Students in select schools will learn about the real and lasting consequences of fire as part of a grass fire public awareness pilot project in Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Representatives of the Department of Natural Resources, the provincial Fire Marshal’s office, Cape Breton Regional Municipality Fire and Police Services, and the Burn Treatment Society of Nova Scotia, will visit several classrooms today, May 12 and Tuesday, May 13. Schools expected to receive the presentations include St. Michael’s Junior High, Morrison Junior High, St. Joseph’s Elementary and Sydney Mines Junior High. Although fire prevention talks are common in schools, this is the first time the agencies have combined efforts to discuss grass fires that threaten urban and rural areas. The pilot project is part of a larger, multi-agency public awareness campaign designed to discourage Nova Scotians from setting grass fires. A poster created as part of the pilot program reads: Grass fires can leave you scarred for life. Grass fires spread out of control faster than you can stop them. And the damage they cause isn’t limited to property. They put homes, wildlife and even people’s lives at risk. On top of all that, for starting a grass fire you could face several financial and criminal penalties. In recent years, firefighters from municipal and volunteer fire departments and from the Department of Natural Resources have faced an increasing number of grass and woodland fires in Cape Breton County and in the rest of Nova Scotia. Statistics show many of these fires are arson-related or were ignited by residents who lost control of burning garbage, brush piles or grasslands. For more information on grass fire awareness see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/natr .
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has found that the export value of fish and fisheries products has leapt from $15 billion to $57 billion since 1980, and that developing countries hold more than 50 per cent of the market share.Developing countries are earning net fish trade revenues of $17.7 billion – more than the combined amount earned from exports of tea, rice, cocoa and coffee.Grimur Valdimarsson, Director of the FAO’s Fishery Industries Division, said “this shows what developing countries are able to accomplish in international trade when given an equal opportunity.”But tariffs and so-called “technical barriers” to trade imposed by developed States are making it difficult for developing nations to compete equally, according to the FAO.Lahsen Ababouch, Chief of the FAO’s Fish Marketing and Utilization Services, said many of the technical barriers were introduced for “perfectly legitimate” reasons, such as protecting human health or the environment.But he stressed that the rules need to be based on solid science to ensure they do not serve as trade protectionism to prop up domestic markets.The FAO’s Subcommittee on Fish Trade is holding a five-day meeting in Bremen, Germany, this week to discuss how to improve international cooperation on the issue.