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Orcasphere » 2008 » December
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Archives for December, 2008

The 6th H of salmon abundance: Heat


The clipping below is from a Daily Astorian article on an EPA report regarding global warming’s potential influence on Northwest salmon.  Of most import for killer whale conservationists are the implications of what James Martin calls a “perfect storm” for salmon: low snow pack with low, warm flows in the summer. Martin provides a nice [...]

New research money related to Navy sonar


Not sure what this means for southern residents and funding for their researchers, but this is surely good news for beaked whales, as well as killer whales when they may transit Navy training areas in the Salish Sea or off the Washington coast. Thanks to Val Veirs for the tip on this press release. clipped [...]

No new orcas in late 2008


This is a pretty general treatment of endangered species with a nice from-the-field synopsis of prey/fecal sampling by KUOW intern Irene Naguchi, but it didn’t deliver what I expected — new information derived from the fecal sampling. The main news I caught from Brad was that they, Ken, and Mark haven’t noted any new calves [...]

Ocean conditions promising future orca food


Some good news re offshore productivity in 2008, though the southern residents may not see the benefits for a couple years… clipped from www.oregonlive.com Oregon ocean conditions best for fish in 50 years After several years of poor ocean conditions that left birds starving and fish dwindling, this year brought a healthy influx of cold, [...]

Lubchenco could save NW salmon and orcas


Wonderful news that one of the pioneers of sustainability science will head NOAA in the Obama administration! This could really turn around the pitiful funding of the recovery plans for Northwest salmon and killer whales. Jane is an exceptional marine ecologist has long been working out practical solutions to saving our marine food supplies (and [...]

Could leader change at BPA help orcas?


This editorial gives a glimpse into the uppercrust of the BPA and ponders whether President Obama and Energy Secretary Chu will alter the BPA leadership. Could this be an opportunity for a dramatic acceleration in the re-balancing of the Northwest’s priorities: renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, thriving salmon, and healthy killer whales? First and foremost, we [...]

Killer whales call louder as vessel noise increases


This clipping from the NOAA/NWFSC Marine Mammal Program shows that southern residents are increasing the source level of their S1 calls by about 1dB for every decibel increase of the ambient noise level. Counts of vessels within 1km of the hydrophone correlate with the ambient noise levels. While the ecological consequences of this behavioral change [...]

Blackmouth and blackfish in Seattle


J, K, and members of L pod have been down in central and south Puget Sound quite a bit thus far this November and December.  The nice sighting maps at Orca Network show they’ve been sighted as far south as Seattle and Vashon on 12/2 and 12/7.  In comparison, here are the days in past [...]

Chinook swim bladder smaller than sockeye & coho?


clipped from sciencenow.sciencemag.org Sounds Like My Favorite Fish By Phil BerardelliScienceNOW Daily News12 November 2008 Some of the killer whales off the coast of Washington state are picky eaters, preferring Chinook salmon even though the coho and sockeye varieties are much more plentiful. Researchers report that the whales seem to be able to tell the [...]

BC salmon worse off than DFO says


We’ll need to examine the actual publication, but at first glance this new study demolishes what trust I had that DFO was doing a reasonable job of measuring escapement and managing the catch of B.C. salmon. It seems we should radically adjust how we monitor and manage salmon… perhaps some combination of a coherent, timely [...]