Once again, we find that the activist environmental movement, long ago infiltrated by socialists and communists for political power and funding their toxic agenda, are pursuing their anti-America de-growth, population-limiting goals – this time using the whales as their “climate change polar bears” … 

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon
by GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Over the years, scientists have identified dams, pollution and vessel noise as causes of the troubling decline of the Pacific Northwest's resident killer whales. Now, they may have found a new and more surprising culprit: pink salmon.

Four salmon researchers were perusing data on the website of the Center for Whale Research, which studies the orcas, several months ago when they noticed a startling trend: that for the past two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years.

In a newly published paper, they speculate that the pattern is related to pink salmon, which return to the Salish Sea between Washington state and Canada in enormous numbers every other year — though they're not sure how. They suspect that the huge runs of pink salmon, which have boomed under conservation efforts and changes in ocean conditions in the past two decades, might interfere with the whales' ability to hunt their preferred prey, Chinook salmon.

Given the dire plight of the orcas, which officials say are on the brink of extinction, the researchers decided to publicize their discovery without waiting to investigate its causes.

"The main point was getting out to the public word about this biennial pattern so people can start thinking about this important, completely unexpected factor in the decline of these whales," said one of the authors, Greg Ruggerone. "It's important to better understand what's occurring here because that could help facilitate recovery actions."

Ruggerone, president of Seattle-based Natural Resources Consultants and former chairman of the Columbia River Independent Scientific Advisory Board, and the other authors — Alan Springer of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, Leon Shaul of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and independent researcher Gus van Vliet of Auke Bay, Alaska — have previously studied how pink salmon compete for prey with other species.

As news stories chronicled the struggles of the orcas last year — one whale carried her dead calf on her head for 17 days in an apparent effort to revive it — the four biologists looked at data on the Center for Whale Research's site. Thanks to their previous research, it took them only a few minutes to recognize a trend that had escaped the attention of other scientists.

"We know that some are good years for the whales and some are bad years, but we hadn't put it together that it was a biennial trend," said Ken Balcomb, the center's founding director, one of the foremost experts on the so-called Southern Resident killer whales.

Further analyzing the data, the researchers found that from 1998 to 2017, as the population of whales decreased from 92 to 76, more than 3.5 times as many newborn and older whales died during even years — 61, versus 17 in odd years. During that period, there were 32 successful births during odd years, but only 16 during even years.

[OCS: Have you ever wondered how these scientists can enumerate a population over large distances with such precise numbers and then state the results with such certitude?]

That biennial pattern did not exist during a prior 22-year period from 1976 to 1997, when the whale population was recovering from efforts to capture orcas for aquarium display, the researchers said.

But in 1998, salmon harvests were curtailed amid efforts to boost runs decimated by overfishing, pollution and habitat loss. A strong change in ocean conditions occurred around the same time, benefiting pink salmon especially by increasing the abundance of zooplankton, which make up much of the pink salmon's diet.

The combined effect of the ocean changes and fishing restrictions has greatly benefited the pinks, which are by far most numerous salmon species in the North Pacific. When they return to the Salish Sea, there are about 50 for each of the bigger, fattier Chinook. Nearly all pinks return to their natal streams in odd years, completing their two-year life cycle, unlike other salmon, which stay in the ocean longer.

Meanwhile, Chinook populations have continued to struggle — the dearth of Chinook is considered the most severe threat to the orcas — and many scientists say they will continue to do so unless four dams on the Lower Snake River are breached. The researchers speculate that the blossoming numbers of pinks in the Salish Sea during odd-numbered years have interfered with the echolocation the orcas use to hunt increasingly sparse Chinook. The orcas almost never eat pink salmon.

[OCS: Aha! Now we find the real goal of the progressive socialist democrats and their fringe environmental wackos.]

Because the whales are such large mammals, the theory goes, the stress caused by the pinks in odd years would not affect their mortality rates and reproductive rates until the following year — and that's why more die in even years.

Another possibility is that the presence of pinks means less food for the Chinook — and thus less food for the orcas, Ruggerone said.

The researchers also put forth a contrary hypothesis: that the presence of pinks somehow enhances the orcas' hunting, improving their survival in odd-numbered years — though they say they have no reason to believe that's the case. <Source>

Let’s review …

Controversy heats up over removal of Lower Snake River dams as orcas suffer losses

Now, a decades-long battle to take down the dams is finding new energy. The dam busters are seizing on a new star witness: mother orca whale Tahlequah. She swam with her dead calf through the Salish Sea for weeks in July, in a searing vision of loss watched around the world. Then came J50, a 3-year-old orca wasting away, the third orca dead in four months.

The losses galvanized orca champions now joining forces with those who have long wanted the dams gone because they hurt salmon. A new hybrid social movement is stirring. The word orca has become its own hashtag. Restaurants and markets have yanked chinook. Tahlequah is turning up in street art. On Friday, mourners staged an orca funeral procession in downtown Seattle, wearing black and white as they marched to the federal building, where they remembered Tahlequah and her calf and rallied for dam removal.

Pressure is also coming from changing power markets and shipping trends for wheat and other products, undercutting the benefits of the Lower Snake River dams and the reservoirs they create. <Source>

Removing Snake River dams is bad for economy and salmon

As environmental activists sound alarm bells on climate change, imagine them proposing destroying every wind turbine and solar panel in Washington. Oddly, that is essentially what they have supported by demanding that the four Lower Snake River dams, and all the carbon-free energy they create, be destroyed.

Annually, the dams generate about 8.3 million megawatt hours of electricity or 8 percent of Washington’s energy. That is more clean energy than is provided by all the wind and solar facilities in Washington state added together.

The debate about tearing down the dams was reignited with a new push by environmental activists and U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon’s ruling that dam destruction must be considered to help salmon. As a member of the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council, I share the desire to increase salmon populations across the state. Removing the dams, however, would come with high costs and damage environmental efforts across the state. <Source>

To Save Orcas, Removing Snake River Dams May Not Be The Answer, Feds Say

The federal agencies that manage those dams and hold some responsibility for the survival of fish and marine mammals say salmon from the Snake River is not a key source of prey for most orcas. They said removing or altering the dams would only help two of the 15 salmon runs on which orcas depend.

“Geographically and timing, they are not the key limiting resource or prey for the southern resident killer whales,” said Kristen Jule, a fish and wildlife policy analyst with Bonneville Power Administration.

Officials said there might be more immediate actions to help orcas than removing or altering the dams, like projects near Puget Sound. <Source>

In addition to the above stories, how many people have heard of the Indian wars – demanding that 50% of the salmon catch be reserved to Native Americans or suitable compensation for the denial of their “traditional” practices?

Do not argue, it’s science…

Much like the climate change activists, the orca-salmon activists are trying to fundamentally transform America based on specious science. If you read the literature closely, you will find that scientists do not know the answers to the questions they purport to ask – and even worse, their speculation is reported with assurance and certitude in the mainstream media, also known as the propaganda arm of the progressive socialist democrats. The above is not science, even if it was performed by researchers, it is rank speculation.

Bottom line…

Science is slowly sinking into the realm of politics and peer pressure. And, if it continues, scientists will become another euphemism for used car salesmen.

We are so screwed.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba”-- take nobody's word for it!
"Acta non verba" -- actions not words

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS