Published: Tuesday 15 June 2004

Indian seafood exporters are disappointed with the Union government's indifference even as marine food exports remain stagnant at us $1.3 billion. Indian exporters now want a separate ministry to deal with aquaculture. They are also planning to take up issues such as the absence of legislation to curb indiscriminate exploitation of aqua resources, and banks' reluctance to finance aquaculture.

In a landmark move, the Aborigines of Australia have formed a political party called Your Voice. It was apparently born out of frustration over government policies and the short shrift being given to indigenous people. The new outfit is planning to field candidates in the next federal election, expected later in the year.

The Meghalaya government has ordered the closure of 11 saw mills that were set up in violation of a Supreme Court order dated January 1998. This move is likely to help to stem the rampant felling of timber in the dwindling forests of India's northeastern state. So far, however, the authorities' efforts to curb felling activities have come a cropper.

Following a complaint from the Democrats, the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) investigative arm will review how the agency watered down a plan to cut mercury emissions from power plants. There is some suspicion that utility lobbyists downplayed mercury health risks and allowed coal industry members to dictate the terms of the proposal.

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