News from SacredSea.org
“When we went to the fish farm, I’d never seen one in my life. All of us were quiet because of the smells and what we saw, the disfigurement of the Atlantic salmon. We were all in a state of shock,” said Christine Smith-Martin from Lax Kw’alaams.
A bill now being considered in Canadian parliament would ban the captivity of whales and dolphins in Canada.
House of Tears Carvers killer whale totem pole is featured the The Natural History Museum's exhibit that opens this week in Gainesville, Florida
“We know what needs to be done,” Babcock said. “The challenge will be getting the political will, support and funding to actually go out and execute it.”
"The ocean is a world of sound. Marine mammals and many other species rely on their hearing to feed, find mates, avoid predators, maintain bonds between mothers and calves – to do, in short, virtually everything they must to survive and reproduce in the wild," said Michael Jasny, the director of NRDC's Marine Mammal Protection Project.
Reuben George, Tsleil-Waututh; Chairman Leonard Forsman, Suquamish; Chairwoman Marie Zackuse, Tulalip; Aurelia Washington, Swinomish; Lisa Wilson, Lummi; Steve Solomon, Lummi; Ellie Kinley, Lummi; Hereditary Chief Bill James, Lummi. All spoke to the necessity to protect the peoples, cultures, salmon, blackfish, and sanctity of the Salish Sea at the press conference prior to the National Energy Board hearings on the TransMountain Pipeline. Clips from the press conference are viewable at https://sacredsea.org
“What’s unfolded there has been tragic,” said Angelo. “The requirements for farmers to protect key habitat and riparian zones are very different from what we see in a forestry operation.” River banks in the area are heavily dyked, making the island a rare example of fish habitat still subject to natural seasonal flooding, which provides protection to juvenile fish during the spring melt, Angelo said. “We need to take action on this immediately,” he said. “This isn’t just the most urgent rivers issue in B.C., but the whole country.”
Tsleil-Waututh Nation protecting the Salish Sea with work against the Trans Mountain Pipeline (Kinder Morgan), against more tankers.
“Our Coast Salish way of life, economies, culture, and values are intertwined throughout the Salish Sea. Our Coast Salish people share bloodlines, cultures, and heritage, and like the water, salmon, and her resources, it recognizes no border,” said Swinomish Tribal Chairman Brian Cladoosby.
"Bill James, hereditary chief of the Lummi Nation near Bellingham, says the 'pipeline is going to affect each and every one of us.'"
Live stream of press conference with Coast Salish Tribal and First Nations before the Trans-Mountain Pipeline (Kinder Morgan) hearings on Wednesday, November 28.
Live stream of press conference with Coast Salish Tribal and First Nations before the Trans-Mountain Pipeline (Kinder Morgan) hearings on Wednesday, November 28. Tiny audio glitch at beginning resolves a couple minutes in.
Lummi, Swinomish, Tulalip, Suquamish will be presenting from 3pm-5pm on Wednesday, Nov 28 in Victoria, BC. The full schedule is available at the link attached. "On October 12, 2018, the NEB released a hearing order [Document 3621536] setting out next steps and the schedule, as well as requests for information from Trans Mountain and Federal Authorities required for its reconsideration of aspects of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project pertaining to project-related marine shipping. The hearing schedule includes filing deadlines starting in October, Oral Traditional Evidence presented by Indigenous groups in November/December and the potential for oral summary argument in January 2019."
Jewell James' and House of Tears Carvers' totem pole is featured in this exhibition at the Florida Museum of Natural History,8 Dec 2018-5 May 2019: "Whale People: Protectors of the Sea brings the whale totem into a museum for the first time, where visitors are invited to lay hands on it as thousands of others have on its journey. Alongside the totem is a selection from the Florida museum’s collection of historical northwest coast totem poles depicting the whale. A seven-channel 90-foot-wide immersive floor-to-ceiling video installation features spectacular underwater footage of the orca, and the voices of Indigenous elders communicate a message that was at the heart of the totem’s journey: what we do to the waters we do to ourselves."
Sit Ki Kadem James, Freddie Xwenang Lane
The Governor's Orca Task Force Recommendations:
The draft recommendations from the Governor's SRKW Task Force are here. Public comments will be accepted until MIDNIGHT ON OCTOBER 29, 2018.
The letter from orca scientists to Gov. Inslee and the SRKW Task Force recommending increased spill on Columbia River basin dams and breaching the Lower Snake River dams.
From Eriel Tchekwie Deranger of Indigeous Climate Action: “The reality is it’s our communities that have been safeguarding our lands and territories and the biodiversity of this planet—not just here in Canada but globally—and it’s time to recognize that when Indigenous communities are standing up for our lands and territories we need to start listening rather than criminalizing them.”
This interview with Dr. Kurt Russo has made waves and touched people far and wide.
from Howard Garrett of Orca Network
Young Lolita/Tokitae, being transported to Miami Seaquarium.
The Government of Canada still plans to move forward on the pipeline formerly known as Kinder Morgan.
The public is invited to comment on the draft report at governor.wa.gov/orcareport. The deadline for public comment on the draft report is midnight on October 7, 2018. Public comments received on this draft report will be provided to the Task Force for consideration at the October 17-18 Task Force meeting.
This is the draft SRKW task force report:
Stormwater and salmon die-offs.
from Tom Wooten, Chairman of the Samish Indian Nation.
"The Samish Indian Nation is committed to serving as a leader against global climate change to create a better community for our next seven generations. The Tribe's Department of Natural Resources has seen the impact of climate change first hand. We've watched as the increasing acidification of the Salish Sea has had an impact on everything that lives in or relies on the sea to survive. The sea levels continue to rise around our region. Native sea life like the J-Pod of Orcas, with whom we share a deep connection, are suffering from declining salmon populations. All of this adds up to a sad picture for our future generations." Tom Wooten, Chairman, Samish Indian Nation
On September 24, the public will be invited to comment on the SRKW task force draft recommendations. Meanwhile, an early draft version has some task force members worried: "I have to really decide whether or not this task force is for me or not. It doesn't seem to be for the whales so, therefore, I think it's not for me," (Center for Whale Research's Ken) Balcomb said."
Around the time that we humans were coming to the conclusion that J50 was likely dead, J, K, and L pods all came together in a rare greeting (or grieving?) ceremony.
This photo is of J50/Scarlet, when she was full of life (and joy).
Not proven conclusively, but likely.
From Dr. Kurt Russo, some information about our resident blackfish/killer whale population, Chinook salmon, and the Snake River dams.
1. Our resident Salish Sea blackfish (orca/killer whale) subsist largely on Chinook (king) salmon. The average killer whale must eat about 2.5% to 5% of its body weight per day. This means that the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population needs approximately 580,000 twenty-pound Chinook per year to maintain the population at its current level.
2. Historically, the Fraser River provided much of the Chinook that our SRKW needed. Today, however, the Fraser salmon population is much depleted. The Columbia and Snake River systems are a viable alternative, as Snake River runs of returning adult Chinook salmon historically were in the hundreds of thousands.
3. Dams block adult fish trying to return home to spawn, and also juvenile fish trying to get to the ocean. 8-15% of the out-migrating salmon are killed at each of the eight dams and reservoirs on the Columbia/Snake River systems.
4. Restoration of these runs to a natural carrying capacity of wild fish will likelyrequire both augmenting Chinook population with hatchery production and breaching the four lower Snake Rive Dams.
5. The Corps of Engineers can breach the lower four dams without Congressional authority in a matter of months.
6. The dams provide only about 4% of the region’s energy, and a new study indicates that this energy could be easily and affordably replaced. The surplus energy is sold by Bonneville Power Administration to out-of-region markets, usually at a loss.
Some sources and relevant articles in the comments below.
"There is a high level of concern about the health of a young Southern Resident killer whale, J50, who has been documented to be in very poor body condition in recent months. Since early August NOAA Fisheries and response partners have implemented a medication strategy to try to administer antibiotics and dewormer. To assess the effectiveness of medication, and to monitor her general condition, SR3 has continued its collaboration with cetacean health experts at NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center to collect aerial images for ongoing photogrammetry research." SR³ - Sealife Response, Rehabilitation & Research
"September 10: New aerial images collected through a collaboration between SR3 and NOAA Fisheries' Southwest Fisheries Science Center has given us new insight into the condition of J50 and her mother, J16. These images will help the teams assess further options to support J50. See the images at SR3’s website."
"September 8: J50 was seen lagging a half-mile to a mile behind the rest of her family group at times on Friday (9/7), and her body condition is not improving. She appeared to have lost more weight and looked very thin. With growing concern, we are working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to evaluate options. Our highest priorities are to do all we can to ensure J50 remains a contributing part of the Southern Resident killer whale population and to prevent any harm to her and her family under any potential response scenario. That is the bottom line." from http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/marine_mammals/killer_whale/updates-j50-j35.html
Last year, Lummi Nation cleaned up a spill of these farmed salmon. Also known as "zombie fish," these fish often carry diseases that are dangerous to our native Salish Sea salmon and blackfish/orcas.
The Court has ruled: "Canada failed to fulfil the duty to consult owed to Indigenous peoples." Kinder Morgan has been dealt a crushing blow, thanks to the leadership of First Nations.
Farmers working to save wild salmon!
Lummi Nation feeding Chinook salmon to the emaciated 4 year old blackfish, J-50, in the Salish Sea.
From Children of the Setting Sun Productions: a video of our test run procuring Chinook from the reefnet gear off Lummi Island. The Chinook need to be vigorously alive and bright, otherwise orcas will not eat them. All this for the effort to provide the starving 4-year-old J-50 with emergency food and medication.