We kid you not

Issue 

Over-fishing threatens caviar

“Lovers of fine food face a shortage of Beluga caviar that may last more than a decade. Eurasian states are discussing a ban on catching sturgeon in the Caspian Sea.

“Over-fishing has reduced the population of the fish that produces the delicacy by 90 per cent.

“It has pushed the price up nearly sevenfold to $14,340 per kilogram, or $1434 for enough to make a sandwich.

“The Caspian Sea is home to four-fifths of the sturgeon bearing the most sought after varieties of caviar ...

“Now Kazakhstan has suggested that it and the other countries which share the waters - Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Russia — should introduce a 10-year moratorium.

“Akhylbek Kurishbayev, Kazakhstan's agriculture minister, said: ‘Restoring the sturgeon population could take up to 15 years.’”

— July 12 Sydney Morning Herald report.

Not just bees — flowers disappearing too

“More than one-in-four of all flowering plants are under threat of extinction according to the latest report to confirm the ongoing destruction of much of the natural world by human activity.

“As a result, many of nature’s most colourful specimens could be lost to the world before scientists even discover them, claims the research, published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“The results reflect similar global studies of other species groups by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which estimates that one-in-five of all mammals, nearly one-in-three amphibians and one-in-eight birds are vulnerable to being wiped out completely ...

“The warning comes as there is growing international recognition of the value of the natural world to humans in providing ecosystem services, from flood protection and medicines to spiritual spaces and enjoyment.
“[David Roberts of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent said]: ‘Plants are the basis for much of life on earth with virtually all other species depending on them; if you get rid of those you get rid of a lot of the things above them.’”

— July 7 Alternet.org article.

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