Published: Thursday 30 November 2006

Insuring fisherfolk The Sri Lankan ministry of fisheries has announced the introduction of a new insurance scheme for the fishing community. Under the proposed scheme, all fishing vessels, engines, pilots and other workers have to be insured. A recent study conducted by the ministry has found that there are around 38,760 fishing vessels in use in Sri Lanka. The number includes 15,700 traditional fishing craft, 1,803 motorised traditional fishing craft, 16,970 outboard motor boats, 1,263 one-day boats, 1,994 multi-day fishing craft and 931 fishing net craft. There are around 100,000 active fisherfolk in Sri Lanka.

Dengue global threat Pakistani health authorities have moved into a higher gear to control the spread of dengue fever, which has claimed more than 30 lives.At least 2,000 suspected cases have so far been reported across the country, of which 596 are confirmed positive, Syed Anwar Mehmood, the federal health secretary said in a recent press briefing. The southern city of Karachi has the highest number of suspected cases, with over 500 people found afflicted with dengue. A mass awareness campaign has been expanded and authorities are providing bed nets and insecticides in the worst-affected areas. Scientists say the resurgence of the disease has made it a global health threat on par with malaria and the Ebola virus.

rare rhinos killed In the last week of October, four endangered single-horned Indian rhinoceros were found killed in Nepal's Chitwan National Park, which has put the country's wildlife authorities on full alert. Officials at the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation said poachers were responsible for the killings. Three women were arrested in this connection. In July 2006, poachers had killed five rhinos. Experts say the closure of smaller security posts in the park and their merger with bigger posts because of the threat from Maoist insurgents, had made it more difficult to police the park.

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