Sea Lions do not have any other food choices

From Sea Lion Defense Brigade:

SLDB observers report that the steller sea lions on the Columbia River are a beautiful sight and one of the best things about the return of the spring Chinook salmon and the Pacific Lamprey.

They have an ancient predator prey relationship that spans back over ten thousand years on the Columbia River. The Pacific Lamprey are the sea lions food of choice and the Pacific Lamprey like the sea lions are today were once deemed “predator” to the Chinook salmon by sport fishermen and completely eradicated from the Columbia River Basin by ODFW from approximately 1960-1980s.

It is absolutely heinous the way the big corporate media portrays the sea lions return to the Columbia River. It is horrifying the way the state and federal policies are written to allow the hazing of the steller sea lions and the trapping and branding and killing of the California sea lions for eating as little as one fish out of the Columbia River at the Bonneville Dam.

Tax payer dollars are being wasted to attack majestic creatures in their native home to scapegoat and kill animals that do not have any other food choices than to eat fish and other aquatic life. Current science supports the importance of crucial top predators and the importance of bio diversity in the Bio Region to increase the chances for all species to be able to survive.

ODFW worked to cause of the eradication of the sea lion’s original and favorite food source. And ODFW also was successful in destroying the Chinook salmon’s original natural predator by clearing the Columbia River basin of the Pacific Lamprey and now they are targeting the native sea lions.

ODFW was successful in destroying 450 millions years of Mother’s Natures work in only twenty years all to appease the cries from the sport fishermen that once stated that the Pacific lamprey were also like what they currently say about the sea ions that the lamprey were eating “to Much” of their salmon.

Today the USDA’s bombing destroys the tranquility of what a day on the Columbia River is supposed to be and Pacific Lamprey is now being produced at the Bonneville Dam hatchery.

The USDA’s assaults destroys any chance a visitor to the area may have who is scouting to see the elusive and shy Big Foot on the City of North Bonneville’s heritage trail walk.

Many visitors travel to Oregon because they are thrilled to get the chance to see wildlife in their native habitat, and by the way this will never happen while the USDA guy is shooting.

There is joy to be had experiencing these animals in their native habitat and getting the opportunity to hear their vocalizations can be life changing for some people. Big Foot and the beautiful sea lions in the Columbia River Gorge need more protection not less SLDB observer report.

See More

'SLDB observers report that the steller sea lions on the Columbia River are a beautiful sight and one of the best things about the return of the spring Chinook salmon and the Pacific Lamprey.</p>
<p>They have an ancient predator prey relationship that spans back over ten thousand years on the Columbia River. The Pacific Lamprey are the sea lions food of choice and the Pacific Lamprey like the sea lions are today were once deemed "predator" to the  Chinook salmon by sport fishermen  and  completely eradicated from the Columbia River Basin by ODFW from approximately 1960-1980s. </p>
<p> It is absolutely heinous the way the big corporate media portrays the sea lions return to the Columbia River. It is horrifying the way the state and federal policies are written to allow the hazing of the steller sea lions and the trapping and branding and killing of the California sea lions for eating as little as one fish out of the Columbia River at the Bonneville Dam. </p>
<p>Tax payer dollars are being wasted to attack majestic creatures in their native home to scapegoat and kill animals that do not have any other food choices than to eat fish and other aquatic life. Current science supports the importance of crucial top predators and the importance of bio diversity in the Bio Region to increase the chances for all species to be able to survive.</p>
<p>ODFW worked to cause of the eradication of the sea lion's original and favorite food source. And ODFW also was successful in  destroying the Chinook salmon's original natural predator by clearing the Columbia River basin of the Pacific Lamprey and now they are targeting the native sea lions. </p>
<p> ODFW was successful in destroying 450 millions years of Mother's Natures work in only twenty years all to appease the cries from the sport fishermen that once stated that the Pacific lamprey were also like what they currently say about the sea ions that the lamprey were eating “to Much" of their salmon.  </p>
<p>Today the USDA's bombing destroys the tranquility of what a day on the Columbia River is supposed to be and Pacific Lamprey is now being produced at the Bonneville Dam hatchery. </p>
<p>The USDA's assaults destroys any chance a visitor to  the area  may have who is scouting to see the elusive and shy Big Foot on the City of North Bonneville's heritage trail walk.</p>
<p> Many visitors travel to Oregon because they are thrilled to get the chance to see wildlife in their native habitat, and by the way this will never happen while the USDA guy is shooting.</p>
<p>There is joy to be had experiencing these animals in their native habitat and getting the opportunity to hear their vocalizations can be life changing for some people. Big Foot and the beautiful sea lions in the Columbia River Gorge need more protection not less SLDB observer report.'

Sea lions adapt to changing climate

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20150325/sea-lions-adapt-to-changing-climate

NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center  March 25, 2015

Climate change and food shortages are behind an increased push of pinnipeds into the Columbia River.

In Southern California hundreds of starving sea lion pups are washing up on beaches, filling marine mammal care centers that scarcely can hold them all.

Meanwhile thousands of adult male California sea lions are surging into the Pacific Northwest, crowding onto docks and jetties in coastal communities.

How can animals from the same population be struggling in one region while thriving in another? The answer lies in the division of family responsibilities between male and female sea lions, and the different ways each responds to an everchanging ocean, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.

“We’re seeing the population adjust to the environment as the environment changes,” said Sharon Melin, a sea lion biologist with the fisheries science center.

The environmental changes affecting the sea lions can be traced to unusually weak winds off the West Coast over the last year. Without cooling winds, scientists say, the Pacific Ocean warmed as much as 2 to 5 degrees Celsius (35.6 to 41 degrees Farenheit) above average. What started as a patchwork of warm water from Southern California to Alaska in 2014 has since grown into a vast expanse, affecting everything from plankton at the bottom of the food chain to sea lions near the top.

“The warming is about as strong as anything in the historical record,” said Nathan Mantua, who leads the Landscape Ecology Team at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

Struggle for food

The Channel Islands rookeries where nearly all California sea lions raise their young off Southern California sit in the middle of the warm expanse. Female sea lions have strong ties to the rookeries. They take foraging trips of a few days at a time before returning to the rookeries to nurse their pups.

But the unusually warm water has apparently shifted the distribution of their prey, making it harder for females to find enough food to support the nutritional needs of their pups. Their hungry pups, it now appears, are struggling to gain weight and have begun striking out from the rookeries on their own. Many do not make it and instead wash up on shore dead or emaciated.

Since the early 1970s the California sea lion population underwent unprecedented growth. The species is protected by the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act and is estimated to number about 300,000 along the U.S. West Coast. But the growth has slowed in recent years as ocean conditions have turned especially unfavorable for juvenile survival. That could lead to population declines in coming years, biologists say.

“We are working on data to look at whether the population might be approaching its resource limits,” Melin told reporters in a recent conference call.

Sea lions serve as an indicator of ocean conditions because they are visible and are sensitive to small environmental and ecological changes, Melin said. The warm temperatures may well be affecting other species in less obvious ways.

“There are probably other things going on in the ecosystem we may not be seeing,” she said.

Bachelors

Unlike female sea lions, males have no lasting obligations to females or young. After mating at the rookeries in midsummer, they leave the rookeries and roam as far as Oregon, Washington and Alaska in search of food.

“They’re bachelors,” said Mark Lowry of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California. “They just go wherever they can to find something to eat.”

Male sea lions search out prey with high energy content, especially oily fish such as herring and sardines, said Robert DeLong, who leads a program to study the California Current Ecosystem at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. Increasing numbers have found their way to the mouth of the Columbia River to feed on increasingly strong runs of eulachon, also called smelt, and have taken up residence on docks and jetties near Astoria.

“More sea lions learned last year and even more will learn this year that this is a good place to find food,” DeLong said of the Columbia River. “They’ve learned these fish are there now and they won’t forget that.”

DeLong and Steve Jeffries, a research biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, attached satellite-linked tracking tags to 15 sea lions feeding on salmon near Bremerton (Wash.) in November and December. Four of those sea lions are now at the mouth of the Columbia, Jeffries said.

Counts around Astoria rose from a few hundred in January to nearly 2,000 in February, exceeding numbers in previous years at the same time. The count includes some animals from the eastern stock of Steller sea lions, removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in 2013. The California sea lions also feed on spring chinook salmon and steelhead. Some of the chinook and steelhead stocks are listed under the Endangered Species Act and NOAA Fisheries is working with state officials to address sea lion predation.

By the beginning of May, the male sea lions depart for the summer breeding season at the rookeries in Southern California.

“It’s like flipping a switch,” DeLong said. “Suddenly it’s time to go.”

Warm conditions may continue

The warm expanse of ocean extends to depths of 60 to 100 meters, Mantua said, and will likely take months to dissipate even if normal winds resume. Biologists expect poor feeding conditions for California sea lions will likely continue near their rookeries while warm ocean conditions persist. A more typical spring and summer with strong and persistent winds from the north would cool the water and likely improve foraging conditions along the West Coast.

The tropical El Niño just declared by NOAA is one wild card that may affect West Coast ocean conditions over the next year. If the El Niño continues or intensifies through 2015, it would favor winds and ocean currents that support another year of warm conditions along the West Coast.

More info.:

For more information on sea lion strandings, visit http://tinyurl.com/nxqhwkw. For information on field research in the sea lion rookeries, visit http://tinyurl.com/no7heje. For information on det

Columbia River cormorant plan calls for shooting 11,000 birds, destroying 26,000 nests

Painting Courtesy  Barry Kent MacKay

Painting Courtesy Barry Kent MacKay

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/02/east_sand_island_cormorant_kil.html

By Kelly House | The Oregonian/OregonLive The Oregonian

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has scaled back its plan to kill thousands of federally protected migratory birds to keep them from eating endangered juvenile salmon and steelhead at the mouth of the Columbia River.

On Friday, the corps released a final environmental impact statement detailing plans to use lethal measures to shrink the East Sand Island colony of double-crested cormorants, a long-necked black sea bird.

The revised version of a preliminary plan released last summer calls for shooting nearly 11,000 birds by the end of 2018 and pouring oil over 26,000 nests to prevent eggs from hatching. The corps’ goal is to reduce the colony by 57 percent, to about 5,600 breeding pairs.

It represents a rollback from the original plan, which called for shooting 16,000 birds to achieve the same population reduction.

The corps estimates that since 1989, the cormorant colony on East Sand Island has exploded from 100 nesting pairs to 13,000. During that time, the birds have eaten about 11 million smolts yearly, or nearly 7 percent of juvenile steelhead that pass by East Sand Island on their way to the ocean.

Plans to kill the birds were drawn up in response to a NOAA Fisheries biological opinion that recommended the corps trim the cormorant colony in order to protect endangered fish.

The changes to the plan come in response to more than 152,000 public comments on the original plan, nearly all of which expressed opposition to the killing.

Environmentalists on Friday said they aren’t satisfied, arguing the new plan still resorts to “wanton slaughter” without considering other ways to protect endangered fish.

Bob Sallinger, conservation director with the Audubon Society of Portland, argued the corps is blaming cormorants “when the primary causes for salmon declines are the dams, habitat loss and hatchery fish.” Before resorting to killing, he said, the corps should consider modifying dams to improve fish passage, improving habitat along the Columbia River, and forcing the birds off the island by reducing their habitat.

“We’re talking about killing 15 percent of the population west of the Rocky Mountains,” Sallinger said. “That level of lethal control is absolutely horrific.”

But Blaine Parker with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission said he was disappointed that the corps didn’t stick to the original plan. He questioned whether the revised option would make a great enough dent in the number of juvenile fish eaten by cormorants each year.

“There’s been a lot of work done to get fish passage projects at the dams,” he said. “To have all that work done, and then have those fish run into yet another obstacle once they reach saltwater, is a tremendous loss.”

The corps is still at least a couple of months away from going through with the culling. First, it must publish its plan in the federal registry and wait 30 days before issuing a record of decision. Then, it must obtain permits from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and hire workers to do the job.

The workers would shoot cormorants on land and in flight. The plan also calls for flooding a portion of the island to reduce nesting land for surviving birds, combined with hazing to discourage them from staying on the island.

If all goes according to plan, corps spokeswoman Diana Fredlund said, culling could begin soon after the cormorants return to East Sand Island this spring from their winter habitat in the southern United States.

Fredlund couldn’t offer further details about what a culling would entail, but said, “it’s done humanely and under all the proper veterinary approvals.”

Sallinger said if the plan receives final approval group is “prepared to use all tools at our disposal” to fight it, including a lawsuit.

 

Why Not Become a Sea Lion Advocate?

According to an MSN news article entitled, Golden Gate Bridge jumper says sea lion saved him, “A man who jumped off San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to try to take his own life and was kept afloat by a sea lion said Wednesday suicide prevention was now his life’s work.”

Witnesses who saw the incident said a sea lion kept him afloat until the Coast Guard sent a rescue boat. Kevin Hines told MSN news, “I really thought it was a shark and I thought it was going to take off a leg and I was panicking. And then it just didn’t, it just kept circling beneath me. I remember floating atop the water and this thing just bumping me, bumping me up.”

One of the witnesses told Hines, “I was less than two feet away from you when you jumped. It haunted me until this day; it was no shark, it was a sea lion and people above looking down believed it to be keeping you afloat until the Coast Guard brought a ride behind you.”

Hines stated, “[Witnesses] saw me laying atop the water and being bumped.” He added, “This thing beneath me didn’t stop or didn’t go away until I heard the boat behind me.”

After all our species has done and continues to do to sea lions—hunted them by the thousands for their fur and oil while feeding their flesh to dogs or captive minks; vilifying and putting a bounty on their heads forDSC_0129 competing with commercial fishermen; and forcing them to perform as trained “seals” in the circus, etc.—it’s incredible that one of these “lesser” mammals would go out of his or her way to save a human.

If not for the sea lion keeping him afloat, Hines would very likely have gone under and drowned before the rescue boat arrived.  While it’s noble that he is now devoting his life to suicide prevention, if he really wants to be altruistic, why not advocate for the one who went out of their way to prevent his suicide. It seems to me that if anyone has a good reason to become a marine mammal advocate, he does—he owes them his life.

While the human population grows by 350,000 per day, Steller sea lions, dsc_0224whose total pre-persecution numbers were never more than 300,000, have been driven below 100,000 and are still in decline. In Alaska, the Western segment of Stellars is down to a mere 18% of their historic numbers. Meanwhile, starved California sea lion pups are washing up dead on the beaches.

Sea lions are still being scapegoated, branded and shot, all for eating fish—the only food they have.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Celebrities Get Naked for Fish

Finally, these celebrities get naked for fish

Do you love fish as Helena Bonham Carter does?

Helena Bonham Carter

That’s not Photoshop. That is HBC in the buff, cradling a bigeye tuna.

And she wants you to know how serious she is about this love:

Helena Bonham Carter

The photo is part of a British campaign called Fishlove, behold Dumbledore coyly peeking out from behind a pufferfish!

Fishlove is produced by Nicholas Röhl, co-owner of Japanese restaurant MOSHIMO, based in Brighton, UK
©Alan Gelati/Fishlove

Fishlove is produced by Nicholas Röhl, co-owner of Japanese restaurant MOSHIMO, based in Brighton, UK

British-Indian movie star Ayesha Dharker loves moray eels as much as she loves that fat baby. 
©Alan Gelati/Fishlove
Fishlove is produced by Nicholas Röhl, co-owner of Japanese restaurant MOSHIMO, based in Brighton, UK
Sir Ben Kingsley is alarmed by — and concerned about — the deflated cephalopod he finds in his hands. 
©Rankin/Fishlove
Fishlove is produced by Nicholas Röhl, co-owner of Japanese restaurant MOSHIMO, based in Brighton, UK
Emmy-award winner Greta Scacchi hopes to cod someone will save the oceans. 
©Rankin/Fishlove
Fishlove is produced by Nicholas Röhl, co-owner of Japanese restaurant MOSHIMO, based in Brighton, UK
Actor Trevor Laird has appeared on Doctor Who, but may go down in history for appearing underneath this sailfish. 
©Alan Gelati/Fishlove
Fishlove is produced by Nicholas Röhl, co-owner of Japanese restaurant MOSHIMO, based in Brighton, UK
Lily Loveless made her debut in British TV show Skins, now makes serious dermal contact with an octopus. 
©Rankin/Fishlove

For the rest of these sea stars, check out the galleries (and the campaign) here.

Coast Guard Cutter Alert rescues sea turtles

February 26, 2015

http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20150226/coast-guard-cutter-alert-rescues-sea-turtles?utm_source=Daily+Astorian+Updates&utm_campaign=db4b48ca58-TEMPLATE_Daily_Astorian_Newsletter_Update&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e787c9ed3c-db4b48ca58-109860249

Submitted
Alert’s rescue diver, Seaman Brandon Groshens, cuts away the netting to free the sea turtles.

The second sea turtle swims away unharmed after being freed from the netting by SN Brandon Groshens.

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The Alert, a Coast Guard cutter homeported in Astoria, encountered the struggling turtles while on patrol Feb. 10 in the eastern Pacific

Two sea turtles caught in fishing net were freed earlier this month by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer.

The Alert, a Coast Guard cutter homeported in Astoria, encountered the struggling turtles while on patrol Feb. 10 in the eastern Pacific, according to a statement from the guard.

The cutter’s bridge watch team flagged plastic containers used as buoys floating in the water and then saw the two entangled turtles.

“Jumping into the ocean to free a couple of sea turtles is not something you wake up in the morning expecting to do” Seaman Brandon Groshens, Pendleton, said in a statement. “It was a really great feeling as they swam away, knowing that we just saved their lives.”

Commander Brian Anderson, the Alert’s commanding officer, said he was “especially proud of my diligent watch standers, and how the crew quickly came together in performing their good deed for the day.”

Whales, fed up with being fished, take revenge on fishermen

BBC.com

what a moby dick

Whales, fed up with being fished, take revenge on fishermen

http://grist.org/list/whales-fed-up-with-being-fished-take-revenge-on-fishermen/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Weekly%2520Feb%252010&utm_campaign=weekly

Humans! For centuries you hunted my kind, stabbed us with your little toothpicks, stripped us of our tasty, tasty blubber, and then, probably, danced merry jigs on our corpses. In an act of true hubris, you even wrote it all down.

Well, joke’s on you, because we’re smart fuckers and now we’re getting our revenge — best served cold-as-Arctic-waters, where sperm whales have learned to strip the fish right off of fishermen’s lines. From the BBC:

This giant animal’s deft trick was filmed for the first time by a group of scientists based in Alaska … It shows a sperm whale using its long jaw to create tension on the line, which in turn snaps fish off the hooks. This feeding behaviour is called depredation and experts think it is learned by the whales.

“I don’t know how to quantify their intelligence but their effectiveness is almost perfect,” says Stephen Rhoads, a boat skipper who has been fishing in the area for 20 years.

Damn straight it is. You think we’d bother to dive and catch our own fish when you are basically unspooling miles of free buffet each time you let out all that longline? In short: You trippin’, particularly if you think we are leaving you with any black cod (our fave!).

The scientists hope to eventually tag 10 individuals – known as the ‘bad boys’ – who are seen around boats most often. One of the most regular visitors has even earned the name Jack the Stripper after being seen nine out of the last 10 years in the same part of the Gulf.

‘Strips’ to his friends — but fishermen, it should go without saying, are not his friends.

120 sperm whales have been observed, all of which are male, scientists estimate there may be 235 in total. Up to 10 whales have been seen around fishing boats, which is unusual as adult males usually hunt on their own and could also point towards depredation being socially transmitted between whales.

They also discovered that the whales, who hunt using echolocation, are alerted to the fact fishing is taking place by the sound of boat engines shifting gear as the crew haul in the catch, this can be detected from several miles away.

Maybe if you humans weren’t so effing loud, we’d leave some cod for you. (Ha! Just kidding.) But no — you have to stomp all over the place, broadcasting your wretched presence.

“Now the tables have turned, whaling is banned, and sperm whales are returning and learning to take on fishermen in bold and surprising ways – and so far there is very little the fishermen can do about it.

I only have one question left for you pathetic buffoons: You need some ice for that burn? Too bad, because we’re running out of that, too. (And that’s also your fault, morons.)

Sincerely,

A Whale

Indonesian Navy Blows Up Illegal Fishing Ships

Monday, 22 December 2014

Pic:EPAPic:EPATWO foreign fishing boats suspected of conducting illegal fishing activities are blown up by the Indonesian navy in Ambon bay, Indonesia, 21 December 2014.

The destruction of the Papua New Guinea-flagged vessels follows a government ruling to sink almost all foreign ships which carry out illegal fishing activities in the waters of Indonesia.

‘The ships have gone through legal procedures at the court in Ambon and their owners were found guilty of stealing fish from Indonesian waters. We must sink these ships so that other foreign ships will think twice before fishing illegally in our territory,’ said navy spokesman Commodore Manahan Simorangkir.

‘The ships were flying the Papua New Guinean flag but the crew were all Thai,’ Navy Maj. Eko Budimansyah, spokesman for Lantamal IX Naval Base in Ambon, said.

The two vessels carried 63 tonnes of fish and shrimp. 62 crewmen were arrested and several were turned over to immigration. The ships were emptied of fuel before being destroyed to prevent pollution.

The vessels will be the fourth and fifth ships sunk by Indonesia in the three months since President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo took office.

Six more foreign ships are currently facing destruction, pending legal proceedings.

The number of cases of illegal fishing has declined since the hardline stance was taken. Some opponents say the destruction of the boats could cause diplomatic tension with other nations.

Officials with Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency asked that Jakarta observe international protocol that allows its authorities to seize poaching vessels and arrest their crews, but forbids them from opening fire.

Indonesia loses about £15.3bn annually from illegal fishing and there are currently an estimated 5,400 illegal ships operating in the nation’s waters.

- Daily Mail Online http://www.malaysiandigest.com/world/533885-indonesian-navy-blows-up-illegal-fishing-ships.html

HSUS offers $5,000 reward for person who killed dolphin with arrow

NOAA seeks person who killed dolphin with arrow

Posted: Dec 09, 2014 1:22 PM PST &amp;amp;lt;em class=”wnDate”&amp;amp;gt;Tuesday, December 9, 2014 4:22 PM EST&amp;amp;lt;/em&amp;amp;gt;Updated: Dec 09, 2014 2:01 PM PST &amp;amp;lt;em class=”wnDate”&amp;amp;gt;Tuesday, December 9, 2014 5:01 PM EST&amp;amp;lt;/em&amp;amp;gt;

NOAA photo of hunting arrow that was removed from dolphin.NOAA photo of hunting arrow that was removed from dolphin.

NOAA photo of dolphin that had been shot with an arrow.NOAA photo of dolphin that had been shot with an arrow.

NOAA photo of pregnant dolphin that had been shot.NOAA photo of pregnant dolphin that had been shot.

A $5,000 reward is being offered in the disturbing case of a dolphin that washed ashore dead with a hunting arrow protruding from its side.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating the death, which happened over the weekend in Orange Beach, Alabama. The agency says it is the second human-related dolphin death in the Northern Gulf of Mexico since mid November.

NOAA scientists think the dolphin may have survived for at least five days before dying from a secondary infection caused by the wound. The dolphin was shot with a steel-tipped hunting arrow that had a yellow feather on it.

The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering the reward with the hope it will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

“This intelligent, social creature experienced tremendous suffering from this senseless act. We are grateful for NOAA’s work to investigate this heinous crime and are hoping someone with information will come forward,” said Alabama HSUS Director Mindy Gilbert in a news release.

If you have information about the incident, call NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement in Niceville, FL, at (850) 729-8628 or the NOAA Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964 as soon as possible. Tips can be left anonymously.

It was the second human-caused death of a dolphin since mid-November. NOAA is investigating the deadly shooting of a pregnant bottlenose dolphin found dead on Miramar Beach.

To report a stranded, injured or sick dolphin, call 1-877-WHALE-HELP (1-877-942-5343)

And From

Though it remains unclear just who the perpetrators of these killings are, there has been speculation that local fishermen — disgruntled by dolphins stealing their bait or catch — may be responsible.

There have, in the past, been instances of fishermen intentionally harming dolphins. In 2009, for example, a man in Panama City, Florida, was sentenced to two years in prison after he was found guilty of making pipe bombs to kill dolphins. Several fishermen have also been slapped with fines in recent years for shooting the animals.

Warm North Pacific Waters Threaten Native Fish, Usher in Unusual Species

By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
October 3, 2014

Unusually high water temperatures throughout the North Pacific Ocean have brought concerns from researchers about how it could affect native species of fish as well as sightings of uncommon species.

The three areas of the North Pacific with the most notable warming trend include the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea and an area off the coast of Southern California down to Baja California, Mexico, with temperatures as high as 5 degrees above average.

These sea surface temperature anomalies have remained this way for more than a year, one of the longest stretches on record, according to researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This is a sea surface temperature anomaly map in the North Pacific Ocean. The darker the red, the farther above average the sea surface temperature, according to NOAA. (Photo/NOAA)

The warmer water has prompted questions about how it will impact the marine food web, said Laurie Weitkamp, a research fisheries biologist with NOAA’s Northwest Fishery Science Center in Newport, Oregon.

A big concern for native species of fish, such as salmon, is that the primary food items they eat may no longer be available, Weitkamp said.

Potentially adding further stress to the situation, warm water also increases the metabolic rate of the fish so they have to eat more in warmer water, but there may not be enough to eat because the conditions are not suitable for their food items, Weitkamp said.

RELATED:
Great White Shark Populations Increase in Both Pacific, Atlantic Waters
PHOTOS: Rare Blue Lobster Caught in Maine
Northwest Regional Weather Radar

Nate Mantua, leader of the landscape ecology team at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, attributes these conditions in the Gulf of Alaska to the same ridge of high pressure that’s believed to have contributed to California’s extreme drought. Storms and winds that commonly cool and stir the sea surface have been quelled by the ridge.

“If the warming persists for the whole summer and fall, some of the critters that do well in a colder, more productive ocean could suffer reduced growth, poor reproductive success and population declines,” Mantua said in a NOAA Fisheries article.

“This has happened to marine mammals, sea birds and Pacific salmon in the past. At the same time, species that do well in warmer conditions may experience increased growth, survival and abundance,” Mantua said.

Another effect likely brought about by the noticeably warmer waters is observations of different species of fish that are not known for frequenting this part of the ocean.

Earlier this past summer, a research vessel found a thresher shark in the Gulf of Alaska, which was the northernmost documented catch of the species, according to Michael Milstein, a spokesman for NOAA Fisheries.

“Thresher sharks are know for preferring warm waters,” Milstein said.

More: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/warm-north-pacific-waters-threaten-fish/34699318

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