Last week, the EU Commission set limits for underwater noise—a growing threat to the health and lives of whales, dolphins, and many other marine species in need of protection.
The move is hailed as a significant step to help Member States achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) for the ocean in their jurisdiction.
“This is a necessary and long awaited first step, finally pushing for action to address this pervasive and invisible pollutant,” said Ilaria Di Silvestre, Head of EU Policy and Campaigns at International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). “Effective implementation by Member States is now crucial in order to fulfill commitments to protect marine life under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. If well implemented, this could set a precedent worldwide.”
A technical working group was tasked to agree on ways to set limits for underwater noise. Experts differentiate between impulsive noise that is emitted during offshore construction or oil exploration activities and continuous noise. The main source of continuous noise is commercial shipping, which dominates the ocean soundscape globally.
Good Environmental Status (GES) for EU waters should have been achieved by 2020, but Members States failed to accomplish it for underwater noise. With the new thresholds set, Member States now have a way to assess GES with respect to underwater noise. Marine areas will be divided into Marine Reporting Units, which each Member State will define for itself. Thresholds for noise will then be set in relation to the chosen indicator species in that area.
“In a global first, the European Union (EU) recently set EU-wide thresholds for underwater noise, with recommendations on maximum acceptable levels for this pollutant,” Ilaria Di Silvestre, Head of EU Policy and Campaigns at IFAW, told WAN. “Member States of the EU must now implement appropriate measures, for example, by reducing ship-generated noise or setting spatial restrictions for human activities.”
“An obvious initiative that would help with implementation would be the adoption of ‘Blue Speeds.’ This initiative is calling for a 10% speed reduction, to decrease both underwater noise and the risk of ships colliding with whales in European waters, while also reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from the sector,” continued Di Silvestre. “IFAW is leading an EU-wide campaign to make Blue Speeds a reality and the new noise thresholds make the EU a perfect starting point. This is a solution that can be implemented immediately and works with existing ships, leading to a permanent industry-wide change.”
A new study found that achieving Blue Speeds in EU waters could reduce noise pollution and the risk of ships colliding with whales by around a 25%, and lower fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, and air pollution from shipping by around 8% each.
Street Cat Bob, Who Helped His Human To Overcome Addiction, Has Passed Away
James Bowen, who was a recovering heroin addict, first met a beautiful ginger cat in 2007. At first glance, the cat was clearly abandoned and had injuries, so James took him in. Every morning, James had a positive reason to wake up; Bob.James would take Bob with him on the streets to go busking and selling ‘The Big Issue’ around London. A couple of years later, in 2012, James published a book through Hodder & Stoughton called ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’. The book detailed their lives together and became a best seller. The popular book spurred on the sequels ‘The World According to Bob’, ‘A Gift From Bob’ and ‘The Little Book of Bob’.
These books were not only best sellers but were published in over forty languages, becoming a hit worldwide. In 2016, James and Bob’s wonderful partnership inspired a film to be released starring Luke Treadway as James. Bob the kitty also made a feature in the film.
Later in 2020, we can expect a sequel to the film called ‘A Gift From Bob’. We hope that kitty cat Bob has all the catnip treats in the world up there in kitty heaven as he continues to watch over his human James. Rest in peace, Bob.
Bob passed away on June 15th 2020, leaving behind a legacy only most of us could dream of pursuing. For a cat, he touched so many lives in so many ways.
“Bob saved my life. It’s as simple as that. He gave me so much more than companionship. With him at my side, I found a direction and purpose that I’d been missing. The success we achieved together through our books and films was miraculous. He’s met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. There’s never been a cat like him. And never will again…I feel like the light has gone out in my life. I will never forget him.”
Hi fives all around for a job well done!
Mr. Bob was clearly royalty-worthy
Bob hi-fived anyone that deserved his love
Busking on the streets of London
Rest in Peace
Fans of Bob and Bowen expressed their sympathies to the duo
A Cute Foster Kitty Smiles for the Camera and Breaks the Internet
Blossom the cute foster kitty has had a rough time since she was born. The cute kitty never gave up, though. Her foster mother, Lauren Boutz, didn’t gave up on the cutie as well. Just look at the kitty – such a smile can disarm anyone. Not only it can disarm everyone, it’s also quite contagious. As soon as Blossom’s pics were uploaded by Lauren online, her smile almost broke the Internet.
In the post, Lauren said that Blossom isn’t her sole foster kitty. She helps the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department often, taking in kitties that need the help. She calls the gang Powerpurr Girls. Apart from Blossom, the other kittens are called Bubbles and Buttercup. How cute!
All kittens are around 5 weeks old and have a smile that can make your day.
Aren’t they adorable?
A Dog Runs Through Flames to Save His Kitten Buddy
In the hectic world we’re living in, positive news often go unnoticed. We’re so obsessed with tragedy and drama that we miss heroic acts every day. Take this one from Ukraine for example – not a month ago, a hero dog ran through a burning house to save his kitten buddy. If you ever needed one more reason to love dogs, this story it a pretty big one.
Last month, a fire in a house in the city of Donetsk broke out, spreading clouds of smoke and ash over the sky. As soon as it broke out, the residents headed out in panic with their dog. They forgot about the kitten though – it was unfortunately trapped inside and no one could get to it.
Well, no one but the dog. While the poor owned cried unable to save the kitty, the dog ran through the flames to save his buddy from certain death. He got out in minutes with the kitten in his mouth. Miraculously, both were unharmed. The dog and kitten were best friends and spent whole days playing with each other. Thanks to this dog, the owner was relieved to have both his buddies come out alive from this tragic event.
The dog took a massive risk to save his little buddy. It’s fair to say that people wouldn’t do the same, but dogs are special creatures. The moral of this story is that we should never leave anyone behind. If a hero dog could do it, so could you.