DFO shutting down all salmon sports fishing on Lower Fraser to protect sockeye – Vancouver Sun

More bad news for salmon and salmon lovers.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has taken the extraordinary measure of shutting down all sports salmon fishing on the Lower Fraser River because of a lower-than-anticipated return of sockeye. The closure of all recreational fishing for salmon — including Chinook and possibly Chum when they arrive later in the year — is taking place so that sockeye aren’t inadvertently caught while other salmon species are being fished. Anglers can still fish for trout, steelhead and sturgeon. The closure was to go into effect one hour after sunset Thursday until further notice. It covers the mouth of the Fraser River to the Alexandra Bridge south of Hell’s Gate in the Interior, a stretch of about 200 kilometres of river. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

http://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/dfo-shutting-down-all-salmon-sports-fishing-on-lower-fraser-to-protect-sockeye

‘Grim’ Fraser River salmon runs even worse than forecast -Canadian Press

The neglect of the Fraser runs under the Harper Regime was legendary. Then global warming. Now this.

This year’s Fraser River sockeye return, already forecast to be below average, has turned out to be even worse. One First Nation leader described the return as going from poor to grim. The forecast run this year — which has traditionally been one of the low-run years in the four-year cycle of sockeye — was 2.27 million. That was already below the average of the past half century of 3.9 million. The latest estimates from test fisheries and through sonar counts show that only about half of the expected sockeye had returned by last Friday: 400,000 to 500,000 of the anticipated 840,000, according to the Pacific Salmon Commission, a Canadian-American agency that helps manage fisheries. The peak of the remaining summer sockeye run is expected about mid-month, but there is little expectation that the numbers will change, said Pacific Salmon Commission executive secretary John Field. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

http://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/grim-fraser-river-salmon-runs-even-worse-than-forecast

See also: Federal government expected to act on 2012 report examining Fraser River sockeye http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/federal-government-expected-to-act-on-2012-report-examining-fraser-river-sockeye (Canadian Press)

Alexandra Morton launches Operation Virus Hunters with Sea Shepherd

From Alexandra Morton:
In a stunning development Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd offered me a ship and crew to further my work protect wild salmon from salmon farms!

The launch of Operation Virus Hunter begins today with a press conference with First Nation leaders, Pamela Anderson and David Suzuki.

If you want to follow this voyage I have created a website to allow you to keep track of us and most importantly for you to help!

I don’t think the Liberal government is being properly briefed on the impact of this dirty industry and so I set sail on the Martin Sheen on a research and public awareness mission.  This will be a peaceful journey, no harassment of the workers, no disruption of the daily operations of the farms, but we will be taking a close look at these farms.  They thrive on secrecy, however they are using public waters…

Here is the web link: http://www.voyageforsalmon.ca

If you see the ship go by please photo and share.  This is our chance to speak to the world about the destruction of one of earths rare places that still makes clean water and food.

Gilakas’la,

Alexandra Morton, Gwayum’dzi

Sea star die-off leads to kelp ‘clearcut’ in Howe Sound, scientists find – CBC

Kelp forests to the north of us in B.C. have been reduced by almost 80%. No data yet on how much our kelp has been affected. In a world not devastated by reductions in science funding under the Harper regime, there might have been an ability to open the areas to urchin harvesting to slow this problem.

The massive die-off of sea stars in B.C.’s Howe Sound has had a domino effect on other creatures, resulting in the virtual clearcut of kelp forests in the area, scientists have found.

The mysterious wasting disease hit in 2013, killing sea stars from Mexico to Alaska in what has been described as one of the largest wildlife die-offs ever recorded.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/sea-star-die-off-leads-to-kelp-clearcut-in-howe-sound-scientists-find-1.3647536

Diver in Victoria waters sees firsthand the need for sewage treatment

More evidence that the willful ignorance of Victorians’ is just causing more damage each year they fail to take action.

Allan Crow opines: “I’ve spent more than 35 years fishing and diving for a living in the receiving waters of the Capital Regional District’s untreated sewage discharges, and have witnessed their degrading effects. Saxe Point, for example, was a vibrant and diverse marine environment in 1977, the first time I dove there. Like many other places around Victoria, it is a highly degraded shadow of its former self, changes I attribute to the CRD’s sewage discharges. The sewage discharges appear on the local seabed, reefs and even the marine life itself in the form of a fine, greyish brown sediment with a grotesque “adhesive” quality. Visible accumulations appear about 50 feet of depth and intensify the deeper you go. Vast areas of the local seabed are contaminated, particularly where the conditions are favourable for the accumulation of sediments. An example is illustrated in my diving video entitled: “CRD sewage outfall pollution in Victoria BC” posted on YouTube. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNR1dfcJn30]” (Victoria Times Colonist)

http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/diver-in-victoria-waters-sees-firsthand-the-need-for-sewage-treatment-1.2217353

 

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)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/11/19/climate-change-scallops_n_8597502.html

Wintering species are arriving – Coast Reporter

Another low cost bit of entertainment for the weekend. Head to the beach, wetlands, lakes or estuaries and check out the winter birds now arriving. Here’s a report from the BC Sunshine Coast, which gets a lot of the same birds as us. Worth a trip up if you are looking to get away. While Pender Harbour is a long way from the Peninsula, the ferries to the Island are usually easier to get on with short notice this time of year.

The Sunshine Coast has four well-defined birding seasons, and we are now well into the fall season as our common wintering species begin to arrive for their winter residency. The most obvious of these species are Barrow’s goldeneyes and buffleheads, which return in huge numbers from their freshwater breeding lakes all across interior and northern Canada. As the interior water bodies begin to freeze over, the ducks return to the balmy waters of the Salish Sea to winter. Joe Harrison reported the first Barrow’s goldeneyes of the winter on Oct. 18 at Oyster Bay, Pender Harbour, one day later than last year. Tony Greenfeld writes. (Coast Reporter)

http://www.coastreporter.net/community/columnists/wintering-species-are-arriving-1.2092834

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