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Bull kelp

January 2015 update

In this issue: New project to investigate toxins in edible seaweeds, tufted puffin listing progress, thank you to donors and supporters, Seattle Aquarium octopus … [Read More...]

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Using science to make a difference

With your help, we're answering the hard questions about how to protect and heal the Salish Sea and its wildlife.

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SeaDoc science: looking for coastal cutthroat trout

In 2014, SeaDoc started a project to evaluate the health of coastal cutthroat trout populations in streams in the San Juan Islands. Slide show features photographs by Chris Linder.

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sea lion

Saving a sea lion off Vancouver Island

Earlier in the week Joe Gaydos was able to work with a skilled team of experts from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada and the Seattle Aquarium to disentangle a 1,400 lb. Steller sea lion that was being strangled by a piece of packing strap. The animal was immobilized by remote injection of an anesthetic cocktail. Once it was sedated, the team cut the packing strap loose and reversed the anesthesia, allowing the fully recovered animal … [Read More...]


Invasive isopods in the Salish Sea

A recent publication on the global introduction of the Asian isopod Ianiropsis serricaudis was a by-product of a study we funded to evaluate the impact of invasive tunicates in the Salish Sea (Cordell et al., 2012). The publication shows that this invasive isopod is well-established in communities of fouling organisms throughout the Northern Hemisphere. While the actual ecological impact of this isopod in the Salish Sea (or in other areas where it has been introduced) is unknown, it is … [Read More...]

lion with distempter

Prevention of disease in domestic animals is an important tool in wildlife health

Did you know that diseases like canine distemper virus can spread from domestic dogs to wildlife? It's a problem around the world, with infections in lions, tigers, hyenas, ferrets, North American river otters, raccoons, bears, and more. Two seal species, Bailal and Caspian seals, have also experienced distemper outbreaks. In January 2015, Joe Gaydos presented a paper titled Canine Distemper in Wildlife: How Private Practitioners Can Help at the North American Veterinary Conference in … [Read More...]

Adult harbor seal canine tool vs Steller sea lion canine tooth. Photo: J. Gaydos

Canine teeth comparison – Steller sea lion to harbor seal

Did you know that seals, sea lions and other animals put down annular growth rings on their teeth? This means that you can age an animal that has died by counting the growth rings on a sectioned tooth much like you can do for a tree that has been cut down. We were pulling teeth to age some stranded animals as part of our collaborative work with the Whale Museum and San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network and were once again amazed at how large Steller sea lions are. Check out this shot … [Read More...]


Video: Jared Towers on minke whales in the Salish Sea

In November of 2014, Jared Towers of MERS, the Marine Education and Research Society, spoke about his research on minke whales. Minkes are the smallest baleen whales in the North Pacific Ocean, averaging 26 to 29 feet in length, but also one of the fastest of all the whales and dolphins. They are estimated to live for 30-60 years, are normally solitary, and prefer to spend time in very specific habitats where they forage on small schooling fishes. Jared Towers is involved in several … [Read More...]

Bull kelp

Studying contaminants in edible seaweed from the Salish Sea

How safe is wild-harvested seaweed to eat? Seaweeds are a nutritious source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The harvest and consumption of various species of seaweed has historically been, and continues to be, important for the Coast Salish, and is gaining in popularity with non-tribal citizens interested in wild foraging. Unfortunately very little data are available on the levels of contaminants in local seaweeds, leaving native and non-native consumers of this food source in … [Read More...]

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Basking shark copyright Florian Graner. Used with permission.

Tracking Transboundary Trouble

How do you know if your ecosystem is in trouble? One clue is the number of species that are in decline or endangered. If that number gets bigger over time, you’re probably heading in the wrong direction. Publications We publish our Species of Concern … [Read More...]

Live Stranded Killer Whale in Hawaii, Photo courtesy of Jessica Aschettino, NOAA/NMFS/PIRO Permit #932-1489-09

Killer Whale Necropsy Protocol (2014)

Killer whale strandings are rare events and biologists and veterinarians should use every stranding as an opportunity to learn more about this species. This necropsy and disease testing protocol, first published in 2005 and updated in 2014, will provide guidelines … [Read More...]

Sunflower Sea star (1)

Sea Star Wasting Disease

Update November 17 2014 SeaDoc was among dozens of collaborators that recently published a paper linking a virus to sea star wasting disease. The paper showed that a virus was involved in the massive outbreak that, since June 2013, has killed millions of sea … [Read More...]

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