New Fishing Rule Protects Endangered Seabird – AP

New laws proposed to protect the short-tailed albatross.

Federal fisheries managers are proposing to require West Coast commercial fishermen who unroll long lines of baited hooks on the ocean bottom to also tow long lines of fluttering plastic to scare off seabirds trying to steal the bait. The proposed rule published Tuesday in the Federal Register is designed to protect the endangered short-tailed albatross, which once numbered in the millions but is down to about 1,200 individuals. (Associated Press)

Sea stars wasting in local waters – Skagit Valley Herald

The spread of starfish wasting disease continues. We have yet to see how it may affect the sea ecosystem.

Witnesses describe the phenomenon as a grisly scene. Colorful creatures hang limp, lose their limbs and eventually disintegrate. Sea star wasting syndrome has baffled beach-goers and scientists along the West Coast, including observers of Skagit County’s marine shorelines, over the past year. Researchers say what causes the disease, how it’s spread and whether the dwindling populations of sea stars will recover still isn’t certain. But it has ravaged the invertebrates along Washington’s coast, including the Salish Sea, which escaped its grasp for the greater part of the year. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

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Fish migrate into upper Elwha River for first time in century – PDN

And so nature continues to heal itself, with a bit of dynamite help from us.

Fish have migrated into the upper Elwha River for the first time in a century.  Olympic National Park biologists confirmed last week that two radio-tagged bull trout had migrated from the lower river through the former area of Glines Canyon Dam and reached at least as far as Rica Canyon above the former Lake Mills, some 15½ miles from the mouth of the Elwha River.  Four bull trout had been detected earlier as they passed a telemetry station upriver from the former Glines dam.  Leah Leach reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Read the rest of the story at

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Tribes reject Inslee’s water quality plan, will ask EPA to act –

Looks like the Tribes are not happy with the waffling that the State has been doing on deterring water quality standards.

An alliance of tribes is rejecting Gov. Jay Inslee’s approach to revising the state’s water quality standards and will ask the Environmental Protection Agency to enact new rules for Washington. The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission sent Inslee a letter on Thursday in which members express their “dissatisfaction” with a proposal they say won’t change the status quo. “The tribes’ principal objective for revised water quality standards is to protect the health of future generations, and we have determined that your proposal does not meet this goal,” reads the letter. Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)

Orca calf born to Puget Sound resident L pod  – KING.COM

A wait and see attitude to being thrilled about this will have to hold off until we see if it survives. Rate of survival of Orca young is fairly low.

The Center for Whale Research is celebrating the birth of an orca calf in the Salish Sea, the first one since 2012. The proud mother is 23-year-old L86, and this is her second calf. The newborn has been designated L120. Susan Wyatt reports. (KING)

Divers seek lost crab pots in Washington waters – Bellingham Herald

It’s amazing the scope of crab pot loss each year and the damage they do. This work, sponsored by the Northwest Straits Initiative, which funds our local Marine Resource Committees (of which I chair the Jefferson County MRC), has uncovered an enormous problem and is in the process of solving it. A big win for Washington and our habitat. 

— Over 12,000 crab pots are lost in Washington state’s Puget Sound every year, costing an estimated $700,000 in lost harvest revenue, and more poignantly, damaging the sea floor environment. Using sonar to find the pots, divers and scientists venture into the waters to clean up and learn why pots are lost

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Program Director Position Announcement for Port Townsend Marine Science Center

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) is seeking an exceptional leader in marine science education to help lead the organization in a doubling of our impact over the next 10 years. We at PTMSC serve our mission to inspire conservation of the Salish Sea by focusing in three areas: lifelong education programs, citizen science research and engaging visitor experiences in our aquarium which features touch tanks and natural history exhibitions featuring an adult Orca skeleton. The Program Director oversees the operation of each of these core competencies. Operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit located in the Fort Worden State Park, with a $700,000 operating budget, 7 full time staff, and 200 plus volunteers, PTMSC serves 20,000 people annually.

The successful Program Director candidate will have solid content knowledge of marine science, a proven track record in leading growth while managing to a budget, and an infectious approach to inspiring collective action towards a healthy marine environment.

More details can be found at Please no phone inquiries.

Only applications submitted electronically will be accepted. Please email resume and cover letter to: Applications will be accepted until position is filled.


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