Published Year: 2022
Home laundry is a major source of microplastic pollution endangering ocean health and, potentially, human health. To address this pressing concern, Ocean Wise partnered with Samsung Electronics and Patagonia, Inc. to investigate whether adjustments to wash conditions can help to reduce microfiber shedding during home laundry.
The findings from this research are conclusive: low intensity wash conditions-generally described as ‘gentle’ cycles -can reduce microfibershedding by approximately 70%.
The northeastern Paciﬁc northern and southern resident killer whale (Orcinus orca) populations are listed as threatened and endangered in Canada, respectively, with persistent, bio accumulative contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), posing threats to their recovery. Concentrations of PCBs andPBDEs in subtidal surface sediments collected from 97 sites along the British Columbia (BC) coast were used to identify their distribution and proﬁles, and to assess killer whale habitat quality. Victoria Harbour (VH3(site ID: 1)) sediments exhibited the highest PCB and PBDE concentrations.
The salmon-eating Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) (Orcinus orca) population currently comprises only 73 individuals, and is listed as ‘endangered’ under the Species at Risk Act in Canada. Recent evidence suggests that the growth of this population may be limited by food resources, especially Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). We present spatio-temporal bioenergetics model for SRKW in the Salish Sea and the West Coast of Vancouver Island from 1979-2020 with the objective of evaluating how changes in the abundance, age-structure, and length-at-age of Chinook salmon populations has influenced the daily food consumption of the SRKW population. Our model showed that the SRKW population has been in energetic deficit for six of the last 40 years. Our results also suggested that the abundance of age-4 and age-5 Chinook salmon are significant predictors of energy intake for SRKW. We estimated that the annual consumption (April-October) of Chinook salmon by the whales between 1979 and 2020 ranged from 166,000 216,300. Over the past 40 years, the model estimated that the contribution in the predicted SRKW diet of Chinook salmon originating from the Columbia River has increased by about 34%, and decreased by about 15% for Chinook salmon stocks originating from Puget Sound. Overall, our study provides an overview of the requirements and availability of prey for SRKW over the last 40 years, while supporting the hypothesis that SRKW were limited by prey abundance in the study period.
Pacific Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena vomerina) occupy a large range throughout coastal waters of British Columbia. Despite their wide distribution, they remain largely data-deficient regarding abundance and population trends, and as such are listed as Special Concern under the Species At Risk Act. Harbour porpoises are also particularly sensitive to disturbance, especially vessel-related acoustic disturbance.