Friday, September 15, 2017

9/15 Old fish, plastic oysters, bad air, BC LNG, Oly goats, animal rights, Vic sewer, porpoises, DFO drone

Elwha nearshore 9/3/17 [Tom Roorda/CWI]
We’re Killing the Oldest Fish in the Sea
Humans are killing the oldest fish in the sea, a new study suggests. That is likely altering ocean food webs and making populations of many important species eaten by people less stable and resilient. In one of the first studies of its kind, a team of fish experts used models and fish-catch data to analyze 63 major fish populations around the United States and Europe, from Atlantic cod and Greenland halibut to rockfish, hake, grouper, and sole. They found significant declines in the oldest fish in nearly 80 percent of the populations. In roughly one-third, the number of older fish had declined by more than 90 percent. Craig Welch reports. (National Geographic)

Dining On Oysters With A Side Of Microplastic
Sarah Dudas doesn’t mind shucking an oyster or a clam in the name of science…. And lately, the shellfish biologist is making other unappetizing comments to her dinner party guests—about plastics in those shellfish. In 2016, she and her students at Vancouver Island University planted thousands of clams and oysters across coastal British Columbia and let them soak in the sand and saltwater of the Strait of Georgia. Three months later, they dissolved hundreds of them with chemicals, filtered out the biodegradable matter, and looked at the remaining material under a microscope. Inside this Pacific Northwest culinary staple, they found a rainbow of little plastic particles. Ken Christensen reports. (KCTS9/EarthFix)

People Of Color Are Living With More Polluted Air Than Whites Are
Air pollution can contribute to asthma and heart disease. And it puts children at greater risk of developmental and behavioral problems. But not everyone is equally likely to be exposed to air pollution. While regulations and cleaner energy have meant the air’s getting a little cleaner for everyone, a new study by University of Washington researchers shows that, at every income level, people of color are still exposed to more air pollution than white people. Eilís O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

Aurora backs out, dealing another blow to B.C.'s LNG industry
Aurora LNG has backed out of a plan with Calgary-based Nexen to build a Liquefied Natural Gas plant in northwestern B.C., saying the current economy doesn't support its vision for a large operation on Digby Island. It's another blow to the LNG industry that former premier Christy Clark promised would bring riches to B.C. during her provincial election campaign in 2013. Of the 19 projects listed in April 2017 on the government's LNG site, this project was one of only three which seemed to be moving forward. Now there is only the Woodfibre LNG proposal near Squamish and the WesPac marine terminal on Tilbury Island in Delta. Yvette Brend reports. (CBC)

Mountain goats in Olympic National Park: Their days may be numbered
Officials are nearing a decision on what to do with an overpopulation of mountain goats — some of which are aggressive — in Olympic National Park. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

Giving legal rights to nature, animals would help protect the environment, says UBC legal expert
Giving animals, rivers and natural place rights might seem like a radical step, but a new book argues that's exactly the kind of powerful transformative idea the environmental movement needs. David Boyd, an environmental lawyer and professor at the University of British Columbia, says planet earth is at a crossroads. Roshinni Nair reports. (CBC)

CRD dumps sewage-sludge trip to Europe
In the face of a public backlash, Capital Regional District directors have dropped a proposed tour of European and North American sewage-sludge processing sites. Last week, CRD directors at a meeting of the integrated resource management committee voted to send two staff and three directors, at an estimated cost of $8,500 each, to tour plants in Spain, France, Germany and Belgium. The aim was to help determine criteria for local integrated resource management, which processes different types of waste together to create a beneficial end product — and, hopefully, revenue. But on Wednesday, members of the environmental services committee, in a move later endorsed by the CRD board, rejected that idea and passed a resolution saying there would be no travel associated with developing such a plan. Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

Researchers continue work to document harbor porpoises
A two-person research team in Anacortes continues to collect data about harbor porpoises seen off of some of the city’s shores. Some days, seeing harbor porpoises from the shore requires a watchful eye, while other days dozens can be seen in the shimmering water. Cindy Elliser and Kat MacIver of the nonprofit Pacific Mammal Research in Anacortes spend two or three days a week on the brown cliffs above Burrows Pass watching for porpoises. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

DFO loses pricey new submersible on first deployment
Researchers with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are hoping their fancy new oceanic surveying tool reappears, but there's been no sign of the submersible glider since July 28, and it's likely been lost. The Slocum glider, manufactured by US company Teledyne Marine, looks something like a two-metre yellow torpedo, but it's slow-moving and propelled by diving and rising in the ocean, rather than a propeller. It's outfitted with various high-tech sensors and equipment to take measurements in the ocean. Rafferty Baker reports. (CBC)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  301 AM PDT Fri Sep 15 2017  
TODAY
 E wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 7 seconds.
TONIGHT
 Light wind becoming W to 10 kt after midnight. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 7 seconds.
SAT
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 12 seconds.  SAT NIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  3 ft at 11 seconds.
SUN
 E wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at 10 seconds.

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