Wednesday, December 6, 2017

12/6 Scallop, net pen ban, sockeye Species At Risk, forage fish, national monuments fight, Clean Air Act suit

[PHOTO: Ceri Jones, Haven Diving Service/NYTimes]
The Scallop Sees With Space-Age Eyes — Hundreds of Them
…. the scallop sees its world with hundreds of eyes. Arrayed across the opening of its shell, the eyes glitter like an underwater necklace. Each sits at the tip of its own tentacle and can be extended beyond the rim of the shell…. a team of Israeli researchers has gotten a look at the hidden sophistication of the scallop eye, thanks to powerful new microscopes. [Last] Thursday, they reported in the journal Science that each eye contains a miniature mirror made up of millions of square tiles. The mirror reflects incoming light onto two retinas, each of which can detect different parts of the scallop’s surroundings. Carl Zimmer reports. (NY Times)

2 Republicans seek immediate ban on Atlantic net pens, too -- and faster
Two Republican state lawmakers have introduced legislation to immediately ban Atlantic salmon net pens in Puget Sound. “This is an emergency,” said state Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, prime co-sponsor of the legislation, which would make Atlantic salmon net-pen farming illegal in Washington waters. The bill is filed for consideration in the coming 60-day legislative session, which begins in January. The bill, if passed by the Legislature, would take effect immediately upon signature by the governor. The ban seeks to cancel existing leases held by Cooke Aquaculture, the multibillion-dollar Canadian corporation that operates eight Atlantic net-pen farms in Puget Sound. Its leases with the state Department of Natural Resources expire at different times at its farms, with the latest timing out in 2025…. The ban takes a more urgent approach than another bill planned by Democratic state Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island. His legislation would phase out the farms as the leases expire. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Net pens allowed as conditional use in Clallam’s draft shoreline plan   Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Sockeye salmon recommended for listing under Species At Risk Act
For centuries, sockeye salmon have raced up British Columbia's Fraser River to spawn in the millions, completing an astonishing life cycle that spans four years and thousands of kilometres. Now, scientists have determined that many populations of Fraser River sockeye are in such alarming decline that they should be listed under Canada's Species at Risk Act. The recommendation, announced Monday by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, an independent scientific body that advises the federal government, is the most significant acknowledgment to date of the jeopardy facing the iconic red-bodied fish that was once the mainstay of British Columbia's salmon industry. Ivan Semeniuk reports. (Globe and Mail)

Forage fish indicate ecosystem changes that impact orcas
The decline of Southern Resident Killer Whales gets a lot of attention, and it's mostly blamed on the disappearance of their favorite food: Chinook salmon. And one group of scientists at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking past Chinook at smaller fish that are often overlooked by headlines. "Chinook salmon, orca, seals, birds - all of these species depend on forage fish," Dayv Lowry said. "When they start to decline, and we start to see these indicators of poor health, now everybody really worries about them especially because so many other species rely on them." Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Was It 'Illegal' For Trump To Shrink Utah's Monuments? The Battle Begins
President Trump has dramatically scaled back two national land monuments in Utah. The administration and Republican leaders in Utah say taking the land out of the hands of the federal government will allow the state to decide what to do with it, including protecting some areas and possibly allowing development in others. As expected, environmental and Native American groups were outraged. Patagonia, which sells outdoor clothing and gear, splashed a statement across its website reading "The President Stole Your Land" and calling Trump's move "illegal." Kirk Siegler reports. (NPR) See also: Cascade-Siskiyou Monument Would Be Reduced Under Ryan Zinke Proposal  Jes Burns reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

New York, Washington sue Trump for violating Clean Air Act
The Attorneys General of Washington, New York and other states are filing a federal court suit Tuesday, charging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with dragging its feet on control of smog in the atmosphere. They are accusing the Trump administration EPA of violating the Clean Air Act by delaying air quality standards for ground level ozone pollution. Ground level ozone is a pollutant that comes when emissions from power plants, automobiles and factories get exposed to sunlight and heat…. The EPA, under President Obama, determined that a new standard adopted in 2015 would have public health benefits worth an estimated $2.9 billion to $5.9 billion. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com) See also: AG Bob Ferguson sues over EPA ozone rule, his 18th suit against the Trump administration   Joseph O'Sullivan reports. (Seattle Times) And also: When Climate Change Makes It Hard To Breathe  Sasha-Ann Simmons and Ashley Ahearn report. (Terrestrial/KUOW)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  257 AM PST Wed Dec 6 2017  
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft  at 13 seconds.
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell  4 ft at 12 seconds. Patchy fog after midnight.

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