B.C. municipalities call for end of open-net fish farms -The Star Vancouver

Interesting article about what’s happening around net pens north of the border. While these calls for land-based farms are growing stronger by the month, there are plans afoot in Norway to rollout new designs for in-water pens. The issues will still remain, however. Norway has banned all in-water pens for a while now, but the fish farming industry there (the largest in the world) is rolling out new experimental pens that likely will be allowed by their government, and probably, by association, by Canada’s. This issue is far from finished being a lightning rod.

https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2018/09/12/bc-municipalities-call-for-end-of-open-net-fish-farms.html

 

Canada proposes more habitat protection for southern-resident orcas – Seattle Times

Canada is taking steps to expand habitat protection for killer whales to boost survival of the critically endangered southern-resident population. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is taking steps to expand habitat protection for killer whales to boost survival of the critically endangered southern-resident population. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced Wednesday the department is initiating a 60-day comment period on creating new areas of critical habitat for the whales.

One area is off the coast of southwestern Vancouver Island, including Swiftsure and La Pérouse banks (important for both northern and southern residents). The other is in Dixon Entrance, along the north coast of Graham Island from Langara to Rose Spit (important for northern residents). The move to expand habitat protection comes on top of a reduction by the department of chinook salmon harvest by up to 35 percent for the 2018 fishing season, with a full closure of commercial and recreational fish for chinook in three key foraging areas for the southern residents: the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Gulf Islands and the mouth of the Fraser River.

These measures, enacted June 1, will continue until Sept. 30, and include increased monitoring to assess the effectiveness of the closures. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

 

Mussels on drugs found near Victoria sewage outfalls – CBC

For years, Victorians of all political stripes have been discounting their lack of a sewage system. Every time I’ve put a story up here, a couple of Victorians have, out of the blue, weighed in. I’ve even heard younger Victorians, who claim to be “green” tell me to my face that, “it’s no big deal” that their raw sewage has been pouring into the Strait for decades after every other city on the Strait and Salish Sea seems to have put in tertiary or secondary treatment systems. I rarely ever challenge them when they do that, as it’s pointless to argue with people who refuse to even look at scientific data. Well, the CBC finally looked into it, and the unfortunate joke is on them, as they have likely been poisoning themselves and their children if they have been eating any of the shellfish or bottom feeders from the area around their city.

As stated in the article, the sewage treatment plant *should* remove many of these chemicals. Now it is up to the local environmental departments to get the message out that people should not be dumping their pharmaceuticals and other chemicals down the sink or in the toilet. My hope is that, in some distant time, we will actually stop dumping *all* our wastes into the Straits and Salish Sea. Composting toilets have advanced to a place where we should be able to end the expensive and stupid habit that we have picked up in the last 100 years. While it was an improvement over what came before it, we have paid a price for it. There are no free lunches.

Monitoring by the Capital Regional District has found high concentrations of antidepressants, as well as other pharmaceuticals and personal care products in shellfish near the sewage outfalls around Victoria.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/sewage-victoria-crd-drugs-contamination-mussels-pharmaceuticals-1.4537222?utm_source=Sightline%20Institute&utm_medium=web-email&utm_campaign=Sightline%20News%20Selections

Blooming marvellous: drones give B.C. researchers new view of ‘enormous’ jellyfish clusters – Canadian Press

Some cool news uses for drones.

Technology is allowing researchers in British Columbia to study blooms of jellyfish and their impact on the ocean in a whole new way. UBC oceanography professor Brian Hunt and undergraduate student Jessica Schaub have been using drones to get a better picture of the size and composition of clusters of moon jellyfish off B.C.’s central coast. Images from cameras soaring high above the ocean provide a bird’s-eye view that can’t be replicated on the water, Hunt said. Gemma Karstens-Smith reports. (Canadian Press)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/jellyfish-blooms-bc-1.4522141

Latest on Trans Mountain Pipeline

I can’t imagine it will be actually blocked permanently, but the newly elected politicians in B.C. need to follow through on campaign promises to angry voters.  Stayed tuned for the inevitable additional news on this.

Trans Mountain pipeline work stopped before it starts in British Columbia  http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/trans-mountain-pipeline-work-stopped-before-it-starts-in-british-columbia/

The British Columbia provincial government has monkey-wrenched the start of construction for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, announcingThursday that it is taking legal and administrative steps to stop the project. At issue is inadequate consultation by developer Kinder Morgan with First Nations, said George Heyman, Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister, in a news conference in Victoria. The company must complete consultations with First Nations on several environmental aspects of the project not yet addressed, and may not begin work on public land until it does so, Heyman said. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

See also: B.C. joins legal battles against Trans Mountain pipeline expansionhttp://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/live-b-c-government-to-announce-steps-against-trans-mountain-pipeline Derrick Penner reports. (Vancouver Sun)

And also: B.C.’s impending Kinder Morgan challenge is another straw on a very beleaguered camel http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/kinder-morgan-legal-challenge-ndp-august-2017-1.4243022 Justin McElroy reports. (CBC)

New species of flying squirrel discovered in Pacific Northwest – CBC

Still amazing that they are finding new species. And they are not even close relatives!

The northern flying squirrel can be found throughout British Columbia — but a new study has found that those living on the coast are a completely different species from those found inland for about a million years. The authors of the study analyzed the DNA of flying squirrel specimens collected throughout the Pacific Northwest, previously thought to be the exclusive domain of the northern flying squirrel. But those found on the Pacific coast between southern B.C. and northern California turned out to be genetically distinct from those found further inland. Matt Meuse reports. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/new-flying-squirrel-species-1.4154875

 

British Columbia Green Party shakes the vote

Expanding their reach from 1 to 3 members of Parliament, the BC Green party under the leadership of Andrew Weaver, has shaken BC politics to it’s core. The current situation after the vote showed Premiere Christie Clark losing her majority and having to form the first minority government in 65 years. Credit the Green Party for this change.

The Greens have obviously brought better candidates to the election, and some races are still too close to call. But Clark was clear that she is going to be governing from a minority position.

It is great to see a party that has been unable to bring significant candidates that can win to a position to influence the ability to govern. The tradeoffs to be made to allow Clark to continue governing means that the environment and other key Green issues, are going to be heard in a new and more significant way.

I like Vaughn Palmer’s take on the outcome.

Vaughn Palmer: Not sure who won yet, but Christy Clark definitely lost

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