Secondary School in Ngara District were killed by lightning as they were attending classes. Sixteen others sustained minor injuries.

- Daily News.


ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Dead Gray Whale Washes Ashore At Salishan, Oregon; And Dead Gray Whale Found At Torrey Pines State Beach, California?!

Dead Gray Whale. © Cassie Ruud
March 25, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Dead gray whale washes ashore at Salishan, Oregon

A juvenile Gray Whale washed ashore at the Salishan private residences early Wednesday morning, March 23.

The whale was in the process of dying when it washed ashore and is now dead.

Scientists from the Oregon State University Marine Biology department took samples from the whale and will be analyzing it on Thursday.

If you come across an injured sea creature on the beach, do not approach it, instead contact the Oregon Coast Aquarium at( 541) 867-3474 or contact local authorities. - The News Guard.

Dead gray whale found at Torrey Pines State Beach, California

A gray whale washed ashore at Torey Pines State Beach Thursday morning.  © Darren Smith
A 28-foot dead gray whale likely hit by a ship washed ashore at Torrey Pines State Beach on Thursday morning, officials said.

The female appears to have been about 2 years old based on her length, said Kerri Danil, a biologist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in San Diego. Gray whales grow to about 45 feet long.

A stranding response team found propeller marks on the dead animal, but it was unknown whether she was hit by a vessel before or after she died, Danil said, adding that tests would try to determine that.

The carcass was discovered somewhere between the parking lot along Torrey Pines Road and the beach trail, said Darren Smith, California State Parks environmental scientist and supervisor. He did not know who found the whale or what time.

The washed up animal was moved with a forklift to higher ground near the Torrey Pines State Park entrance, and would be taken to a local landfill Friday morning.

The stranding response team collected samples that will allow them to study the genetics, hormones, contaminants and biotoxins of the whale, Danil said.

She said the San Diego Natural History Museum hopes to collect the entire skeleton Friday for its collection.

Earlier this month, a dead humpback whale washed ashore at Silver Strand State Beach in Coronado. - The San Diego Union-Tribune.