Best of our wild blogs: 9 Apr 19

Awesome Underwater Dive Catch of the Grey-headed Fish Eagle
Singapore Bird Group

27 April: Our Earth Our Future at Nee Soon East
Green Drinks Singapore

May-Jun 2019: Special FREE nature walks at Pulau Ubin for Pesta Ubin
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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Rosewood case: Court of Appeal clears businessman and firm of importing logs without a permit

Selina Lum Straits Times 8 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - In the final twist to a five-year saga involving a shipment of Madagascan rosewood logs worth US$50 million (S$67.8 million), the Court of Appeal on Monday (April 8) quashed the convictions of a Singaporean businessman and his trading firm for importing the logs without a permit.

The decision by a five-judge court, set out in a 79-page written judgment, hinged on the interpretation of the term "transit" in the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, which regulates the trade of specified species of animals and plants, including rosewood.

The court ruled that the rosewood brought into Singapore by Mr Wong Wee Keong, 58, and his company Kong Hoo was in transit, and was not imported. Thus, the charges against Mr Wong and his firm for importing the logs without a permit could not stand.

The court also ordered the 29,434 logs that authorities had seized in March 2014 to be released to Mr Wong and his firm "as soon as was practicable".

The Court of Appeal's decision has brought the case full circle for Mr Wong and his firm, who were initially acquitted of the charges.

The rosewood was brought into Singapore in a cargo vessel that berthed at Jurong Port on March 11, 2014.

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Malaysia: Scientists warn about eating shellfish from heavy metal contaminated Straits of Malacca

Bernama New Straits Times 8 Apr 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: Seafood lovers living on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia are being warned to reduce their shellfish consumption because of the risk of heavy metal poisoning.

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) School of Marine & Environmental Sciences marine biology programme senior lecturer, Assoc Prof Dr Ong Meng Chuan, said a team of 25 scientists and researcher detected a high concentration of heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, plumbum and mercury around estuaries and harbours in the Straits of Malacca during a scientific voyage from March 13-22.

He said findings reveal the waters off Johor, Port Klang and Pulau Pinang are at a higher risk of heavy metal contamination.

"This situation indirectly leads to the contamination of a food source because it is in the nature of shellfish to stay put and not migrate in search of food.

"Obviously, if the water is contaminated with heavy metals, it will be passed up the food chain," he told Bernama.

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