Thursday, September 27, 2018

9/27 Fauntleroy, dam petition, fish farming regs, bird kill, farm fish virus, Samish toxin, sei whales, Arctic plants

Fauntleroy, West Seattle
Fauntleroy Cove
The cove on Seattle's southwestern shore was named for love. In 1857, George Davidson of the U.S. Coast Survey was smitten with Eleanor Fauntleroy. To bolster his quest for her hand, he named his newly commissioned survey vessel for her father, Robert H.Fauntleroy, the cove for the brig (he claimed), the Olympic peaks-- Mt. Eleanor, Mt. Constance, The Brothers, all of which are visible from the cove-- for his finance, her sister, and her brothers, Arthur and Edward. Although he never bestowed a geographic honor on his mother-in-law, George and Eleanor were married in 1859. (Washington State Place Names)

500,000 sign petition to breach Snake River dams in effort to save orcas 
More than 500,000 people have signed a petition to breach the Lower Snake River dams in an effort to boost wild salmon recovery, putting pressure on state leaders to consider the controversial move. On Wednesday, the online petition titled, “Dammed to extinction, Southern Resident Orcas are starving. Time is running out!” had 548, 256 signatures. The lower Snake River dams are Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite. They’re the four lowest dams on the Snake River, a tributary to the Columbia River. Wildlife advocates say breaching the dams could boost the number of wild chinook salmon that orcas feed on. There are only 74 southern resident orcas left in the Puget Sound area. The petition was created by a group called the Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative. The plan is to eventually deliver it to state leaders Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray. Brett Cihon and Simone Del Rosario report. (KCPQ)

Judge: NOAA can’t regulate fish farming under fisheries law
A federal judge in New Orleans has thrown out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s rules for fish farms in the Gulf of Mexico, saying the agency lacked authority to make them. Tuesday’s ruling halts a plan that would have allowed, “for the first time, industrial aquaculture offshore in U.S. federal waters,” according to the Center for Food Safety , which sued NOAA on behalf of what U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo described as “a bevy of special interest groups representing both food safety advocates and Gulf fishermen.” The government considers fish farming, including that on the open sea, to be “vital for supporting our nation’s seafood production, year-round jobs, rebuilding protected species and habitats, and enhancing coastal resilience.” Opponents say huge numbers of fish confined in nets out in the ocean could hurt ocean health and native fish stocks, and the farms would drive down prices and devastate commercial fishing communities. Janet McConnaughey reports. (Associated Press)

Mysterious bird kill in Delta solved, say wildlife experts
An evasive manoeuvre gone wrong may be to blame for the mysterious death of dozens of birds in Delta earlier this month. On Sept. 14, Kevin Beech witnessed what he called a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. He was heading to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal when he saw the birds crash to the roadway.... The Canadian Wildlife Service said in a statement that a witness came forward saying a much larger bird was chasing the flock of European starlings when they swooped toward the ground and then pulled back up. However, "the tail-end of the flock didn't pull up in time," the statement said. European starlings can form very large flocks and execute amazing swooping and whirling patterns—called a murmuration—to avoid a predatory bird, said the statement. (CBC)

Ottawa to test for risks of virus transfer from farmed to wild salmon
A science review to assess the risks associated with the transfer of a virus from farmed Atlantic salmon to wild salmon has been launched by the federal government. Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the results of the assessment of the piscine reovirus will guide decisions on aquaculture in Canada, including in the area of the Discovery Islands and Broughton Archipelago off B.C.’s coast. The government says in a news release the review will include domestic and international scientific experts, with a final report made available by early next year. (Canadian Press)

Toxic algae closes Samish Bay shellfish harvest
All recreational shellfish harvesting and all commercial oyster harvesting were closed Tuesday in Samish Bay after a biotoxin was found in regularly obtained samples. A biotoxin that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning was found in one oyster from the bay in high enough concentrations to make consumers sick, the state Department of Health’s marine biotoxin lead Jerry Borchert said. The state agency monitors year-round for several biotoxins, which are produced by algae in the water, including that which can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

5 sei whales seen swimming in pod of fin whales after scientists heard their calls
For a handful of researchers surveying marine life off British Columbia's coast — it was a whale of a tale. This summer, a group of biologists and Canadian Coast Guard members became the first people to report seeing endangered sei whales in Canadian waters in more than half a century.... The sei whale, one of the fastest marine mammals in the world, is part of the same family as blue and fin whales. At one point, there were more than 60,000 sei whales in the North Pacific, but the population collapsed after whalers started targeting them. There hadn't been a single reported sighting of a sei whale in Canadian waters since before whaling was banned in the 1960s. Mia Rabson reports. (Canadian Press)

Taller plants moving into warmer Arctic
The low-lying shrubs, grasses and other plants growing in the Arctic are getting taller. The finding comes from scientists who have analysed three decades of measurements. This data, gathered across Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia, indicates that a warming climate is driving the change. The team of 180 researchers says the increase in height could ultimately work to push up temperatures further. The international group reports its work in the journal Nature.  Jonathan Amos reports. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  242 AM PDT Thu Sep 27 2018   

TODAY  E wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 8 seconds. 

TONIGHT  Light wind becoming E to 10 kt after midnight. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 8 seconds.

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