SeaDoc killer whale stranding research referenced for Northern California stranding

In April 2015 a dead male orca stranded near Fort Bragg, California. In an article about the stranding, the Lost Coast Outpost referred to the rarity of finding dead orcas. "A 2013 study analyzing North Pacific killer-whale strandings back to 1925 noted that, "while orcas are some of the most widely distributed whales on Earth, very few dead ones are ever found." That 2013 study is our Spatial and temporal analysis of killer whale (Orcinus orca) strandings in the North Pacific Ocean and the benefits of a coordinated stranding response protocol, published in Marine Mammal Science. Here's … [Read more...]

Seattle Magazine recommends Salish Sea book

Seattle Magazine recommended SeaDoc's book, The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest, in a spread in its March issue. The new book The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest (Sasquatch Books, $24.95) looks at these local waters through a scientific lens, illustrating the region’s unique geology (thanks to glaciers, plate tectonics and volcanoes) and vibrant marine ecology. Written by biologist Audrey DeLella Benedict with Joseph K. Gaydos, chief scientist for the SeaDoc Society (an Orcas Island–based conservation group focused on the Salish Sea), the book pairs bright, bold, … [Read more...]

Sea lion rescue featured in Islands Sounder

Our work to rescue sea lions that are entangled in marine debris was featured on the front page of the Islands Sounder on February 18. “The biggest challenge when working with a 1,400-pound animal is obviously safety - for the people and for the animal,” said Gaydos, chief scientist and regional director of the Orcas-based SeaDoc Society, which conducts and sponsors scientific research in the Salish Sea. “You don’t want anybody to get hurt and you don’t want the animal to get hurt.” http://www.islandssounder.com/news/292245471.html … [Read more...]

National Geographic features SeaDoc work on birds and forage fish

Herring by jacob botter

Often overlooked, forage fish are a key part of the food web, and they’re vital to the well-being of threatened and endangered birds, fish, and marine mammals. A recent National Geographic article by Craig Welch puts a spotlight on the controversy over herring harvest, and references SeaDoc’s important paper in Conservation Biology that showed that diving seabirds that eat exclusively forage fish are 16 times more likely to be in decline than bird species with wider diets. Read the article: … [Read more...]

Gulls switch to trash-diet as fish stocks run low

gull with sea star

Joe Gaydos was quoted in a New Scientist article about the implications of diet changes for gulls. In a recently published paper (find a link to it in the New Scientist article, below), UBC's Louise Blight and collaborators looked at feather samples to understand how gull diets have changed over the past 149 years. The results show that as the birds' diets have changed from fish to more garbage, the result has been population declines and lower fertility in glaucous-winged gulls. Overfishing has meant that one of the gulls' favourite fish species, the highly nutritious eulachon, is now … [Read more...]

Do otters eat a lot of rockfish? Look in their scat to find out

Sharon Wootton wrote a nice piece in The Everett Herald on SeaDoc's recently-published peer reviewed paper on river otter diet. The concern was that river otters might be hampering rockfish recovery. Turns out while river otters do eat some juvenile rockfish, they primarily eat other intertidal and shallow subtidal fish. Get the full story: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20141012/LIVING/141019875 … [Read more...]

Stewards of the Deep: Underwater monitoring in The Islands’ Sounder

diver

Colleen Armstrong of The Islands' Sounder wrote about SeaDoc's collaboration with divers from the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF.org) on the front page of the paper. The story included links to REEF's database where you can see detailed findings, including color images of creatures found, for different locations and areas. http://www.islandssounder.com/news/278390531.html … [Read more...]

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 where north coast crab fishermen are actually recovering lost crab pots and turning a profit by selling the pots back to their original owners. Read the full article or get more of the story on the UC Davis website. “The most exciting thing about this … [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...]