Genetically engineered salmon is fit for dinner, FDA says in first decision of its kind – LA Times

Sometimes government agencies get it wrong. This is one of those times. Now we, the consumers, have to continue to just say no to farmed salmon, and demand wild fish. Only consumers can stop the industry, which has apparently manipulated through it’s lobbying efforts the highest levels of the FDA. This is a bad decision, for the environment, for consumers, and for fish. Why? It’s not that you might keel over by eating this fish. It’s about the entire ecosystem that is created to support this new animal. Have long term studies been done? I’ve not seen any. Has anyone questioned whether the feed and antibiotics that may be needed to support this creature are passed through to diners? Or what their effects on the environment might be under the pens that raise these? NOAA, which has certified these pens, only looks at the short term effects of the pens on the bottom directly under the pens. The science behind this is skewed in the favor of the farms, not the environment or the consumer. 

Perhaps that last breed does not evoke images of ancient and frigid headwaters in Alaska or Arctic Canada, where wild salmon spawn every year, or even the humble hatcheries that produce less expensive species consumed by millions of people. But on Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration announced that the AquAdvantage salmon — developed using growth hormone from Chinook salmon and a gene from an eel-like ocean fish that makes it reach market size twice as quickly as other salmon — has become the first genetically engineered animal approved for American consumption. AquaBounty Technologies Inc., the Massachusetts company that created the fish, calls it “the world’s most sustainable salmon.” Opponents call it “Frankenfish.” The FDA, which was accused of delaying the decision for years amid public concern, now says you can call it dinner. William Yardley reports. (LA Times)

Photo of the Day – Tentacles of Swimming Anemone – Point Hudson

More from the waters on the Jetty at Point Hudson. Photo by Bruce Kerwin. 

Tentacles of Swimming Anemone  Point Hudson 11 22 2014psd

The B.C. Scallop Farmer’s Acid Test – The Tyee

More on the emerging ocean acidification issues of aquaculture. 

Rob Saunders points a flashlight into the depths of an immense plastic tank at his hatchery, illuminating millions of scallop larvae as tiny as dust particles. “Think of these as canaries in a coal mine,” says the marine biologist turned embattled shellfish farming CEO. It is here at Island Scallops’ facility in Qualicum Beach, located just inland from British Columbia’s shellfish farming epicentre of Baynes Sound, that ocean acidification wreaked havoc. Beginning in 2011, the company’s scallop brood stock (adult shellfish bred over 25 years to be disease-resistant and exceptionally meaty), began to die. Christopher Pollon reports. (The Tyee)

Event: “Put a Cork in It” – Rally for Climate Action – Saturday Nov 21st Port Angeles

Olympic Climate Action is hosting a rally in advance of the upcoming meeting of world leaders in Paris at the Convention of Parties (COP)21, the 21st annual meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Rallies are being held around the world to send the message that 21 years of talk is enough and that it’s time to make a just transition to clean energy.

With so much at stake, OCA and its supporters will gather on the Port Angeles waterfront with Shell’s “Polar Pioneer” drilling rig in the background, to send a message to world leaders in Paris that it’s time to “turn the ship around and leave the fuel in the ground.”  This rig recently returned to our harbor after a failed attempt to start a big drilling operation in the Arctic, in a place that wasn’t accessible until climate change melted the sea ice, thereby trying to profit from the very problem this industry had caused.  The failure of this effort, along with the denial of the permit for the Keystone pipeline and widespread opposition to oil and coal transport throughout North America, may be a sign that the tide is turning on climate action.

At this brief rally, expected to last about a half hour, participants will hear about what’s at stake in Paris, talk about why they care, sing a few songs, and then take a group photograph holding a big symbolic cork positioned to look as if it’s capping the oil rig, with our message to “Put a Cork in It.”  The event will be child-friendly, handicapped-accessible, on Bus Route 26 and the Waterfront Trail.  Participants are invited to bring an umbrella, a musical instrument, and signs with messages to our world leaders.

Contact: Ed Chadd, 360-775-9234,

Event:  “Put a Cork in It” – Rally for Climate Action                                                               

Date/Time:  Saturday, November 21, 2015, 12:15 pm

Place:  Port Angeles Boat Haven, East Entrance                                

For more information, see OCA’s website:

Olympic Climate Action

Citizens addressing the threat of climate change on the Olympic Peninsula

Clallam County, Washington State, U.S.A.

Urban Planners take note – Greenland’s Collapsing Glacier Could Raise Sea Levels More than A Foot – Guardian

Within the next decade, apparently, this melting glacier is likely to raise sea levels more than a foot. Very likely to cause higher high tides, more coastal inundation. Think of the coastal land  of Jefferson County, and think of what might be at threat. Port of Port Townsend comes to mind. Hwy 20 into town near the ferry dock. Planners need to start taking this melting very seriously. Especially when faced with angry homeowners that insist on living 50′ from the mean low tide. The cost of moving should be on them, not the taxpayers.

A major glacier in Greenland that holds enough water to raise global sea levels by half a metre has begun to crumble into the North Atlantic Ocean, scientists say.

The huge Zachariae Isstrom glacier in northeast Greenland started to melt rapidly in 2012 and is now breaking up into large icebergs where the glacier meets the sea, monitoring has revealed.

Quinault Raise Alarm Yet Again After Two Oil Trains Derail in One Weekend – Indian Country Today

Two more derailments of oil-bearing trains last weekend, both in Wisconsin, have prompted the Quinault Nation to issue yet another warning about the dangers inherent in such transport.


The New York Times Breaks into Virtual Reality Documentary Journalism

Last Sunday, the New York Times sent out a box that contained a cardboard version of Google Glasses for watching a documentary on your iPhone or Android phone. By mounting the phone in the cardboard frame and downloading the video you could look into the world of the displaced children struggling with being forced from their homes by war. This marriage of new technology that is available now for under $3,000, with a journalistic assignment, points to a new frontier of storytelling. If you have not yet seen it, there is a non 3D version, but with the ability to scroll around your screen and view the entire world of the children. Check it out. This is how news will be reported in the near future. And likely how we will learn about the world around us. It’s use in environmental education cannot be overstated.


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