P2

 

Next Dive Club Outing:

 

May 29th - 30th - (Memorial Day)

Russian Gulch group site, Mendocino

contact Carol or better yet come to the May club meeting for details - parking restrictions

 

In other Ocean News

From the The International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC)

Wet, sick Pelicans overwhelm California bird rescue centers; 545 treated to date ( March 23rd) - and 322 released. A series of strong winter storms battering the California coast has had a severe impact on local populations of the Brown Pelicans.

The birds have been affected by the bad weather but also by the oil, grease and other contaminants washing into the ocean as a result of storm water run-off. Suffering from hypothermia, the lucky ones are being brought to the IBRRC's bird centers in San Pedro, near Los Angeles Harbor and the Fairfield/Cordelia center in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Seabird feathers provide a natural barrier to water, as well as insulation from the cold. These pelicans are getting cold and wet because the water quality is so poor right now and these added contaminants are preventing the feathers from doing their job.

"In all my 40 plus years as a wildlife rehabilitator I have never experienced a die off at this magnitude that is hitting so many mature, adult birds," says Jay Holcomb, IBRRC's Executive Director.

In Whale Wars news:

Japanese Coast guard seeks arrest of Sea Shepherd activist Paul Watson

The Japan Coast Guard has obtained an arrest warrant for the head of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, accusing him of ordering members of the protest group to obstruct the Japanese whaling fleet, investigative sources said Friday. The Tokyo Coast Guard Office obtained the arrest warrant against Paul Watson, founder and president of the antiwhaling group, on suspicion of assault and obstruction of business.

The sources said authorities are likely to ask the international police agency to only issue a "blue notice," which is a request for police in member countries to provide information about an individual's whereabouts and activities, rather than a "red notice," which requests arrest and extradition, they said.

Australia resurrects plan to take Japan to international court over whaling

The government has decided to press ahead with legal action in the International Court of Justice to stop Japan's ''scientific'' whale hunt.

Federal cabinet discussed the issue in Sydney on Thursday, a day after the Environment Protection Minister, Peter Garrett, rejected a ''compromise deal'' from the International Whaling Commission to set long-term whale-kill quotas for Japan, Norway and Iceland and proposed instead a five-year phase-out plan for whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Sources said the government decided to make good on its election promise in 2007 to take Japan to court.

Whale Sushi Restaurant Off The Hook

It looks the The Hump, the now-closed Santa Monica sushi restaurant busted for serving endangered sei whale sashimi last month, is off the hook: The U.S. Attorney's Office on Wednesday asked a federal judge to dismiss charges against the eatery and its sushi chef.
"We're asking for dismissal 'without prejudice' -- meaning we can refile,'' said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. "This investigation remains open and active.''


We said that when the restaurant issued an apology, vowed to donate cash to environmental groups, admitted wrongdoing and then closed up, that we smelled a plea deal. The U.S. Attorney's Office is not saying there was a deal in place to drop the charges, but it now feels like case closed.


The Hump's parent company, Typhoon (also the name of an adjacent restaurant that serves up exotic Asian fare) and the chef were were each charged in with a misdemeanor count of serving up an endangered species. If convicted the venue and the chef could face fines of $100,000 and $200,000 respectively and as much as a year behind bars.

Federal authorities served search warrants on the eatery after a documentary film crew, initiated a Sea Shepherd member, captured the restaurant serving up whale meat on three occasions.

Grouper Eating Lionfish?

Lyle Gremillion, a recreational diver from Louisiana, took the photo (above) of what appears to be a lionfish inside a Nassau grouper's mouth. The image was taken during a night dive at Nassau, Bahamas on October 13, 2009. This image has marine biologists excited, especially those familiar with Caribbean reef ecosystem


The lionfish is an invasive species from the Pacific that's wreaking havoc on juvenile and small fish populations in the Caribbean, and has been documented many times off the southeast coast of Florida. It was feared that there were no local predators to prevent the species from overtaking habitat and decimating native populations of juvenile bottom fish.
It's been suggested that one of the few predators on the reefs that could prey on the lionfish are bigger groupers. This photo may confirm this.

 

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