Tag Archives: UBC

Southern resident killer whales are not starving due to lack of BC chinook, study finds

The widespread belief that at-risk southern resident killer whales are starving due to a lack of chinook salmon has been debunked. 

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WHO urges world leaders to phase out fossil fuels

By John Woodside,  National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ahead of a major UN climate conference, the World Health Organization is making a desperate plea to world leaders to phase out fossil fuels to help save millions of lives around the globe.

In a special report, the world’s leading health organization is echoing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest study, which UN Secretary-General António Guterres said must sound a “death knell” for fossil fuels “before they destroy our planet.”

“Extreme heat, floods, droughts, increasingly frequent wildfires and hurricanes; the events of 2021 have broken many records,” wrote Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, in the report’s foreword.

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Heat wave killed far more marine animals than originally thought, says scientist

UBC marine ecologist Dr. Chris Harley initially told the media that more than a billion mussels, clams, sea stars and other invertebrates may have cooked to death in the area between Campbell River and Washington state. That was a ‘back of the envelope’ estimate, based on his observations among the Lower Mainland’s mussel population and some preliminary reports. Harley has done a great deal more research since then. He now guesstimates that, conservatively speaking, the number of marine fatalities during last June’s heat wave is closer to 10 billion.  

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A type of Orca: the big game hunter of the sea

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

There’s a type of killer whale that prowls deeper waters and specializes in hunting big game, research by a B.C. scientist suggests.

West Coast residents are familiar with the well-known and iconic chinook salmon-eating endangered southern resident killer whales in the Salish Sea, and the more numerous Bigg’s killer whales, or transient orcas, that ply the shallower waters of B.C.’s coast and inlets in search of seals and other sea mammals.

But evidence indicates there’s a newly identified type of orca — outer coast killer whales — that are a distinct subgroup of transient whales, and which frequent the ocean depths along the continental shelf off the coast of central California and Oregon, said lead author Josh McInnes, a scientist with the Marine Mammal Research Unit at the University of British Columbia.

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Extreme marine heat events will devastate global fisheries in the coming decades

Extreme marine high temperature events, such as the one that killed more than a billion shellfish off the West Coast last June, will devastate global fisheries over the decades to come, a new UBC study suggests.

Continue reading Extreme marine heat events will devastate global fisheries in the coming decades