NOAA Releases Marine Mammals Protection Regulations for Navy Training- Navaltoday.com

We’ll see if we can contact USNB Bangor and find out how they may relate to our waters.

Final regulations requiring the United States Navy to implement protective measures during training and testing activities off the coasts of California and Hawaii and on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean to reduce the effects on marine mammals have been released, NOAA Fisheries announced yesterday.

Read the whole story here:

http://navaltoday.com/2013/12/17/noaa-releases-marine-mammals-protection-regulations-during-navy-training/

Pacific Coast Whale Trail Gets First Whale Trail Sign

With the recent influx of whales into the Salish Sea, mainly around Saratoga Passage, this is a good time to cheer on Donna Sandstrom and her ongoing efforts to publicize the “Whale Trail” which is a series of good spots to try and watch whales.

WhaleTrail Kalaloch final copy

NEWS RELEASE

April 2, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE USE

CONTACT: Donna Sandstrom, The Whale Trail, (206) 919-5397
Kathy Steichen, Olympic National Park (360) 912-2770
Jacqueline Laverdure, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (360) 457-6622 x21
PACIFIC COAST GETS FIRST WHALE TRAIL SIGN
AT OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK’S KALALOCH LODGE
Visitors to Kalaloch Lodge on the Olympic Peninsula’s Pacific Ocean shore will learn about gray whales, sea otters and endangered orcas that frequent the area, thanks to a partnership between The Whale Trail, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and Olympic National Park.

The first Whale Trail sign to be installed on the Washington outer coast will be dedicated at Kalaloch Lodge on April 11 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. The ceremony will feature a keynote address by Jefferson County Commissioner Phil Johnson, and representatives from Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Olympic National Park and The Whale Trail. The event is free and open to the public.

The program will also feature Hoh tribal storyteller Viola Riebe, Director of Cultural Resources. Viola was featured in the film Run to High Ground!, a Native American story about tsunamis and earthquakes, and co-author of the chapter on the Hoh Tribe in the book, Native Peoples of the Olympic Peninsula: Who We Are.

“Whale Trail signs are simple but powerful reminders that orcas and other marine mammals live in our waters,” said Donna Sandstrom, executive director of The Whale Trail. “The Kalaloch sign encourages visitors to look at this spectacular seascape with a deeper understanding of the diversity of life it supports, and our role in protecting it.”

Twenty-nine species of marine mammals live in or pass through the waters of the sanctuary. At vantage points in the Olympic National Park, visitors might spot migratory gray whales, sea lions, harbor porpoise, harbor seals, sea otters and orcas.

“I was a commercial fisherman for 12 years,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Phil Johnson. “I had the opportunity on many occasions to observe these amazing creatures up close and spotting a pod of whales was always the high point of a trip.”

“No one walks away from an encounter with an orca or grey whale without being awestruck and hopefully eager to learn more,” said Carol Bernthal, Superintendant of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. “The health of the ocean is challenged right now by big issues like climate change and ocean acidification and it will take the political will and actions at the local and international level to make the necessary changes in policy to better protect our ocean. It starts with awareness of the need to protect these places and animals.”

“We are happy to have provided the funding and staff support for producing signs at Kalaloch, Snow Creek, and Port Angeles in partnership with The Whale Trail and Olympic National Park,” said Bernthal.

The Whale Trail sign at Kalaloch is the first sign placed within the Olympic National Park.

“We are pleased to host this stop on the Whale Trail and grateful for the strong partnerships that have made this possible,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.

The Whale Trail has also identified whale-viewing sites at La Push (Quileute Nation) and Cape Flattery (Makah Nation) and dozens of other sites on the Olympic Peninsula and in Puget Sound, http://thewhaletrail.org/sites. Through its current signs alone, including two on every Washington State ferry, The Whale Trail reaches more than 22 million people each year.

For more information on the Whale Trail, go to http://thewhaletrail.org/

Whales all over the Salish Sea

The Orca Network Whale Siting daily bulletin reports lots of sightings of various whales, mainly in Saratoga Passage, on the east side of Whidbey Island. If you got the time, they got the whales.

We met a lot of nice folks sharing the fun of watching a gray whale parade all over Penn Cove today. Gray whales were seen up and down Saratoga Passage, from Langley to deep inside Penn Cove, on this sparkling sunny day. Bigg’s whales (Transients) were were in Saanich Inlet today, and NOAA Fisheries reports K25 and probably the rest of K pod (and possibly much of L pod) were shuffling around in northern Oregon and southern Washington. And a humpback was off Clover Point in Victoria.

To join the Orca Network, go sign up at the following link.
http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin/ea?v=001kGlTg99yfXXkSoHlfwFnWg%3D%3D

Gray Whales Back in Puget Sound

If you like to watch: Gray whales are back in Puget Sound and whale watchers are already getting some solid views. Captain Carl Williams of the Island Adventures whale watching fleet was the first to spot a whale spout on Thursday’s tour near Everett. It was just the beginning. Within minutes passengers were shouting out locations of other whale spouts, backs and tails. It’s on. Gary Chittim reports.

http://www.king5.com/news/environment/Gray-whales-return-to-Puget-Sound-198365081.html

Whale death attributed to derelict fishing net – multiple sources

With the death of a whale in White Rock on Tuesday shining a spotlight on the health of our oceans, our government is being urged to get to work pulling old fishing gear out of the water.

The cleanup is happening in Washington state, but environmentalists say it’s a different story here in Canada. The whale in White Rock was entangled in some kind of line, and the Georgia Strait Alliance believes we can help prevent other sea creatures from meeting the same fate.

Environmentalists want old fishing gear cleaned up

http://www.news1130.com/news/local/article/372742–environmentalists-want-old-fishing-gear-cleaned-up

See also: Immature humpback whale washes ashore, dies in White Rock http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Immature+humpback+whale+washes+ashore+dies+White+Rock+story+photos/6769166/story.html

Too Few Salmon Is Far Worse Than Too Many Boats for Killer Whales – ScienceDaily.com

Last year, regressive regulations were foisted on the whale watch community by rich shore owning people in the San Juans who courted the politicians in Washington D.C. with bogus ‘facts’ on whale watching boats stressing out the whales (you can read the research online that NOAA used to put a farther distance from the whales, and it clearly showed there was no evidence of whale watch boats affecting the whales, it was conjecture). Now research is showing that it’s the food, and perhaps, only additional conjecture, that when food is scarce, the boats, stress the whales out. Think that the Feds will reverse their decision? Not likely. It would have been much more useful to have had the Feds actually put in some bodies to enforce the existing regs rather than simply put more laws on the books that no one except legitimate businesses follow. But follow the money. Would be interesting to see how much those same shoreowners who shouted the loudest contributed to some of the current political campaigns.

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Not having enough Chinook salmon to eat stresses out southern resident killer whales in the Pacific Northwest more than having boatloads of whale watchers nearby, according to hormone levels of whales summering in the Salish Sea. In lean times, however, the stress level normally associated with boats becomes more pronounced, further underscoring the importance of having enough prey, according to Katherine Ayres, an environmental and pet-behavior consultant who led the research while a University of Washington doctoral student in biology. Ayres is lead author of a paper appearing online June 6, in the journal PLoS ONE.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120606193452.htm

US Halts Makah Whaling Study After Seven Years – PDN

A 7-year-old study on the potential environmental impact of Makah whaling is being ditched, the federal government announced. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service and Department of Commerce issued a “notice to terminate” the draft environmental impact statement Monday. This is the latest development in lengthy legal battles over the Makah tribe’s treaty right to hunt whales — and comes only days after the 13th anniversary of a Makah whaling crew legally killing a gray whale off Neah Bay. U.S. halts Makah whaling study after seven years over ‘new scientific information’

Whaling Study for Makah by Feds Stopped

Sonar, explosives pose high risk for marine mammals – Tacoma News Tribune

The Navy is continuing to promote that they can expand their training here inside Puget Sound without harming marine mammals, yet more and more troubling information keeps coming out. Given that we have little ability to monitor the Navy actitivites, and strange things like porpoises and whales washing up dead with odd problems, it’s worthy of concern….

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The U.S. Navy may hurt more dolphins and whales by using sonar and explosives in Hawaii and California than thought, says an analysis that reflects new research and covers naval activities in a wider area than previous studies. The Navy estimates its use of explosives and sonar may unintentionally cause more than 1,600 instances of hearing loss or other injury to marine mammals each year, according to a draft environmental impact statement that covers training and testing planned from 2014 to 2019. The Navy calculates the explosives could potentially kill more than 200 marine mammals a year.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/05/12/2140800/sonar-explosives-pose-high-risk.html

Orcas in Admiralty Inlet!

Lots of reports of orca sitings by the Orca Network. They went by in large numbers last week and again this week.

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