Birds ingesting plastic 'no cause for alarm'

THE Eliza Cove rubbish tip plastic waste is being ingested by wildlife according to a report by Dr Amélie Augé of the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI).
However the Falkland Islands Government Waste Management Coordinator does not see it as a major problem.

“Abstract plastic pollution is becoming an increasing issue for wildlife throughout the world. Even remote areas with relatively little human activity are affected,” writes Dr Augé.
She told Penguin News that last winter she  analysed pellets from turkey vultures in Stanley to determine how much plastic (and other human products) they ingested. 

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Fire on Le Boreal was due to human error

FRENCH maritime authorities BEAmer have released their final report into the fire on the cruise ship Le Boreal last year in Falklands waters, which forced the evacuation of nearly 350 passengers and crew.

On the night of November 17, Le Boreal was under way near East Falklands, making 15 knots in rough seas with winds 40 to 45 knots. 
At the end of the 8-12 watch, the hotel officer (a licensed second engineer) was doing his regular round of the engine room and observed that the fuel filter clogging indicator on the #4 diesel generator had gone to red, indicating that it was time to change the filter out. He turned a valve to switch the fuel supply over to the alternate filter element, then proceeded to the control room to fill out the logbook. He talked briefly with his relief, and at about 0010 hours, he returned to the generator compartment - and opened the filter housing on the #3 diesel generator instead of the #4. 

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Falklands firefighter is overseas student of the year

FALKLAND Islander Ian France has been selected as the Overseas Student of the Year by the International Fire Training Centre (IFTC) at Durham Tees Valley Airport.

IFTC is considered a world-leader in aviation fire and rescue training, and has a long relationship with the Airport Fire and  Rescue Service in the Falklands.

The Awards were first started when the school was owned by the Civil Aviation Authority back in the 1980’s, with Serco continuing the tradition when they bought IFTC in 1996. They are the only awards in the UK in aviation fire training.

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International Red Cross delegation in Falklands explain mission to identify Argentine unknown war dead

VISITING members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have stated they are quite clear on the wishes of the Argentine families, in relation to the potential future identification of remains of unknown Argentine soldiers in the Darwin Cemetery.

The group of four, who are here to look at practical steps involved in such a mission, and make recommendations to the UK, Argentine and Falklands governments told Penguin News on Tuesday that was one of the points they had insisted on.

Delegation member Laurent Corbaz said they had been involved in identifying, “all of the families concerned with Darwin,” and had been concerned with identifying all of those linked to the Islands, “and yes we have been cross checking this list with access to all individual cases.”

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Travels and travails of Falklands seabirds

THE travels and travails of seabirds was the subject of a talk last week at the Chamber of Commerce by marine biologist Dr James Grecian, a marine biologist collaborating with SAERI, (South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute).  

Dr Grecian told the audience that global seabird populations have declined by 70% in the last 50 years. The main impacts on the birds have been from fishing, predation by invasive mammals and climate change.

Although breeding colonies can be studied relatively easily to allow scientists to better understand behaviour and mortality rates, very little is known about the birds once they leave the breeding grounds.

Read more: Travels and travails of Falklands seabirds