|Geoduck check (Katie Campbell/EarthFix)|
Of all the shellfish that sell on the black market, one clam is above the rest -- the geoduck…. Wholesale geoduck prices at Puget Sound docks have more than doubled from $4 per pound in 2006 to as much as $15 per pound today. With the average adult geoduck weighing one to three pounds, a good geoduck diver can harvest thousands of dollars’ worth in a few hours…. Rising demand, especially among China’s growing middle class, has sent geoduck retail prices in Asia to as high as $150 per pound. Those soaring prices have created an incentive for poachers back in Puget Sound, giving rise to an international black market. Katie Campbell reports. (KUOW) See also: Go Undercover With Northwest Shellfish Detectives Katie Campbell reports. (KU)W)
False killer whale 'Chester' won't be released from Vancouver Aquarium, says DFO
A young false killer whale, nicknamed "Chester", rescued from a Tofino, B.C. beach last summer by the Vancouver Aquarium, won't be released to the wild because he doesn't have the skills to survive, said a fisheries official. Fisheries and Oceans Canada convened a panel of marine mammal experts to make the decision independently of the aquarium, said Paul Cottrell, marine mammal coordinator for the department. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)
You can help: Kitsap Forest & Bay Project Needs $15,000 to complete its online campaign to “Save Grovers Creek Preserve” by raising money towards the purchase of over 200 acres of ancient trees, wetlands, and salmon stream in North Kitsap County. The campaign ends on May 29 and you can get more info and make a donation at igg.me/at/SaveGroversCreek.
Port Gamble Bay cleanup starts in July
A major cleanup project that starts this summer will dig up and remove decades-old contaminated sediments and other materials from Port Gamble Bay’s waters. At a meeting 4:30-7:30 p.m. May 27 at Hood Canal Pavilion in Port Gamble, residents can talk with Washington Department of Ecology staff members about the project. According to Ecology, preliminary work is expected to start in June with cleanup work slated to begin in July. The project is expected to last about two years. (Kingston Community News)
Feds to meet with Bellingham neighbors to discuss railroad quiet zones
People interested in learning why trains blast their horns and how they might be silenced are invited to attend an informational meeting on railroad quiet zones Wednesday evening, May 27. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Chrysalis Inn meeting room, 804 10th St. in Fairhaven. Chris Adams, a grade crossing manager from the Federal Railroad Administration, will make a short presentation, and she will be available to answer questions from attendees. The event was put together by members of the South Hill and Fairhaven neighborhood associations. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)
Despite huge anti-oil protest, 93% of Puget Sound drivers are gas guzzlers
Anti-oil protesters may have filled Elliott Bay with colorful kayaks to protest Royal Dutch Shell Oil’s presence at the Port of Seattle because of concern over use of fossil fuels, but, according to a new study by the Puget Sound Regional Council, many Puget Sound-area residents are heavy users of fossil-fuel burning vehicles themselves. In 1999, 86 percent of people in the region drove regularly. Compare that to 2014, where 82 percent still drive their cars regularly. That's despite increases in public transit, such as the light rail and Rapid Ride buses, and more bike lanes. While hybrid and electric vehicle use is on the rise nation-wide, PSRC data found that 93 percent of 2014 drivers still use gas to fuel their cars. The other 7 percent use diesel, drive a hybrid, electric car or use flex fuel. Eastside residents make up the highest percent of hybrid drivers. Sarah Aitchison reports. (Puget Sound Business Journal)
Longview port in talks over oil refinery on Columbia River
The Port of Longview says it is negotiating with an energy company on a proposal for a new crude oil refinery on the Columbia River. The Longview Daily News reports the project by Riverside Energy LLC would receive oil-by-rail shipments from the Bakken region in North Dakota at a 47-acre site in southwest Washington. The proposed refinery would process 45,000 barrels a day, including 30,000 barrels of crude oil and 15,000 barrels of seed oil and used cooking oil. (Associated Press)
Steelhead tags track mortality
Researchers are taking a unique opportunity to figure out why steelhead are dying on their way to the ocean through Puget Sound. Near the Nisqually River on Tuesday morning, NOAA fishery biologist, Megan Moore, made tiny incisions in the gut of nearly 20 juvenile steelhead…. Moore inserted an acoustic tag in each and sewed them up…. The signal transmitted from the tag is picked up receivers at several points along Puget Sound, with the final one in the Straight of Juan de Fuca. Most importantly, researchers can track when and where the signal dies off. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)
Officials Start Killing Columbia River Cormorants
Crews with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services have started killing cormorants on an island the Columbia River, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The crews are shooting adult birds using rifles with silencers and applying vegetable oil to unhatched eggs to kill unborn chicks. It’s part of the Corps’ controversial plan to reduce the number of nesting cormorants on East Sand Island to protect salmon. The plan calls for cutting the number of birds on the island from 14,000 breeding pairs to 5,600 by 2018. Cassandra Profita reports. (EarthFix)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED MAY 27 2015
W WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 13 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG AFTER MIDNIGHT.
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