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Bob Pitman talk on Antarctic orcas Nov. 18, 2009


It was like watching a lecture by a 19th century anthropologist just back from a scientific expedition deep in the Amazon jungle, enthralling the audience with incredible tales of outlandish natives and their curious customs.

How to: share salmon or orca news


I’ve been enjoying using orcasphere.net as a forum for sharing breaking news about southern residents, salmon, and related environment issues.  In the hopes of inspiring others to join me, this post is the first in a series that describe how I interact with the Orcasphere.  I’m even going to try screen-casting some demos! At the [...]

Orcas not in the NW Power Plan


Today’s the last day for killer whale advocates to ensure that the southern residents get some consideration in the power plan that guides the Pacific Northwest on a 20-year horizon and won’t be reviewed for 5 years.  Currently, the complete plan PDF itself does not even include the words “orca” or  “killer whale.”  Clearly the [...]

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 [...]

Time to review Navy’s NW neighborliness


NOAA recently released an incidental take authorization associated with the Navy’s proposed expansion of the Northwest Range Training Complex.  The authorization and associated Navy documents are Complex, indeed!  Unfortunately, NOAA has allocated too little time for public comment on the . Below I’ve quoted an inspirational letter from Fred Felleman.  Please emulate him and join [...]

Proposed 200yd rule for orca watching boats


Received this from orcalist@noaa.gov this morning.   Deadline for public comment is 5pm on Oct. 27, 2009.  It’s noteworthy that this announcement came the day after notice that Dawn Noren published a paper that suggests that most surface active behaviors occur when vessels are within ~150 meters. As part of the recovery program for endangered Southern [...]

Political snapshot ’09Q2: lower Snake dam removal


Weeding through the records emerging from Judge Redden’s courtroom and the Obama administration’s latest meeting (distilled best by EarthJustice), it seems that Redden will not finalize a plan for Northwest Salmon until early August, 2009.  We in the orca and salmon conservation communities would do well by the endangered animals to use these next 6 [...]

Who will be the NW Regional Admin at NOAA?


Interesting that only the NW region has a politically-appointed administrator; the other 5 regions have career admins… It took 9 months for Bush Administration to post Lohn to the job. Will Obama/Lubchenko act faster for the sake of our salmon and killer whales? clipped from www.cbbulletin.com Lohn Out As NOAA Fisheries Regional Director, Deputy Now [...]

Act to restore the ESA


Here is a link to a site where orca and salmon advocates can write Salazar: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1201/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27107 clipped from seattletimes.nwsource.com Interior secretary should repeal Bush’s weakening of the Endangered Species Act By Joe Scott OUR new Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has some decisions to make. One of them will clearly signal whether he will fulfill President [...]