Tag Archives: Marine Mammals

Sea lions hinder salmon conservation

California and Steller sea lions took a bigger bite out of last year’s salmon run than in any previous year, according to a new federal report. 2015 saw a bigger run, with more than 239,000 chinook and steelhead migrating past Bonneville Dam. That year, the total number of salmon that sea lions ate was he largest ever recorded. The Army Corps of Engineers recorded more than 260 sea lions eating more than 10,000 fish from January to June 2015. The 2016 salmon run was far smaller, but the sea lions’ appetite for salmon didn’t shrink much. They still ate more than 9,500 fish, nearly 6 percent of the run. That’s the largest share of the run eaten by the large marine mammals since Army Corps scientists started watching 15 years ago. Read the rest here 12:43

Navy to Expand Sonar, Other Training off Northwest Coast

navy-sonar-sonobuoy-2953763The U.S. Navy has finalized a plan to expand sonar testing and other warfare training off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and northern California. The Navy decided to implement its preferred plan after a lengthy review that included a determination from the National Marine Fisheries Service that the exercises would not have major impacts on endangered orcas and other marine mammals. It announced its decision on Nov. 4. The fisheries service last year renewed the Navy’s five-year permit, through 2020, to conduct the activities in areas from the inland waters of Puget Sound in Washington state to the northern coast of California. The plan includes expanding the use of “sonobuoys,” devices that send out underwater sonar signals used by air crews training to detect submarines. Read the rest here 16:54

What happened to all the Chinook Salmon? New research points to potential predators

salmsharkclsIn the 1960s, king salmon were abundant in Alaska, and it stayed that way through the 90s. After the new millennium, though, Chinook numbers fell — and they’ve remained low since. “People have scratched their heads and said, ‘Where are all the kings? What happened to all the kings?’” said Andy Seitz, an associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. At a lecture in Unalaska this week, Seitz explained how his research team has studied adult Chinook in the Bering Sea for the last three years. The project relied on pop-up satellite tags, which attach to salmon and measure the water temperature, depth, and ambient light of their environment. Seitz and his team think warm-blooded salmon sharks ate the kings and their tags, and the odd data was recorded when fish were trapped in the sharks’ guts. He also said they found five instances where marine mammals and other unidentified predators could have killed Chinook. Read the story here 18:41

Numerous issues discourage young Alaskans from commercial fishing

Austin Sollars got his first paid commercial fishing job at 11, baiting hooks on a 74-foot halibut schooner that fished off the Aleutian Islands. Along with his father, he was part of a crew of nine, and he returned home with more than $30,000. When he turned 21, he took out a quarter-million dollar loan and bought a 54-foot fishing boat, the Jani-K. He catches salmon, halibut and gray cod in southeast Alaska, then heads to the Gulf of Alaska for black cod. Sollars, 30, is bucking a trend. Fewer young Alaskans are jumping into commercial fishing. A steep financial commitment, competition for fish, long periods away from home and uncertain fish prices play a part in the reluctance to fish. Read the rest here 07:44

New Zealand: Jamie Briggs calls for seal cull in Coorong and Lower Lakes

Politicians and council mayors have called for the state government to act on the exploding new_zealand_fur_seal1342749164719 population New Zealand fur seal in the Coorong and Lower Lakes. Federal Member for Mayo Jamie Briggs wrote to minister Jay Weatherill asking for the state government to consider population management of seals because of the impact on commercial fishing operators. “While I appreciate it is a difficult political decision to engage in population management, I believe the time has arrived where this must be undertaken,” Mr Briggs said. He said the sustainability of businesses and the local environment were at risk. Read the rest here 17:05

Seal cull not yet warranted despite large salmon diet say researchers

Harbour seals off B.C.’s South Coast may consume up to 60 per cent of the Strait of Georgia’s young chinook and coho salmon every year, according to UBC research. Growing concerns about B.C.’s salmon numbers has focused on orca populations and rising water temperatures in the past, but this study suggests the dramatic increase in the harbour seal population in recent decades may play a role as well. Still, the connection between low salmon stocks and a large harbour seal population is not clear enough to warrant a seal cull, scientists warn. Read the foolishness here  10:49

 

Dive fishermen and sea otters face complex competition – “They’re totally eating us out of house and home.”

What many Americans consider to be a cute, back-floating mammal is a pest, even a thief, to some Southeast Alaskan fishermen. Humans and sea otters enjoy consuming the same bottom-dwelling seafood: Dungeness crabs, clams, sea cucumbers and urchins. Competition between dive fishermen and sea otters for those resources has intensified as the otter population grows. Wadley has been a for 27 years. She dove for abalone until the dive fishery closed in 1996. “We had an abalone fishery here until the otters ate us out of it,” Read the article here 08:05

Court case highlights conflict between fishermen and marine mammals

keep-calm-and-listen-to-your-lawyerA Cape May County tuna fisherman is fighting federal charges of shooting a pilot whale that was feeding on his boat’s catch. Daniel Archibald denies the charges filed against him in U.S. District Court. But his lawyer, Bill Hughes Jr., said in court papers that even if Archibald shot the animal, he wasn’t breaking any laws. The unusual case highlights the often contentious relationship between fishermen and the seals, whales and dolphins that steal their catch. And it points to the murky laws that give fishermen, marine contractors, researchers and others permission,,, Read the rest here 14:15

South Australian fishing community calls for seal cull

Fisherman Glen Hill says he’s been battling against an increasing number of  for almost a decade, and he’s had enough. “The seals don’t belong here. They’ve got to go. They have to go,” he told SBS. The co-owner of Coorong Wild Seafood said he first noticed long-nosed fur seals in his patch at Lake Albert, near the mouth of the Murray River, about eight years ago. “It’s just becoming bigger and bigger and bigger,” he said. “Fifty seals will follow you around of a night. One seal can pull out anywhere from 100 to 200 kilos of fish. Read the rest here 11:58

More NOAA Over Reach: Proposed Rule to Protect Marine Mammals in International Fisheries

NOAA released a proposed rule designed to implement sections of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) that aims to reduce marine mammal bycatch associated with foreign commercial fishing operations, ensuring that those fisheries support a healthy and diverse marine ecosystem. Under the proposed rule, nations wishing to export fish and fish products to the United States would be required to demonstrate that they have a regulatory program for reducing marine mammal incidental mortality and serious injury that is comparable in effectiveness to the U.S. program.  Read the rest here  20:07

Seals threaten Scottish cod stock recovery

PREDATORY seals are constraining the recovery of cod stocks in Scottish west coast waters, research by the suggests. The study found that, although fishing has now halved, predation by seals has rapidly increased to compensate, eating up more than 40 per cent of the total stock. Seals have, historically, been anecdotally blamed for the reduction of Atlantic cod stocks. Grey seals are believed to consume nearly 7,000 tonnes of cod each year off the west of Scotland, where landed catches now amount to only a few hundred tonnes. Read the rest here 20:40

Expert says claims that war games will harm thousands of animals are ‘overblown’

earthjustice $upereco-manThat assessment was backed by Brandon Southall, a former fisheries service researcher who researches at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “I think the numbers” citing potential harm presented by the Navy and NMFS “are overestimates,” he said.  “Overall, I think the concerns are being amplified because the conservation groups are interested in getting people’s attention, and they get it by saying these animals are all going to die,” Southall said. Read the rest here 06:03

Seals ‘brought TB to the Americas before Europeans’

BLAME the marine mammals. Seals and sea lions may have brought a form of tuberculosis to the Americas, centuries before the Spanish did so. Read more here 09:32

State surveys whales, turtles to spur offshore wind – So. Mr. Tom Turtle, Do you anticipate any issues with the wind farm we’re,,,,,,,

Having once hunted whales to the ends of the earth for their oil, Massachusetts is now going out of its way to protect the marine mammals as it once again looks offshore for energy. ( If they really meant that, they’d stop shilling Cape Wind!) Read [email protected]  12:08

Op-Ed: How You Can Prevent 130,000 Marine Mammals From Going Deaf

In the coming months, the Obama Administration will make a decision that will profoundly impact the health of the Atlantic Ocean. It will decide whether to proceed with seismic survey off the Eastern coastline to map oil and gas resources. continued

Swordfish Caught in Driftnets is California’s Deadliest Catch

indybay.org – The California drift gillnet fishery for swordfish and shark is the most dangerous fishery for whales and other marine mammals along the U.S. West Coast from California to Alaska. A new federal review of marine mammal bycatch in commercial fisheries found that the drift gillnet fleet is causing more harm to whales than ever. The 25 vessels operating in the drift gillnet fishery now accidentally capture and kill more whales and marine mammals than any other fishery along the U.S. West Coast. continued

John Bullard, enemy of porpoises?- or Is Carl Safina just a winey Enviro Wench?!

Bullard just gave those fishermen a free pass to ignore the law for another four months,” fumed Carl Safina of the Blue Ocean Institute in a sizzling commentary titled “As Fisheries Service Dithers, New England Porpoises Drown.” And Sufina is willing to sacrifice the remainder of New England fishermen. John Bullard upheld National Standard 8. Finally someone has the balls to do things right, and Safina the winey bitch is drooling with mad contempt while  co-author Andrew Read, professor of marine biology at Duke University pouts with him. I think it’s time to land these porpoises, and process them for people to eat. I’m willing to eat it instead of wasting it. They like all other Marine Mammals are experiencing a population explosion thanks to the success of MMPA, a law pushed by environs and others in 1972 with no consideration of consequence. That being huge numbers of marine mammals! Bon Appetit!

November 02, 2012 12:00 AM, Steve Urbon-Three months into his tenure as the Northeast regional administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, former New Bedford mayor John K. Bullard is being called a heartless porpoise killer and a pushover, or worse, for the fishing industry. And it’s not just anyone doing the accusing. It is a pair of prominent marine scientists, one of whom Bullard says he considers a friend from his earlier days at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121102/NEWS/211020324

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