Monday, April 16, 2018

4/16 Octopus, stocking fish pens, BC pipe, offshore blasting, geoduck diver, bottom trawl, GOP dam water, air pollution permits

Giant Pacific octopus [NOAA]
Giant Pacific octopus: Smart and delicious
Giant Pacific octopus are known to grow up to 156 pounds, though those canned in Pacific County are typically much smaller. They live in coastal waters all along the northern Pacific Rim, from California north to Alaska and across to eastern Russia, northern Japan and Korea. Their abundance is unknown, but they aren’t protected by international conservation laws. Giant Pacific octopus are protected by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at seven sites in Puget Sound, after public outcry about the controversial sport harvest of one near Alki Point in West Seattle about five years ago. Giant Pacific octopus have relatively long lives compared to many other octopus species — they live three or four years, compared to one or two years for most other species. (Coast River Business Journal)

Restocking Atlantic salmon pens blocked by court
Cooke Aquaculture will not be allowed to restock its Cypress Island net-pen farm with Atlantic salmon, a Thurston County Superior Court Judge has ruled. The company’s license to operate the farm was terminated by Hilary Franz, the Commissioner of Public Lands, after a catastrophic collapse last August led to the release of more than 300,000 Atlantic salmon. Cooke had sought a preliminary injunction to restock the pen while it worked to overturn the termination with a lawsuit against the department. But Judge John Skinder on Friday sided with the department, which insisted the farm remain fallow. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Canada will take financial and legislative action to make pipeline happen: Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government has the authority to ensure the Trans Mountain pipeline is built and is taking the financial and legislative actions needed to make it happen. "I have instructed the minister of finance to initiate formal financial discussions with Kinder Morgan, the result of which will be to remove the uncertainty overhanging the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project," Trudeau said after meeting with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan in Ottawa Sunday. Trudeau said the financial discussions with Kinder Morgan will not be in public but that "construction will go ahead." (CBC) See also: Trudeau, Notley launch talks to invest in Kinder Morgan pipeline  (Postmedia News)

B.C. issues Trans Mountain pipeline permit update as premier heads to Ottawa
British Columbia's government has issued a progress report on permits for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, just as Premier John Horgan readies to travel to Ottawa for a meeting on the controversial project. The Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Ministry says the $7.4-billion project requires 1,187 provincial permits, many of which involve Indigenous consultations. The ministry says in a statement that 587 permit applications have been submitted to various permitting agencies and of those, 201 have been approved and issued while another 386 are under review. (Canadian Press)

UBC law professor questions Ottawa's jurisdiction on planned pipeline expansion
An environmental expert in B.C. says Ottawa may not have sole jurisdiction to push through approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, despite the prime minister's vow Sunday that the project will proceed.nJocelyn Stacey, an environmental law professor at the University of British Columbia, said there are jurisdictional questions when it comes to the environment, and the possible effects an expanded pipeline might bring. Cathy Kearney reports. (CBC) See also: Pipeline protesters plan to ramp up activities following Trudeau announcement  Denise Ryan reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Environmentalists 'red-wash' their fight against pipeline, First Nation chief says
Cancellation of the Trans Mountain pipeline would cost B.C. First Nations hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits, job training, and employment and business opportunities, according to Cheam Chief Ernie Crey. Crey has emerged as a leading voice for the First Nations that stand to benefit from the project, calling out environmentalists for “red-washing” their fight against the $7.4 billion expansion of the pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby…. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs has joined public protests against the expansion, but that does not mean all First Nations oppose it, Crey said. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

New rules would make it easier to find offshore oil – and noisier for whales
The search for offshore oil begins with a boom. Before the oil rigs arrive and the boring begins, operators need to fire intense seismic blasts repeatedly into the ocean to find oil deposits. For decades, environmental rules that protected whales and other marine life from this cacophony have limited the location and frequency of these blasts — preventing oil companies from exploring, and therefore operating, off much of the nation's coasts. Now those safeguards are being dismantled. Rosanna Xia reports. (LA Times)

The Geoduck Diver
Hozoji Matheson-Margullis is widely recognized for her pummeling drum chops. But at 37, the emerging marine biologist is making waves at the forefront of Native American STEM in an age of climate change and Trump. Brian Anderson reports. (Motherboard)

Conservationists, West Coast bottom fishermen embrace 'grand bargain'
People who love fresh Northwest seafood and the sea should take note of what happened recently in a hotel conference room by Portland’s airport. There, the Pacific Fishery Management Council approved a plan to protect more coral, sponges, reefs and other sensitive animals and formations from the nets of bottom trawlers who work off the West Coast. The measure also offers something for fishermen: a reopening of some prime fishing areas that had been off-limits. The end result is intended to be greater marine conservation protection and more fresh fish flowing into regional markets. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Grisly new undercover footage shows the toll of ‘death nets,’ activists say  (Washington Post)

Republicans criticize spill of dam water to help salmon
Republican Congress members from the Pacific Northwest are upset with a federal judge's order to spill water from four Snake River dams to help speed migrating salmon to the Pacific Ocean. They say the water could be saved for other uses and are denouncing the spill, which began April 3, and a push by environmentalists to remove the four dams to increase wild salmon runs…. McMorris Rodgers and Newhouse have introduced a bill that would prevent any changes in dam operations until 2022. The measure was co-sponsored by Republican House members from Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Nevada, along with Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader of Oregon. It passed the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday and heads to the floor in coming weeks. Nicholas K. Geranios reports. (Associated Press)

Trump orders faster issuance of air pollution permits
President Donald Trump prodded federal regulators Thursday to quicken processing of air quality permits for businesses, saying it would boost economic growth and job creation but drawing criticism from environmentalists who described the move as a green light for polluters. Among steps outlined in a White House memorandum to the Environmental Protection Agency were deadlines for acting on Clean Air Act permit applications, a search for changes in rules or procedures that would expedite permit decisions and giving state agencies greater authority to deal with air pollution. John Flesher and Laurie Kellman report. (Associated Press)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  834 PM PDT Sun Apr 15 2018  
 W wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 7 ft at  12 seconds. A chance of showers.  MON NIGHT  W wind 20 to 30 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell 9 ft  at 11 seconds. A chance of showers.

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