Tag Archive | "Fishing"

NOAA Blocks Importation of Whales

In a victory for animal rights advocates, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA announced last week that it had denied an application from Georgia Aquarium to import 18 beluga whales from Russia for public display.

NOAA said it denied the application – the first of its kind in over 20 years – because the import operation would violate the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). NOAA gave Georgia Aquarium 60 days to appeal the decision to a federal district court.

Captured from the Sea of Okhotsk between 2006 and 2011, the whales were part of the Sakhalin-Amur whale stock and would have been imported to Georgia Aquarium from Russia’s Utrish Marine Mammal Research Station.

Georgia Aquarium planned to display the belugas in its Atlanta facility and at its partner locations, including SeaWorld of Florida, SeaWorld of Texas, SeaWorld of California and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

In its denial letter, NOAA told Georgia Aquarium that it had failed to adequately demonstrate — as required by the MMPA — that the importation would not result in significant negative impact on the Sakhalin-Amur whale stock; and that the importation would “likely result in the taking of marine mammals beyond those authorized by the permit.”

“The Georgia Aquarium clearly worked hard to follow the required process and submit a thorough application, and we appreciate their patience and cooperation as we carefully considered this case,” said Sam Rauch, acting assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA Fisheries in a press release. “However, under the strict criteria of the law, we were unable to determine if the import of these belugas, combined with the active capture operation in Russia and other human activities, would have an adverse impact on this stock of wild beluga whales.”

For example, NOAA determined that five of the 18 belugas “were potentially still nursing and not yet independent,” when they were captured.

NOAA further determined that Russia’s whale capture operations may resulted in an overall reduction in the beluga population. “The ongoing live-capture trade since 1989 may have contributed to a cumulative decline over the past two decades, and we considered this in combination with other past, present, and foreseeable future actions,” stated NOAA.

Aside from international whaling operations, beluga whales face a number of threats, including ship strikes, pollution, habitat destruction and entanglement in fishing gear, according to NOAA.

PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – called NOAA’s action a victory for the constitutional rights of animals, referring to its pending lawsuit against Sea World claiming the marine parks violate the 13th Amendment anti-slavery rights of orcas or killer whales.

“Slavery does not depend on the species of the slave any more than it depends on race, gender, or ethnicity,” argued PETA general counsel Jeff Kerr in the case summary. “Coercion, degradation, and subjugation characterize slavery, and these orcas have endured all three.”

“Thanks to the film Blackfish and PETA’s lawsuit against SeaWorld for violating orcas’ right to freedom under the 13th Amendment, people are now aware of the cruel rodeo-style capture of whales from their pods in the ocean and how humans are endangered (sometimes fatally) by their proximity to these severely distressed animals in captivity,” said PETA in a press release.

Also See:
Could be Many Hurricanes This Year, NOAA Says
BP Oil Spill: Where Did the Oil Go?

Source: About.com


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Posted in EconomyComments Off

Bill Would End Door-to-Door Mail Delivery

Does your mail still come to your front door? Do you like getting your mail 6-days a week? Well, both of those services will probably go away should Congress pass the latest bill intended to save the nearly insolvent U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Introduced last week by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the Postal Reform Act of 2013 (H.R. 2748), would authorize the USPS to end most door-to-door mail delivery and implement the 5-day a week delivery schedule Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe had announced in February, but backed down on in April.

According to the USPS, about 30 million Americans still get their mail delivered directly to their front doors at a yearly cost to the Postal Service of about $353 per address. Delivery to individual curbside mailboxes, where about 50 million people get their mail, costs about $224 a year. Delivery to centralized neighborhood cluster mailboxes costs about $160 per address per year.

Now, ask yourself, how many people these days buy even $160 worth of postage stamps a year? Ah… There’s the problem!

Under Rep. Isssa’s Postal Reform Act, the USPS would convert almost all current residential and business address with front door delivery to either curbside or cluster box delivery over the next nine years.

Exceptions could be allowed for addresses in registered historical districts and in cases where curbside or cluster box delivery would result in “significant physical hardship to a postal patron.” Some postal customers would also be allowed to keep their front door delivery privilege by paying an as-yet unspecified annual fee.

According to Rep. Issa’s office, the USPS would save $4 billion a year by switching to curbside delivery and $6 billion by going to cluster boxes.

The bill would also remove the current no-layoff clause from future postal worker contracts and give the USPS a break on the congressionally -imposed requirement that it prefund its retiree health benefit plan.

Currently, the USPS is required make two payments a year to the U.S. Treasury totaling over $11 billion to prefund its retiree health plan. The USPS defaulted on both of its 2012 payments and is on a sad track to do so again this September.

Issa’s bill would also grant the USPS’ long standing wish to have its annual overpayments to the federal retirement system returned to its own health benefit fund.

“The legislation will create a permanent mechanism that ensures projected surpluses in the Postal Service’s pension system do not go to fund operating losses at the Postal Service, but instead protect other benefits already earned by its employees,” states Rep. Issa’s summary of the bill.

The bill would also allow the USPS to generate additional revenue by selling commercial advertising space on its massive fleet of vehicles and in post offices, and by offering local services, like selling fishing licenses, in post offices. In addition, the bill would ban national and state political committees from using the lower nonprofit postage rate.

Many rural residents will cheer provisions in the bill making it more difficult for the USPS to close their local post offices. Under the bill, the USPS would have to consider a rural community’s access to the Internet, availability of cellular phone service and distance to the next closest post office before closing its post office.

Also See: No Saturday Mail Plan Snubs Rural America

While Republicans and Democrats have their doubts and differences over details of the Postal Reform Act of 2013, the overall bill has bipartisan support and lawmakers of both parties agree that the Postal Service will not survive unless changes are made now.

In his testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on April 17, Postmaster General Donahoe state that over the last 18 months, while Congress had considered, but failed to act on postal reform legislation, the Postal Service had reported a net loss of $19 billion.

“Now is the time for bold and sweeping action, which will let us move forward with a solution that will last for years to come, instead of piecemeal efforts that will only bring us back here again, pursuing legislative reform in a few years,” Donahoe told lawmakers. “We need to act now to implement strategies designed not for the Postal Service of today, but for the Postal Service of ten, twenty, and even fifty years into the future.”

Also See:
The Direst Postal Service Warning Ever
Postal Service Just Keeps on Bleeding Green

Source: About.com


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Posted in EconomyComments Off

Four Seasons Punta Mita

Punta Mita: Everything for a Mexico Lux Vacation, All in One Great Place

Four Seasons Punta Mita

OK, I’m going to tell you about Punta Mita. But don’t go telling everyone else. Just your most tasteful and discerning friends.

Tail of the Whale

Punta Mita is an elegant luxury resort that flaunts:

  • Endless recreation: postcard beaches, legendary surfing, scuba, fishing, whale-watching
  • Bucket-list golf: the infamous Tail of the Whale hole is here (shown)
  • St. Regis Punta Mita Pool

  • Two luscious luxury hotels (Four Seasons, St. Regis) and cozy boutique hotels
  • Splendid dining: fresh from the sea and garden
  • Convenience: it’s only a drive from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico’s Pacific hub

Find out more and start dreaming about your own Punta Mita getaway >>

Imanta Resort Punta Mita

Punta Mita scenes from top: ©Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita; ©The St. Regis Resort Punta Mita, its Tale of the Whale hole, its pool; ©Imanta Resort.

Source: About.com


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Posted in TravelComments Off

Rural Radio Coming to SiriusXM Satellite Radio

Rural Radio is a new 24/7 channel coming to SiriusXM Satellite Radio beginning July 15. The service describes Rural Radio as being “…devoted to providing a wide variety of programming for and about rural American life, the western lifestyle and agribusiness interests.” (Screenshot: SiriusXM.com/ruralradio)

Rural Radio will be heard on channel 80 and is designed to deliver original programming for rural audiences including lifestyle, commodity markets, equine, hunting, fishing, western sports (rodeo and bull riding), and more. Some of the shows that will be heard include Horse Talk, Rural Evening News, Vets on Call, and others.

SiriusXM has identified rural listeners as a growing share of the satellite market. Patrick Gottsch, founder of Rural Radio, LLC says satellite radio technology has been “…embraced by rural consumers in their cars, pickups, tractors and combines throughout North America.”

For more information, go to SiriusXM.com/RURALRADIO.

Source: About.com


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Posted in EntertainmentComments Off

In 1939, the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago hosted the Father & Son Banquet.

Fathers Day

In 1939, the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago hosted the Father & Son Banquet. It has been reported that the trend in Fathers Day gifts will be no gifts at all. Instead we will be celebrating Fathers Day with more activities: dinners, parties, fishing trips, sports events, etc.

Here are a few facts about Fathers Day.

  • There are  about 70.1 million dads in America
  • But only about 176,000 of them are stay-at-home dads
  • About 45 percent of all fathers have been divorced, 31 percent were never married, 19 percent were separated, and 5 percent were widowed
  • Americans spend on average about $94.32 per gift
  • About 40% of us will be doing activities to celebrate Fathers Day
  • Clothing, electronics, and gift certificates are what we tend to choose as gifts

In 1939, the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago hosted the Father & Son Banquet. This colorful poster is from the American Memory collection “By the People, for the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943.”

Source: About.com


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Posted in ScienceComments Off

Facebook is Killing Its Annoying ‘Sponsored Stories’ Ad Format

If you use Facebook regularly, chances are you’ve seen those sneaky ads that pop up in the middle of your news feed saying “friend name likes page name” along with a related brand or product photo disguised as a shared a post and the word Sponsored displayed beneath it. They’re pretty awful, and Facebook is getting rid of them. Thank goodness.

The worst part about Sponsored Stories was that you couldn’t shut them off, and more often than not, they weren’t tailored to any of your personal interests. If a friend liked a specific page for whatever reason and if that page was paying Facebook to show ads all over the place, that meant it could show up as a Sponsored Story in your feed — no matter how irrelevant it was to you.

  • A brief history of Facebook

I recently had a friend ask me in real life why I kept posting about a fishing product on Facebook. Confused, I told him that I remembered liking a fishing company’s Facebook page over a year ago, but I hadn’t posted anything about it since then. Turns out those posts were Sponsored Stories constantly being displayed in my friends’ news feeds. I had no idea.

Facebook is cutting down its current 27 ad formats by about half. Advertisers sure won’t be happy about it, but Facebook users can at least breathe a sigh of relief knowing that certain news feed stories will no longer be disguised as ads.

Photo © Facebook

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Source: About.com


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Posted in NetworkingComments Off

family fishing

Go Outside and Celebrate Get Outdoors Day

family fishing

A number of states across the U.S are celebrating National Get Outdoors (GO) Day with license free fishing. The annual event takes place this year on June 8, 2013. The holiday, which was created in a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), encourages healthy, active outdoor fun; the USFS is offering a fee-free day in celebration.

Participating partners will offer opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. Prime goals of the day are reaching first-time visitors to public lands and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors.

To find GO Day activities near you, visit the National Get Outdoors Day website.

More: License Free Fishing Days: a state-by-state listing | Federal Lands Free Entrance Days

Photo: A family learns how to fly fish in the Inyo National Forest, near Mammoth Lakes, California | (c) Monica Prelle

Source: About.com


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Posted in TravelComments Off

campground cooking

What’s Cookin’ at the Campground?

campground cooking

Cooking at the campground can be simple, easy, and delicious. From one pot meals to make ahead recipes and simple marinades for grilling, there are a lot of tasty ideas for campground cooking.  Or, cooking can be overwhelming and a frustrating mess!  Some campers love to get gourmet in the wilderness, while others would rather spend their time relaxing at camp or fishing until sunset.

Cooking at the campground can be intimidating — there is a lot to pack and you don’t want to forget any key ingredients, but we’ve got you covered with a few simple tips for campground cooking.

Have a bit of campground cooking advice? Share your kitchen tips with fellow campers in the comments below.

More: 5 Tips for Campground Cooking | Like About Camping on Facebook | Follow @aboutcamping on Twitter

Source: About.com


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Posted in TravelComments Off

Hiking  near Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Year-round Playground for Adventure Travelers

Hiking  near Steamboat Springs

Hiking in the wilderness, mountain biking on singletrack, rock climbing and fly fishing, then soaking in a natural hot springs.  Steamboat Springs, Colorado, has it all.

Photo:

© Lois Friedland

Source: About.com


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Posted in TravelComments Off

Fishing for Fun

Source: About.com


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Posted in OtherComments Off

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