Tag Archives: marine life

Wild Canadian Fish Party on Cocaine and Oxycodone

TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY FOLKS!

1-FISH ON DRUGS ONTARIO

The blog title may seem frivolous to you folks, but our drinking water is next in line for these dangerous drugs leaching into our water. The three drugs mentioned are three of many abusive drugs.

The following article link to Munchies_ Food by VICE appeared in Drinking Water Canada’s newsletter,  ~ “Why Wild Canadian Fish Are on Cocaine and Oxycodone” by Alex Swerdloff July 27, 2015

   GRAND RIVERBust out your rhinestone snuffboxes and hit up your favorite restroom, party people. It’s time to head up to Ontario’s Grand River. Cocaine, morphine, and oxycodone—among other drugs of abuse, as the scientists call them—apparently flow freely in the waters there.

JOURNALThat’s right. A study recently published in the journal Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry shows that way more fish have been getting their Tony Montana on than we previously believed.

The study, which comes out of McGill University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, focused on the Grand River Watershed in Southern Ontario. The research shows that water discharged from wastewater treatment plants in the area has low levels of the aforementioned drugs in it, which could affect marine life and contaminate local sources of drinking water.

PLANTHere’s the problem. Households and chemical plants discharge both figurative and literal crap into the river. A wastewater treatment plant is supposed to clean out most of these contaminants. And some distance downstream, the water then goes through an additional water treatment plant that cleans it further and prepares it for human consumption.

DRUGSBut the study showed that small quantities of drugs were found in the river water coming out of the water treatment plant, and their concentration did not decline with distance downstream from the plant. To make matters worse, the drugs were not removed completely during drinking water treatment.

In short, plants, fish and other living things in the river were swimming in water dosed with small amounts of recreational and prescription drugs. Screw Nemo—these fish seem to have more in common with Rick Ross!

YARGOBut there could be a solution. Professor Viviane Yargeau, who was the lead author of the study, argues, “Improving our wastewater treatment processes can help clean up our drinking water.”

FISH BESTWhat’s new about this research is that the scientists found drugs in the water between the wastewater treatment plant and the drinking water treatment plant. Sure, the drinking water treatment plants got most of the drugs out of the water, but not all. Improvements upstream would keep the life aquatic—including plants, insects, and fish—from inadvertently indulging.

It seems to me, however, that the researchers forgot to ask one all-important question: How in the hell does a fish line up a rail without an opposable thumb?

Back to Professor Yargeau. She explains, “We believe that if improvements are made to wastewater treatment plants to protect the sources of drinking water, this will prove a more effective way of dealing with the problem in the long run—as this strategy would also protect the aquatic environment and all the plants, insects and fish that are found there.”

WATERNext to come will be a five-year project to look into improving wastewater treatment to keep contaminants like cocaine out of Canada’s drinking water. But five years is a while away, so the fish will keep partying on in the meantime.

After all, even marine life deserves some booger sugar once in a while.

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Fight to force B. C. legislation to protect waterways

 BC SALMON The following article is taken from WaterCanada’s Mar/Apr issue; “A Legal Hotbed – Environmental groups in British Columbia are fighting to force the government into using legislation to protect its waterways” by Siobhan McClelland.
Environmental groups are testing the litigation waters in British Columbia to challenge government actions that put the marine environment at risk.

PIPELINERight now, British Columbia is a
hotbed for environmental issues, with private companies interested in using the province’s waterways as part of their operations, including fracking and natural gas businesses.

               
ECOJUSTICEBut Ecojustice, a Vancouver-based organization that represents several environmental groups, is pursuing many legal cases against the government. The organization claims the government hasn’t used its legislation or has violated its legislation, resulting in too much power being handed over to private companies that are making decisions that affect the environment.
WATERWAYS PROTECTION PROGRAMWhile there are environmental laws that provide protection for Canada’s waterways and marine life, some question how effective the legislation is.

“It’s frustrating to have legislation on the books, which the various levels of government ignore or OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAinterpret in a manner different than what was represented to the populace when proclaimed,” Maureen Bell,
(see link at end for one of Maureen’s articles on water rights) a Calgary environmental lawyer, said. “In such cases, the politicians get full points for creating the legislation, but if it languishes on the shelf or is perverted in its application, it isn’t much good.”
MARGOT VENTONMargot Venton, a staff lawyer at Ecojustice, said that people have been using the courts to try to protect the marine environment since the 1980s, when the rules changed to allow public interest parties standing, or the ability to become involved in environmental cases and bring lawsuits.

VANCOUVER COASTLINE“I think right now, in the British Columbia coast, there’s a lot of tension over how we will develop resources and what we are willing to risk in the development of these resources,” Venton said. “Some of the FISH FARMpotential resource uses, like pipelines or fish farms or whatever it is, are really placing these issues front and center in people’s minds, and we’re realizing that the threat is becoming really obvious.”
BC OIL AND GAS COMMISSIONEcojustice is currently challenging the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission’s decision to issue short-term water approvals to fracking companies, arguing that the companies should have to go through the more stringent process of bringing water-license applications.
RANDY CHRISTENSENEcojustice staff lawyer Randy Christensen said short-term water approvals, which are usually good for two years, are being renewed by the same company five or six times. He said Ecojustice wants the companies that use water for fracking purposes to go into the water-licensing process, where the government would then assess the impact of the water withdrawals more carefully and look at the cumulative impacts of many water withdrawals in one area.
“Our concern right now is that there are really two different routes of getting the water. One has minimal oversight and one has more robust oversight,” Christensen said.
SALMON LIFECYCLEHe added that the cumulative impact of the fracking operations could affect water flow conditions in certain areas and fluctuations in water flow could affect the life cycles of fish in rivers and streams. This could possibly result in shortages at certain times of the year that would affect other people’s water use.
“These are all the kinds of things that need to go through the licensing process so that you have studies and assessments, and you know the impact of what those uses could be,”
Christensen said.
DISEASED SALMONFracking operations aren’t the only concern for Ecojustice. In another case, Ecojustice alleges diseased farmed Atlantic salmon have been unlawfully transferred into an open-pen fish farm, where the diseased fish would share water with wild fish. The claim is that FISHERIES LOGOFisheries and Oceans Canada has unlawfully given a private company the power to decide whether to transfer the diseased salmon.

Venton said decisions about the risks associated with the transfer of diseased fish should be made by the government, not private companies.
FISH FARM BEST“It’s more appropriate for the government to make the call about that risk than it is for a private individual or private company running a farm to make that call,” she said, arguing that the law doesn’t allow anyone to put fish that may carry a diseased agent into the ocean because this could potentially harm the conservation and protection of fish in the ocean.
PRIVATE CO MAKE DECISIONS“I think there is a general trend, in particular in the federal government, to get out of the business of governing,” she said, adding that this is her personal opinion. “There’s also a trend
in Canada toward deregulation and toward handing more and more power and decision making to the companies, with less and less oversight. You see that in British Columbia.”
DON'T FRACKKirsten Ruecker, a communications advisor at Fisheries and Oceans’ office in the Pacific Region, wrote in an email that the government was unable to comment on the fracking and salmon cases as these matters are currently before the courts.
ECOJUSTICE SAVE SALMON IN COURTThe fracking case does not have a hearing date yet. The salmon-farming case is scheduled for a hearing on June 9.

 

Siobhan McClelland is a former lawyer now working as a freelance journalist and the new media editor at Canadian Geographic. She has written for several law publications on a variety of topics.

Maureen Bell – “Water Rights Set To Make Waves” ~
http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&articleid=757

AUSTRALIA ~ TO CREATE MARINE HAVEN ~ PART 2

In the following breathtaking video, “Australia Great Barrier Reef“, you get a glimpse into the magnitude of the thousands of species that inhabit Australia‘s surrounding ocean ~ Uploaded by on Oct 3, 2009; Music: Tiesto-A Tear in the Open, Chilling Crew-For Better Moments, Tribal Trance-Orance Leopard Moon. Quote from YouTube video information: “My intentions were to make a quality trip video. We took a 4 day liveaboard with Mike Ball Dive expeditions ending up at the amazing Osprey Reef. The diving was incredible.”
This is a truly spectacular video and a must see in FULL SCREEN.  I am so envious of the divers who experience this thrill of a lifetime!

Some interesting data about the species that inhabit the waters of Australia’s ocean and the Great Barrier Reef ~

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world. It consists of more than 2,900 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays and thousands of species making it one of the world’s most complex and diverse ecosystems. The animals of the Great Barrier Reef include some 1500 species of marine fish, 360 species of hard corals, between 5000 and 8000 species of mollusks, 600 species of echinoderms, 17 species of sea snakes, 1500 species of sponges, 30 species of whales and dolphins, 6 species of marine turtles, 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds which breed on the reef’s many small islands.

Marine Fish of the Great Barrier Reef

There are more than 1500 species of fish that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef. They range in size from the tiny gobies, some of which weigh less than one gram, to the larger bony fishes such as the tuskfish and potato cod, to the massive cartilaginous fishes such as manta rays, tiger sharks and whale sharks. Damselfish, wrasses and tuskfish are among the most abundant fishes on the reef. Other fish of the Great Barrier Reef include blennies, butterfly fish, triggerfish, cowfish, pufferfish, angelfish, anemone fish, coral trout, seahorses, sea perch, sole, scorpion fish, hawkfish and surgeonfish.

Hard Corals of the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is home to about 360 species of hard corals including bottlebrush coral, bubble coral, brain coral, mushroom coral, staghorn coral, tabletop coral and needle coral. Hard corals, also known as stony corals, are a group of marine animals that live in shallow tropical waters and are responsible for building the structure of a coral reef. Colonies of hard corals grow in various shapes and sizes such as mounds, plates and branches. As previous coral colonies die, new ones grow on top of the limestone skeletons of their predecessors. Over time, this growth creates the three-dimensional architecture of a coral reef. Colonies of hard corals consist of thousands of small individual invertebrates referred to as coral polyps. Each polyp is radially symmetrical with a tube-like body that has a tentacle-rimmed mouth at the tip that it uses to feed.

Sponges and Echinoderms of the Great Barrier Reef

Over 600 species of echinoderms and more than 1500 species of sponges inhabit the Great Barrier Reef.

Echinoderms are bottom-dwelling marine invertebrates. They exhibit a type of radial symmetry called pentamerous symmetry in which their body can be divided into five equal parts around a central axis. The echinoderms of the Great Barrier Reef include sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sea stars, feather stars and brittle stars.

Sponges of the Great Barrier Reef include the yellow burrowing sponge, tubular sponge, thick yellow fan sponge.

Marine Reptiles of the Great Barrier Reef

There are 23 species of marine reptiles that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef including 6 species of sea turtles and 17 species of sea snakes. Occasionally, the saltwater crocodile also ventures out to forage on the reef, although such visits are quite rare.

The sea turtles that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef include the green turtle, loggerhead turtle, hawksbill turtle, flatback turtle, leatherback turtle and the Pacific ridley turtle. Some sea turtle species, such as the green turtle, loggerhead turtle and hawksbill turtle, nest on coral cays. The flatback turtle nests on continental islands and the green and leatherback turtles nest on mainland Australia. When not nesting, these sea turtle species use the waters of the Great Barrier Reef as foraging grounds.

Among the sea snakes of the Great Barrier Reef are the olive sea snake, the turtle-headed sea snake and the sea krait. All sea snakes are venomous.

Marine Mammals of the Great Barrier Reef

About 30 species of whales and dolphins frequent the waters of the Great Barrier Reef including humpback whales, Irrawaddy river dolphins, minke whales and spinner dolphins. Dugongs also inhabit the reef, feeding on the sea grasses that grow in the shallow inshore waters.

Not all of these marine mammals are permanent residents of the Great Barrier Reef. Minke whales and humpback whales visit the reef in winter. Other rorqual whales such as blue whales, fin whales and sei whales also migrate through the Great Barrier Reef region but do not stay for extended periods of time.

Mollusks of the Great Barrier Reef

More than 5000 species of mollusks live in the Great Barrier Reef. These include giant clams, cone shells, nudibranchs, octopus, cuttlefish and squid.
 
 
 
 

In this video, “Australia to create marine haven”, Australia’s Environment Minister, Tony Burke, unveils plans for the world’s largest network of protective marine parks.  Published on Jun 14, 2012 by

 

VIDEO ~ “Australia to build biggest marine reserve“, posted to YouTube by Al Jazeera‘s Andrew Thomas from Sydney, Australia on Jun 15, 2012 ~ The Australian government has announced the creation of the world’s biggest network of marine parks (3.3 million square metres), covering an overall area the size of “India”

This video, “Marine Life off Perth, Western Australia”, just released by the Ocean’s Institute, University of  Western Australia, showing a sequence of video footage captured off Perth, Western Australia.  The marine life shown in this sequence now has a brighter future thanks to the plan for marine sanctuaries off Australia’s South West. Published on Jul 4, 2012 by

 Once again, I hope you all realize how vital the work being done by the World Resources Institute Insights is and will find a way to support their efforts ~ insights.wri.org.