SeaDoc helps commercial crabbers recover 550 pots in California

recovery lost crabbing gear

The California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project (a self-sustaining project of the SeaDoc Society that operates without any donated funds), got a nice write-up in the Del Norte Triplicate. Kirsten Gilardi, SeaDoc's executive director, and Jen Renzullo, the field manager for the lost gear project, were featured for their innovative work with north coast fishermen to create a crabber-directed effort to recover lost crabbing gear. Read the full article. “The most exciting thing about this project is that the fishermen themselves are taking the lead,” said Kirsten Gilardi, director of the … [Read more...]

September 2014 Update

credit b hoglund

In this issue: Rescuing sea lions entangled by packing straps, Federal funding for marine mammal stranding response, eelgrass science, new video explains Washington Tribes and salmon recovery, and thanks to our 2014 interns! … [Read more...]

How do you help a 2,000 pound wild animal that’s entangled?

entangled sea lion

Entangled Steller sea lion: SeaDoc photo[/caption]When a sea lion gets a plastic packing strap stuck around its neck, it’s not a pretty sight. The animal doesn’t die right away. As the seal grows, the strap gets tighter and tighter. Eventually the animal can starve or strangle. For almost 2 years, SeaDoc and collaborators from the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network, the Whale Museum, the Vancouver Aquarium, and the Seattle Aquarium have been working with NOAA Fisheries to create a plan for responding to entangled sea lions. Darting a 2,000-pound animal that isn’t feeling … [Read more...]

Do river otters eat endangered rockfish?

river-otter-with-crab-p.green-710sq

In a sea filled with charismatic mammals like killer whales and Steller sea lions, it’s easy to overlook a smaller critter whose name might make you think it’s not even found near saltwater. However, as shoreline residents know, the Salish Sea is home to thousands of river otters. And with their fearless ways and fearsome canines—as well as their webbed toes and ability to dive at least 60 feet deep - these whiskered members of the weasel family are prodigious predators of marine species. A previous study in British Columbia found that otters fueled their high metabolisms in part by … [Read more...]

August 2014 Update

killer whales by ingrid taylar

In this issue: Learning more about stranded killer whales, marine bird declines featured in the news, thank you for supporting SeaDoc at our auction, Salish Sea book is coming soon, join SeaDoc for a once-in-a-lifetime Salish Sea trip, slideshow on coastal cutthroat trout, SeaDoc presents on wildlife diseases. … [Read more...]

Marine birds in decline: Loss of small fish may be to blame

The Seattle Times | News, sports, weather, events in the Northwest

From white-winged scoters and surf scoters to long-tailed ducks, murres, loons and some seagulls, the number of everyday marine birds here has plummeted dramatically in recent decades. The reasons are often complex, but for many the loss of forage fish like herring might hold a clue. This article was on the front page of the Seattle Times on July 25, 2014. Read the full article. … [Read more...]

New protocol will enhance killer whale knowledge

Press release: July 7, 2014 Killer whale strandings are rare and tragic events, which is why it’s so important that scientists respond quickly and appropriately to collect as much data as possible. According to Dr. Joe Gaydos, Wildlife Veterinarian and Chief Scientists of UC Davis’s SeaDoc Society, “Every killer whale stranding represents an opportunity for researchers to learn more about the species. It’s important that we have a system to capture as much information as possible in each event.” A team of researchers from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the University of … [Read more...]

July 2014 Update

HarborSealVocalizingOnRock_photo_by_G.E.Davis_

In this issue: Why do harbor seals swim upside down when foraging? Scientists close in on sea star wasting disease. Marine mammal video for kids. Salish Sea Conservation in Focus trip. SeaDoc's newest collaborator is 6 years old. Harbor porpoise stranding update … [Read more...]

Increase in harbor porpoise strandings

The number of harbor porpoise strandings in May of 2014 was higher than usual (but not higher than the number in 2012). Joe Gaydos was quoted in the Journal of the San Juans: In fact, according to Dr. Joe Gaydos of the Orcas Island-based SeaDoc Society, spring is the time of year when harbor porpoise typically migrate en masse from the mouth of Juan de Fuca Strait into the heart of the Salish Sea and strandings are not uncommon at that time. Still, Gaydos, who will perform the early June necropsies, said the spate of strandings warrant examination to find out if an infectious disease … [Read more...]