Tuesday, September 15, 2015

9/15 Navy sonar, whale watching, killer 'blob,' Cornwall cleanup, small coho, fishing lines, BC water

(PHOTO: Associated Press/BBC)
US Navy limits 'whale-harming' sonar in Pacific
The US Navy has agreed to limit its use of sonar that may inadvertently harm whales and dolphins in waters near Hawaii and California. A federal judge in Honolulu signed the deal between the Navy and environmental groups on Monday. It restricts or bans the use of mid-frequency active sonar and explosives used in training exercises. Campaigners say that sonar disrupts the feeding of marine mammals, and can even cause deafness or death. An explosives training exercise in San Diego four years ago killed four dolphins, Earthjustice lawyer David Henkin said when announcing the agreement. (BBC)

Baby Orcas And Gloomy Future: Can Whale Watching Help?
s it ethical to go whale watching? Boats sometimes interfere with whales’ ability to hunt and eat. But whale watching can also connect people with conservation. And that could help the group of orcas that are resident in Puget Sound. The recent arrival of another baby orca in that so-called southern resident group (see photos in the slideshow above) has tickled whale watchers in the San Juan Islands…. David Hyde talks to tour boat skipper Dan Wilkes and author David Niewert about whale watching in the San Juan Islands. (KUOW)

Dead whales in Pacific could be fault of the Blob
Scientists believe the mysterious deaths of more than two dozen whales in B.C. and Alaska since May are probably related to the so-called "Blob" of warm water in the Pacific Ocean. The Blob is a 1,600 kilometre wide patch of warmer-than-usual water that has been linked to several anomalies in the Pacific, including a massive toxic algae bloom that contaminates the krill and sardines that many whales eat. (CBC) See also: Grey whale spotted frolicking in West Vancouver

Cleanup for future waterfront park could cost $16 million
It could cost $16 million to clean up contaminated soil on property that will one day be part of the city’s waterfront park at the end of Cornwall Avenue. The city of Bellingham, with oversight from the Washington state Department of Ecology, has completed a study of toxic chemicals found on what’s known as the R.G. Haley site as well as cleanup options. Ecology will hold a Thursday, Sept. 17 meeting about the project that will include a discussion of the preferred cleanup for the property at Cornwall Avenue, near Wharf Street. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Edmonds Coho Derby produces smallest winning fish in the derby’s history, but plenty of fish around to catch in Puget Sound
The Edmonds Coho Derby hosted by the Sno-King Puget Sound Anglers sold close to 1,000 tickets and had 287 coho weighed-in on Saturday under great weather conditions, but the concern lies within the sheer size of the fish. “The winning fish was (7.480 pounds), and was a record low size for the derby’s winning fish and that is just the tip of iceberg,” said Tony Floor, director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association in Seattle. “I saw more 2 and 2 ½ pound fish than I’ve ever seen in my life, and they looked more like small resident coho than the mature fish type.” Mark Yusaa reports. (Seattle Times)

Fighting fishing line litter
Volunteer Don Coleman never knows what to expect when he visits Fidalgo Island boat launches to empty plastic tubes of their contents. More often than he would like, he finds trash such as cigarette packs, beer cans and juice boxes. The tubes are there so fishermen have a place to put used fishing line, also called monofilament. Fishing line that is left in the water or sent to landfills can last hundreds of years and harm animals. That’s why Coleman and Catherine Buchalski launched a Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program in Skagit County last year through the WSU-Skagit County Beach Watchers. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Some Clallam County beaches reopen to shellfish harvesting
The recreational harvest of all types of shellfish has reopened along the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Clallam County from the Lyre River and Low Point east to Dungeness Spit. Previously, all Clallam County beaches along the Strait of Juan de Fuca were closed to harvesting.  The state Department of Health announced the change Monday after recent tests for marine biotoxins in shellfish came back meeting safety guidelines. (Peninsula Daily News)

New law gives B.C. more authority involving water use; Legislation comes into effect Jan. 1
Hans Schreier has spent a career studying B.C.’s water supply, charting a resource that most of the province seemed to ignore until this summer’s drought. “I worked for 30 years in water and nobody cared,” said Schreier, a University of B.C. emeritus professor of watershed management. “Now everybody wants information.” A scorching hot summer, abnormally low rainfall and dwindling reservoirs meant there wasn’t enough water to sprinkle lawns, fill pools or wash cars in Metro Vancouver and many other cities across B.C. Suddenly, interest spiked in understanding how the province protects and allocates its newest precious resource. Rob Shaw reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE SEP 15 2015
TODAY
S WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING SE IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY IN
 THE EVENING...THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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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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