Thursday, February 1, 2018

2/1 Squidding, well rule, BC pipe, fish farm warning, Clean Water Rule, PS health, orca talk, ocean acid, slave seafood, Brown Booby, Long Live the Kings, Brian Bingham

Pacific squid [David Andrews/WDFW]
Pacific squid Loligo opalescens
Squid found along Washington's coast, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound are called Pacific squid, opalescent, or--most commonly--market squid. Adult market squid found in inside waters average about eight inches (mantle plus tentacles). Biologically, squid belong to the class of mollusks known as cephalopods, which also include octopus. Squid are decapods, having 10 tentacles, compared to the eight arms of octopuses. They also are free-swimming creatures and exhibit schooling behavior similar to many species of fish. Evidence indicates that these squid are short-lived, probably having life spans of no more than one year. (WDFW)

Squidding on the Seattle waterfront with chef Shota Nakajima 
At least it’s not pitch-black and pouring rain. Chef Shota Nakajima is trying to catch squid on the Seattle waterfront, right on the same pier as the huge Ferris wheel. Squidding here, at the foot of downtown’s skyscrapers, happens in the middle of winter at high tide, when the squid sometimes come into the shallow water. If the timing happens to be right in the dead of night, so be it: Extra-bright flashlights, shined down off the dock into the water, help attract the quarry. Bethany Jean Clement reports. (Seattle Times)

Following state measure, Whatcom lifts restrictions on building that relies on wells
The County Council has temporarily ended restrictions on new rural developments that rely on domestic wells in Whatcom County, allowing frustrated property owners to once again apply for permits to build their homes…. The council’s approval of an emergency ordinance on Tuesday lifted what had been the fourth temporary moratorium the council put in place to respond to a state Supreme Court ruling in October 2016, known as the Hirst decision, which required the county to make sure there was enough water – both legally and physically – in streams for fish and those holding senior water rights. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Alberta premier threatens economic retaliation against B.C. over bitumen restrictions
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has threatened to retaliate economically against what she called an "unconstitutional" move by the B.C. government to delay construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Notley has already vowed to take legal action against the B.C. government, which on Tuesday proposed new restrictions on shipments of bitumen that would flow through the expanded pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast. On Wednesday, Notley called an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss Alberta's options to strike back in what has become a super-heated battle with the NDP government in B.C. (CBC) See also: B.C. not backing down on fight against pipeline expansion despite Alberta's threats (CBC)  See also: What we know – and don’t know – about diluted bitumen  (Globe and Mail)

5 counties warned state about salmon-farming back in 2012
Not long ago, some of the loudest political voices railing against the danger of farming Atlantic salmon in the waters of Puget Sound came from within chambers of county governments. Back in 2012, leaders of Island, Whatcom, Jefferson, Skagit and San Juan counties — Democrat and Republican — called for a moratorium on such fish farm operations. They also sought authority to include a ban on them in their respective shoreline management plans. They reached out to executives in state agencies as well as former Gov. Chris Gregoire and, later, Gov. Jay Inslee. They lobbied lawmakers and sought backing of tribes in their quest. “While Washington state missteps with outdated science, local governments desiring to recognize modern science, job, and environmental and public threats, ask that they be permitted to ban these open finfish feedlots before they destroy the native species, their habitats, and the jobs we have worked so diligently to protect,” former Island County Commissioner Angie Homola wrote in a six-page issue paper delivered to Inslee in August 2014. Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)

E.P.A. Blocks Obama-Era Clean Water Rule
The Trump administration has formally suspended a major Obama-era clean water regulation ahead of plans to issue its own version of the rule later this year. President Trump has taken aim at the bitterly contested rule, known as Waters of the United States, since his campaign, calling it “one of the worst examples of federal regulation.” Among Mr. Trump’s first actions in office was an executive order directing his Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, to begin the legal process of rescinding the rule and replacing it with a more industry-friendly alternative. On Wednesday, Mr. Pruitt took a major step toward completing that task, filing the legal documents required to suspend the Obama rule for two years. The rule was set to be implemented in the coming weeks, following a Supreme Court decision last week that gave jurisdiction of the matter to district courts. Having suspended the water rule, Mr. Pruitt is now crafting a Trump administration version, which is expected to include much looser regulatory requirements on how farmers, ranchers and real estate developers must safeguard the streams and tributaries that flow through their property and into larger bodies of water. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Learn about ecosystem indicators and the quest for Puget Sound health
More than 100 people tuned in today (Wednesday) to an online presentation regarding the Puget Sound Partnership’s Vital Signs indicators and the quest for ecological health. While there was not much breaking news, the session turned out to be a very nice summary of progress toward restoring ecological functions in Puget Sound — or rather, in too many cases, the ongoing declines in species and habitats. One can review the entire two-hour webinar, in which a variety of our leading Puget Sound experts chime in on their areas of expertise. Go to Puget Sound Partnership’s webpage and click on “Vital Signs Webinar.” Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways writes)

Scientists record orca mimicking 'hello' and other human words
Scientists have taught a captive killer whale to imitate human speech, and have recorded the female orca mimicking words including "hello" and "one two three." Wikie, a 14-year-old captive-born orca at Marineland Aquarium, in Antibes, France, imitated the words well enough, some of the time, that they were recognized by six humans who heard recorded clips of its voice, report researchers in a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The humans were asked to identify which clips contained the word or words that Wikie was asked to imitate. Emily Chung reports. (CBC)

Can Kelp And Seagrass Help Oysters Adapt To Major Ocean Change?
The oceans off Oregon and Washington are ground zero for ocean acidification, and Northwest scientists are working on new ways to adapt. Brian Allen is up to his elbows in cold, black water. He’s hanging over the side of a small boat, trying to pull in a tangle of ropes. They’re heavy and being dragged sideways by the current. He strains against them. Allen is a researcher with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund. He’s working within a 2.5 acre plot of open water near the mouth of Hood Canal, west of Seattle.  The area is roped off on two ends, and inside dozens of buoys bob in the low chop. Jes Majors reports. (OPB/Earthwatch)

Was Your Seafood Caught With Slave Labor? New Database Helps Retailers Combat Abuse
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, known best for its red, yellow and green sustainable seafood-rating scheme, is unveiling its first Seafood Slavery Risk Tool Thursday. It’s a database designed to help corporate seafood buyers assess the risk of forced labor, human trafficking and hazardous child labor in the seafood they purchase. The tool’s release comes on the heels of a new report that confirms forced labor and human rights abuses remain embedded in Thailand’s fishing industry, years after global media outlets first documented the practice. Clare Leschin-Hoar reports. (NPR)

Rare Brown Booby recovering in Victoria
A rare tropical Brown Booby bird is being treated at a rehabilitation centre after being found in Victoria, B.C., this week. On Monday, the unusual bird — which typically frequents tropical ocean areas — was seen shivering at Ogden Point. "It's a really kind of weird-looking bird," said Ann Nightingale, birder and volunteer at the Rocky Point Bird Observatory…. She says the Brown Booby is rare for Victoria and this is only the fifth such sighting in the city since 2009. Jaimie Kehler reports. (CBC)

What’s killing the salmon? Long Live the Kings investigates decline in iconic fish
Salmon are a big part of life in the Pacific Northwest. But over the past couple of decades, they’ve declined to critical levels and researchers don’t know why. Solving the mystery is what nonprofit Long Live the Kings is working on, and thanks to a grant from Microsoft, technology is helping the nonprofit develop a comprehensive model to find clues to solve it. Long Live the Kings is looking into Puget Sound and the waterways the flow into it, more broadly known as the Salish Sea. This Salish Sea Marine Survival Project is tracking migration of fish through our marine environment to understand what’s affecting salmons' mortality.  Simply, why do salmon keep dying? Tatevik Aprikyan reports. (KCPQ)

Huxley's Brian Bingham Named Interim Director of WWU’s Shannon Point Marine Center
Brian Bingham has been named interim director of Western Washington University’s Shannon Point Marine Center (SPMC). Bingham, professor of Environmental Sciences in Western’s Huxley College of the Environment, will begin his new duties on Feb. 1. A national search for the SPMC director is planned for next fall, with the permanent director set to start during the summer of 2019. (Western Today)

Now, your tug weather--
 West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  306 AM PST Thu Feb 1 2018  
 S wind to 10 kt becoming SE 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the  afternoon. W swell 5 ft at 9 seconds. Rain likely in the morning  then rain in the afternoon.
TONIGHT  E wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SE 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 building to 6 ft at 8 seconds  after midnight. Rain in the evening then rain likely after  midnight.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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