Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Friday, August 30, 2013

8-30-13 The Whales Need Fish Not Words

Many people have asked, "who do we talk to about this lack of Chinook salmon?"...that's something I've been asking myself...this may shed some light on what direction to look when thinking of who you might like to contact.  

In a prior post I commented that the words, endangered killer whales, critical habitat, food source dwindling, and fishing continuing, just didn't compute...
It's the words Critical Habitat that I was misunderstanding.
Here is a link to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:  Critical Habitat What is it?  two page explanation on the internet. Was that ever an eye opener!

Two places in the document really got my attention:
1- at the bottom of the first page:  "A critical habitat designation has no effect on situations where a Federal agency is not involved."  My interpretation of that means that the National Fish and Wildlife Service and/or NOAA (?) is not involved in any fishing regulations regarding the Endangered Southern Resident killer whales. And instead it's the State of Washington that is in charge of the fishing - who can fish, when and what they can catch. This is just my interpretation.

2- the last paragraph of the entire document: "Additionally, the critical habitat designation usually affords little extra protection to most species, and in some cases it can result in harm to the species." (Read the rest of that paragraph for further understanding, it's not quite as bad is it might sound in just that sentence, but not that good either.)

After reading the document I have a better understanding of what Critical Habitat means.  It surprises me to find that even if a species is designated as endangered that there still might be no action taken to make sure they have enough food. Now that doesn't seem to make any sense at all to me. Doesn't every species need food for survival?
In the meantime the Residents have not been here all week. The last two times they came in they left the same day. There have been transient killer whales around a lot, in fact I've been listening to them for the last couple hours on the hydrophones tonight.
A couple days ago, one of the T30s - marine mammal eating killer whale not a salmon eating killer whale - up near Turn Pt. on Maya's Westside Charters  had leaping salmon all round...
...I don't know the the salmon species on the left...the one on the right a pink (aka humpie)...
...from that evening at Turn Pt...

and then this morning...
...the pink salmon numbers have been raised to 16,000,000...
...the sockeye numbers are still very low, and the Chinook salmon, well all I can say is that no one talks about them at all. Wild Chinook salmon are still being caught.  I just don't get it.

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