Monday, July 9, 2018

7/9 Cattail, fish processing, salmon, orcas, killing seals, old growth, EPA, BC LNG, plastics, Nautulus, fish sing, ozone hole

Cattail [Hanson's NW Native Plants]
Cattail Typha latifolia
Cattails are perhaps the best known of the wetland plants and yet very few people have a respect for their incredible ecological and wildlife value.... First Nations people used the Cattail extensively. Not only did they eat it but it was also one of their favored weaving materials. They made mats and baskets with it as well as a thick, strong rope made by braiding its leaves with the bark of Red Cedar roots. They applied the juice, squeezed from the stems, to wounds and covered them with the down, much like we use present-day gauze. Flower heads were burnt, as the smoke repelled insects. The soft down was used to cushion diapers and line cradles, as it was highly absorbent and easy to clean. (Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database)

Audit finds 70 percent of B.C. fish-processing plants do not comply with environmental regulations
Stronger measures are needed for the fish-processing industry to ensure protection of the marine environment, including wild salmon, according to the audit of 30 fish-processing plants released Wednesday by the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. An audit of British Columbia fish-processing plants sparked by gory video of a pipe spewing bloody water into the Salish Sea has found that more than 70 percent of plants audited are out of compliance with environmental regulations, and some operate under rules decades behind modern standards. Stronger measures are needed for the fish-processing industry, to ensure protection of the marine environment, including wild salmon, according to the audit of 30 fish-processing plants released Wednesday by the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in response to controversy that erupted over the plume. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Majority of fish processing plants violating permits, audit shows  (CBC)

The lives of salmon are complex, leading to threats but also hope
Chris Dunagan blogs about salmon and his four-part series: "Salmon have a tough life. Not only must they escape predators and find enough food to eat — as do all wild animals — but they must also make the physiologically taxing transition from freshwater to saltwater and then back again to start a new generation...." (Watching Our Water Ways)

Island towns fearful over fishing closures
An invitation from Fisheries and Oceans Canada to discuss ocean areas that might be critical for killer whales has outraged community leaders from southwest Vancouver Island. Prompted by Mike Hicks, Capital Regional District director for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, community politicians, ocean anglers and chambers of commerce from Sooke to Tofino are objecting to the possibility of closing two ocean zones to sport fishing: Swiftsure and La Perouse banks. Such a closure, they say, would devastate the small towns that rely on sport fishing to attract tourists. Richard Watts reports. (Times Colonist)

Whale watching group wants closer access to other orcas as feds set 200-metre limit
A West Coast whale watching collective is demanding closer access for its members to more abundant killer whale populations after the federal government imposed a 200-metre viewing distance limit to protect the endangered southern resident orcas. However, whale scientists say the 200-metre limit still may not be enough distance to help whales that are up against threats of pollution, noise and lack of food. Last month, the federal government moved on three fronts to protect the endangered southern resident whales, whose population hovers around 75. It cut the Chinook salmon fishery by up to 35 per cent in key areas where the whales hunt their primary food source. It also increased pollution-impact research on the whales and their prey, and made it mandatory for all marine vessels, including whale watching boats, to stay 200 metres away from killer whales, starting July 11. Dirk Meissner reports. (Canadian Press)

Exploding Salish Sea seal population sparks call for a cull
Tens of thousands of seals in the Salish Sea are devouring millions of adult and juvenile salmon, sparking renewed debate about culling the furry predators. Recent studies have linked high seal-population density to troubled chinook runs and the decline of southern resident killer whales that feed on chinook in the summer. The U.S. federal government last week authorized a cull of sea lions that are decimating endangered chinook and steelhead populations in the Columbia River. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates that sea lions are eating 25 per cent of the steelhead as they return to spawn, after learning to exploit a bottleneck created by fish ladders. Seals use similar strategies in B.C., researchers say.... A tenfold increase in the population of harbour seals in B.C. waters since then is linked to a massive drop in marine survival of chinook salmon in 14 of 20 wild populations in a new study from the University of British Columbia. By contrast, hatchery fish — another potential explanation — had little impact. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun) See also: Introduced sheep, goats, deer alter natural ecosystem of Gulf Islands  Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)   

B.C. loggers aim to transition away from harvesting old growth — but it could take 90 years
David Elstone knows how majestic a towering Douglas fir can be. The longtime forester grew up near UBC's Endowment Lands, enthralled by the mix of evergreen and deciduous trees that make up Pacific Spirit Regional Park.... Now, Elstone, 46, sees more value in the forest than just its natural beauty. He's the executive director of B.C.'s Truck Loggers Association (TLA) — a collective of B.C. timber-harvesting contractors aimed at sustainable forest management. Many of its members are contracted to log portions of the province's remaining old-growth forests each year. Logging centuries-old trees has drawn criticism from the general public and environmentalists, with some going as far as saying the practice should be banned altogether. But according to the TLA, a moratorium on old-growth logging would have a severe economic impact on B.C.'s forestry sector. Jon Hernandez reports. (CBC)

EPA rollbacks already touching Americans’ lives 
.... In all, the Trump administration has targeted at least 45 environmental rules, including 25 at EPA, according to a rollback tracker by Harvard Law School’s energy and environment program. The EPA rule changes would affect regulation of air, water and climate change, and transform how the EPA makes its regulatory decisions. Pruitt, who resigned Thursday after months of ethics scandals, announced many of the policy changes quickly, and former EPA officials and environmental group predict that his proposed rollbacks will be vulnerable to court challenges. Matthew Daly reports. (Associated Press) See also: 76 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump  Nadja Popovich, Livia Albeck-Repka and Kendra Pierre-Louis report. (NY Times)

LNG Canada pipeline picks up steam as work camp contract awarded
Analysts say the awarding of a workforce accommodation contract to Houston-based Civeo Corp. is another sign that the $40-billion LNG Canada project is headed for a positive final investment decision later this year. Civeo says it has been awarded contracts to supply temporary work camps at four locations along the Coastal GasLink pipeline from Dawson Creek, B.C., to the west coast of B.C., on the condition that the liquefied natural gas export terminal is built. The proposed 670-kilometre pipeline is to be used to transport natural gas from northeastern B.C. to the facility near Kitimat, B.C., where it will be super-cooled and loaded on ships for transport to mainly Asian markets. (Canadian Press)

Public-Private Partnership to Map Ocean Plastic
The Institute of Marine Research, shipowner Torvald Klaveness, Kongsberg and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association have entered into a public-private partnership with the aim of mapping marine plastic and other environmental parameters vital to the health of the oceans. The partners will equip several vessels with advanced sensors to collect data for the Institute of Marine Research. Every minute, about 15 tons of plastic end up in the ocean. If this trend of marine plastic pollution continues, by 2050 there may be more plastic than fish in the sea. This is a matter of great concern for the maritime industry, say the partners. The aim of the new collaboration is to obtain information about the type of plastic found in various marine areas and the composition and origin of the plastic. The project will also provide increased knowledge of how plastic is spread and the consequences for the marine environment. (Marine Executive)

The last straw? Starbucks pledges to eliminate plastic straws globally by 2020 
Starbucks says it will become the largest food and beverage retailer to commit to eliminating plastic straws, a change it says it will complete by 2020. The Seattle-based coffee company announced early Monday that it is phasing out straws for its cold beverages — which now represent more than half of its drink sales — and replacing them with one-piece, recyclable “strawless” lids or straws made from other materials at all of its more than 28,000 stores globally. Starbucks uses more than a billion plastic straws a year. Benjamin Romano reports. (Seattle Times)

Underwater volcanoes revealed through live-streamed B.C. research expedition
A marine research expedition is underway off the B.C. coast to explore little understood dormant underwater volcanoes that scientists say provide critical marine habitat. What scientists learn during the 16-day trip in the open ocean off Haida Gwaii could help the government decide if the region should receive designation as a marine protected area.... There are dozens of underwater volcanoes — known as seamounts — along the B.C. coast. The expedition will examine three of them.... The entire expedition is also being live streamed to share rare glimpses of the deep sea formations with the world. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

Scientists Study ‘Singing Fish’ For Ways To Improve Human Hearing
You know that expression, “Leave no stone unturned?” That’s how Washington State University neuroscientist Allison Coffin goes about catching midshipman fish — at least during mating season. Standing on the rocky, oyster-covered shoreline of Hood Canal, she rolled over a beach-ball sized rock to reveal a small pool of water just barely covering two fish.... Because it’s low tide, some of the fish she and her research partner Joe Sisneros uncovered aren’t in any water at all. That makes this area prime fishing grounds for the researchers, who say the ears of these fish could teach us how to improve our own hearing. Cassandra Profita reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Ozone hole mystery: China insulating chemical said to be source of rise
Cut-price Chinese home insulation is being blamed for a massive rise in emissions of a gas, highly damaging to the Earth's protective ozone layer. The Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) found widespread use of CFC-11 in China, even though the chemical was fully banned back in 2010. Scientists have been extremely puzzled by the mysterious rise in emissions. But this report suggests the key source is China's home construction industry. Matt McGrath reports. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  215 AM PDT Mon Jul 9 2018   

TODAY  W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the  afternoon. SW swell 2 ft at 11 seconds. A chance of showers in  the afternoon. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. SW  swell 2 ft at 14 seconds. A chance of showers.

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