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Orcasphere » 2010 » January
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Archives for January, 2010

Safina on orcas in LA Times


Save the salmon — and us Above is a link a nice Op-Ed piece by Carl Safina.  Below is my response, submitted today to the L.A. Times. In his 1/24/10 opinion “Save the salmon — and us,” Safina points out that new research says orcas prefer salmon.  But the in-press analysis of prey scraps by [...]

Harmful algae & Fraser sockeye – liveblog


Dr. Jack Rensel, Rensel Associates Aquatic Sciences (works with Puget Sound fish farmers on permitting/etc., but not BC farmers) Harmful Algal Blooms and Possible Effects on Fraser River Sockeye Salmon 11:04 Intro Much of this talk is based on co-author Nicola Haigh’s 10-year sockeye database. Target algae of interest: Heterosigma akashiwo, HAMP database 11:06 Background [...]

Orca refuge: a gift for endangered killer whales


This Friday, January 15, 2010, is the deadline for public comment on the proposed orca conservation area along the west side of San Juan Island. All marine conservationists should consider commenting on these precedent-setting rules: comment via email | comment via web form.  (Official background and the PDF of proposed rule are on the NOAA [...]

New tools for orca sound annotation


Here’s a glimpse into the future of killer whale sound archives. Steven Ness and collaborators at the University of Victoria have created the Orchive — a suite of open-source, web-based tools for listening to and annotating the recordings of northern resident orcas made by Paul and Helena Spong at OrcaLab. Using Ruby on Rails and [...]

Chinook data needed to interpret orca baby boom


Good national news is rolling in about 5 new southern resident whales and no deaths in 2009, plus one new baby thus far in 2010. Howard, Ken, and Brad allude to looking for correlations or explanations in chinook salmon abundance: It sounds simplistic, Garrett said, but “the way that we can tag the population fluctuations [...]

Promise of land-based salmon farms in B.C.


This is a brief letter from Alexandra Morton that cuts to the chase re B.C. salmon farming management. Maybe WA should move it’s pens on-shore, too? Note the connection she draws between Lake Washington sockeye collapse and diseases from B.C. pens. Land-based salmon farms can work