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BR-rss Archive

Orcas and salmon in new Cascadia Scorecard


The Sightline Institute has just released a new Cascadia Scorecard that attempts to track progress towards sustainability in Cascadia, the ecoregion encompassing much of western Washington and southern British Columbia. Southern resident killer whales and chinook salmon are featured within the scorecard’s wildlife indicator along with wolves, sage grouse, and caribou. While the wolf population [...]

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 [...]

Stormwater, salmon, and the health of Puget Sound


Keynote speaker at Sound Waters 2010 Dr. Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Scholtz, NOAA/NWFSC Coho salmon are our first choice for a ‘sentinel species’ because they: are widely distributed inhabit lowland steams that are important and familiar to humans and areas impacted directly by stormwater runoff (if we can reduce toxics in lowland streams, then we’ll likely keep [...]

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 [...]

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

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 [...]

First outer coast hydrophone nearly live


On December 8th the NEPTUNE Canada cabled ocean observing system started pouring data on to the Internet.  This opens the door for John Ford and his collaborators to listen for killer whales on the outer coast of southwest Vancouver Island.  The Naxys hydrophone is sensitive to 5Hz-65kHz and is located in Folger Passage at 95m [...]