Slimy green algae is taking over China’s beaches for an alarming reason

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RocketNews 24/Business Insider:

Every summer for the past eight years, huge algae blooms have taken over the beaches near Qingdao, a city in the Shandong province of China.

The bright green stuff has blanketed at least 13,500 square miles of ocean this summer, according to the South China Morning Post.

And this isn’t the first time it’s happened. In 2013, the blooms got as big as the state of Connecticut! Check out this year’s algae infestation.

The algae blooms every year on the beaches in Qingdao, on China’s northeast coast between Beijing and Shanghai. The first blooms appeared in 2007 after seaweed farmers working south of Qingdao switched up how they clean off their rafts.

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Farmers use the rafts to make nori, a type of edible seaweed that’s popular in Japan. When the rafts are cleaned off in the spring, along comes the algae, which thrives off the leftover seaweed nutrients and the warm conditions in the Yellow Sea.

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Researchers think the reason for the algae growth in Qingdao is that seaweed farmers started cleaning their rafts farther offshore. This gave the algae the chance to spread out and make its way to the shore up near the city.

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Ever since the large blooms started popping up, tourists have viewed it as a summer tradition to head down to the beach and play in the algae.

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While it’s a ton of fun to play in, it’s actually connected to pollution from nearby agriculture and industrial plants that gets in the water.

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But luckily, there are some ways to use the algae to benefit the community: It makes for a good fertilizer and green energy source.

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Cleaning it up is no small feat — it has to be done quickly, because the algae begins to stink like rotten eggs when it decomposes. Here, workers scoop up the algae during the 2014 bloom.

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It’s not just stinky; it’s also incredibly heavy. Workers who cleaned up the 2013 bloom collected more than 19,800 tons of the stuff — about the same weight as 9,900 cars!

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If left where it is, the algae can spread to other beaches and become an even bigger environmental problem.

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Video

Coca-Cola giving away specialty bottlecaps in Vietnam to promote reusing their plastic bottles

 

RocketNews 24:

 

You have to hand it to Coca-Cola. Despite being the best-selling cola brand and one of the biggest companies in the world, they certainly don’t seem to rest on their laurels. Like a hungry up-and-coming business, they’re always coming up with new gimmicks in each of the 200 countries they operate in, whether it be personalized bottles in Japan or, like now in Vietnam, a set of functional caps which can transform your empty bottle into a water gun, pencil sharpener, night lights and more after you’re finished with it.

In the commercial for the Coca-Cola 2nd Lives campaign the company mentions that it is giving away 40,000 special bottle tops in Vietnam and then other places in Asia. The idea is to encourage people to reuse their bottles in both fun and useful ways.

There are sixteen different types of caps, such as:

1 – Water Guns

2 – Paint Brush

3 – Pencil Sharpener

4 – One of those spinny toy drum type things

5 – Spray Bottle

6 – Soap/Shampoo Dispenser

7 – Laundry Detergent Bottle

 8 – Weights

9 – Night lights

10 – Various Condiment Dispensers

11 – Bubble Blower

 

Link

India takes bold conservationist step and declares dolphins as “Non-Human Persons”

 

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The Indian government made history last month by being the first nation in the world to not only recognize the advanced intelligence and self awareness of the playful cetaceans, but also to grant them the protection that goes with being a “Non-Human Person”, namely their freedom and the right not to be held in captivity.

Dolphin India Takes Bold Conservationist Step and Declares Dolphins Non Human Persons

While dolphins will not be getting the vote any time soon, the new legislation outlaws ownership of dolphins for personal enjoyment.

The new legislation was announced by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, headed by Veerappa Moily. The ministry stated that “Dolphins should be seen as non-human persons and as such should have their own specific rights and it is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purposes”.

While this is the first time an animal has been recognized as a Non-Human person, three other countries (Costa Rica, Hungary and Chile) have also banned the use of cetaceans for entertainment. In India, Puja Mitra, a leading Indian animal rights activist, is credited with introducing the concept of non-human persons, an idea that has been gaining steam since a meeting of The American Association of the Advancement in Science in 2011.

The meeting featured a group of philosophers, conservationists, and animal behaviorists who attempted to gain support for a Declaration of Rights for Cetacean, which includes ten rights inspired by the principles of the equal treatment of all persons, including protection of their freedom and the protection of their culture. Many conservationists are also pushing to add the highly intelligent great apes – who have learned to communicate with signs and display an intelligence that has been compared to that of a human child – to the cause as well, granting them the protection of freedom.

DolphinHumanBrain India Takes Bold Conservationist Step and Declares Dolphins Non Human Persons

 

 

While here in the US it is common knowledge that dolphins are of advanced intelligence, animal rights activists and environmentalists have not made the kind of impact on legislation seen in India. In fact, dolphin shows in the US rake in millions of dollars in revenue, despite the detrimental impact on the animals – or should we say non-human persons –  performing. Research has shown that cetaceans in captivity have half the life span of their counterparts in the wild, and there really is no way to measure the psychological impact of being held in captivity for their entire lives. Having evolved in a vast ocean full of life and color, the world of a captive dolphin is not only significantly smaller than what they would have in the wild, but the constant sounds of the water filters and humans all around leaves them in a loud, empty space.

Dolphins do not just demonstrate the base definition of intelligence, which is the ability to learn, but also a more profound ability to empathize, solve problems, consider complex ideas and socialize like an expert. Let’s not forget to mention the size of a dolphins brain, which resembles two human brains put together. The late Carl Sagan put his view of how intelligent dolphins were rather succinctly when he said ”…while dolphins have come to learn English – up to 50 words used in correct context – no human being has been reported to learn dolphinese.”

With petitions in Canada, and massive protests in Japan to protect both wild dolphins and to shut down dolphin shows, it seems that India will not be the last to give credit where credit is due and try to protect our Non-Human friends of the ocean.

Check out this link:

India takes bold conservationist step and declares dolphins as “Non-Human Persons”