The Northwest Fisheries Science Center, The Whale Museum and The Center for Whale Research have applied for new permits to conduct research on marine mammals. NOAA Fisheries is requesting comments on those applications. Please see the Federal Register notice on the Fisheries Northwest Region website at http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Publications/FR-Notices/2011/upload/76FR68161.pdf for details. You must submit comments by Dec. 5, 2011.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
NOAA Fisheries has released a draft of its enforcement priorities and invited the public to submit comments through January 9, 2012. These enforcement priorities are the latest step NOAA is taking to improve its enforcement program, and will help the agency emphasize compliance through better communication with fishermen, boaters, and others. Compliance assistance to whale watchers to reduce illegal interactions is included in the Regional Priorities. Enforcement has played a key role in developing and implementing the new vessel regulations to protect killer whales in Washington (http://www.bewhalewise.org/), and this is an opportunity to provide feedback to the Office of Law Enforcement. The draft priorities and information about submitting comments are available online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole/enforcement_priorities.html.
A newborn female killer whale calf was found dead at Seaview (on the Long Beach Peninsula) on Sunday, November 14, 2011. The carcass was transported to Portland State University where a necropsy was performed by Portland State University, NOAA Fisheries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Cascadia Research, and Dr. Stephen Raverty. The killer whale calf has not yet been identified to population or ecotype, such as Southern Resident or transient, and a full suite of samples was collected and has been sent to several labs for analysis. NOAA will provide an update when they have more information on the results of this stranding investigation.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Save the date for the Indian Island Marine Health report to the Community to be held on Friday, November 18th, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m in the Madrona Room at the Orcas Center on Orcas Island. The meeting will include marine slide shows, music, interactive displays, and new data on the health of the Eastsound waterfront presented by KWIAHT Director, Russel Barash. Different displays will be available. Including a phytoplankton presentaion, inter-active microscopes, touch tanks and an examination of the current bioremediation project underway in Eastsound's wetlands. Children are invited to attend with an art project table available just for them. In addition, a meal will be provided by the Orcas Village store. This event is free. Tax-deductible donations to further this long-term project are welcome. Please plan on attending this entertaining and informative snapshot of the Eastsound waterfront. Come "Celebrate the Bay". For further information go to: www.indianisland.info.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Southern Resident killer whale recovery program update:
NOAA Fisheries and Fisheries and Oceans Canada recently held a workshop to present available information on salmon fisheries and Southern Resident killer whales to an independent scientific panel. The meeting was part of series of workshops to review available scientific information on the effects of salmon fisheries on Southern Resident killer whales. Background information on the workshop process and presentations from the first workshop are available on our web page at: http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Marine-Mammals/Whales-Dolphins-Porpoise/Killer-Whales/ESA-Status/KW-Chnk.cfm
Orca research: NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center recently published a Southern Resident Killer Whale Research Update summarizing the latest research results on taxonomy, behavior, ecology, health, anthropogenic impacts and socioeconomics. The newsletter is available at: http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/cbd/marine_mammal/marinemammal.cfm
Springer/A73 update: In case you hadn't heard, Springer (A73) returned to Canadian waters with A Pod again this summer. Dr. Pete Schroeder, a veterinarian who helped rescue Springer, had an opportunity to see her this summer and provide an update on her health status. His report is available on our A73 web page at: http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Marine-Mammals/Whales-Dolphins-Porpoise/Killer-Whales/A73-Orphan-Orca.cfm. Next year will be the 10th anniversary of Springer's successful rescue and return to her family!
The NOAA Fisheries Northwest Region has a new home page, which features stories about regional activities and partnerships. We just added a story about The Whale Trail. Check out our home page at: http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/nwrcms2/