Howe Sound Ballet

Check out this Howe Sound/Atl'kitsem video by Bob Turner about a "fish ball" that he observed while out on his kayak near Snug Cove on Bowen Island. He was amazed to see what was going on just below the surface of a cluster of shrieking gulls. This video is part of Bob's ongoing effort to collect and share the storeis of wild nature in Howe Sound/Atl'kitsem.

Thanks for sharing, Bob.

Onward & Upward!

We had a wonderful meeting hosted by Walter and Jester at the Painted Boat yesterday. Many thanks to you both for setting everything up and providing much-needed warm beverages! We owe especial thanks also to Captain Russell for taking us over to Irvines Landing on the Free to Wander!! What a spectacular way to travel. Difficult to believe that the sun shone all day after the sleet and snow on Thursday!

It was a great day and we covered a lot of ground between us which puts is in a very good position for embarking on the next Phase of PODS.

Think positively and positive things happen!

Salmon count on Myers Creek, Pender Habour

This short video clip was filmed with a GoPro by Oliver Jähnichen. Oliver has been contributing data to our Pender Harbour Coastal Waters Monitoring Program, funded by the #sitkafoundation, and gaining excellent field experience towards his university conservation program in Germany.

The video clip features salmon returning to Anderson and Myers creeks, with several chum hiding under cut banks and one narly coho salmon facing down the camera. Active spawning can be observed easily from John Daly Park viewing platforms. Chum continue to enter streams this week with the arrival of rain and we hope to enumerate more coho in weeks to come.


Welcome to the new PODS generation!

Welcome to the New PODS Generation and Happy Birthday to Evan, Rowan and Vanessa!! Thank you all for your amazing energy and enthusiasm in helping to make PODS a reality!!  We could not have done it without you.

Over the next few weeks you will see lots of improvements to the Irvines Landing Pier and today we have waived goodbye to the ugly planters that have been such an eyesore for us all for so long!

Watch this space for the Regeneration of Irvines Landing and the Countdown to the Launch of PODS for benefit of us all and for future generations to come!

More acidic oceans 'will affect all sea life'

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By Roger HarrabinBBC | Environment analyst


All sea life will be affected because carbon dioxide emissions from modern society are making the oceans more acidic, a major new report will say.

The eight-year study from more than 250 scientists finds that infant sea creatures will be especially harmed.

This means the number of baby cod growing to adulthood could fall to a quarter or even a 12th of today's numbers, the researchers suggest.

The assessment comes from the BIOACID project, which is led from Germany.

A brochure summarising the main outcomes will be presented to climate negotiators at their annual meeting, which this year is taking place in Bonn in November.

The Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification report authors say some creatures may benefit directly from the chemical changes - but even these could still be adversely affected indirectly by shifts in the whole food web.

What is more, the research shows that changes through acidification will be made worse by climate change, pollution, coastal development, over-fishing and agricultural fertilisers.

Ocean acidification is happening because as CO2 from fossil fuels dissolves in seawater, it produces carbonic acid and this lowers the pH of the water.


Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the average pH of global ocean surface waters have fallen from pH 8.2 to 8.1. This represents an increase in acidity of about 26%.

The study's lead author is Prof Ulf Riebesell from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel.

He is a world authority on the topic and has typically communicated cautiously about the effects of acidification.

He told BBC News: "Acidification affects marine life across all groups, although to different degrees.

"Warm-water corals are generally more sensitive than cold-water corals. Clams and snails are more sensitive than crustaceans.

"And we found that early life stages are generally more affected than adult organisms.

"But even if an organism isn't directly harmed by acidification it may be affected indirectly through changes in its habitat or changes in the food web.

"At the end of the day, these changes will affect the many services the ocean provides to us."

On the agenda

Since 2009, scientists working under the BIOACID programme have studied how marine creatures are affected by acidification during different life stages; how these reactions reverberate through the marine food web; and whether the challenges can be mitigated by evolutionary adaptation.

Some research was done in the lab but other studies were conducted in the North Sea, the Baltic, the Arctic, and Papua New Guinea.

A synthesis of more than 350 publications on the effects of ocean acidification - which will be given to climate delegates at next month's summit - reveals that almost half of the marine animal species tested reacted negatively to already moderate increases in seawater CO2 concentrations.

Early life stages were affected in Atlantic cod, blue mussels, starfish, sea urchins and sea butterflies.

But an experiment with barnacles showed they were not sensitive to acidification. And some plants - like algae which use carbon for photosynthesis - may even benefit.


Dr Carol Turley, an ocean acidification expert from Plymouth Marine Labs in the UK described the BIOACID research as enormously important.

She told BBC News: "It's contributed enormous insights into the impacts that acidification can have on a wide range of marine organisms from microbes to fish.

"It's also explored how in combination with ocean warming and other stressors it might play out at the ecosystem level and affect human society.

"On the lead-up to the UN climate change negotiations in Bonn this November it is clear that the ocean and its ecosystems should not be ignored."

The conference is being held in Germany but it is being chaired by Fiji, which wants delegates to give due prominence to the effects of CO2 on the ocean.

Follow Roger on Twitter @rharrabin

David Attenborough urges action on plastics after filming Blue Planet II

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Naturalist says experience making second series of BBC show revealed devastating threat posed to oceans by plastic.


Sir David Attenborough has called for the world to cut back on its use of plastic in order to protect oceans. His new BBC TV series, Blue Planet II, is to demonstrate the damage the material is causing to marine life.

Speaking at the launch of Blue Planet II, which will be broadcast 16 years after the original series, the broadcaster and naturalist said action on plastics should be taken immediately and that humanity held the future of the planet “in the palm of its hands”.

His comments come amid growing global calls for cutbacks in the use of plastic. Last week, the former boss of Asda, Andy Clarke, said supermarkets should stop using plastic packaging.

A Guardian investigation established that consumers around the world buy a million plastic bottles a minute. Plastic production is set to double in the next 20 years and quadruple by 2050. Around the world, more than 8m tonnes of plastic leaks into the oceans, and a recent study found that billions of people globally are drinking water contaminated by plastic.

Blue Planet II will include evidence that plastic has flowed into ocean waters thousands of miles from land, and will show albatrosses unwittingly feeding their chicks plastic.

The new series of Blue Planet has seven episodes and is expected to be a global hit for the BBC. The programme has already been sold to more than 30 countries and the first episode will air on BBC One on Sunday 29 October.

Attenborough said rising global temperatures and plastic were the biggest concerns for the ocean. “What we’re going to do about 1.5 degrees rise in the temperature of the ocean over the next 10 years, I don’t know, but we could actually do something about plastic right now,” he said.

“I just wish we would. There are so many sequences that every single one of us have been involved in – even in the most peripheral way – where we have seen tragedies happen because of the plastic in the ocean.

“We’ve seen albatrosses come back with their belly full of food for their young and nothing in it. The albatross parent has been away for three weeks gathering stuff for her young and what comes out? What does she give her chick? You think it’s going to be squid, but it’s plastic. The chick is going to starve and die.

“There are more examples of that. But we could do things about plastic internationally tomorrow.”

Attenborough, 91, did not specify what could be done, but cutting back on plastic packaging and plastic bags in supermarkets would be a major step.

He said everyone’s actions had an impact on the ocean. “We have a responsibility, every one of us,” he said. “We may think we live a long way from the oceans, but we don’t. What we actually do here, and in the middle of Asia and wherever, has a direct effect on the oceans – and what the oceans do then reflects back on us.”