Tuesday, January 8, 2019

1/8 Barnacle, salmon secret life, pipe protest, electric ferries, herring catch, plastics cleanup, Polley mine, 'sea monster'

Thatched barnacle [Dave Cowles]
Thatched barnacle Semibalanus carious
Largest of or three common barnacles; grows to two inches diameter, taller than wide. Outer plates are usually "thatched" with ropey lines down sides. The dominant barnacle at lower tide levels, their lower limit often determined by the voracious Purple Sea Star. (Marine Wildlife of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia)

Nanaimo scientist heads survey into secret lives of salmon
An international team of scientists is heading to the Gulf of Alaska for a ground-breaking research survey to uncover the secret lives of Pacific salmon in the winter. Discoveries coming out of a 25-day research cruise using a trawler in the North Pacific are expected to help countries do a better job of managing, conserving and restoring salmon stocks, including improving forecasting of returns.... Renowned scientist Richard Beamish is spearheading the organization of the $1-million-plus research survey, funded by non-profit organizations, the private sector and governments. It is a key project of the International Year of the Salmon initiative from the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization and other groups. Carla Wilson reports. (Times Colonist)

RCMP break up northern B.C. First Nation’s pipeline checkpoints
The RCMP have breached a gate that a northern B.C. First Nation had erected to block access to a natural-gas pipeline project. Officers broke through a blockade on Morice River Forest Service Road, southwest of Houston, on Monday afternoon to enforce a B.C. Supreme Court injunction order, arresting 14 people, said RCMP. A post on the Wet’suwet’en Access Point Facebook page claimed police broke through the checkpoint gate with “brutal force.” It said protesters were expected to be taken to provincial court in Prince George. The checkpoint was one of two manned by members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation. Jennifer Saltman reports.

Electric ferries cleaner and quieter—but not in the way orcas need most
Gov. Jay Inslee wants Washington state ferries to switch to electricity. The governor wants the state legislature to pay for two new electric ferries this year and to convert two others. Inslee is proposing to spend $117 million on electric ferries. Inslee said the cleaner, quieter boats would help the climate and the region’s endangered orcas. While electric boats emit less air pollution than diesel ferries do, it’s unclear how much good four battery-powered boats serving Seattle-area commuter runs would do for the noise-sensitive whales. Most underwater noise generated by ships, including the 23 state ferries, comes from their spinning propellers, not their rumbling engines. John Ryan reports. (KUOW) See also: Washington State Ferries reveals plan for younger, greener fleet   Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network)

Creosote-treated logs to be removed from Seahurst Park in Burien
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be removing creosote-treated logs that have washed up on the beach at Seahurst Park in Burien. The DNR, working in collaboration with the City of Burien, will begin removing the logs in January as part of a statewide program to clean up Washington shorelines. Crews will periodically visit the park to collect the logs and cut them into smaller pieces. Tarps will be used to prevent any debris from cutting the logs from getting onto the beach. (KING)

Hornby Island organization calls for moratorium on Pacific herring fishery
A local conservation group is asking the federal government to put a moratorium on its Pacific herring roe fishery planned for March 2019. Conservancy Hornby Island, a small volunteer non-profit organization on Hornby Island, is concerned with the long-term sustainability of the land and marine resources of the island. In recent years, the group has been focused on the sea life around the island and the importance of Pacific Herring for this sea life. According to the organization, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is preparing to approve the catch of 20 percent of all the herring that spawn in the Georgia Strait, which it says is the last viable herring roe fishery on the coast. Conservancy Hornby Island believes that this is being done without considering what impact this may have on all the other sea creatures that rely on this one species of forage fish. Troy Landreville reports. (MyComoxValleyNow)

An Engineering Wunderkind's Ocean Plastics Cleanup Device Hits A Setback
The path to innovation is not always a smooth, straight line. In some cases, it’s U-shaped. In September, a 2,000-foot-long floating barrier, shaped like a U, was dispatched to the Great Pacific garbage patch between Hawaii and California, where roughly 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic have formed a floating field of debris roughly twice the size of Texas. Made of connected plastic pipes, the barrier was meant to catch and clean-up the plastic. Invented by Boyan Slat when he was just 17, the barrier has so far done some of what it was designed to accomplish. It travels with wind and wave propulsion, like a U-shaped Pac-Man hungry for plastic. It orients itself in the wind and it catches and concentrates plastic, sort of. But as Slat, now 24, recently discovered with the beta tester for his design, plastic occasionally drifts out of its U-shaped funnel. The other issue with the beta tester, called System 001, is that last week, a 60-feet-long end section broke off. Michel Martin and Amanda Morris report. (NPR)

Operations suspended at B.C.'s Mount Polley mine 
Imperial Metals says it's suspending all operations at B.C.'s Mount Polley mine because of declining copper prices. Operations at the mine, located about 230 kilometres northwest of Kamloops, are expected to stop by the end of May, according to the Vancouver-based company. Mount Polley was the site of one of the biggest spills in B.C. history when a tailings dam collapsed in August 2014, sending 24 million cubic metres of mine waste and sludge into nearby waterways. (CBC)

Incredible 'sea monster' skull revealed in 3D
Some 200 million years ago in what is now Warwickshire, a dolphin-like reptile died and sank to the bottom of the sea. The creature's burial preserved its skull in stunning detail - enabling scientists to digitally reconstruct it. The fossil, unveiled in the journal PeerJ, gives a unique insight into the life of an ichthyosaur. The ferocious creature would have fed upon fish, squid and likely others of its kind. Helen Briggs reports. (BBC)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  648 AM PST Tue Jan 8 2019   
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY
  
TODAY
 E wind 25 to 35 kt. Combined seas 8 to 11 ft with a  dominant period of 11 seconds. A chance of rain in the morning  then rain in the afternoon. 
TONIGHT
 E wind 20 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft  at 12 seconds building to 9 ft at 14 seconds after midnight.  Rain.


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