The cause of death of more than 290 turtles in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific remains unconfirmed this week by veterinarians at the National University. While test results are expected next week, environmental organizations across the country are placing the blame on longline fishing, and the fishhooks and lines found in a number of the turtles’ bodies.“There is no doubt that fishing was involved,” said Randall Arauz, president of the Marine Turtle Restoration Program, or Pretoma. “There are turtles with fishhooks in their mouths.”Last week, hundreds of olive ridley turtles, green turtles, marlin and sailfish washed ashore along 10 kilometers of coast between Punta Banco and Playa Pavones, in the Southern Zone. Since then, several photos and videos of turtles caught in nets and snared by hooks have surfaced from environmental groups, who claim that this is not the only evidence of fishing interference. The Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network (WIDECAST), another turtle conservation group, did their own preliminary tests. They found foaming mucus in the tracheas of the turtles. Other veterinarians in the network agreed that the probable cause was drowning. “All of this evidence is pointing to fishing as the cause,” said Didiher Chacón, WIDECAST’s Latin America director. “We are waiting on the official results, but everything fits.”Both the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (Incopesca), and the newly formed Vice Ministry of Waters and Oceans acknowledged fishing as a possible cause of death, but officials are waiting for results before taking any kind of action. Incopesca President Luis Dobles named disease, red tide and water contamination in his list of suspicions, and put the number of dead turtles closer to 100, rejecting the reports from WIDECAST. “Not all of the turtles had hooks in them,” Dobles said. “We just don’t think that could be the only cause. Turtles have no commercial value in this country, fisherman have no reason to catch them other than by accident.”The accidental capture of turtles, called bycatch, is a common problem with long-line and live-bait fishing techniques. Turtles and other unwanted species caught on the longlines’ hooks are thrown back into the ocean. Environmental groups released a joint statement last week calling for a change in fishing policies in the Golfo Dulce, off the southern Pacific coast. “It is not possible for these things to keep happening in our country without the authorities taking any action,” said Jorge Jiménez, director of MarViva, an environmental group. For Arauz, the regulation of long-line fishing is key in cutting down on these types of incidents. Pretoma is calling for the complete ban of live-bait fishing and further restrictions on longliners.“We propose that longlines should target mahi mahi five months out of the year,” he said. “We can live with longline fishing but it needs to be strictly regulated.”According to Dobles, the regulations in place are already well within international standards.“The environmentalists asking for this regulation are looking at it from a very simple viewpoint,” Dobles said. “There are many countries with much looser laws than Costa Rica.” Facebook Comments No related posts.
Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt has landed a new job, according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter.Former Cardinals HC Ken Whisenhunt will become offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 17, 2013 Whisenhunt was considered for several head coaching openings, including San Diego’s, but the Chargers opted to hire Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy for the post. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Whisenhunt spent six season as head coach in Arizona, leading the team to their only Super Bowl appearance following the 2008 season. With a record of 45-51, he is the winningest coach in Cardinals history.Before becoming Arizona’s head coach, Whisenhunt spent two seasons as the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator, helping the team to a victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.He takes over a San Diego offense that ranked 31st in total offense (297.3 yards per game) in 2012. The only team that finished lower than the Chargers was Arizona (263.1 yards per game). Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments Share
Research Roundup: Effectiveness Of Mobile Clinics; Can More Alternative Medicine Coverage Save Money? Each week, KHN reporter Alvin Tran compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs.Health Affairs: Mobile Clinic In Massachusetts Associated With Cost Savings From Lowering Blood Pressure And Emergency Department Use – Approximately 2,000 mobile health clinics in the U.S. have 6.5 million patient visits annually. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 6,000 patients from 2010 to 2012 from one program, to examine the clinical impact and cost-effectiveness and found: “Our pilot evaluation suggests that this model can be effective in supporting reductions in blood pressure in underserved communities. It also suggests that mobile clinics can be cost-effective as a delivery model for primary and secondary preventive care, based on savings from health improvement and emergency department avoidance. … policy makers should consider mobile clinics as a delivery model for underserved communities with poor health status and high use of emergency departments” (Song et al, 1/2013). Health Affairs: US Spending On Complementary And Alternative Medicine During 2002-08 Plateaued, Suggesting Role In Reformed Health System – The authors write that complementary and alternative medicine services are “equal to 3 percent of national ambulatory health care expenditures, and the care “is primarily paid for out of pocket, although some services are covered by most health insurance. … Our findings suggest that any attempt to reduce national health care spending by eliminating coverage for complementary and alternative medicine would have little impact at best.” They conclude that if some forms of this medicine are proven “more efficient than allopathic and specialty medicine, the inclusion of complementary and alternative medicine providers in new delivery systems such as accountable care organizations could help slow” health spending growth (Davis, Martin, Coulter and Weeks, 1/2013). Kaiser Family Foundation: Implementing New Private Health Insurance Market Rules – Under the health law, significant changes in private health insurance are set to take place January 1, 2014. This new Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief “looks at three proposed federal regulations released in late November 2012 that detail how the ACA’s rules will operate in the following areas: private insurance market reforms, essential health benefits and actuarial value, and wellness programs offered or required by employers under group health plans.” The proposed regulations “deal with aspects of the ACA intended to promote broader risk pooling, prohibit discrimination based on health status, enhance insurance market efficiency and affordability, promote wellness, and improve consumer protections” (1/8).Here is a selection of news coverage of other recent research:Reuters: Fewer Americans Saw Doctors During “Great Recession” Americans made fewer trips to their doctors’ offices during the Great Recession than they did earlier in the decade, according to new research. “These are not dramatic drops, but in our healthcare system we’re used to our numbers going up… So just seeing a reverse in the trend is interesting,” said Karoline Mortensen, the study’s lead author from the University of Maryland in College Park. Using a national database of medical expenses from about 54,000 people between the ages of 18 and 64 years old, Mortensen and her colleague compared how many times people of different races used health services during two-year periods before the recession (2005 and 2006) and during it (2008 and 2009) (Seaman, 1/9). Medscape: EHRs: Small Practices Need Sustained Technical Help Only those physicians who received extensive, sustained, technical assistance with electronic health records (EHRs) had significant improvements in quality of care, according to a study published in the January issue of Health Affairs. This study of small physician practices in New York City also showed that quality improved only for a limited group of measures. “EHRs were once thought to be a cure-all for helping improve patient care, but there are implementation issues and the technology has a steep learning curve,” lead author Andrew M. Ryan, PhD, assistant professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, said (Barclay, 1/9). Medscape: HPV Cancers Increase, Vaccination Rates Remain Low A rise in cancers associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) in the United States is highlighted in the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, which was published online January 7 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The authors of the report, as well as other experts, have used these data to emphasize the potential of the HPV vaccination. … In 2010, 32.0% of American girls 13 to 17 years of age had received 3 doses of the HPV vaccine. Coverage was significantly lower than the national average in those without insurance (14.1%). It was also significantly lower in some of the Southern states (20.0%), which have the highest rates of cervical cancer and the lowest prevalence of recent Pap testing (Nelson, 1/9). Medscape: Physician Online Ratings Unreliable, Easily Skewed Web site physician ratings are based on input from only 2.4 patients on average, according to a study published online December 10, 2012, in the Journal of Urology. “Our findings suggest that consumers should take these ratings with a grain of salt,” said first author Chandy Ellimoottil, MD, urology resident from the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois, in a news release, noting that the ratings can be easily skewed by 1 or 2 very happy (or unhappy) patients, rendering them unreliable (Waknine, 1/9). MedPage Today: Study Reports Reflect Researchers’ Bias A third of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in breast cancer had published results that showed bias in the reporting of endpoints, and two-thirds showed bias in reporting toxicity, authors of a literature review concluded. Of 164 studies included in the review, 54 (32.9%) had positive results that were not based on the primary endpoint, which was not statistically different (Bankhead, 1/10). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.