Feds weigh protecting orcas off Pacific coast – Komo & San Juan Journal

Setting up for a showdown with the military over protecting the Orca?  


NOAA Fisheries is weighing whether to protect endangered orcas in the waters off the West Coast. The federal agency said Thursday it would consider a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity seeking to expand the critical habitat for southern resident killer whales. NOAA has already designated inland waters of Washington as critical to orca conservation, but the group’s petition says offshore areas from Cape Flattery, Wash., to Point Reyes, Calif., should now be added as critical habitat. Such a designation would require federal officials to limit activities that harm the whales.

(Associated Press) See also: Fate of orcas? Depends on fish—and lately, both have been scarce http://www.sanjuanjournal.com/news/256441941.html (San Juan Journal)

Shhh…Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership At Work – Salish Sea Communications

Mike Sato hits it right on the head. It’s time for Govenor Inslee to show us what this bureaucracy is doing, and if he’s really behind it or not. Getting it a leader that can actually lead would be a great start. No one would likely cry for it if they kill it and reconstitute it anew. It’s become a behind the scenes player in Olympia and virtually unknown outside of the Capital. A real shame, frankly. We had high hopes for it, but environmentalism appears to be joke and a pawn in the power politics in Olympia. Use it to garner votes, then ignore it for 2 to 4 years. Maybe when we are down to one Orca they’ll actually get serious.


8 Orcas seen in Dyes Inlet, near Bremerton

Chris Dunagan was able to catch up with 8 Orcas near Bremerton yesterday.


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Spectacular film of Orcas chasing Dolphins

Thanks to Jules for sharing this with us. An amazing film of orcas hunting dolphins at Hyacinthe Bay BC (north of Nanaimo). And thanks to Grind TV for getting it up online!


Killer whale death leads to call for ban on navy exercises–Vancouver Sun

We regularly rail against the growing militarization of the Sound and Hood Canal. We are being turned into advanced Naval training area with no oversight of the effects that Navy is having, and no voice in what they do. Now Canada is getting on board the call for a moratorium.


Speculation is growing over what caused the death of a young resident killer whale and conservation organizations want the Royal Canadian Navy to stop holding military training exercises in the whales’ critical habitat. David Suzuki Foundation, Georgia Strait Alliance, Greenpeace, Living Oceans, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Sierra Club B.C., Western Canada Wilderness Committee and the World Wildlife Fund want an end to military exercises in the area and a release of all information about activities in the area that might have contributed to Sooke’s death.

Killer Whale Death leads to call for Navy Ban

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.

Navy decides not to do sonar training in Puget Sound – Chris Dunagan

Chris Dunagan of the Kitsap Sun uncovers the news that the Navy has apparently decided to not do any more sonar training use in Puget Sound. Good news for our marine wildlife. —-read the whole story and comment if you wish at…http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2009/07/30/some-sonar-questions-are-answered-others-remain/


The Navy has decided not to conduct training exercises involving sonar within Puget Sound. That information was revealed in a proposed incidental take permit for the Northwest Training Range Complex, now subject to public review under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. See my story in today’s Kitsap Sun.

While this decision no doubt will be a good thing for area marine mammal populations, I’m still a bit confused about the extent to which sonar may be used in non-training conditions.

Use of sonar in the testing of equipment and new technologies will come under a separate take permit for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, based at Keyport.

But, according to a statement I received from the Navy, that still leaves open the use of sonar for “safety and navigation,” “testing,” and “maintenance.”

As I understand the process, if the Navy were to harm marine mammals in one of these procedures without obtaining a take permit in advance, the Navy would be in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

more at the link above…


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