Friday, September 14, 2018

9/14 Kinnikinnick, J50, BC MPA, BC pipe, BC fish farms, Samish R closure, sub, dolphin grief, BPA study, goats!

Kinnikinnick Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Kinnikinnick is said to be an Algonquian term meaning 'smoking mixture.' The dried leaves were smoked by a number of coastal groups within the last two centuries. The Nuxalk made special smoking pipes from gooseberry stems. There is very little indication of these groups smoking in pre-contact times, although the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian did grow and chew the leaves of a species of tobacco, now apparently extinct, in pre-contact times. Commercial tobacco, once it was available on the Northwest Coast, was preferred, although some people extended their tobacco supply by mixing it with kinnikinnick leaves. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Orca J50 presumed dead but NOAA continues search
J50 was presumed dead Thursday after a search for the whale by boat, plane and from shore failed to spot her. About 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Ken Balcomb, founding director of the Center for Whale Research, declared J50 presumed dead. He is on contract with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the keeper of demographic data of the southern resident population of orca whales. But NOAA and partners helping in the search have not given up hope, said Michael Milstein, spokesman for the agency. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Canada’s first protected marine area coming to B.C. coast after Shell gives up exploration permits
Shell Canada Ltd. has given up offshore exploration rights, clearing the way for the creation of Canada’s first protected marine area under the Canada Wildlife Act. The company voluntarily released permits for about 50,000 square kilometres in an area off B.C.’s coast to allow for the creation of the Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area. The company’s rights cover an area more than 1.5 times the size of Vancouver Island, which is hard to value, said Shell Canada president Michael Crothers, at a news conference on Thursday. “I hope we get some goodwill (in return).” Even as Shell continues to explore for oil and gas globally, Crothers said they have no plans to do so off coastal B.C., particularly since the waters off the west coast have been under an exploration moratorium since 1972. (Canadian Press) See also: Could A Ban On Fishing In International Waters Become A Reality?  (NPR)

42 B.C.-based Order of Canada recipients want the pipeline cancelled for the sake of climate change
Filmmaker Bonnie Sherr Klein says she is turning heartbreak into action by joining 41 other B.C.-based Order of Canada recipients who have signed a letter calling on the federal government to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project....The letter opens with the line: "As members of the Order of Canada, whose motto is 'They Desire a Better Country,' we believe it is our role as citizens to speak out about our government's purchase and building of the Trans Mountain pipeline." Signatories include Robert Bateman, Raffi Cavoukian, Dorothy Grant, Joy Kogawa, Ga​bor Maté, and David Suzuki. Karin Larsen reports. (CBC) See also: Burnaby spends $1.1M from casino funds on legal fight against Trans Mountain  (CBC)

B.C. municipalities call for end of open-net fish farms
The Union of B.C. Municipalities put its weight behind environmental groups and coastal First Nations concerned about the effect of open-net fish farms on wild salmon Wednesday, passing a resolution that urged the province to shift the industry to closed systems. The move “represents the evaporation of the social licence for the open-net fish farms to be operating in the oceans of British Columbia,” said Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis Chief Robert Chamberlin, who is also the vice-president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. A spokesperson for the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association warned, however, that forcing the industry on-land could mean pushing it out of B.C. altogether. Ainslie Cruickshank reports. (StarMetro Vancouver)

Fishing to close on part of Samish River
In order to allow enough chinook salmon returning to the Samish River to reach the Samish Hatchery north of Burlington, part of the river will close Saturday to all fishing. The state Department of Fish & Wildlife announced the closure Wednesday. The closure will be in effect from the mouth of the river at Bayview-Edison Road to the Interstate 5 bridge. The closure is needed due to expected low returns of hatchery chinook. The closure will help ensure the hatchery can collect enough eggs for the next generation, according to a news release. If enough eggs are collected, fishing will be reopened. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Research submarine arrives at Friday Harbor
Often called Earth’s final frontier, the darkest depths of the ocean contain mysterious creatures and otherworldly habitats researchers have only begun to discover thanks to evolving submarine technology. For the first time, one such submarine will be arriving in the San Juans.... The submarine arrived Sept. 8 at the labs and assisted with three local studies: one regarding red sea urchins, another focusing on the effects of trawling (a method of fishing and researching that scrapes the seafloor) and the third will take a look at sand lance. Heather Spaulding reports. (San Juan Journal)

What Dolphin Whistles Tell Us About Grief
The adult dolphin carried the limp, dead calf on her back. Occasionally, the dolphin, presumed to be the mother, would dive into the water, taking the carcass with her. A half-dozen Chinese white dolphins followed closely, while a larger group trailed at a distance. When the procession met a boat, the trailing dolphins formed up, pushing themselves between the vessel and the central group. “They were almost defensive,” says Matt Pine, a marine biologist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, who watched the scene play out in Sanniang Bay, in southern China, in December 2014. Pine and his colleagues turned off the boat’s engine and lowered a hydrophone into the water, capturing audio of what they believe to be the sounds of dolphins grieving.... The journey of the dolphin and her dead calf is remarkably similar to that of the female killer whale J35, also known as Tahlequah, which captured the world’s attention last month when she carried her dead calf around the Salish Sea, off British Columbia, for 17 days. Katarina Zimmer reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Government Study Of BPA Backs Its Safety, But Doesn't Settle Debate
Government scientists have presented new evidence that the plastic additive BPA isn't a health threat. Low doses of the chemical given to hundreds of rats, "did not elicit clear, biologically plausible adverse effects," said K. Barry Delclos, a research pharmacologist at the Food and Drug Administration's National Center for Toxicological Research. Delclos made the remarks Thursday during an online presentation in which he summarized an important part of a $30 million project called CLARITY-BPA, which was launched in 2012 to resolve questions about the chemical's safety. Jon Hamilton reports. (NPR)

Flying goats! Olympic Range mountain goats are being relocated by helicopter and ferry
Wildlife biologists have relocated the first two dozen of hundreds of non-native mountain goats slated for removal from Olympic National Park. The logistically-challenging capture and transfer of the woolly wild animals to the northern Cascade Range has been periodically slowed by weather this week. Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network) See also: Mountain goat releases underway in North Cascades  Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Fri Sep 14 2018   

TODAY  NW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 7 seconds. Showers. 

TONIGHT  E wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 9 seconds. Showers likely. 

SAT  E wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at  9 seconds. Showers likely. 

SAT NIGHT  SW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 9 seconds. 

SUN  S wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft at  11 seconds.

"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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