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policy Archive

Fulbright talk on marine conservation in the Pacific Northwest


Notes from an annual lecture at the University of Washington, March 3, 2010, at 7pm: “Marine conservation in the Pacific Northwest: Whales, Salmon, and Sound” by Rob Williams, 2009-2010 Canada-US Fulbright Visiting Chair “A scientist is someone who asks ‘what if’ questions.” — Margaret Atwood “If you want to study whales, you should put yourself [...]

State of the Sound by Bill Ruckelshaus


Sound Waters 2010 meeting, Coupeville, WA It is possible to make progess! We’ve largely brought point-sources under social control.  40 years ago, 85% of pollution was from big industrial or municipal sources, while 15% was from non-point sources.  Now the percentages are reversed. The Clean Air Act helped.  Think of the people in Denver that [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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

Researchers call for orca conservation zone in B.C.


Dec 23 Vancouver Sun article about a forth-coming science paper that proposes a conservation zone that overlaps with the proposed orca sanctuary boundaries: Wildlife researchers have identified the key feeding area for a critically endangered population of killer whales near Vancouver Island and proposed the creation of a unique, miniature conservation zone for the few [...]

Seattle Metropolitan on orcas raising their voices


Interesting to see the Holt et al, 2009, paper still in the popular press.  This article provides a nice summary and connects the study to the proposed orca-vessel regulations. http://www.seattlemet.com/issues/archives/articles/orcas-salmon-1109/

NOAA vessel rules rejected at Seattle Aquarium


<More photos> Just back from the meeting in which NOAA invited the public to comment on the proposed rules for vessel-orca interactions.  Before a captive audience of Pacific salmon and rockfish, the 2.5 hours of public comment was dominated by the commercial whale watch, recreational and commercial fishing, and kayaking industries.  It seems like a [...]

SRKWs need priority in chinook managment


In a bit of press coverage related to a new publication by John Ford et al. we orca advocates are again getting the confusing message: southern residents need a place at the table where Chinook salmon management is derived, but it’s sure to be nearly impossible to represent them.  I say it’s time to stop [...]

Slippery Snake: Too little too late?


This oregonlive.com article presents some great factoids for the orca conservationist.  These are my favorite excerpts: The total spent by the agency [BPA] since 1978 is about $12 billion. That spending shows up in your power bill. About 15 percent, or $11, of the average Nortwesterner’s monthly electricity charges goes towards salmon, according to the [...]