The Daily Dose: Organized crime and the global fish industry; Black Beauty meteorite shakes things up.

By now, we’ve all heard about the dangers of environment-damaging, unsustainable practices within the global fishing industry. Less know, however, is the degree to which organized crime is involved. A paper in Nature documents what is currently known about the problem. “Anecdotal, scientific and example-based evidence of the various manifestations of organized crime in fisheries, its widespread adverse impacts on economies, societies and the environment globally and its potential security consequences is now publicly available. Here we present the current state of knowledge on organized crime in the fisheries sector. We show how the many facets of organized crime in this sector, including fraud, drug trafficking and forced labour, hinder progress towards the development of a sustainable ocean economy.” It’s a sobering read. https://go.nature.com/3f72fhb


Among other things, 2020 has proven to be a significant year in raising issues of race in society. The STEM fields have joined the movement (albeit kicking and screaming, by some accounts). An article in The Scientist takes a look at one slice of the greater effort to raise awareness of the PoC plight within the scientific community. https://bit.ly/32VbCvo


The 4.4 billion year old “Black Beauty” meteorite continues to yield scientifically significant findings. Per Science, “One of the most surprising findings: After Mars underwent a pummeling early in its life, all went quiet—even during a time, nearly 4 billion years ago, when our Solar System was thought to have suffered a cataclysmic assault. That’s based on the ages of 51 zircon crystals found within the meteorite that likely formed under the extreme heat of an impact. The ages of the zircons largely cluster around 4.5 billion years ago—indicating a period of planetary assault—but the planet seems relatively calm after that.” These findings cast doubt on the so-called Late Impact Theory that began to form after the analysis of samples brought back from the moon. The Martian meteorite was discovered in the Western Sahara in 2011. https://bit.ly/2UNNxT7


The commercial space travel industry continues to make great strides, mostly thanks to SpaceX. Yesterday marked yet another milestone. Per Reuters, “Four astronauts riding a newly-designed spacecraft from Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX greeted their new crewmates aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday after successfully docking in a landmark achievement for private space travel.” Once the other companies in this burgeoning industry fully make it into the market, expect things to move even quicker. https://reut.rs/3nwdjat


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