Wednesday, May 11, 2016

5/11 Fishing season, oil spill, pollution suit, Comox CG, GBH, Enetai Cr., bag ban, Shell drill, dead zones

Chinese police uncover huge fake jellyfish 'scam'
Police in eastern China have raided two fake jellyfish workshops, saying more than 10 tonnes is thought to have made its way into local food markets. Police said the fake jellyfish had been made by mixing chemicals, adding that checks showed high levels of aluminum. The syndicates made more than 170,000 yuan (£18,100; $26,100) in profits in a year of production, they added. Jellyfish is very popular sliced and served as salad, particularly along China's southern and eastern coasts. Martin Yip reports. (BBC China)

Positive move in right direction made on possibly saving salmon fishing seasons
Coming to an agreement on the 2016-17 salmon fishing seasons has taken a small step in the right direction, but to say state and tribal fishery managers are close might still be a reach at this point…. This is a sign of hope as talks fell apart during a meeting on April 27 in Fife – where around 60 representatives from state, tribal, NOAA Fisheries, and officials from the governor’s and attorney general’s office. The problem now lies with how to cut-back on the catch and split it between sport and tribal fisheries of an expected poor return of Puyallup River chinook. Mark Yuasa reports. (Seattle Times)

Esquimalt Harbour closed to fishing after spill
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is prohibiting the harvesting of all fish species in Esquimalt Harbour after a barge ran aground and dumped about 27,000 litres of diesel into Plumper Bay on Sunday. Island Health and the First Nations Health Authority are also advising people and pets to stay clear of the water and shoreline. Vancouver Pile Driving said its construction barge broke loose in high winds early Sunday morning. The barge, which carries a crane, ran aground on the flat, sandy and rock-strewn beach, which is ringed by Esquimalt Nation on one side and Songhees Nation on the other. Cleanup crews were on scene by 1 p.m. Sunday and skimmed the water’s surface throughout the night. By Monday afternoon, about 27,000 litres of diesel had been recovered and the marine portion of the cleanup was deemed complete. Cindy E. Harnett reports. (Times Colonist)

Port of Seattle, environment group settle clean-water lawsuit
The Port of Seattle has agreed to follow certain practices to prevent stormwater pollution at Pier 66 as part of a settlement of an environmental lawsuit. The port, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and Cruise Terminals of America, a former tenant at the cruise terminal in downtown Seattle, filed an agreement in federal court on Monday. The port and its new tenant will follow best management practices in fueling, maintenance and other operations. The environmental group sued the port and Cruise Terminals in 2014, alleging they violated the Clean Water Act by allowing stormwater runoff into Elliott Bay without a proper permit. The port and the cruise terminal operator did not admit to wrongdoing. But they each agreed to pay Puget Soundkeeper $250,000 for legal and other fees. The group will allocate $50,000 to a fund that provides money to improve water quality in Puget Sound. (Associated Press)

Comox coast guard closing today despite communications concerns
The Comox Coast Guard Communications station is slated to close today — a move the union claims will put lives at risk. With the closure, the coast guard in B.C. will now be staffed in three places —  a communications station in Prince Rupert and another in Victoria, as well as a base in Vancouver that has two inflatable rescue vessels. But coast guard workers say running two communication stations is not enough to ensure the waters are safe…. The decision to close the station, along with others, was made by the previous Conservative government. The federal Liberals reopened the Kitsilano base in May 2016 after winning the election, but say they will not be doing the same with the Comox station. Wanyee Li and Farrah Merali report. (CBC)

Group surveys Skagit County's herons
From a beach on east March Point, Sue Ehler scanned the shallow waters of an ebbing Padilla Bay on Friday morning, tallying the number of great blue herons standing in the eelgrass beds. At about 9:30 a.m., Ehler reporter to Matt Kerschbaum that she saw 182 of the region’s iconic birds foraging for food. Ehler, Kerschbaum and Bonnie Kerschbaum are part of a 19-member team of volunteer citizen scientists working on a survey of herons in Skagit County. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

New test might clear the water on mystery
The tiny jar Shawn Ultican dips into Enetai Creek might solve one of the longest-running stream pollution mysteries in Kitsap. That's because Ultican, a water-quality investigator with the Kitsap Public Health District, has a new water-testing technology at his disposal, one that could help track down the root causes of fecal pollution plaguing Enetai and several other creeks…. The Health District's new testing method can detect hundreds of chemical compounds found in human waste, including antibiotics, painkillers and other drugs. These compounds can serve as markers, indicating that human urine and feces is seeping into streams from failed septic systems or leaking sewer pipes. Finding the compounds helps rule out nonhuman causes, such as pet and wildlife waste. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Tacoma’s plastic bag ban inches forward, but with new questions from City Council
Tacoma’s proposed ban on plastic grocery bags is moving forward, but a City Council meeting Tuesday revealed tough questions about the ordinance that could lead to its rejection. So far, three City Council members are on the record supporting a measure that would prohibit stores from handing out free, disposable plastic bags while charging customers at least a nickel if they want to use a paper bag. That group is Keith Blocker, Anders Ibsen and Ryan Mello. Two other council members — Conor McCarthy and Joe Lonergan — are critical of it. McCarthy thinks it’s moving too fast and would benefit from more discussion; Lonergan questions whether it would place a burden on the city’s lower-income neighborhoods while yielding minimal environmental benefits. Adam Ashton reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Five Pacific islands disappear as sea levels rise
Five tiny Pacific islands have disappeared amid rising seas and erosion, Australian researchers say. The missing islands, part of the Solomon Archipelago, were not inhabited by human beings. But six other islands were found to have seen swathes of land turn into sea, destroying entire villages. The researchers say it is the first scientific confirmation of the impact of climate change on Pacific coastlines. (BBC)

Shell relinquishes offshore leases in Alaska's Chukchi Sea
The only company to drill an exploratory oil well in Alaska's Chukchi Sea following a 2008 federal lease sale confirmed Tuesday it has relinquished nearly all of its leases. Royal Dutch Shell PLC formally relinquished all but one of its leases in the waters off Alaska's northwest coast, spokesman Curtis Smith said Tuesday. The news was not a complete surprise. An exploratory well drilled in 2015 did not find commercial quantities of oil. Shell announced in September it was suspending exploration in Alaska waters. Dan Joling reports. (Associated Press)

Suffocating the Ocean
Oxygen-depleted oceans have preceded many mass extinctions in Earth’s past, including the worst one of all 252 million years ago. Are hypoxic dead zones from California to Namibia a harbinger of the next extinction? Moises Velasquez-Manoff reports. (Pacific Standard)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  240 AM PDT WED MAY 11 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING NW 10 TO 20 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT IN THE  AFTERNOON. W SWELL 4 FT AT 12 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING.

TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS AFTER MIDNIGHT. W  SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
--
"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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