February 26, 2009

Chilly School Tour of Byrne Creek

A couple of Byrne Creek Streamkeepers took a class of kids on a tour of the Byrne Creek watershed this morning. It was cold! I was glad I'd zipped home following a biz mtg to put on long underwear, a turtleneck and a fleece jacket.


We pointed out the lay of the land, how streets and storm drains connect to the creek, invasive plant species, found some aquatic bugs to look at, took some water samples.... Great fun with an eager group of "popsicles" as another streamkeeper called them :-).

Posted by Paul at 10:53 PM

Edmonds Association Biz Networking

Had a great networking/presentation session this morning with the Edmonds Town Centre Business & Community Association. Thanks to the organizers! We heard from Debbie Zurowksi, manager of the local Scotiabank, on banking services. She also chaired the seminar. Cory Ostertag from the Burnaby Newsleader spoke about advertising, and S/Sgt. John Buis of the RCMP spoke about safety issues. We hope to hold these early morning sessions more regularly, and thanks to the Southeast Community Police Office for hosting!

We are also in the process of revising our brochure, and I have to get cracking on our website.

Posted by Paul at 10:47 PM

February 24, 2009

Twitter Overwhelmed?

Ran into this Twitter error message today:

Twitter is over capacity.

Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again.

Posted by Paul at 12:59 PM

February 23, 2009

Upgraded to Thunderbird from Eudora

I finally moved from Eudora 5.1 to Thunderbird 2 for my email client. Eudora choked on a couple of messages this morning, turning my XP desktop into a video mess. This has happened several times over the last while, so after using Eudora for around 14 years, it was time to say goodbye to the orphaned software.

The shift to Thunderbird was relatively painless, though I'd been putting it off for years. Here's what I did:

  1. Backed up my Eudora folder
  2. Deleted unused Eudora personalities
  3. Emptied Eudora's Trash
  4. Compacted Eudora's mailboxes
  5. Intalled Thunderbird
  6. Used the Tbird import wizard to import Eudora mailboxes and address book
  7. The above step took an hour! (I have a lot of archived mail :-)
  8. Opened T-bird and tweaked various settings to my liking

So far, so good. I'm pleased to have a modern, Unicode capable, mail client. It'll take awhile to get as comfortable with Tbird as I was with Eudora, but I'm on my way.

Posted by Paul at 10:44 AM

February 21, 2009

Signs of Spring at New Westminster Quay

A stroll along the New Westminster Quay revealed a few signs of spring on a lovely day.






Posted by Paul at 03:11 PM

February 20, 2009

Canon SD400 Psychedelic Screen of Death

Walking through the park this morning I came across some lovely frost on grass and leaves. I pulled out my omni-present Canon SD400 teeny weeny digital camera, only to find the LCD screen had died -- now all it shows is a psychedelic pattern.

Sigh. It was a great little camera. It was extremely portable and easy to use, with good quality. The only drawbacks were the lack of an image stabilizer and poor performance in low light. I carried it around in shirt pockets, coat pockets, belt packs, and briefcases for years, so I certainly got my money's worth out of it.

I think I'll go Canon again for an ultra-portable camera, though Olympus has some interesting models that are shock and water resistant...


Posted by Paul at 03:14 PM

February 19, 2009

Protecting the Blue Heart of the Planet

Passionate speech by Sylvia Earle on saving the ocean -- a prize-winner at the TED conference.

"We are facing paradise lost."

"We have taken over 90% of the big fish from the sea."

"Health for oceans means health for us."

"I hope that some day that we will find evidence that there is intelligent life among humans on this planet."

"Auden: Thousands have lived without love. None have lived without water."

"With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you are connected to the sea no matter where on earth you live."

"No water, no life. No blue, no green."

Posted by Paul at 07:56 AM

February 18, 2009

Setting Up a Business

Recently a student in the Print Futures program at Douglas Collage interviewed me about the freelance writing and editing life, and how I felt about future prospects in the sector. Today she followed up with a question about registering a sole proprietorship in BC (you go girl! :-), so I provided her with the following list of resources.

When I was setting up our company, I found the BC One-Stop Business Registry to be invaluable.

They have tons of great info, plus name search/registration, GST signup, etc. It might look a bit daunting at first, but it's actually not that difficult once you get into it.

Small Business BC is another great business resource. And it offers several guides, some downloadable as PDFs.

Another good resource is books from Self-Counsel Press that can walk you through the setting-up-a-business process.

They have several good titles including:

Start & Run a Consulting Business
Start & Run a Copywriting Business
Start & Run a Creative Services Business
Start & Run a Desktop Publishing Business
Canadian Legal Guide for Small Business

Many banks often have free brochures on setting up and running small businesses as well.

Posted by Paul at 12:18 PM

February 15, 2009

Byrne Creek Fry Search

Fry have been found already in some Burnaby creeks, so Yumi and I checked out parts of Byrne Creek today. While we didn't spot any baby salmon yet, it was a lovely day to be down by the gurgling waters.

Yumi checking the creek for fry.

Some lovely fungus growing on a fallen tree.

Death scene. Feathers trailing down a tall cedar and spread on the ground...

There were over a dozen bald eagles soaring above the ravine.

I wonder if the above feathers were remnants of an eagle lunch...

Posted by Paul at 09:17 PM

February 12, 2009

CNN: Fish Migrating to Cooler Waters

"(CNN) -- Climate-driven environmental changes could drastically affect the distribution of more than 1,000 species of commercial fish and shellfish around the world, scientists say."


This echoes some of the discussion at the recent State of the Salmon 2009 conference that I attended. Could the day come when the Fraser, the world's greatest salmon river, could no longer support runs?

Posted by Paul at 04:01 PM

February 11, 2009

Obama's New, Simple, Straight-Shooting Language

NPR on 'The Art of Language, Obama-Style':


"Because he understands on a profound level that language is the way to hearts and minds, it makes sense to observe his word choice and manner of speaking very closely. In terms of style, Obama has a new way with words. Obamantics, maybe?"

Obama's way of speaking is a lesson to all communicators, speechwriters, writers and editors.

Posted by Paul at 11:45 AM

February 10, 2009

Lonely Tree Perseveres in Stark Prairie Beauty

Months have gone by since my BC, AB, SK, MB road trip last autumn and I have yet to post any photos on my blog.

Here's a lonely, yet uplifiting tree in southern Saskatchewan to get things going.


Posted by Paul at 09:54 PM

That's Some Road Sweeping Job!

Crews working on a broken water main in our townhouse complex said they'd sweep up after themselves. Right. Here's what the road looked like after they went home for the day. See that drain? It goes straight into Byrne Creek, and baby salmon fry will be hatching soon.


Posted by Paul at 08:58 PM

February 08, 2009

Greening the Ghetto - Inspirational New Yorker Article

Thanks to @timoreilly on Twitter for this lead: "A great New Yorker piece about Van Jones and Green for All: http://twurl.nl/id0ti6. This guy has it all: message, presence, vision."

The article is called "Greening the Ghetto" and is a must-read for those who care about all levels of society, who are worried about the economic crisis we are in, and who may be placing environmental issues on the back burner.

Green for All The goal is to get the greenest solutions to the poorest people.

I loved this quotation: ?I?m not looking for the points of difference. I?m looking for the points of commonality. I?ve trained my mind so that people can say twenty-seven things that might be objectionable, but as soon as they say one, that twenty-eighth thing, that?s in the right direction, that?s where I?m going to go in the conversation."

I want to check out the book The Green Collar Economy.

Posted by Paul at 08:05 PM

February 07, 2009

Adopt a Legislator

One of the interesting ideas that came out of the State of the Salmon 2009 conference was "Adopt a Legislator". Unfortunately, I don't recall which speaker said it, so I can't give it proper attribution.

Anyway, delegates from several countries agreed that the only way to get change going, and action happening, was to educate politicians.

So here you go, some protocol and forms of address when writing to politicians in Canada, at various levels of govt., from the CivicNet BC website (thanks to editor Shaun Oakey for pointing this out):




Posted by Paul at 12:42 PM

February 06, 2009

Summary of State of Salmon 2009

The State of the Salmon 2009 conference over the last three-and-a-half days has left me stunned -- long days and lots of information to process. I documented it as best I could in a running collection of Tweets on my Twitter account, and I've posted that entire flow of jottings to my blog here.

First let me say that the conference organizers did a tremendous job. I don't know if there was ever any panic behind the curtains, but there was nary a glitch to be seen by the audience. And thanks to the simultaneous interpreters who mediated the flow in English, Russian and Japanese.

This was the second State of the Salmon conference, and my first. It's mostly aimed at scientists and bureaucrats, but we had a pretty good volunteer presence from lower-mainland streamkeepers and First Nations from the west coast and north. I think such broad representation greatly added to the conference, but of course I'm biased :-).

One of the threads that flowed throughout was the need for more research on how to protect and conserve wild salmon, and there was excitement about the new approach to science under the new Obama administration. The research dollars may start flowing again!

It was interesting to see the rifts occasionally bubble to the surface between the geneticists, the hatchery promoters and hatchery critics, the "stronghold, or protect the best" advocates and those who feel all habitat deserves protection. As a streamkeeper working on the ground, I was part of perhaps a minority that felt that any available $$ need to go toward action and habitat protection. We know what the problems are, yet we continue to study the patient while he's dying. Any knowledge we gain in the end is still, as one participant put it, "looking at a construction site through a hole in a fence -- and we're standing ten feet back from the hole."

There was also an underlying sense that perhaps with climate change leading to ocean warming and acidification, there is no way to prevent the loss of southern salmon spawning areas. Which to my mind made the groaning buffet tables laden day after day with salmon, halibut, shrimp, pork, bison, chicken etc. seem an indictment of the principles of having such a conference in the first place. Of course I ate everything, so I'm as guilty as anyone, but it never ceases to amaze me at how difficult it is for us humans to make our actions even approximate our pious thoughts. When it comes to human gatherings, feasting is so ingrained in all cultures that I doubt we'll ever get away from such behaviour.

At one point I was dreaming about future historians studying the progression of conferences and seeing that at the first one participants ate crab and lobster, at the second salmon and shrimp, at the third tofu and beans... and finally they were chewing on switchgrass because that was all that was left :-). Oh, rats, I've trapped myself in an illogical story -- by that point there would be, er, no point, in holding another salmon conference. I digress...

Something that was strangely absent from any discussion was pollution. I think it came up once in passing in a comment from the audience, and perhaps was glossed over by one of the speakers. Yet pollution is one of the biggest issues when it comes to habitat preservation, and is a direct and deadly killer of urban streams. And what's it doing to ocean survivability? We humans have been flushing all sorts of chemicals down our rivers and into the ocean for centuries -- surely that must have some impact on the "mystery" of declining biodiversity. Yet it was never addressed.

It was refreshing to hear from First Nations representatives who spoke from the heart, and who gave a breath of life to the proceedings. You can throw up all the PowerPoint slides full of as many charts and plots, and dense statistical calculations, as you like, but to hear the simple words "We have no fish anymore," provides much greater clarity and grounding.

Well, I have to get back to work, and perhaps I'll find time for more analysis and synthesis later.

I'm glad I attended.

Now, how about some ACTION!

Posted by Paul at 12:02 PM

February 05, 2009

Tweets From Day 3 Salmon Conference

Here are my Tweets from today's State of the Salmon 2009 conference sessions (third of three days), in last-to-first order:

Angelo: we all hope that future generations will be able to admire salmon as we have.

Angelo: we cannot forget the hope that salmon themselves represent.

Angelo: sustainability must be a primary guide.

Angelo: We need more political leadership.

Angelo: I worry about a younger generation that is drifting away from.

Angelo: need to do more to reconnect young people to the environment.

Angelo: Protecting salmon needs to be seen as a moral issue.

Angelo: need a precautionary approach to development.

Angelo: the unrelenting loss of salmon habitat is mainly due to rising human population.

Angelo: Heart of the Fraser is one of most productive stretches of river in the world.

Angelo: pollution, water extraction, development.

Angelo: but we also have to protect rivers that are still in good shape.
Angelo: urban habitat restoration leads to education.

Angelo: Protect, reconnect, restore.

Angelo: We need to better identify and manage key salmon watersheds.

Angelo: Need to incorporate local values so that people buy in.

Angelo: Instead of reacting to bad development planning, need to be proactive.

Angelo: Need to put a more preventive slant on habitat preservation.

Angelo: need to better understand and incorporate societal values into conservation.

Angelo: strive to develop ecosystem-based approaches to conservation.

Angelo: there is a need for new and fresh approaches.

Angelo: there is a pressing need for action.

Angelo: Most important is to move from discussion to being more action oriented.

Angelo: the theme for this conference was "Bringing the Future into Focus".

Angelo: Closing remarks.

Our problem is managing people, not fish.

Protected areas give society an excuse to ignore everything else.

Comment -- urban streams are so important, they bring fish to people's backyards.

Belyaev -- every citizen of every country is an integral part of the environment, their habitat.

Belyaev -- legislators won't get on side until they are informed.

Need to have an ongoing conversation with a legislator.

"Adopt a Legislator" Every scientist, every activist needs to adopt a legislator.
We're still talking about the same things we were 15 years ago -- how do get moving, doing?

We need a scale that people can relate to.

We need to change the paradigm as how we function as humans.

We need an informed public that votes differently and changes behavior.

Glaciers "make rivers work" in many places.

How long will glacier-fed watersheds continue to exist?

Groundwater flows are critical to spawning habitat and must be protected.

QA "we'll come to that later" -- later is now.

Every salmon stream must have a protected base flow throughout the seasons.

Alaska has strong laws for preserving flows in streams for salmon, but tough process.

Bristol: salmon are fun, they're food, let people define salmon for themselves.

Bristol: need to do outreach with political decision makers, and those who live off salmon.

Bristol: reframe the issue -- protected areas to pass on to future generations.

Bristol: Tongas has been a long and heated land battle in Alaska, but we're making progress.

Bristol: Grassroots concept -- bringing more and disparate people to conservation.

Bristol: what role do salmon play in modern society?

Bristol: Trout Unlimited Alaska

Belyaev: we can't accomplish anything in isolation, need all groups aboard.

Belyaev: criticizing is a favourite pastime of people.

Belyaev: different fishermen have very different opinions.
Belyaev: where can we find a compromise among all the groups?

Belyaev: salmon preservation is first and foremost human relations, scientists, fisherman, politicians.

Belyaev: How is Russia different -- no private property along rivers, so feds can protect areas.

Healey: must be thinking about salmon within context of global change.

Healey: the future is not going to be same as the past.

Healey: should we preserve Arctic areas as refuge for migrating salmon?

Healey: we have to start looking at Arctic as becoming suitable for salmon.

Healey: are there places where salmon habitat will continue to be suitable in face of warming.

Healey: In a very few decades most salmon habitat in southern range will no longer be suitable for them.

Healey: we really need to take a long-term view of conservation.

Kopchak: we are building an "electronic elder" to collate/share information.

Kopchak: Find common languages, cross jurisdictional systems.

Kopchak: H2O -- Headwaters to Ocean.

What are you going to do about long-term sustainability of salmon. YOU.

We who love salmon are not necessarily representative of the general public.

Rahr: we cannot succeed without preserving salmon strongholds.

Rahr: Russian far east has best opportunity for salmon habitat preservation.

Rahr: WWF study says 55,000 tons of salmon are poached for roe yearly in Kamchatka.

Rahr: We tend to react at the 11th hour -- we need to take the long view, get ahead of the curve.

Rahr: We don't proactively protect, we react, so good places get pounded, it's a losing strategy.
Rahr: Pacific Salmon Conservation Assessment.

Rahr: The time to be effective is before the threat is on top of you.

Rahr: we must save the best -- habitat etc.

Rahr: Pacific Rim population will double by 2050.

Rarh -- Wild Salmon Center http://www.wildsalmoncenter.

Fukushima: masu salmon are effectively protected but taimen are not.

How the heck do get an average from some of these scatter plots?

Fukushima: Japanese huchen/taimen -- http://tinyurl.com/cfo4tw

Fukushima: fish species richness falls due to damming.

Fukushima: Hokkaido protected drainages designed for salmon conservation.

Fukushima: Hokkaido has 574 watersheds of which 32 are "protected drainages"

Fukushima: Japan has thousands of dams.

Fukushima: National Institute for Environmental Studies Tsukuba Japan http://www.nies.go.jp/

Marxan: http://www.uq.edu.au/marxan

Reeves: Marxan -- a decision support system for systematic conservation planning.

Reeves: Concept of irreplaceability -- areas essential to meet conservation goals.

Reeves: We have long thought that nature can bounce back from any indignity we impose upon it.

Reeves: Livingston Stone was calling for salmon reserves in Alaska in 1892.

Salmonid Rivers Observatory Network

Do we need more vision or more implementation?
Skeena: kids learn to honour, respect and take care of the fishery.

Skeena -- these fisheries are also nurturing grounds for our children.

Skeena -- this is all for naught if we don't protect the habitat. Yes!

In-river native fisheries don't need boats, fuel, port infrastructure.

Skeena, we can catch fish in better ways, with more local benefits, while boosting biodiversity.

Russia -- we need legislation like Canada's Wild Salmon Policy, and we need more than that.

Kaev: Pink salmon need improvement of spawning conditions.

Kaev: chum salmon need further development of hatchery rearing.

Kaev: wild vs hatchery salmon in Sakhalin.

Russains are using Google Earth for some mapping -- what a change from the Cold War!

Semenchenko: Sakhalin test rivers -- Taranay, Kura, Naycha.

Semenchenko: move away from monitoring commercial fisheries to whole river monitoring.

Semenchenko: Monitoring salmon in Sakhalin.

Tabunkov: We are talking major devastation (poachers + ruthless companies).

Tabunkov: Companies will take maximum fish regardless of regulations.

Tabunkov: Poachers taking about 20% of salmon caught.

Tabunkov: I don't want to keep this photo on screen (fish gutted for roe only) -- too depressing.

Tabunkov: Problem of poachers taking roe only.
Tabunkov: problem of "heavily corrupt companies working with "heavily corrupt bureaucrats"

Tabunkov: we do not tag hatchery fish on Sakhalin so research "leaves much to be desired"

Tabunkov: hatchery chum pushed wild pink out of spawning grounds, so law was changed.

Tabunkov: these recently built hatcheries were destructive to wild fish.

Tabunkov: fishing companies are building their own hatcheries with no scientific input.

Tabunkov: Sakhalin has 15 federal hatcheries producing 900 million fish?/year.

Tabunkov: Sakhalin divided into over 700 fishing areas -- assigned to companies -- they care for enviro.

Tabunkov: no forestry, no mining, no drilling equals recovering fish.

Tabunkov: collapsing Russian economy (see prev Tweet) resulted in recovery of salmon.

Tabunkov: collapsing Russian economy some years ago impacted fisheries - no forestry, mining, drilling.

Tabunkov: Sometimes there were too many spawning fish that clogged the river - I don't get this.

Tabunkov: Fisheries Association of Sakhalin http://tinyurl.com/cegdgd

Tabunkov: I'm here representing concerns of fishermen.

Taylor: thanks to First Nations of the Skeen Fisheries Commission http://www.skeenafisheries.ca/

Taylor: looking for "fair trade" designation for Skeena salmon sustainable harvested by FN.

Taylor: all economic benefits of Babine/Skeen fishery stays local.

Taylor: conservation, biodiversity and ecological integrity paramount in all decisions.

Taylor: develop selective in-river fisheries that emulate what FN did.

Taylor: look back to move forward -- there are other ways.
Taylor: but increased abundance of "enhanced Sockeye" has led to overharvest of wild fish.

Taylor: says installation of spawning channels was a success.

BTW, by FN, I refer to First Nations, or "native Indians".

Taylor: We are trying to replicate something FN had in place for hundreds of years.

Taylor: FN principles -- reciprocal economic exchange, strict and transparent enforcement of rules.

Taylor: FN principles -- fishing property rights, sustainability, conservation for future generations.

Taylor: Babine River, FN used to harvest 3/4 million salmon a year.

Taylor: First Nations "managed" fisheries for hundreds and thousands of years ? sustainably.

Taylor: there was a robust fishery on the Skeens thousands of years ago - a sustainable FN fishery.

Taylor: Skeena Wild Conservation Trust - http://www.skeenawild.org/

So LuLu says, yes we need a TV show or weekly newspaper column called "Fish Files"

Artist LuLu has a panel on her scroll called "Fish Files" -- I like that, sounds like a TV series.

Artist Lu is chronicling the conf with an art scroll.

Morning break is announced -- we now get to eat Skeena salmon with our coffee.

I'm feeling like the patient is dying and we're discussing better ways to monitor the decline.

DFO asked Tlingit to halve salmon take, elders said no fishing at all because there are almost no fish.

Tlingit have completely stopped fishing in the headwaters of the Yukon on advice from elders.

Peterman: we have data on Fraser sockeye "all the way back to 1938" - how is that "historical"?

Canada's Species at Risk Act - http://tinyurl.com/cdg9s6 9:31 AM

QA comment, no fish species has ever been listed as endangered under SARA, even the cod that 99% gone.
Holt: We suggest that risk tolerance be identified by fisheries management.

Holt: uncertainties are pervasive, but we can account for them in the model... Uh, OK

Mortality is depensatory when its rate increases as the size of the population decreases. (http://tinyurl.com/ccwwws)

Holt: depensatory mortality -- another term I need to learn

Canada's Wild Salmon Policy: http://tinyurl.com/bexba

Holt: speaking on Canada's Wild Salmon Policy

Zhivotovsky: there are some lake-spawning chum salmon in Russia - rare

Zhivotovsky: speaking about research on "south Kuril" islands - wonder how Japanese feel about this?

Thinking at the first conf they ate crab and lobster, now salmon and shrimp, next conf tofu and beans.

Posted by Paul at 09:52 PM

February 04, 2009

Tweets From Day 2 Salmon Conference

Here are my Tweets from today's State of the Salmon 2009 conference sessions (second of three days), in last-to-first order:

BTW. today's sessions wrapped up with a plea from octogenarian Pearl Keenan -- nice to have some heart instead of statistics. She's from the Tlingit First Nation in the Yukon. Her basic plea? Please stop taking all the fish at the mouth of the river -- she lives near the headwaters, and they're all gone up there. I had to find her later and thank her for speaking from the heart, and hoping we would listen to something other than "science" and PowerPoints.

Long: Washington State fisheries are dependent on hatcheries

Busack: Argument is now how serious is domestication (hatchery fish), not if it exists.

Busack: Concern that interbreeding between hatchery and wild fish reduces fitness.

Researchers find what they look for, and when you bring up other potential factors, they get defensive.

When issues arise, it's time to break for coffee. Sheesh.

One word I have yet to hear at this conference is "pollution."

Q&A: Beamish -- coho and chinook in St of Gerogia are critical and think will get worse.

Walters: But culling seals is no solution because they also keep down other predators.

Walters: Huge growth in harbour seal population in Georgia Strait.

Walters: Ocean mortality causes hypotheses - hatchery disease, ocean warming, predators??

Walters: We don't know what is causing coho and chinook ocean mortality.

Walters: South BC chinook continue to decline despite closing commercial fishing in 80s and sport in 90s.

Walters: coho spawning in south BC has collapsed even with hatchery supplementation.

Walters: Declining marine survival is the biggest hit to salmon.

Walters: there has been no substantial habitat loss since 1990. Huh?

What data? Historic salmon runs - data never goes back more than a century, so how is that "historic"?

Walters: severe coho and chinook declines in south BC - threats are other than fishing.

Some speakers really need to take a Plain English course! Jargon-itis puts the audience to sleep.

What the heck is a "mortality objective"?

Schindler: geomorphic variation in fresh water is reflected in ocean growth of salmon.

Schindler: spawning productivity of rivers changes over time -- me: so shouldn't we protect *all* rivers?

Schindler: Are doomsday scenarios the best way to get the message out to the public?

By the time this conference is over we'll have eaten all the fish in the sea.

Q&A - Hokkaido also has conflicts between agriculture and fisheries.

Q&A - salmon can quickly repopulate territory if habitat is cleaned up and access enabled.

Q&A - unfortunately, education on salmon preservation is weak.

Q&A - if policymakers would err on the side of safety, we'd have better monitoring.

Q&A - Japan considers 2nd-gen hatchery spawners to be "wild" as long as from same stock.

Walton: need to look at viability of salmon at local levels -- creeks.

Walton: hatchery reform will be crucial to the survival of wild salmon.

Walton: over-harvest and hatcheries impact wild fish.

Walton: if you want to keep salmon runs strong, don't ruin your rivers.

Walton: after a century of using salmon hatcheries, we still don't know if they benefit salmon.

Walton: challenge is to develop a concise story we can tell people about protecting wild salmon.

Walton: How are we going to change human behaviour in relation to wild salmon?

Walton: do we have a common vision for a wild salmon policy?

Walton: endangered salmon are a West Coast-wide issue.

Walton: we have been working on recovery plans for a long time, but need people's support.

Last US administration (Bush) gave little support to conservation.

Bowles: fish only care about action -- what are we doing to fix things?

Bowles: "plan" has become a four-letter word, but plans are essential for salmon recovery.

Bowles: hatchery fish are not a replacement for natural populations.

Bowles: key threat to salmon is apathy.

Bowles: public becoming more disconnected from fish and their watersheds.

Riddell: conservation of wild salmon and their habitat is the highest priority.

Riddell: in BC/Yukon there are 8300 combinations of streams/salmon species.

Riddell: diversity is key to preserving salmon.

White: all groups that harvest salmon have a sense of entitlement.

Kulikov: sounds like Russia also has jurisdictional and bureaucratic issues.

Kulikov: First protected area in Khabarovsk area was created in 1920s.

Nagata: Japan looking at zone management for coexistence of hatchery and wild salmon.

Nagata: Commercial and game fisheries in rivers are prohibited in Hokkaido.

Nagata: Hokkaido fishery needs to change to wild salmon management objectives.

Nagata: calls native salmon spawning "traditional management", hatcheries "modern management".

Nagata: Hatcheries in Japan were established in 1888 from US.

Rawson: Pogo - we have met the enemy and he is us.

Rawson: we can't be doing things the same way that we have been doing them.

Rawson: habitat protection is the key contributor to saving the salmon.

Rawson: there is little public confidence in process for protecting habitat.

Rawson: Spawner return in some Puget Sound rivers is less than 10% of historic figures.

Rawson: lost 75-90 % of estuary habitat in Puget Sound.

Rawson: Habitat loss is the key factor for decline of Puget Sound chinook salmon.

Rawson: Hatchery risks - genetic, ecological, disease, etc.

Rawson:hatcheries are our arrogant assumption that we can do better than Mother Nature.

Rawson: causes of chinook decline - harvest, hatcheries and habitat.

Rawson: Skagit chinook have declined dramatically over last 50 yrs.

Rawson: Puget Sound chinook listed as threatened.

Quinn: larger fish may enter spawning grounds ealier than small fish.

Quinn: in some cases, middle of run is fished hard, with early and late less exploited.

Quinn: so we might be hitting more "early" fish, and more "late" fish.

Quinn: human exploitation appears to affect timing of spawning runs to some degree.

Quinn: fishing rates (exploitation) vary widely during run timing due to management.

Quinn: fisheries are less size-selective than they used to be.

Quinn: intermediate sizes of fish are most vulnerable to being caught.

Quinn: expected that gillnet fishery is selective against large fish.

Quinn: salmon have been declining in body size -- selective effects of fishing?

Quinn: humans have an impact on evolution of animals through hunting.

Quinn: humans have a long history of affecting the evolution of animals.

First nations comment - science must work with first nations knowledge.

Audience comment - global warming is a symptom of overpopulation.

Williams: Aldo Leopold - humans must change from conquerors of land to members of it.

Williams: to save salmon - land ethic, multiple scales and political boundaries, restoration economy.

Williams: hatcheries alone cannot solve problem of declining salmon, declining biodeversity.

Williams: artificial species restocking is not biologically viable without addressing causes of decline.

Williams: impacts - rising temps, reduced snowpack, variability in flows, fires.

Williams: Stressors - human pop growth, resource consumption, invasive species, climate change.

Williams: reconnect rives to their floodplains, do not channel them.

Williams: Protect remaining habitat, Reconnect to other areas, Restore urban waterways.

Williams: we must protect remaining habitat.

Williams: 29% of Pacific northwest salmon stocks are extinct

Williams: Laws and regulations are not enough. We are destroying Earth -- ecological footprint.

How the heck do you "increase salmon resilience to climate change"? Isn't that evolution?

Posted by Paul at 08:15 PM

Sun: Canadian Fisheries Management 'A Mess'

Vancouver Sun: Canadian fisheries management a mess.

Posted by Paul at 12:10 PM

February 03, 2009

Tweets From Day 1 Salmon Conference

Here are my Tweets from today's State of the Salmon 2009 conference sessions, in last-to-first order:

Fedorenko: Pacific Rim nations release 5 billion hatchery salmon/year.

Fedorenko: Total value of Pacific Rim commercial salmon catch $1 billion/year.

Beechie: Dams are the big story in extirpation of salmon in US lower 48, along with development.

Irvine: 50% or more of all BC salmon species are red/amber status (ie not good) in conservation units.

Irvine: In Canada general catch declines for all salmon species, 2008 one of lowest years.

Disappointed that reports from different countries are measuring different things so can't compare.

Hilsinger: Alaska salmon catches for all species have been good in last thirty years.

Radchenko: Russia releasing over half a billion hatchery salmon into Pacific annually.

Radchenko: Russian sockeye and chum catches are way up in the last ten years.

Kang: Korean salmon returns in 2000s fell to a third of returns in 1990s -- also warming?

Nagata: Focus on biodiversity of wild salmon and restoration of freshwater environments.

Nagata: Japan chum returns have fallen dramatically in south, more stable in north (Hokkaido) - warming?

Nagata: Japan stocking hundreds of millions of chum and pink fry.

Vladimir Belyaev: Important to improve national and international reporting to set reserves for salmon.

Vladimir Belyaev: Protecting entire watersheds is crucial to protecting salmon.

Vladimir Belyaev: Ocean survivability is moot if we don't protect spawning habitat -- rivers, estuaries.

Vladimir Belyaev: Russia is looking at setting up protected areas for salmon.

David Anderson: Concerned that Canada will fall behind US under Obama on climate change.

David Anderson: Major uncertainties about the impact of hatchery fish on ocean survival of wild stocks.

David Anderson: Strong opposition to change. People understand existing systems and fear the unknown.

David Anderson: The dead hand of the past protects the status quo.

Nathan Mantua: Humans are the primary drivers of change in salmon ecosystems.

Looking at Ecology and Society journal website: http://www.ecologyandsociety

Resilience Alliance http://www.resalliance.org/

David Suzuki -- World Scientists' Warning to Humanity, back in 1992 - http://deoxy.org/sciwarn.htm.

Suzuki: State of Salmon -- we invented the economy, we gotta change it.

Suzuki: State of Salmon -- all that humans can do is manage themselves, not other animals.

Suzuki: The most important lesson we have is the extent of our ignorance.

Suzuki: The future of salmon is bleak as long as politics and economics are the major drivers.

Guido Rahr fate of salmon will be determined in our lifetimes.

First Nations start by pointing out that side channels and creeks in the lower mainland are being destroyed.

Posted by Paul at 06:25 PM

World Scientists' Warning To Humanity

I've heard David Suzuki refer to this document in several speeches, and he just did it again at the State of the Salmon 2009 conference, so I decided to look it up.

"Some 1,700 of the world's leading scientists, including the majority of Nobel laureates in the sciences, issued this appeal in November 1992. The Warning was written and spearheaded by UCS Chair Henry Kendall.

"Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about."

The entire document here.

Posted by Paul at 01:28 PM

February 02, 2009

Twitter - Getting Up to Speed

I'm taking a second crack at Twitter, and am finding the experience much better than the first time 'round. I thank Gillian Shaw for her article in the Vancouver Sun that got me going again. The article lists several ways to find interesting people to "follow."

A few observations:

Don't be shy. People like to help and are generally friendly. As a fledgling Twitterer emulate what others are doing and how they are doing it (but be sure to give credit and cite sources.) Hint: read the little bits at the end of Tweets to see how people are accessing Twitter using various helpful applications.

Don't feel intimidated. I'm following several tech gurus, communications gurus, corporate leaders, authors of famous books... and they're all human. At least half of them were commenting on the Super Bowl yesterday :-), not discussing issues of earth-shaking importance. But they do share gems of info, too....

Don't feel overwhelmed. When you add people to follow you'll initially get a bunch of their tweets, and it can seem like a mass of info, but it will quickly settle down.

Don't feel compelled to Tweet. You don't have to post every hour. Once or twice a day is plenty, and people don't care if you post once a week if what you say is interesting. As with so much in life, it's not quantity but quality that counts.

When someone starts following you, check 'em out and follow them back even if you've never heard of them. Twitter is a massive conversation. If someone does end up boring you, or turns out to have texting diarrhea on inane topics, don't be shy about dropping those feeds, just like you'd politely disentangle yourself from someone at a party.

BTW, I'm paulcip on Twitter :-), and aim to stick around this time.

Posted by Paul at 08:10 AM