Scottish government accused of colluding with drug giant over pesticides scandal

The Scottish Government allowed a US drug company to secretly rubbish a scientific study blaming one of its pesticides for killing wildlife in Scottish sea lochs. The Sunday Herald has uncovered that the £76 billion New Jersey multinational, Merck, hired reviewers to criticise evidence in a scientific study that the company’s fish farm chemical was causing widespread environmental damage. The scientists behind the study and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) privately protested about Merck’s involvement.

Het aantal insecten in Europa is drastisch gedaald

Een club van Duitse insectenkenners die op een wetenschappelijke manier insecten meten in een natuurreservaat in Noordwest Duitsland, heeft in 24 jaar tijd een achteruitgang met 78 procent vastgesteld. De resultaten van hun onderzoek staan in Science, zo meldt Natuurpunt. De 'Krefelder Entomologischen Vereind maakte voor de studie in het 'Naturschutzgebied Orbroicher Bruch' gebruik van zogenaamde malaisevallen. Dat zijn tentvormige vallen waarbij alle insecten die per toeval in de tent komen, in een pot met een alcoholoplossing terecht komen.

Why Insect Decline Matters

Scientists have described 1 million species of insects so far, and estimate that at least 4 million species worldwide are still unrecorded. For people living in areas with ample wilderness and a plethora of biting mosquitoes that carry malaria and other diseases, a decline in insect populations might seem like an outlandish concern. But in areas with intensive industrialized agriculture, the drop in insect populations is worrying.

Nicht nur Bienen sind in ihrer Existenz bedroht, sondern alle Insekten

Bereits im Jahr 1962 wurde von Rachel Carson der stumme Frühling vorhergesagt, wenn die Industrialisierung der Landwirtschaft und die Nutzung von Chemikalien auf den Äckern fortschreiten: Ein Frühling ohne das vertraute Summen von Bienen, Hummeln, Fliegen, Käfern und anderen Insekten. Dieses Szenario droht nun Wirklichkeit zu werden, wenn wir nicht sofort handeln.

Negative impacts of neonicotinoids in aquatic environments are a reality

Recent monitoring studies in several countries have revealed a world-wide contamination of creeks, rivers and lakes with neonicotinoid insecticides, with residue levels in the low μg/L (ppb) range. At least two main areas of concern can be identified: reduced capacity for decomposition of organic debris by aquatic organisms and starvation of insectivores and other vertebrate fauna that depend on invertebrates as a major or only food source.

Freshwater invertebrates and fish species in New Zealand are at risk of extinction

Most of New Zealand's native freshwater species are at risk of extinction as water quality faces "serious pressures", a Government report says. The report by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand, titled Our fresh water environment 2017, found nearly three quarters of native freshwater fish species are threatened by or at risk of extinction, as well as a third of native freshwater invertebrates and a third of native freshwater plants. It found nitrogen levels were worsening at more than half of the measured sites.

River Irwell suffers serious pollution for the second time in three weeks

The River Irwell appears to have been polluted for a second time in three weeks. Countless fish and insects died following reports a pesticide which was poured down a drain and devastated a 25-mile stretch of the river from Rawtenstall into Manchester city centre earlier this month. Now a second incident has been reported on a section of the Irwell north of Bury. The incident has been reported to the Environment Agency. Mike Duddy, chief executive of the Mersey Basin Rivers Trust, said virtually no river life had survived the previous incident.

Three rivers in the Cameron Highlands declared 'dead'

Regional Environment Awareness Cameron Highlands (REACH) president Ramakrishnan Ramasamy said most rivers in the highland, known for its tourism and agriculture, are heavily polluted. He said data from the Department of Environment (DoE) and the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) showed that only about 10 per cent of 123 rivers were in Class I and Class II, while the remainder were in Class III and Class IV. He also said three rivers had been declared biologically dead, and came under Class V of the classification.

Pesticide Impact on Bay Delta Fish Could Be Greater Than Realized

New monitoring in the Bay Delta shows that the water is a soup of urban and agricultural insecticides, herbicides and fungicides. When combined, pesticides at sublethal levels can have deadly synergistic effects on fish. “The Sacramento River and San Joaquin River have been monitored for years, but historically there has been little monitoring in the Delta itself,” says Michelle Hladik, an environmental chemist who leads the USGS Pesticide Fate Research Group.

Salmon slump on River Tweed

SALMON catches on River Tweed and its tributaries fell by seven per cent last year. A total of 7,680 fish were taken by rod and line during the 2016 season - down from 8,091 in 2015 – reflecting a year-on-year downward trend since 2013 when over 14,000 salmon were caught. There was an even sharper fall in the number of sea trout taken by anglers in 2016 – from 1,280 to 2,323 – the lowest catch in the past decade.