|J50 Scarlet (Capt. Simon Pidcock, Ocean EcoVentures/KING)|
Meet Scarlet, Nova, Sonic and Windsong. The four orcas who were born in the past 12 months have finally gotten their names. Over 3,000 people voted in person and online to help give the calves their new monikers. The names were announced Tuesday by The Whale Museum. Known to whale researchers as J50, J51, J52, and L121 respectively, the birth of these Southern Resident Killer Whales has boosted the endangered population…. A fifth calf, L122, made its debut on September 7, 2015, but hasn't yet been named. Elizabeth Wiley reports. (KING) See also: Orca research station sends text messages when killer whales nearby Tamara Baluja reports. (CBC)
New hydrophones monitor ship noise in Salish Sea
Researchers have installed another underwater listening station in British Columbia’s Salish Sea to better understand how shipping noise impacts at-risk whales. The installation Monday was part of a program run by Port Metro Vancouver, the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada and the hydrophone’s manufacturer. Underwater noise has been identified as a threat to orcas that make their home in the waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland and are listed as at risk by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.(Canadian Press)
Young chum salmon may get biggest nutrition boost from Elliott Bay restored beaches
In the midst of ferry boats, container ships and tourists crowding Seattle’s Elliott Bay, young salmon are just trying to get a decent meal. The fish hatch in the rivers and streams that feed into Puget Sound and almost immediately rely on eating small organisms near the shore, including in the heart of Seattle’s commerce-filled waterfront…. But are concrete seawalls actually affecting what the salmon eat, and by how much? A University of Washington study shows that it depends on the species, with small chum salmon seeming to be most affected. Michelle Ma reports. (UW Today)
Oil Spill Funds Race to Catch Up to Rise in Rail Transportation
…. The oil spill response and prevention programs that originally sprung up around marine tanker traffic are struggling to keep pace with the shift in transportation. As more oil is transported via rail and pipeline, the coastal contingency plans and funding models have lost relevance. Regional contingency plans are now needed inland, though none exist at the state level and few at the federal level. This has left the river systems and inland areas of coastal states exposed, says David Byers, response manager for Washington's Spill Prevention, Preparedness and Response Program. Gloria Dickie reports. (High Country News)
Stephen Hume: Stop ignoring greenhouse gas emissions from exported fuels
Climate change is already having a major impact on British Columbia. Lost revenue from insect and fire-devastated forests and dwindling fisheries is amplified by the ballooning cost of responding to extreme weather events and forest fires. In the past decade wildfires and the mountain pine beetle infestation have cost taxpayers close to $4 billion…. Yet a University of Victoria graduate student's research shows that professed provincial targets to mitigate global warming by curbing greenhouse gas emissions are a sham. Stephen Hume reports. (Vancouver Sun)
Drilling at proposed LNG terminal starts despite First Nation opposition
Petronas-led Pacific NorthWest LNG has started test drilling off of Lelu Island, location of its proposed $11.4-billion liquefied natural gas terminal in northwest B.C., despite First Nation opposition. Members of several First Nations — including the Lax Kw’alaams and the Gitxsan — appeared to stop drilling on the weekend, but the presence of Prince Rupert Port Authority boats has allowed the work to start, Lax Kw’alaams First Nation hereditary chief Don Wesley, also known as Sm’oogyet Yahaan, said Tuesday. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)
Amakusa Island coal ship grounding near Prince Rupert prompts changes
The Transportation Safety Board says the grounding of a Japanese coal ship off B.C.'s North Coast could have been worse, had the massive vessel been moving more quickly. The Japanese bulk carrier Amakusa Island was hauling 80,000 tonnes of Canadian coal when it hit a shoal about 22 km from Prince Rupert on July 14, 2014. The ship ran aground and visibly listed. No one was injured and no pollution was released, but the 228-metre ship was left with damage to its ballast tanks, which began to take on water, and sustained cracks up to 30 metres long. Betsy Trumpener reports. (CBC)
Japan: City launches app to report dog poo
A city in Japan is trying to crack down on dog fouling by asking people to take photos of any canine mess they encounter and upload the images to a new app. The authorities in Izumisano, in central Osaka Prefecture, are trying out the new method after years of failed attempts to solve the city's dog mess problem, the Asahi Shimbun website reports. Locals are invited to post comments detailing the scene alongside their photo submissions, and the app uses GPS location data from their smartphones to create an interactive online map. (BBC)
Slug with interesting mating life spotted in Comox Valley
Limax Maximus, literally the biggest slug, is a ferociously speedy nocturnal predator with an interesting sex life according to a local biologist. "They wave their penises in the air and the penises stick together and transfer organs. Now once they finish hours of mating, they are literally stuck together. So one of them cuts off the other's penis and turns it into a female," explained Comox Valley Nature biologist Loys Maingon, who was given the creature to identify. Like all slugs, Limax Maximus is hermaphroditic. The invasive species is a terror for gardeners says Maingon, because it reproduces twice as fast as other slugs and feeds on anything. (CBC)
Ocean fish numbers on 'brink of collapse,' WWF reports
The amount of fish in the oceans has halved since 1970, in a plunge to the "brink of collapse" caused by over-fishing and other threats, the WWF conservation group said on Wednesday. Populations of some commercial fish stocks, such as a group including tuna, mackerel and bonito, had fallen by almost 75 per cent, according to a study by the WWF and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, told Reuters mismanagement was pushing "the ocean to the brink of collapse". (Thomson Reuters)
Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED SEP 16 2015
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 8 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN.
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