Archive | August 9, 2015


Subject To Change

Depth: 40 km

Distances: 321 km SW of Athens, Greece / pop: 729,137 / local time: 01:30:58.7 2015-08-10
243 km S of Trípoli, Greece / pop: 26,561 / local time: 01:30:58.7 2015-08-10
156 km W of Chaniá, Greece / pop: 54,565 / local time: 01:30:58.7 2015-08-10
118 km W of Plátanos, Greece / pop: 1,077 / local time: 01:30:58.7 2015-08-10

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Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 77 km NW of Kathmandu, Nepal / pop: 1,442,271 / local time: 04:15:30.0 2015-08-10
58 km NE of Bharatpur, Nepal / pop: 107,157 / local time: 04:15:30.0 2015-08-10

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1,000 lbs of fish have died in Lake Elsinore, California, USA

Fish Kill Alert

Fish continued to perish in Lake Elsinore for a second day Wednesday, Aug. 5, as a heat wave is exacerbating deteriorating water quality.
City workers scooped out about 400 pounds of carcasses Wednesday, bringing the two-day total to about 1,000 pounds, said Management Analyst Nicole Dailey, who is orchestrating a multi-agency response plan called Lake Watch 2015.
Whereas observers spotted mostly dead or dying carp and threadfin shad minnows on the lake Tuesday, other bigger kinds surfaced the following day, indicating a worsening of the environment.
“We are seeing a variety of species — bass, carp, shad, bluegill and catfish,” Dailey said. “There’s definitely been some big catfish, big bass and shad that are bigger than we’d expect.”
As they did before, city crews worked quickly again Wednesday to gather and dispose of the carcasses before they spoil public enjoyment of the lake.
The die-off has remained relatively small, but city and lake officials are worried it could expand.
“We’re still seeing fish coming up gasping for air,” Dailey said. “We’re still very concerned because of the high temperatures today and limited cooling throughout the night.”
Lake Elsinore, the largest freshwater natural water body in Southern California, is the only lake in the region that appears to be experiencing pronounced problems with fish dying, said Senior Environmental Scientist Mike Giusti of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Even Imperial County’s Salton Sea, a saltwater lake notorious for fish mortality, is relatively stable, though such an event could happen there any day, Giusti said.
Because of its shallow depth, he said, Lake Elsinore is more vulnerable than other freshwater bodies such as Canyon Lake and Lake Hemet, both upstream on the San Jacinto River.
“Most of the other lakes are much deeper for one thing,” Giusti said. “They don’t have the high algae concentration that is in Lake Elsinore. … At night, when algae no longer photosynthesizes, it’s discharging more carbon dioxide, which causes the dissolved oxygen levels to drop and with very low dissolved oxygen levels, that’s when you see the fish kills.”
Various factors are contributing to the downturn, starting with the drought.
Elsinore has shrunk to about 20 feet deep at best. Its surface is at 1,236 feet above sea level, the lowest the lake has been since February 2005.
Studies performed by UC Riverside marine biologist Michael Anderson determined the lake’s health starts declining when it drops under 1,240 feet above sea level.
As a natural lake, it almost entirely depends on rain storms for an infusion of water. Runoff flows into Canyon Lake, forcing it to overflow into Lake Elsinore. That hasn’t happened for several years.
In past decades, Lake Elsinore has dried out, but that possibility is minimized by the use of reclaimed water and well water by the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District.
As a result of the reduced water, it is becoming choked with nutrients that feed algae. Meanwhile, the population of threadfin shad that feed on zooplankton — which in turn consume and control algae — has exploded, said Mark Norton, administrator of the Lake Elsinore and San Jacinto Watersheds Authority.
In an April survey, Anderson determined the 3,000-acre lake contained about 56,600 fish per acre, nearly all of which were shad. While the authority in conjunction with the city has dealt with carp overpopulation in the past by netting and removing them, shad are too small and numerous for that option to work, Norton said.
“To really freshen up Lake Elsinore, we really need a big rain storm to fill up the lake again and actually get it flowing out again through Temescal Wash to wash out the nutrients and sediment that has built up in the lake,” Norton said.
Courtesy of

Dozens of sea birds washing up dead along beaches in Homer, Alaska, USA

The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is receiving multiple reports indicating a significant increase in dead and dying birds found on beaches in the Homer area over the last two weeks. The reports are coming from beach walkers and local citizen scientists dedicated to surveying sea bird populations. Leslie Slater is the Gulf of Alaska Unit Biologist for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. She says the number of birds reported is in the dozens.
“So it’s hard to give a real exact number of the normal number. I would say on a given stretch of beach we normally don’t find more than one within a couple of miles stretch.”
Slater says there are a lot of potential reasons for the increase in fatalities but the prevailing cause is likely tied to the birds’ food sources.
“What we’re seeing more precisely is that birds seem to be starving. That’s sort of the ultimate cause of their deaths but something might be happening before that. We might be having a PSP (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning) outbreak or another situation called domoic acid where these biotoxins can build up through the food chain and ultimately cause the deaths of these birds.”
These deaths don’t seem to be isolated to Homer’s beaches. There are reports of similar deaths down the Alaska Peninsula and the eastern edge of the Aleutians. Slater says it’s possible they could be related to dead whales found near Kodiak. To narrow down causes of death Slater says the refuge will send carcasses of Homer’s birds to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
“There they have a whole team of expert epidemiologists and other wildlife disease specialists who will be able to examine them and probably come up with a real good conclusion.”
Slater expects the center to receive the carcasses by the end of this week and believes there could be a reply within two weeks. She asks that people continue to call in dead birds with the species name and specific directions to the bodies’ location. She warns the public not to touch dead birds because they could be carrying disease.
Courtesy of

6 Whales dead after 16 became stranded in Cape Breton, Canada

04.08.15 Whales Killed In Canada

16 pilot whales became beached near Judique on Tuesday morning. (Submitted by Elaine Legault)
Sixteen pilot whales beached on a shore near Judique, Cape Breton, Tuesday morning, sparking a rescue effort involving about 20 people.
Andrew Reid with the Marine Animal Response Society said 10 of the whales were pushed into deeper water and survived. Six others died. 
Local resident Maggie MacIntyre said people gathered at the beach early in the morning for the rescue effort. 
“There were between one and four people surrounding each whale,” she said.
“For as many whales as we could, people were just trying to keep them upright and trying to nudge them out to deeper water.” 
MacIntyre said the whales ranged in size, including a baby that was less than a metre long and adults that were up to 3½ metres in length.
She said they were told that if the pilot whales’ blowhole isn’t kept upright, the whales would die.
“We were just trying to do what we could until the tide got high — just keeping them upright. And as the tide came in there started to be a bit of a lift, we’d try to push them out into the deeper water.” 
MacIntyre said the group of rescuers grew from a dozen to about 20 people by the time she left.  
“[The whales] were heavy. Trying to keep them upright took multiple people putting all of their weight into it.”
One of those helping in the rescue effort was CBC host, Carol Off who happened to be visiting the area. She told CBC’s As It Happens it was an incredible scene. She said residents came from everywhere to help, and watched one woman wade in wearing her pajamas. 
A group effort
Reid said a local man informally took charge of the rescue. “He knew some of the dos and don’ts of refloating animals.”
Reid told CBC News that pilot whales are social animals. They can become stranded when they’re feeding, or when one of their own is injured, sick and beached.  
He said the worry now is that the whales could become stranded again, something they have a tendency to do. 
Reid is visiting the site today to collect biological samples from the carcasses for future research.
“If there are no re-strandings, we’ll collect specimens and measurements from the animals that weren’t able to be rescued,” he said. 
As for the carcasses, removal can be complicated, he said. 
“Usually, disposal in Nova Scotia, it’s left to whoever’s land it is.”
A spokesperson for Fisheries and Oceans Canada said five fishery officers trained in marine mammal rescues were deployed to provide assistance.
Courtesy of


Subject To Change

Depth: 40 km

Distances: 171 km W of Athens, Greece / pop: 729,137 / local time: 00:39:22.8 2015-08-10
9 km SE of Pátra, Greece / pop: 163,360 / local time: 00:39:22.8 2015-08-10
6 km E of Ovriá, Greece / pop: 5,838 / local time: 00:39:22.8 2015-08-10

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More Dolphins have washed up dead this year totalling 26 along the coast of Bulgaria

640px-Three_dolphins photo oytun 73-crop
(Photo: oytun 73)
Summer 2015 is again seeing numbers of dead dolphins washing up on the shore of Bulgaria’s Black Sea coastline, with violence suspected as the cause of death in some cases, but as in all previous years, there is no clarity on what causes the phenomenon.
In some cases in previous years, there have been allegations of dolphins being shot or otherwise killed by fishermen protecting their nets.
None of these allegations has been proven and no one has been arrested in connection with the killing of a dolphin along Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast for years. Activists have alleged that police show scant interest in investigating the cases.
There are three species of dolphins in the Black Sea off Bulgaria – the short-beaked common dolphin, the harbour porpoise, and the common bottlenose dolphin – all of them protected by law. The penalty for killing a dolphin from any of these species is 5000 to 20 000 leva (about 2500 to 10 000 euro) and imprisonment of up to five years.
Bulgaria’s Biological Diversity Act also bans harassing, chasing or capturing dolphins from these species, and says that if a dead dolphin is washed ashore, it should be moved until examined by the Regional Environment and Water Inspectorate to establish the species and to report on the death of the Minister of Environment and Water.
In 2006, a national network concerning dolphins washed ashore or caught in fishing nets was set up, run by the Institute of Fishing Resources in Varna and with the participation of the Regional Environment and Water Inspectorate in the city of Bourgas and the Green Balkans NGO.
In 2015, dead dolphins have again made headlines in Bulgaria, the total since the beginning of the year running to 26 by the beginning of August.
According to the Regional Environment and Water Inspectorate in Bourgas, violence was suspected to the cause of death in three cases.
A report by Bulgarian National Radio said that, “according to experts”, the number of dolphins washed ashore was not large considering their rapidly growing population.
Causes of death are estimated to include, besides natural causes, entanglement and strangulation in fishing nets, as well as diseases.
To prevent entanglement of marine mammals in fishing nets, it is possible to use special devices attached to the nets to deter animals such as dolphins, according to Krusto Popov, an official in the biodiversity department of the Environment Ministry. He said that Bulgaria was beginning a pilot project to test the effectiveness of these devices.
The number so far in 2015 appears slightly lower than in previous years. In 2012, for example, a total of 74 dolphins were found dead on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.
The issue was in the forefront particularly in 2011, when photographs that spread in social networks and were published by the media appeared to show bullet wounds in a dolphin found dead on the beach in the Black Sea resort town of Tsarevo.
In spite of the large-scale killing of dolphins in the Black Sea, especially in the second half of the 20th century, there have been reports that recent years have seen population growth.
According to a 2002 report by the Species Survival Network, the primary current threat to the Black Sea bottlenose dolphin is habitat loss and a decline in habitat quality.
The ecosystem of the Black Sea has been highly changed and disturbed, primarily due to extensive pollution, coastal development, disturbance caused by extensive vessel traffic, over-fishing and the impacts of introduced species. The ecosystem is also affected by global changes such as climate change and increased UV-B radiation, the report said.
The Black Sea, as an enclosed water body with limited water exchange and slow circulation, is especially vulnerable to pollution. The input of nutrients from agriculture and sewage has caused eutrophication and widespread algal blooms.
Dolphins, as top predators, are uniquely at risk from pollution, the report said. Very high concentrations of certain contaminants have been reported in the bodies of dolphins in the Black Sea, making them especially vulnerable to reproductive disorders and infectious diseases. Recent mass-mortalities of dolphins in the Black Sea have been associated with the degraded state of their environment, especially exposure to chemical pollutants, according to the network’s report.
Courtesy of

Large fish kills washing up in Orange Beach, Alabama, USA

Fish kill on Cotton Bayou in Orange Beach, August 3, 2015
Due to extreme heat and a lack of wind, fish kills are growing in number in the back bay areas of Orange Beach, Alabama. This kill was spotted on Cotton Bayou on the morning of Monday, August 3, 2015. (Courtesy/City of Orange Beach)
Widespread fish kills are occurring in the back-bay areas of Orange Beach and the summer heat wave appears to be the main culprit, according to Orange Beach Coastal Resources Manager Phillip West.
The unrelenting heat coupled with light northerly winds have prevented any kind of mixing of the waters to help oxygenate them, West said. Adding to the situation are schools of alewife, or possibly menhaden, which are extremely sensitive species. 
“So these species are up in huge numbers in waters that are already pretty stressed for dissolved oxygen and it’s just a recipe for a fish kill,” West said.
The first large fish kill was reported in Cotton Bayou on Friday and sightings continued throughout the weekend from Robinson Island, north of Perdido Pass, to Bayou Saint John, between Ono Island and Bear Point.
Most of the dead fish, typically between 4 and 7 inches long, have been found in Cotton Bayou, according to West.
An explanation for the events, West said, can be found in the pages of “Guide to Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico,” a book by Bob Shipp, the former head of marine sciences at the University of South Alabama.
“It says during summer months menhaden often congregate in shallow, poorly flushed estuaries. They’re intolerant of low dissolved oxygen levels such as those found in hot, still waters. Thus, fish kills may occur in a chain reaction,” West said.
The dead and decaying fish remove even more oxygen, resulting in more kills. “So it’s kind of a textbook phenomena just based on our conditions right now,” West said.
While out on Cotton Bayou Monday morning, West said one resident said he hadn’t seen fish kills that big since a record-breaking heat wave 25 years ago.
If the weather conditions persist, more fish kills are likely.
To address the problem, the city has placed a large garbage bin at the Boggy Point boat launch for residents to get rid of fish. Also, on Tuesday, the council is expected to discuss the possibility of mobilizing its debris contractor to assist with the cleanup. 
“I think this is probably the largest fish kill in the estuaries I’ve ever seen,” West said. “I’ve seen kills related to red tides and other things, like brown tides, that were pretty extensive. But of this type, this is definitely the largest that I’ve seen. I also can’t remember having gone through a July that was so unbearably hot for so long. Something was bound to happen.”
Courtesy of

Severe drought prompts army to be ready for MASS UPRISINGS in Brazil

Breaking News

“The army is in Sabesp doing an exercise to prepare for an invasion from the people”
Here’s a scenario that seems plausible enough: The Brazilian megacity of São Paulo, currently dealing with Brazil’s largest water crisis in 40 years, continues to experience severe drought over the next several months.
The crisis deepens, and soon, some residents lose access to water altogether. The next step: a riot or crowd-driven attack on Sabesp, the local water utility.
It’s the kind of desperate measure that seems more like a distant post-apocalyptic situation for other drought-ridden places like California, but as one São Paulo water activist recently discovered, the Brazilian army is actually preparing for this possibility.
“I looked at the emergency plan from the government. They don’t know how we’ll save water,” explains Martha Lu, a water activist, in an interview with Tech Insider. “The
army is in Sabesp doing an exercise to prepare for an invasion from the people.”
This past May, Lu teamed up with a journalist from Spanish newspaper El País to visit Sabesp while the army was involved in one of its riot simulations.
Sabesp told Lu and journalist Maria Martin that the army has been doing similar exercises for 15 years, but former employees of the water utility contradicted that, saying that they had never seen anything like it.
On the day that Lu visited Sabesp, approximately 70 army members were scoping out the utility’s readiness for an uprising. One official said that 30 men with machine guns were stationed in the lunchroom.
São Paulo has also reportedly sent public officials to the US to take lessons from SWAT leaders on how to deal with the water crisis.
Already, people in the city are experiencing water cuts that last from hours to days at a time. Prior to the drought, the city’s water supply provided 8,700 gallons of water each second. That’s now down to 3,563 gallons per second. As a World Bank official told NBC News, “São Paulo’s current drought emergency is both unprecedented and unpredicted.”
The rest of the world should take note: the way that São Paulo residents and officials react if the drought continues will be a preview of how things will go elsewhere — in California (and other parts of the U.S.), China, India, France, and every other place where that the water table is dropping — without drastic water conservation measures.
Courtesy of



***BE ALERT***

Magnetogram 09.08.15  20.58 hrs UTC