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RSS-shared Archive

VENUS hydrophones going deeper, reporting more


Thanks to Jim Cummings of the Acoustic Ecology Institute, some news caught my ear in this article from the Times Colonist on the hydrophones deployed off the Fraser River delta.  There’s also a good bit of supposition without much science to back it up… The key news I gleaned is that the hydrophones will be [...]

Orca genetics talk by Phillip Moran


Using next generation sequencing to generate whole mitochondrial genomes for population genetics and phylogeography of cetaceans Dr. Phillip Morin, Protected Resources Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center Abstract and bio Live blog notes: Hoelzel et al 2002 found extremely low genetic diversity in control region (1000 base pairs): only 13 haplotypes from 100 samples from global [...]

Federal Columbia basin plan for salmon and orcas lacks good science


On October 29, salmon advocates asked a federal judge to reject the Obama Administration’s 2010 Plan for Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead. This includes chinook salmon that are essential nutrition for our Southern Resident Killer Whales. Today, three facts are clear. One, our orca are often very hungry. Two, they historically dined regularly on Columbia [...]

Chum salmon: orca prey around Puget Sound


As the southern residents are visiting Puget Sound today, I’m inspired to learn a bit more about chum and where to view the fall runs. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has some good background information in their section on Chum Salmon Stories.  Of particular import to the southern residents is the fact that [...]

Marine acoustics talks in Victoria (live blog)


This week the Canadian Acoustical Association is running a conference on marine and environmental sound (abstracts).  Below are notes from talks that relate to the southern resident killer whales, presented in near-real-time. 9:00 Keynote: The Marine Soundscape and the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Animals Christine Erbe Marine soundscapes include natural sounds (e.g. from rain), [...]

Transients harrassed near Shelton, WA


Interesting Kiro 7 video report regarding harassment of killer whales in Puget Sound during 2010. And here’s a sighting report from Orca Network that is probably related: Sighted 2 Orca for sure, when they came back east I thought at one point there were 3. They were in Hammersley Inlet at approximately N 047 12.360 [...]

King5 TV shows infrared video of orcas


Tonight reporter Gary Chitten and cameraman Pete Cassam from King 5 Television broadcast a nice story about the successful first test of a FLIR camera for detecting killer whales at night.  The pilot study was designed by Jim Thomson of the UW Applied Physics Lab, his Master’s student Joe Graber, and his other staff.  In [...]

$1-10k fines for proximity to orcas


It’s nice to see WDFW making public (see below) the consequences of violating the State and Federal laws governing how vessels may interact with killer whales.  I’ve added these details to the Beam Reach wiki page regarding orca-boat rules. WDFW NEWS RELEASE Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091 [...]

Shall orca fans boycott CA tomatoes?


This well-written story about the CA salmon fishery in the High Country News connects the fate of southern residents with the agricultural industry of the Central Valley. The past five years have already been harrowing, with a round of fishing bans to protect declining salmon runs in the Klamath River near the California-Oregon border. While [...]

BP threatens Northwest’s orcas


This morning, John Burbank scribed a disconcerting account of oil politics in the southern residents’ backyard.  The following paragraphs provide a glimpse into how the complex interactions of the petroleum industry and our State political system increase risks for killer whales in the Northwest. BP also has its own salaried lobbyist dedicated to keeping watch [...]