Archive | April 5, 2021

Hundreds of dead starfish wash up in Edinburgh, Scotland

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A photo from Wardie Bay taken this weekend has left locals saddened after they learned the reason hundreds of starfish had washed up on the shore.

Locals had been reacting positively to the picture which showed a number of the creatures floating in the water at Wardie Bay in Granton before other users pointed out that most were likely dead.

It’s not the first time locals in Edinburgh and the Lothians have reported similar sights on beaches in the area.

In February last year, a few hundred star fish washed up on the shore at Yellowcraig in East Lothian, with countryside rangers linking it to the effects of Storm Ciara.

In 2018, similarly sad sightings were also reported after Storm Eleanor, with marine experts explaining the creatures had likely died after being washed into the cold British seas.

It was one of the biggest mass strandings on record, and as well as starfish The Marine Conservation Society also reported that hundreds of lobsters and clams had washed up on shore.

But whilst it is an upsetting sight, experts have said previously it is not something to be overly concerned about and is a relatively common occurrence.

Dr Chris Mah, a starfish researcher from the Smithsonian Institute, explained in a post on his website that populations are usually able to bounce back.

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800 dead turtles wash up since January on beaches in Odisha, India

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At least 800 Olive Ridley sea turtles died, their carcasses washed ashore since January 2021, on the beaches of Odisha — 30 kilometres along the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary and its nearby areas from Silali to Nasi beach.

Gahirmatha marine sanctuary is the world’s largest rookery of the sea turtles.

“Turtles die after getting stuck in fishing nets. Many dead turtles bore injuries, which pointed to the possibility of them being trapped in a trawl or gill net,” said Hemant Rout, environmentalist and secretary, Gahirmatha Marine Turtles and Mangrove Conservation Society.

The trawlers are supposed to fish beyond five kilometres from the coast, according to Odisha Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1982. They are allowed to fish beyond 20 km from the coast in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary. But they violate the law and fish near the shore. As a result, turtles get caught in trawl nets and die, added Rout.

One of the two patrolling boats — purchased for Rs 6 crores four years ago — has been lying defunct for the last six months, according to Rout.

The risk to turtles can be reduced by equipping trawlers with turtle excluder devices (TED), which is a small additional net or metal grid inside the net that allows turtles to escape.

While the concept of enforcing legislation to use TED in trawler nets is not even remotely in sight, the government is planning to construct a riverine port at Akhadasali at the Mahanadi river near the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.

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Bird Flu Suspected In Ahmedabad, India After 190 Pigeons Found Dead In City

Around 190 pigeons were found dead in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat in over a period of two days, said officials on Thursday. Bird flu is been suspected as the probable cause of death in these pigeons.

Dr Rajendra Patel, assistant director, animal husbandry department, Ahmedabad district, said, to ascertain the exact cause of death of the pigeons in the Narol area, two carcass samples were sent to a Bhopal laboratory for testing for avian influenza.

“Around 190 pigeons were found dead in the Narol area of the city during the last two days in a suspected case of bird flu. We have discarded the carcasses as per protocols and sanitised the area.

“We have sent two samples to a Bhopal-based laboratory for confirmation (of bird flu),” said Patel.

Bird flu cases were first reported in Gujarat on January 8 when samples of some dead birds, found near a dam in Junagadh district, later tested positive for avian influenza.

Later, bird flu cases were also reported from Surat, Vadodara and Valsad districts, where samples of dead crows returned positive tests for the virus.

Bird flu is a highly infectious and severe respiratory disease in birds caused by the influenza virus.

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Tens of thousands of dead fish wash up in Fårö, Sweden

When Fiskejournalen talks to Greger Johansson on Monday morning, he has already sat on the phone and talked to lots of people who have heard from him, since he posted the pictures on Facebook. The discovery of the dead fish quickly became a snack bar, and the big question is of course what caused the mass death?

There must have been at least 20,000 fish, maybe more. I have never experienced anything like this in my entire life, so it is clear that I was surprised, says Greger Johansson.

Now he wonders if there are more fish scattered on Fårö’s beaches, or if it is only at the current location? He himself is of the opinion that something extensive must have happened.

A friend has seen lots of trawlers north of Fårö, so maybe something has happened in connection with it, maybe that something has broken? In any case, it is terribly sad, says Greger Johansson, who hopes that the mystery will clear up when the event becomes known to a larger circle.

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63,700 birds killed due to bird flu in Iraq

Iraq has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu in the city of Samaraa in the centre of the country, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday.

The virus was found on Jan. 12 at a farm some 130 kilometres (81 miles) north of the capital Baghdad and killed 63,700 birds in the 68,800-strong flock, the OIE said in a report posted on its website, citing the Iraqi ministry of agriculture.

The remaining animals were culled, it said.

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Bird flu caused deaths of 750 pelicans at Senegal bird sanctuary

Bird flu killed at least 750 pelicans found dead in Senegal’s Djoudj bird sanctuary, after authorities had initially ruled out the disease, scientific analysis has shown.

The birds – 740 juveniles and 10 adults – were discovered in the Djoudj national bird sanctuary on 23 January, and the country’s environment ministry said on Wednesday it had been closed to the public.

Now “we have the results of the analysis. It is indeed bird flu type A H5N1,” national parks director, Bocar Thiam, told Agence France-Presse.

The environment minister, Karim Sall, confirmed the bird flu diagnosis to RFM radio.

A mixture of wetlands, savannah, canals, marshes and lakes nestled in the Senegal river delta, Djoudj harbours more than 3m individual birds from almost 400 species.

Thiam had initially ruled out bird flu, claiming that it only affected birds that eat grains, rather than fish-eating birds like pelicans.

But the analysis by the ministry of livestock disproved that theory.

While the pelicans’ bodies and waste have been destroyed, parks chief Thiam said on Friday that “we’ll have to do more” to prevent the disease from spreading.

At the start of the year, Senegal culled more than 40,000 poultry after an outbreak of bird flu was detected on a farm in Thies in the west of the country.

Almost 60,000 birds had died in the preceding weeks, the livestock ministry said.

Authorities now believe that cluster has been stamped out.

Senegal’s borders have been closed to poultry products since a 2005 bird flu epidemic to prevent contaminations, but the government struggles to prevent illicit imports from neighbouring countries.

Several European countries are also suffering bird flu outbreaks, with 2m animals – mostly ducks – culled in France in December to try and keep it in check.

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Subject to change

Depth: 5 km

Distances: 171 km S of Provo, United States / pop: 115,000 / local time: 14:56:42.8 2021-04-05

5 km S of Richfield, United States / pop: 7,500 / local time: 14:56:42.8 2021-04-05


Subject to change
Depth: 30 km

Distances: 61 km WNW of Jaigaon, India / pop: 158,000 / local time: 20:50:00.6 2021-04-05

42 km ENE of Kālimpong, India / pop: 43,000 / local time: 20:50:00.6 2021-04-05


Subject to change
Depth: 22 km

Distances: 15 km SSW of Los Angeles, United States / pop: 3,971,000 / local time: 04:44:00.6 2021-04-05

12 km N of Torrance, United States / pop: 148,000 / local time: 04:44:00.6 2021-04-05


Subject to change
Depth: 10 km

Distances: 252 km NNW of Gonbad-e Kāvūs, Iran / pop: 131,000 / local time: 16:03:28.3 2021-04-05

33 km E of Balkanabat, Turkmenistan / pop: 87,800 / local time: 16:33:28.3 2021-04-05