How Fish Communicate, Even Using Noise – NY Times

Interesting!

Q. We know that aquatic mammals communicate with one another, but what about fish? A. Fish have long been known to communicate by several silent mechanisms, but more recently researchers have found evidence that some species also use sound… (NY Times)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/15/science/how-fish-communicate-even-using-noise.html?smid=tw-nytimesscience&smtyp=cur

 

Photo of the day – Decorated Warbonnet

Here’s another from Bruce Kirwin’s great collection of sea-life at Point Hudson, in Port Townsend. This jetty is slated for demolition and rebuilding in 2016, due to age and condition. The dive community is hoping to work with the Port to mitigate the consequences to underwater creatures such as this.

DSC_7283 - Barge Point Hudson - Decorated Warbonnet

Decorated Warbonnet in the barge at Point Hudson

Video on Forage Fish.

A good quick overview on why forage fish are important and why so many organizations are working on protecting the near shore. 

https://vimeo.com/145803507

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/145803507″>Forage Fish of the Salish Sea</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user33200738″>Friends of Skagit Beaches</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Photo of the day – Saddleback Gunnel

 Saddleback Gunnel – Point Hudson at Port Townsend by Bruce Kerwin 

Genetically engineered salmon is fit for dinner, FDA says in first decision of its kind – LA Times

Sometimes government agencies get it wrong. This is one of those times. Now we, the consumers, have to continue to just say no to farmed salmon, and demand wild fish. Only consumers can stop the industry, which has apparently manipulated through it’s lobbying efforts the highest levels of the FDA. This is a bad decision, for the environment, for consumers, and for fish. Why? It’s not that you might keel over by eating this fish. It’s about the entire ecosystem that is created to support this new animal. Have long term studies been done? I’ve not seen any. Has anyone questioned whether the feed and antibiotics that may be needed to support this creature are passed through to diners? Or what their effects on the environment might be under the pens that raise these? NOAA, which has certified these pens, only looks at the short term effects of the pens on the bottom directly under the pens. The science behind this is skewed in the favor of the farms, not the environment or the consumer. 


Perhaps that last breed does not evoke images of ancient and frigid headwaters in Alaska or Arctic Canada, where wild salmon spawn every year, or even the humble hatcheries that produce less expensive species consumed by millions of people. But on Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration announced that the AquAdvantage salmon — developed using growth hormone from Chinook salmon and a gene from an eel-like ocean fish that makes it reach market size twice as quickly as other salmon — has become the first genetically engineered animal approved for American consumption. AquaBounty Technologies Inc., the Massachusetts company that created the fish, calls it “the world’s most sustainable salmon.” Opponents call it “Frankenfish.” The FDA, which was accused of delaying the decision for years amid public concern, now says you can call it dinner. William Yardley reports. (LA Times)

 http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-85096654/

UW Study finds stormwater runoff killing salmon and other fish – UW

It seems to me that there has never been a clearer outcome of a study that allows us take simple action to save our salmon runs. Rain gardens anyone?

The long awaited study from the University of Washington on the toxic effects of stormwater runoff from roads is now complete. The study, which has been documented on this web site previously, showed that runoff captured from highway 520 near the Montlake Cut, was lethal enough to kill fish exposed to it.

Untreated highway runoff, collected in nine separate storm events, was universally lethal to coho relative to unexposed controls. Lastly, the mortality syndrome was prevented when highway runoff was pretreated by soil infiltration, a conventional green stormwater infiltration technology.

The study is found here https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2451727-spromberg-et-al-in-press-j-appl-ecol.html

Longer story on it at the Seattle Times.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/whats-killing-coho-study-points-to-urban-road-runoff/?utm_source=Sightline+Institute&utm_medium=web-email&utm_campaign=Sightline+News+Selections

Known fish species living in the Salish Sea increases in new report – UW Today

6C-Jordania-zonope-black-750x299

An illustration of the longfin sculpin (Jordania zonope).Joseph R. Tomelleri

Good news that a more precise count on species has been completed. Will be good for future monitoring efforts.

Coho salmon, Pacific halibut and even the dogfish shark are familiar faces to many people in the Salish Sea region. But what about the Pacific viperfish, northern flashlightfish, dwarf wrymouth or the longsnout prickleback?

These colorfully named species and others are compiled in a new, 106-page report that documents all of the fishes that live in the Salish Sea, a roughly 6,500-square-mile region that encompasses Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia, the San Juan Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands.

In total, 253 fish species have been recorded in the Salish Sea, and that’s about 14 percent more than in the last count, said Ted Pietsch, co-author of the new report and a University of Washington emeritus professor of aquatic and fishery sciences.

Read the whole story here:

http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/09/30/known-fish-species-living-in-the-salish-sea-increases-in-new-report/

Low levels of oil pollution harm herring, salmon, study finds – Seattle Times

Our knowledge of the effects of even low levels of oil on fish populations continue to grow. This will have impacts on our port, and points to more needs for storm water solutions that include eventual re-design of almost every highway in the state, to stop car runoff into our waterways. It won’t happen overnight, but is happening and will continue to, given these findings. It’s our food sources vs. business as usual with autos.

Federal scientists based in Seattle and Alaska have found that oil — by impairing heart functions — can cause serious harm to herring and pink salmon at far lower concentrations than previously documented. The research, published Tuesday online in Nature’s Scientific Reports, could help unravel the mystery of why herring stocks in Prince William Sound collapsed after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Their work also has implications about the effects of low levels of chronic oil pollution in Puget Sound and elsewhere in the world. “What this study shows is that in very, very low concentration of oil, embryonic fish … get born with a mild heart defect,” said John Incardona, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration toxicologist at a Seattle fisheries science center. He is one of 10 co-authors of the study. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/lower-levels-of-oil-pollution-harm-herring-and-salmon-study-finds/

Feds Propose Tougher Clean Water Rule For Washington, Holding Line On Cancer Risk – KPLU

This is a good sign. We need stronger protections based on the real amount of seafood we eat here in the NW, not just some Washington DC ideal based on low consumption nationwide.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making good on its promise to put forward a clean water rule for Washington, in case the state doesn’t come up with its own plan in time. At issue is how much fish the government says is safe to eat, if it’s caught in polluted water.  In early August, Washington was on track to adopt a major rewrite of the state’s outdated water standard, known as the “fish consumption rule.” It uses the amount of fish we eat as a measure of how clean the water must be to protect human health. But Gov. Jay Inslee put the most recent proposal on hold and directed the state Department of Ecology to reassess its approach. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

http://kplu.org/post/feds-propose-tougher-clean-water-rule-washington-holding-line-cancer-risk

Interest flags in pink salmon fishery at Dungeness River mouth after number of returning fish turns out lower – PDN

I’ve shot video on the small group of tribal fishermen that work the beaches at the mouth of the Dungeness. They are out at dawn and often working hard to catch a few fish. It appears that this year will be a washout for them. The fish just aren’t returning in numbers large enough to warrant going out.

Interest has waned in a pink salmon fishery at the mouth of the Dungeness River now that the numbers originally expected haven’t developed, said the natural resources director for the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe. The beach seine fishery, in which weighted nets are used to pull fish to shore, was developed by co-managers of the Jamestown S’Klallam, Port Gamble S’Klallam and Point No Point Treaty Council and approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to weed out some of the 1.3 million pinks expected to return this season, said Scott Chitwood on Friday. Leah Leach reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150816/news/308169973/interest-flags-in-pink-salmon-fishery-at-dungeness-river-mouth-after

See also: Crews deepen channels to help struggling salmon amid drought http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/crews-deepen-channels-to-help-struggling-salmon/ Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Dozens of sturgeon found dead in Columbia River – Tri-City Herald

And more results of our inability to stop global warming. The mass die off of fish that have survived for hundreds of thousands of years. Our warming rivers cannot support them.

Washington Fish and Wildlife officials have received repeated reports of dead sturgeon this week on the Columbia River, but the exact cause of death remains a mystery. Annette Cary reports. (Tri-City Herald)

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/dozens-of-sturgeon-found-dead-in-columbia-river/

Using Fish Ear Bones To Track Salmon – KUOW

New research for fish tracking.

If you were to catch a salmon in Puget Sound, chances are you won’t be able to say exactly where that fish came from. That’s because salmon spawn in rivers and streams and then swim hundreds or even thousands of miles to the ocean to mature. Some new research could help fisheries managers better protect salmon by studying their ear bones – that’s right, ear bones. They’re called otoliths and they help fish with balance and hearing. They come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the type of fish, but they share a common, very cool, growth pattern. Each year, the otolith adds a ring, just like a tree trunk. Those rings are incredibly valuable to scientists like Sean Brennan because they reveal where the fish spent time over the course of that year. Ashley Ahearn reports. (KUOW)

http://kuow.org/post/using-fish-ear-bones-track-salmon

UH study: High levels of mercury found in fish substitutions – KITV.COM

Disturbing new study from University of Hawaii. Looks like Sea Bass may be off the list of food to eat, since it’s impossible to know where it really came from. Or which part of the sales chain is falsifying the data. It appears to be the people sourcing it.

HONOLULU —New measurements from fish purchased at retail seafood counters in 10 different states show the extent to which mislabeling can expose consumers to unexpectedly high levels of mercury, a harmful pollutant, according to a new study from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Read more: http://www.kitv.com/news/uh-study-high-levels-of-mercury-found-in-fish-substitutions/27594146#ixzz3Ard63ZMK

Original Study named:

Seafood Substitutions Obscure Patterns of Mercury Contamination in Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) or “Chilean Sea Bass”

Washingtonians Could Safely Eat More Fish Under New Water Pollution Rules – Earthfix

Another good step by Governor Jay Inslee. This decision has been a tough problem that he has had to balance against industry, like Boeing. This is positive. Now the work and money has to be put forward to actually implement the rain gardens and permeable pavement that he wants to see put in place to help.

Washington’s pollution standards would be made much tougher — making water clean enough that people can safely eat a daily serving of fish — under a plan laid out by Gov. Jay Inslee. The governor announced Wednesday that he wants Washington to use the same fish-consumption standards that guide water pollution rules in Oregon….

 

 http://earthfix.kcts9.org/water/article/washingtonians-could-safely-eat-more-fish-under-ne/

Media get first tour of fish radiation check process – Japan Times News

Of great concern to many of my readers is the  possible contamination of fish from the nuclear power plant leaking in Japan. There have been many wild speculative stories, some obviously made up for PR purposes on the web, especially showing up on Facebook. We are trying to keep a close eye on the real science being done around this issue. So far, I have not seen anything coming out that is “of concern” to us along our coast. Can that change? You bet. But for now, I have no problem buying and eating seafood caught of the Washington and Alaskan shores.

Here’s the latest from Japan

With the continued flow of radioactive water into the sea from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant, consumers at home and abroad are concerned about the safety of seafood around Japan.

To ease such concerns and demonstrate how fisheries products are being monitored, the Fisheries Agency held a media tour last week to a research facility in Onjuku, Chiba Prefecture, that attracted 36 participants, most of them foreign journalists and embassy officials.

You will want to read the rest of this story:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/12/17/national/media-get-first-tour-of-fish-radiation-check-process/#.UrHaI2RDvw6

Lawsuits Put NW Fish Hatcheries In The Crosshairs – Earthfix

A string of lawsuits around the region highlights a groundswell of opposition to the practice of raising salmon and steelhead in hatcheries to then be released into the wild. Wild fish supporters argue that hatcheries harm wild fish populations and that governmental agencies charged with protecting salmon and steelhead under the Endangered Species Act are in fact violating the Act in some instances by releasing hatchery-raised fish to intermingle with the wild ones. Ashley Ahearn reports.

http://earthfix.kcts9.org/flora-and-fauna/article/northwest-fish-hatcheries-in-the-crosshairs-of-sev/

EPA sued over Washington fish-consumption estimates – Seattle Times and others

A fight over how much fish people eat in Washington — and thus, how much toxic pollution they consume — is now in federal court. Conservation and commercial-fishing groups sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday, saying the agency has for too long let state officials underestimate fish consumption, resulting in weaker anti-pollution standards than are needed to protect the public. The groups, including Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Columbia Riverkeeper and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, reason that if the estimates were more realistic, the state would have to more strictly regulate emissions of mercury, lead, copper and other toxins — a prospect that concerns industry groups and that emerged as a sticking point in budget talks in Olympia last spring. Gene Johnson reports.
http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2022022795_fishconsumptionxml.html

New blog: No, You Shouldn’t Eat The Fish—Not Yet
http://salishseacommunications.blogspot.com/2013/10/no-you-shouldnt-eat-fishnot-yet.html

Will Hood Canal experience a fish kill this year? – Chris Dunagan

Chris Dunagan blogs: Are we about to see one of the infamous fish kills that we have observed in Southern Hood Canal in past years? I am unable to sound any alarms at this time, but if you live in the Hoodsport-Potlatch area or are scuba diving nearby, you might want to watch for dead fish on the surface, rockfish or shrimp swimming in shallow water, or wolf eels and octopuses acting strangely.

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2013/09/22/will-hood-canal-experience-a-fish-kill-this-year/#axzz2fh3OuE5Z

Talk on GMO fish at Quimper Grange in PT April 1st.

Though it will be held April 1st, this is no joke. A talk by one of the leading people educating the public on the issues of fish farming and protecting wild salmon stocks.

AnneMosness

“TAMPERING WITH NATURE AND OUR RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT WE ARE EATING”, about GMO Salmon
Risks of genetic engineering of salmon will be the main topic of Anne Mosness’ program at Quimper Grange on Monday, April 1st. Anne has spent many years as captain of salmon fishing boats and comes from a commercial fishing family. She is a long time advocate for wild fish, healthy coastal ecosystems and economies. Her background includes representing wild fisheries at the UN Forum for Food Sovereignty, Slow Fish, Slow Food and organizing Blue Festival educational events.

When the genes of unrelated species of fish are combined it is possible to them to grow bigger and faster however there has not been adequate research on human health risks, the environment, or impacts on traditional food producers and businesses. If a GE salmon patent is granted it will open the floodgates for patenting other species of transgenic fish. Several laws and regulations currently being considered are very important and will be discussed at the Grange program.

Anne will talk about the potential for pollution of the gene pool and how open cages have proven incapable of confining farmed fish which could have dire consequences in the in the marine environment.

In 2006 Quimper Grange authored a resolution in support of labeling genetically engineered organisms that was adopted as Washington State Grange’s policy position. Now, in light of impending legislation Quimper Grange reiterates its support of labeling genetically engineered foods and presents the public with an opportunity to learn about current and urgent genetic engineering issues. Quimper Grange, 1219 Corona Street (at the N. end of Sheridan). Doors open at 7:00 for socializing (potluck finger foods encouraged). Program starts at 7:30 for more information call Marla Streator at 385-6924.

More on Anne Mosness at http://www.foodandcommunityfellows.org/fellow/anne-mosness

Halibut and Ling Cod fishing season set.

Season will open in May. Hood Canal and South Puget Sound being closed to help protect the rockfish population, which could be argued is similarly threatened in the Strait, but for some reason the State scientists felt that the populations there are healthy enough to support more by catch.

We hope all you fishermen will stick to one Halibut a day, and report your catch. Your reporting helps make the science better, and ultimately leads to you being able to your grandchildren being able to fish. Given the current trend, that’s seriously in doubt.

Be aware that the Seattle Times is preparing to put a pay wall into affect. Soon you may have to subscribe to get any content from them. I recommend that anyone that appreciates getting substantial local news subscribe to their local papers. Us bloggers don’t get paid to go out and gather the news. The newspapers do, if ever so poorly since the Internet has hobbled their profit model.

Puget Sound getting ready for halibut seasons similar to last year’s
The Seattle Times

Halibut fishing will be closed in Hood Canal (Area 12) as well as
south-central and southern Puget Sound (Areas 11 and 13) to protect
endangered rockfish …
<http://seattletimes.com/html/othersports/2020525080_outn10.html

%d bloggers like this: