Friday, July 24, 2015

7/24 Orca rescue, Blue rockfish, spill response, port alliance, closures, discharge fee, barred owl

The original Blue Marble, left, and the new image, right. (NASA/NYTimes)
Comparing Two 'Blue Marble' Photos of Earth  (New York Times)

If you like to watch: Stranded orca saved by volunteers who kept it cool for hours until high tide
An orca that was stranded on some rocks was kept alive for eight hours by a dedicated team of whale researchers and volunteers on the North Coast of B.C.  (CBC)

On the subject of orcas in captivity living as long as those in the wild, a reader wrote: “What a ridiculous argument to make on behalf of Orcas in captivity.  It's also possible to make the argument that some people in prison live longer than those outside of the walls.  The longevity records for captive species almost always suggests that they have longer life spans than their wild relatives.  I can think of half a dozen reasons why this may be a fact, but the greater consideration is comparing QUALITY of life with QUANTITY  of life.  Your news report [ SeaWorld orcas live as long as whales in the wild, new study says ] is just one more example of an organization skewing the content to sustain their ill conceived practices. Good news in the Orca birth dept eh?  How many births does Seaworld have recorded for these species?  Not that even one birth would be a good argument for captivity and what that means to truncating a wild animals range of learning and activity.”

Researchers conclude popular rockfish is actually two distinct species
A new analysis confirms that the Blue Rockfish (Sebastes mystinus), a popular and commercially significant rockfish sought by anglers primarily off the California and Oregon coasts, is actually two separate and distinct species. Previous studies had discovered some genetic differences between two groups of Blue Rockfishes, but their status as distinct species had never been proven until researchers at Oregon State University, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the California State University, Los Angeles, demonstrated distinguishing differences in anatomy, coloration, geographic distribution and genetics. (Phys.Org)

Feds step up efforts to improve Vancouver’s oil spill response time
Following a fuel spill in April that drew widespread criticism of the coast guard’s response time, the federal government has announced it will set up a new office dedicated to pollution risks in the harbour. Office space for a new environmental response office will be set aside in the HMCS Discovery at Coal Harbour, headquarters for the Canadian Coast Guard inshore rescue boat station. Yvonne Zacharias reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Federal Maritime Commission gives its blessing to Northwest Seaport Alliance
An alliance designed to bolster the competitive stance of Puget Sound’s two largest ports has won the blessing from the Federal Maritime Commission in a unanimous vote. Under the alliance proposal approved Wednesday, the ports of Tacoma and Seattle, historic rivals for the business of major shipping lines, will merge the management, operations and marketing of their largest container terminals under a joint operating agency known as the Northwest Seaport Alliance. Implementation of that alliance plan now only awaits formal approval from both ports at an Aug. 4 meeting. John Gille reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Vashon’s Quartermaster Harbor closed to recreational shellfish harvesting
Vashon-Maury Island’s Quartermaster Harbor has been closed to recreational shellfish harvesting because of unsafe levels of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP). (Seattle Times) See also: Swimmers advised to avoid Owen Beach water after sewage spill Alexis Krell reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

State may increase fees for water discharge permits
The state Department of Ecology is considering increasing annual fees for stormwater and wastewater discharge permits and is accepting public comment through Sept. 9. Local governments and some industries are required to have the permits, which limit how much pollution can be released into the environment, Ecology said in a news release. The fees for the permits help the state recoup the costs of running the program. The agency oversees about 6,000 discharge permits. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Judge Clears Barred Owl Removal Study
Killing barred owls to study the potential effects on threatened spotted owls does not violate federal environmental laws, according to a federal judge. Populations of the northern spotted owl, which is protected under the Endangered Species Act, have continued to decline in recent decades despite strict limits on logging. Federal scientists believe the problem is partly due to the barred owl, a rival species that’s more adaptable, occupies similar habitats and competes for food. Mateusz Perkowski reports. (Capital Press)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT FRI JUL 24 2015
TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING S IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 12 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY IN THE
 MORNING...THEN RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
SUN
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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