Eco-news in brief 2-14-12

By CG News Editor Kelly Doran

DeWine calls for stricter fracking laws

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, called for raising civil penalties from the current maximum of $20,000 per incident to $10,000 per day. DeWine believes that Ohio’s current laws on fracking are inadequate. He said that he supports fracking and the jobs that it brings, but he wants to be positive that the public and the land are protected.

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Overfishing in the EU and the world

Overfishing is a major problem in the European Union, causing money and job losses. The New Economics Foundation did research, concluding that a third of Britain’s fish consumption could potentially be met if the stocks recovered. Other research suggested half of the fishermen would not be willing to give up their job. Another report, Lost at Sea, said overfishing was the most devastating force in the marine environment. Charlotte Cawthorne, the International Sustainability Unit marine program manager, said that for fisheries to survive there must be scientific comprehension of the ecosystem, money for the transition and firm management.

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Citrus greening outbreak in Texas

The first known case of citrus greening disease in Texas was confirmed in Rio Grande on January 13.  This spread to 14 cases and then an outbreak occurred, halting the citrus harvest season while the US Department of Agriculture researches how far the disease has spread. Steve Lievens, who grows Rio Star grapefruits and Valencia oranges, is very concerned about being able to identify the disease in the fields. The greening disease is transmitted to trees by the Asian citrus psyllid. While the disease is harmless to humans, it kills citrus trees, but can take up to five years to do so, making the disease hard to detect.

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