Monday, July 25, 2016

7/25 Sick salmon, fish farm, BC quarry, Tacoma LNG, crab pots, fish protest, peat bog, log export, oysters, cannibals

Farmed salmon (World Wildlife)
Pressure is on to find out if fish farms make wild salmon sick, says federal scientist
It's enough to make even the most ardent salmon lover lose their appetite: the divisive debate that's raged for decades on the West Coast about what fish farms are doing to our wild salmon. This week, the latest volley: starlet Pamela Anderson and David Suzuki teamed up to launch an advocacy-slash-research mission looking for PRV — a fish virus especially prevalent on fish farms. The industry dismissed the campaign as a "stunt." But there's no doubt the questions about farmed fish transferring disease to wild salmon are very real, said the Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientist co-leading the largest push to investigate them. The problem is, they're also exceptionally difficult to answer.  Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC) See also: Sea-lice outbreak may have been worsened by management delays: Study  Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Farmed salmon pits Island First Nation against activists
An Island First Nation says wild salmon advocates aren’t welcome at its fish farms. Tlowitsis Chief John M. Smith said he won’t allow conservationists to visit two small Atlantic salmon farms on the Campbell River nation’s territory…. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has teamed with aquaculture critic and biologist Alexandra Morton to investigate the impact of B.C.’s salmon farms — most of which are off the east coast of Vancouver Island — on wild stocks. Amy Smart reports. (Times Colonist)

Finding answers for dangerous decline of Puget Sound steelhead
Harbor seals have become prime suspects in the deaths of millions of young steelhead trout that die each year in Puget Sound, but the seals may not be working alone. Disease and/or various environmental factors could play a part, perhaps weakening the young steelhead as they begin their migratory journey from the streams of Puget Sound out to the open ocean. Something similar is happening to steelhead on the Canadian side of the border in the Salish Sea. More than 50 research projects are underway in Puget Sound and Georgia Strait to figure out why salmon runs are declining — and steelhead are a major focus of the effort. Unlike most migratory salmon, steelhead don’t hang around long in estuaries that can complicate the mortality investigation for some species. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Campaign mounts against quarry near Desolation Sound
Opposition to a proposed gravel quarry near Desolation Sound is growing. Non-profit society Save Desolation Sound formed in January after Alberta-based aggregate company Lehigh Hanson Materials applied to the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources last fall for an exploratory licence to conduct bore-hole testing near Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park. Prominent Vancouver architect and Save Desolation Sound Society director Russell Hollingsworth said the area is a sanctuary. Chris Bolster reports. (Powell River Peak)

Permit for Port of Tacoma LNG plant survives tribal challenge
Puget Sound Energy’s proposed liquified natural gas plant at the Port of Tacoma moved a step closer to reality this week when a state panel upheld a key permit. The state Shorelines Hearings Board rejected the Puyallup Tribe’s appeal of a Tacoma city development permit that allowed PSE to develop along the Commencement Bay shoreline, over objections it would harm conditions in the Blair Waterway. Derrick Nunnally reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Northwest Straits Foundation has plan to reduce lost crab pots
Thousands of crab pots are lost in Puget Sound each year, often trapping valuable Dungeness crab in watery graves. The Northwest Straits Foundation released a plan last week that outlines steps to reduce lost crab pots over the next three years. The prevention plan is the latest step in the foundation’s effort to reduce derelict fishing gear, which can net and kill fish, birds and marine mammals. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Protest over Skokomish fishing restrictions set for Saturday
Anglers plan to protest the Skokomish Tribe's decision to close one of Hood Canal's most popular sport fishing spots. Puget Sound Anglers, a recreational fishing group with about 7,000 members, plans to gather Saturday at the river's George Adams Hatchery to demonstrate against the closure. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Local conservation group working to preserve one of county's last remaining peat bogs
SHADOW (Save Habitat and Diversity of Wetlands) Lake Nature Preserve is a 92-acre preserve and home to one of Puget Sound’s last remaining peat bogs. SHADOW works towards ensuring the sustainability of the Shadow Lake’s habitations and preserving the 5,000 year-old bog — a type of wetland that accumulates peat and acid-loving moss — but also to educate kids and adults about the importance of preserving the ecology. Before SHADOW existed and the land was protected, the area was used as a garbage dumping site. But in 1995, Max Prinsen and his wife Erin purchased 18 acres surrounding the lake in hopes to create a recreational area for underserved kids. Leah Abraham reports. (Renton Reporter)

New ocean forecasting technology to help B.C. fisheries
A new regional ocean forecaster has proved it can predict oxygen levels, acidity, and in some cases, the chance of sardines up to four months into the future.  "That will give industry the information it needs to weather changes that are happening in our local waters,"  said Samantha Siedlecki, a research scientist who worked on the model for the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Oceanography at the University of Washington. Up until this point, scientists were using real-time data beamed from buoys floating off the coast and available over the internet. Stefan LabbĂ© reports. (CBC)

Forestry workers, environmentalists call for ban on log exports
Forestry workers and environmentalists gathered in Port Alberni on Friday to call for a ban on log exports and for a transition to “sustainable” second-growth harvests. But an industry representative says a ban could destroy the coastal forest industry…. The province collected $26 million in log export fees in 2015. Amy Smart reports. (Times Colonnist)

A look at some oyster restoration programs around the US
Efforts to restore or expand oyster colonies are underway around the coastal U.S. A look at some of them…. WASHINGTON: Restoration projects in Puget Sound and Port Susan and Woodward bays; local restoration project in Olympia. (Salon)

Climate change may be turning gulls into cannibals
Biologist Jim Hayward's research at a large gull nesting colony on Protection Island has found that climate change is triggering cannibalism among nesting gulls. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  259 AM PDT MON JUL 25 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND TO 10 KT...RISING TO 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 10 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG THIS MORNING.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

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