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The EU must not let Malta destroy the king of fish!
From The Times, January 19, 2010
By Frank Pope
Two weeks ago a single bluefin tuna sold in Japan for a surreal £111,000. The price of this fish, which ends up in the best sushi restaurants, will carry on rocketing so long as the tuna population keeps plummeting.
The Mediterranean tuna industry, which has taken tens of millions of euros in subsidies, has fished the bluefin to the brink — stocks are within three years of total collapse.
Europe could ban trade in the bluefin — but the nationalistic fervour of one man, Joe Borg, the EU Fisheries Commissioner, is a huge obstacle. So why Mr Borg’s opposition to a ban? Could it be that he is from Malta, where the economy earns €100 million a year from the bluefin? Continue reading at TIMES ONLINE

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CHINA is once more suffering from coal shortages because of the lingering cold weather, and electricity rationing continues in five provinces and municipalities, including the country’s major coal producer, Shanxi Province.

Decreasing coal reserves in 598 major power plants could last for nine days. Coal storages in 205 plants could last less than seven days, an alarming level, officials said.

The situation worsened in 11 percent of the power plants where coal reserves could not support three days of power generation.

Any time coal reserves go lower than three days, coal-fired power plants must shut down. Eleven percent of the key coal producing provinces’ power plants are close to getting to that point. Coal reserves at power stations are in dangerously short supply.

Shanxi, Shandong, Henan, Hubei and Chongqing  are facing electricity rationing because of power shortages.

Many fishing tackle factories in Weihai are presently operating with only two days of power supply per week.

Production delays will be further affected by the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays and the usual slow start that follows as labourers switch jobs.

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More than 50 years since it’s establishment in 1958, Daiwa is changing and preparing for the challenges of the next 50 years.

With a desire to exceed expectations, Daiwa is proud to announce its new look: A new logo, a new brand mark and a new slogan.

Vector Daiwa” is the new logo: A straight and angular typeface that represents the precision of Daiwa’s Japanese technology and the company’s forward thinking.

D-VEC“, is the new brand mark:
Developed with the concept of ‘innovative vectors’ in mind. It derives its D from Daiwa and reflects the challenge of pursuing original thinking and innovative design.

Feel Alive” is the new slogan:
Expressing the joy that fishing brings and the harmonious connection anglers feel with nature and an active outdoor lifestyle.

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I have at last managed to lay my hands on a digital version of the Sportfishing Challenge 2000!

This 3 part program, sponsored in totality by EFTTA was designed for the promotion of recreationnal fishing to the European non angling community.

The program was co-produced by EFTTA, The European Fishing Tackle Trade Association and a leading British television production company Chrysalis TV and by Vision Ltd, a British company specialised in organising sporting events.

This program was designed to project a positive image of Sportfishing to the younger generations and incline them to take up the sport.

It was a program that had been orientated to attract the eye of the NON SPORTFISHING POPULATION.
It was not a program designed to please those who already practised the sport.

18 young Europeans from 6 different countries took part in the program, most of them had never seen a fishing rod before in their life.
Filmed in Namibia, on the Zambezi and the Chobe rivers and in South Africa, on the Wild Coast near Port St Johns, the three 15 minute programs of the Sportfishing Challenge 2000 were broadcasted several times on Eurosport TV in most European countries, reaching out to millions of new potential anglers.
The program achieved it’s main purpose which was to use the mass media to promote and improve the image of Recreationnal Fishing in Europe.

It is a shame that the general apathy that seems to be the usual trend in the European Fishing Tackle Trade did not allow these programs to continue. A second series was planned to be filmed in Costa Rica
and ASA (The American Sportfishing association) and JAFTMA (Japan Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association) were invited to participate in the sponsoring and send teams, but unfortunately the project ended up being cancelled through lack of interest and lack of budgets.

I renew my extended thanks to all the participants who will at last be able to relive this wonderful experience: Our young (not so young today!) anglers, the team at Inchigo Chobe River Lodge link to Ichingo C.R. Lodge and the population of Port St Johns who cared for us as if we were family.

I also extend my greetings to my old friends at Vision PR and to the Chrysalis TV filming team.

My sincere thanks go to John Nolan, Head of Commercial and Digital Content at North One, for making this internet posting possible.

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We all experienced, a few months ago, the rapid spread of the swine flu alarm that peaked at the end of April 2009, creating a temporary crash in the stock market and widespread panic buying for medication, protection masks and foodstuff.

The scare not only caused a 5% two-day slump in some stock markets, it also affected the general morale of the population creating a further setback in the world’s shaky path to economic recovery.

The internet played a major role in the hyping of this particular scare!

Conspiracy discussion forums all over the web were flashing with pandemic alarm signals forecasting the approaching doom. For the uninformed: You should know that conspiracy forums can clock-in 50,000 to 100,000 visitors a day. They are also used by the mass media as a barometer and an alternative source of often unverified information. (more…)

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