Wednesday, January 31, 2018

1/31 Fish farm findings, orcas protection, BC pipe, BC plastics, BC beetles, fisher recovery

Super blue blood moon [Richard Vogel/AP]
Lunar Showstopper: 1st super blue blood moon in 35 years
The moon put on a rare cosmic show Wednesday: a red blue moon, super big and super bright. It’s the first time in 35 years a blue moon has synced up with a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse, or blood moon because of its red hue. Hawaii and Alaska had the best seats, along with the Canadian Yukon, Australia and Asia. The western U.S. also had good viewing, along with Russia. Marcia Dunn reports. (Associated Press)

Fish farm caused Atlantic salmon spill, state says, then tried to hide how bad it was
Cooke Aquaculture Pacific vastly underrepresented the scope of a catastrophic Atlantic salmon net-pen spill at its Cypress Island farm last August and misled the public and regulators about the cause, according to a new report by state investigators that blames the pen collapse on company negligence. The investigation found that Cooke lowballed the number of escaped fish by as much as half, and did not do essential maintenance at its farm, causing the escape. The company also misled agencies about the seriousness and cause of an earlier mishap at the farm in July; as a result, state agencies did not investigate Cooke’s operations sooner, investigators found. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Cooke fined $332,000 for salmon release  Phoung Le reports. (Associated Press)

'Stand with us:' B.C. First Nations meet cabinet ministers in bid to move fish farms out
A group of six  First Nations met with the provincial government Tuesday, hopeful for an end to open-pen fish farming in the Broughton Archipelago located between northern Vancouver Island and the  B.C. mainland. "It's time because the NDP and the federal government have said that they want to reconcile with First Nations people across the country," said Ernest Alfred, a traditional leader from the 'Namgis, Tlowitsis and Mamalilikulla First Nations…. Provincial cabinet ministers overseeing agriculture, environment, natural resources and Indigenous relations met with the First Nations chiefs at Canada Place in downtown Vancouver as supporters, including Alfred, rallied outside. Chad Pawson reports. (CBC)

Emergency protection for southern resident killer whales urged
Emergency action is needed under the Species at Risk Act to halt and reverse the decline of endangered, salmon-eating killer whales in B.C. waters, according to a coalition of conservation groups. The Raincoast Conservation Foundation, the David Suzuki Foundation and others are petitioning the federal government to curtail sport fishing and whale watching in feeding areas essential to the survival of the orcas and to restrict fishing on specific Chinook salmon populations that sustain the southern resident killer whales. Commercial shipping traffic should also be slowed down as the vessels pass critical feeding areas to limit acoustic interference that hampers the orcas’ ability to locate and catch prey, they say. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Orca Protection Act aims to protect orcas  A state Senate bill would require the state to add greater protections for orcas, which are on the U.S. endangered species list. Alex Visser reports. (WNPA News)

B.C. creates more uncertainty for Trans Mountain with bitumen restriction
The British Columbia government is creating more uncertainty around Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project with a proposal to restrict any increase in diluted bitumen shipments until it conducts more spill response studies. Provincial Environment Minister George Heyman says there needs to be more confidence in how well oil transporters are prepared to respond and mitigate the effects of a potential spill. (CBC) See also: Notley slams B.C. proposal to restrict shipments of diluted bitumen as unconstitutional  (CBC)

B.C. shoreline clean-up groups frustrated after feds propose 'no plastics' pledge to G7
Ocean clean-up groups along B.C.'s coast are frustrated with the lack of support from all levels of government to remove plastics and debris from Canada's shorelines. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked G7 nations to sign on to a "no plastics" pledge at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week with the intention of keeping plastic waste out of the ocean. The move has left local organizations unimpressed. Josh Temple, founder of Clayoquot Clean Up on Vancouver Island, said he was upset to hear Trudeau talk about a commitment to reducing plastic pollution internationally before addressing the problem here at home. Anna Dimoff reports. (CBC) See also: Plastic bag battle ignites as industry challenges Victoria ban  Jason Proctor reports. (CBC)

B.C. beetles are shrinking as habitat warms up, study finds
Some of B.C.'s beetles are getting smaller because their habitats are warming up, according to new research from the University of British Columbia. The study, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology on Tuesday, shows that climate change is having an affect on even the most "teeny tiny" organisms. A group of students on the study looked at eight species of beetles that were caught in the Okanagan and Lower Mainland over the past 100 years. They compared changes to the bugs' size to temperature data over the past century. In all, the researchers examined and photographed more than 6,500 insects for the project. (CBC)

Once-Vanished Fishers Are Making Their Comeback In Washington
Biologists released a handful of weasel-like animals called fishers into the Washington Cascades in 2015. Two years later, they returned to see if they were surviving and reproducing. Ken Christensen reports. (KSTW/EarthFix)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  310 AM PST Wed Jan 31 2018  
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS
 AFTERNOON  
TODAY
 S wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 11 ft  at 11 seconds. Showers likely in the morning then rain in the  afternoon.
TONIGHT
 S wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after  midnight. W swell 8 ft at 10 seconds. Rain in the evening then  rain likely after midnight.

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