Thursday, December 13, 2018

12/13 Water jelly, groundfish catch, orca budget, Ted Griffin, shooting sea lions, John Beal, Big Oil, sewage spill, chlorpyrifos

Water Jellyfish [Sierra Blakely/Wikipedia]
Water jellyfish Aequorea victoria
Our largest hydrozoan jelly by far (to 5 inches in diameter). Transparent bell is thick and gelatinous; underparts are lined with 50 to 150 radial canals. An equal number of long slender tentacles hang from margin of bell. Perhaps the most luminescent of our large jellyfishes; glows in the dark when touched. (Wikipedia) See also: Claudia Mills, Bioluminescence and other factoids about Aequorea, a hydromedusa

Catch limits increase for key West Coast groundfish species
Federal officials said Tuesday they are increasing catch limits for several species of West Coast groundfish that were severely depleted more than a dozen years ago in a crisis that posed a threat to the commercial and sports fishing industries. Limits for yelloweye rockfish will more than double, while substantial increases will be allowed for California scorpionfish, bocaccio and Pacific Ocean perch, the National Marine Fisheries Service said. Those species have recovered enough to allow for the greatest expansion of a West Coast fishery in years. The formal announcement of the revised catch limits will be published Wednesday and the changes go into effect on Jan. 1, the first day of the new fishing season. Gillian Flaccus reports. (AP)

Gov. Inslee to speak at orca rally in Olympia following budget announcement
People who love Puget Sound orcas and want to save them from extinction will rally in Olympia tomorrow. And Gov. Jay Inslee plans to join them, immediately after announcing his budget priorities for the coming year. Many are wondering how Inslee’s budget will respond to the 36 recommendations proposed by the Orca Recovery Task Force, a group consisting of nearly 50 stakeholders who were convened by the governor in May. When Inslee addresses the crowd Thursday, it will be one of the first opportunities for task force members to hear feedback on their proposal. Bellamy Pailthorp and Kari Plog report. (KNKX)

The orca and the orca catcher: How a generation of killer whales was taken from Puget Sound
Namu was Ted Griffin’s greatest prize, a live killer whale, put on display at Seattle’s waterfront. The orca’s journey from wild to captive would spark a worldwide sensation and change everything we knew about "blackfish." Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Sea lions have enemies. Now someone is shooting them in the head.
There’s a sea lion killer on the loose in the Pacific Northwest. Or quite possibly several. Since September, the hulking carcasses of 18 of the aquatic predators have washed up on the Puget Sound shores of west Seattle and neighboring Kitsap County. A dozen contained bullets or shotgun pellets in the head, assassination-style, according to X-rays conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The remaining six may also have been victims of the shooting spree, but some drifted away in the tide before state veterinarians could perform a post-mortem. Another couldn’t be X-rayed because it had been decapitated, and the heft of the body would have required a crane to haul the animal out of the water and into a facility where it could be more thoroughly examined. Jason Bittel reports. (Washington Post)

How a man with four months to live restored Hamm Creek
If you knew that you only had four months to live, what would you do? After suffering three heart attacks, John Beal was told that he was going to die. He decided to use the rest of his life to clean up Hamm Creek, an offshoot of the Duwamish River so polluted the water was yellow. That decision changed the course of John's life and transformed Hamm Creek. Will Rasmussen reports. (KUOW)

The Oil Industry’s Covert Campaign to Rewrite American Car Emissions Rules
When the Trump administration laid out a plan this year that would eventually allow cars to emit more pollution, automakers, the obvious winners from the proposal, balked. The changes, they said, went too far even for them. But it turns out that there was a hidden beneficiary of the plan that was pushing for the changes all along: the nation’s oil industry. Hiroko Tabuchi reports. (NY Times)

Faulty gate the cause of 200,000-gallon sewage spill
A malfunctioning gate at Bremerton's east side wastewater treatment plant is being blamed for about 200,000 gallons of sewage and runoff spilling into Port Washington Narrows and Dyes Inlet on Tuesday. The Kitsap Public Health District had to issue a no-contact advisory for waters between Silverdale and Bremerton. The health district says people should avoid direct skin contact with those waters through Dec. 18. Heavy rains Tuesday activated Bremerton's east side wastewater treatment plant near Lions Park, a facility only used during storms when runoff overwhelms the city's sewer system. But a gate inside the treatment plant wouldn't open, pushing the rainwater and sewage into an emergency overflow valve. Josh Farley reports. (Kitsap Sun)

This pesticide poisons kids, but it's still sprayed on local orchards — including Christmas trees
On Easter Sunday of 2017, the five Perez children were hunting for Easter eggs in their backyard when they smelled something unusual. “Plasticky and rotten eggs,” their dad, Eric Perez, recalled.... Washington’s Department of Agriculture investigated and found that a pesticide called chlorpyrifos had drifted onto the Perez property from the neighboring orchard. A court battle is currently raging over whether or not the EPA should ban chlorpyrifos nationwide. In the meantime, Pacific Northwest farmers keep using it. In 2016, Washington farmers used more than 200,000 pounds of the chemical on orchards and vineyards, and the majority of Christmas tree farmers also rely on chlorpyrifos. The reason chlorpyrifos is controversial is because of its health effects. When the pesticide drifts onto farm workers and farm neighbors, it can cause symptoms like the ones Perez described: nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, wheezing, and muscle weakness and twitching. Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  200 AM PST Thu Dec 13 2018   
 NW wind 20 to 30 kt becoming NE in the afternoon. Wind  waves 3 to 4 ft. W swell 16 ft at 15 seconds. Rain. 
 SE wind 25 to 35 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell  16 ft at 15 seconds. Rain.

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