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vessel interactions Archive

Ruckelshaus suggests whale watchers be more precautious


Today Tacoma’s News Tribune offers a story about the imminent issuing of new rules for watching southern resident killer whales.  This story confirms Donna Darm’s recent mention of the regulations being currently under review at OMB.  It remains to be seen whether the rules will be issued in time for the whale watching industry and [...]

New whale watching rules due this spring


This Jan 16 story from Q13 Fox News has some valuable quotes, including this one from Brian Gorman of NOAA/NMFS: “I expect it’s something that will have to go through a lot of hoops.  It could take as long as 90 days but by this spring we should have regulations in place,” says Gorman.….Gorman says [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

$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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

+3dB noise reduces ‘effective listening area’ 30%


Jim Cummings of the Acoustic Ecology Institute has posted another great synopsis of an important new bioacoustics paper that has big implications for southern resident killer whales.  After defining a new bioacoustic metric “effective listening area” (which is MUCH more intuitive than “active space”), the authors clarify how slight increases in ambient noise can have [...]

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/