Gambia: Pollution Affects Gunjur Bolongfenyoto Lagoon

Gambia: Pollution Affects Gunjur Bolongfenyoto Lagoon.
Water Pollution is affecting aquatic and marine life, causing the death of many.
It is used for fishing by tourists and natives alike, and many wild animals can be found there as well.
When visited by these reporters on May 25, 2017, many marine organisms were found dead on the shores of the Gunjur Lagoon (Bolongfenyoto).
She further said she has been residing there for many years but since a fish meal company started operation, the water became polluted, adding that at midday the water darkens, which she said has never happened prior to the establishment of the company.
He added that he acquired this from the Lagoon where he swims.
Badara N. Barjoe, the Director of Environmental Protection and Development Group, said the pollution seriously affects tourism in Gunjur.
He said the reserve called Fabadinka along the lagoon, has many importance including biodiversity, and the location is an attractive and breeding ground for aquatic animals and mangrove; that the area serves as a tourist attraction because of the wild birds, crocodiles and many species of animals, that are in the area.
He said the reserve is unique because of its richness in biodiversity; that most of the endangered species and other animals, can be found in the reserve site that also serves as a tourist attraction for the country.
He added that he has been in the reserve land since 1997 and the water colour has never changed and there has never been any massive death of aquatic organisms like this.

LAPSSET project distorts Lamu Island heritage, court told

LAPSSET project distorts Lamu Island heritage, court told.
Some Lamu residents on Tuesday told a five-judge bench that the ongoing construction of multi-billion Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor has violated their rights to cultural life.
He urged Justices, John Mativo, Jaden Thuranira, Pauline Nyamweya, Joel Ngugi and Joseph Onguto sitting in Malindi to suspend the project until the government observes environmental remedies on protecting and conserving marine life.
Mr Somo said that the ongoing dredging at the Indian Ocean in Lamu for the construction of Lamu port has destroyed mangrove forests, sea grass, and coral reefs which are fish and turtle nesting areas.
A marine biologist was also among the witness in the petition against the Attorney General, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), among other government department linked to the LAPSSET project.
“NEMA went on to grant licence to implement the project disregarding the environment and social impact assessment study report for construction of the first three berths of Lamu port and,” he added.
Mr Somo said that part of the report conducted by Coastal Oceans and Research Development (CORDIO) experts recommended they be given modern fishing vessels to enable them proceed with fishing at deep sea.
Dr Obura said he has studied the ocean terrain of the area and even snorkelled to observe the coral reefs at the seabed which are on threat of destruction due to water pollution and dredging activity.
During cross examination, Dr Obura said the coral reefs, mangroves and other marine lives can be saved by replanting them after completing the dredging activity caused by LAPSSET project.
The petitioner lawyers, Christine Nkonge and Lempaa Suyianka said they have three more witnesses to testify before concluding the matter.

Saving the delta

Once massively rich in biodiversity as well as natural resources, the Indus Delta is losing its health, vitality, and ecology at an appalling rate, driving the farming and fishing communities out to other areas. This year, the delta is experiencing the worst water shortage ever, as besides River Indus, almost all canals and watercourses are at their lowest ebb. The communities, which depend on River Indus for fishing and agriculture, are now facing hardship in both the sectors due to water scarcity. According to the growers and fishermen of the area, the main Kalri-Baghar canal, known as KB feeder, which emerges from Kotri Barrage and has a capacity of 9,100 cusecs, is presently carrying only 1,950 cusecs of water. “Out of 1,950 cusecs, only 1,200 cusecs are being supplied to meet the demand of Karachi city via Keenjhar Lake, while the rest (750 cusecs) of the water is being released into four major tributaries to meet the irrigation and drinking demands,” they added. The canals that depend on KB feeder for water include Sakro canal, Jam canal, Odero canal and Baghan canal, which feed agriculture lands near their command area through small watercourses and tributaries. Since there is no water for irrigation, all the lands are looking deserted and dry. Gulab Shah, a landlord, who depends on Odero canal for cultivation of his family lands, said the irrigation department officials are under pressure due to unavailability of water. “They are unable to ensure equal distribution of water in irrigation canals and meet the exact demand of people,” Shah, who recently held a meeting with the irrigation department functionaries, told The News. “It is for the first time, the delta is facing such a drought-like situation as not only the river but the water courses are also drying out, leaving the communities helpless situation.” Besides cotton, vegetables, paddy, and banana, betel leaf is also major cash crop in the coastal area. Betel leaf farms provide employment to…

Slightly larger than a fingernail and with hooked legs for mating, meet Hong Kong’s first native tree-climbing crab

Slightly larger than a fingernail and with hooked legs for mating, meet Hong Kong’s first native tree-climbing crab.
Marine ecologists have discovered the first tree-climbing crab native to Hong Kong.
The Haberma tingkok, slightly larger than a fingernail, was spotted last summer crawling along the branches of mangroves in Ting Kok – a coastal area facing Tolo Harbour in the New Territories.
While there are 15 to 20 other species of crabs worldwide that can climb trees, the Haberma tingkok is more closely related to two other species, sharing the unusual characteristic of hooked legs in the male – used to grasp females while mating.
The only other two known species can be found in the mangroves of Singapore and Indonesia and are not known to climb trees, preferring to live in mud.
The last discovery of an endemic mangrove crab species was in 1975.
Cannicci called the discovery “an evolutionary milestone”.
Because animals in mangroves are evolving from a marine to a terrestrial system, where crabs pretend and move like insects and do strange things, ” Cannicci said.
Altogether, the team has spotted around 20 of its kind in Ting Kok, where its name comes from.
Ting Kok, the third largest mangrove area in Hong Kong, is home to a rich diversity of organisms ranging from horseshoe crabs to sand snails, but does not have statutory protection.