Crab fisherman on strike for $3 a pound, should hold out for $6! Seafood tax a healthy idea.

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Another crab season is upon us, like last year it is far from “normal”. But then again, with respect to the global environment, normal is undergoing radical changes.

Last year the season was delayed for months due to toxic levels of domoic acid in crab flesh (along with many other sea creatures).

This year the agency tasked with regulating crab fishing, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife has sequentially opened small regions of the California Coast to fishing as domoic acid levels drop below safe thresholds.

Instead of one price negotiation at the beginning of the season, wholesale buyers have decided to hold new talks for each region that opens up for fishing.

Bodega Bay fisherman are none too happy about this and have gone on strike. Fisherman want $3 a pound, buyers are offering $2.75 a pound.

Crab fishing is a boom and bust proposition, a few good years followed by a few not so good years. Fisherman try to offset these declines with a good salmon season, though “good salmon season” is a bit of a contradiction in terms of late.

Humans have for decades damned rivers, denying these ancient fish the spawning grounds they need, diverted water from rivers to give farmers water so they can grow almonds, cotton, pistachios and other high margin crops in what was originally the California desert. Pesticide and Herbicide use, clear-cut logging and creek-side construction have further degraded the environment to the point of near extinction for many historically huge salmon runs.

Both Salmon runs and crab populations are under attack, by humans!

Instead of asking for $3 a pound, I advocate crab fisherman hold out for $6.

Give fisherman $3 for each pound and put the other $3 into a fund used to undo the damage we humans inflict on the sea with our insatiable appetite for, well, damn near everything.

Think of it like a carbon tax. The new crab tax.

Set aside money for people like myself and the legions of others that walk our beaches picking up the mess of plastic ropes, plastic bait jars, plastic foam floats, crab traps left on our beaches each crab season to be ground in to a plastic soup by wave action. A soup that becomes part of the food chain of the planet See this post from two years ago for images of what crab fishing does to Point Reyes National Seashore each year.

Human trash collected from Point Reyes beaches during six visits

Research on how to collect crabs without endangering whales could be funded with this crab tax.

Humpback Whale entangled in crab fishing gear Photo: E. Lyman/HWS and NOAA

Humpback Whale entangled in crab fishing gear

Thankfully California has for the first time enacted a law that allows crab fisherman to collect abandoned gear after the season closes to reduce these horrible entanglements (and often deaths) caused to whales and other sea-life.

Reports of recent entanglements:

After huge blue whale gets tangled in crab lines, Californians struggle with elaborate rescue mission

Daring rescue of whale off Farallones

While we are thinking clearly and proposing that human harvesting activities pay the true cost to the planet, let’s double the price of salmon and oysters, clams and mussels. Set aside money to be used to clean up the messes we have made, and then figure out how to stop making new messes as we feed ourselves.

Four damns are soon to come down on the Klammath River, opening up over 300 miles of historic spawning grounds to a salmon run completely wiped out 80 years ago. Let’s restore the natural river habitat that nature found worked, instead of trying to use science to build fast growing salmon.
Another view of this troubling news here.

In a few months the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife will be holding a meeting to discuss Best Management Practices (BMP) for oyster growers in California. A long needed set of common sense rules for an industry that has historically been operated in a “wild west” sense, with lax or little oversight. Please watch this space for an announcement on where and when that meeting takes place so you can voice your support for common sense rules in all leases for use of public lands/waters to profit by private companies. Send me your email address if you’d like to be notified.

Let’s make sure that Tomales Bay looks more like this

Great and snowy egrets in flight. Tomales Bay, mouth of Walker Creek.

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Instead of this

abandoned plastic trays

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Tomales Bay Triptych

Click the words above “Tomales Bay Triptych” to see this entire post.

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Click on an image to see a larger version.

Oyster workers tend to bags of oysters growing on the mudflats of Tomales Bay near the mouth of Walker Creek. ©Richard James

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A lone photographer at work on the mudflats ©Richard James

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Sunlight refracted by raindrops, otherwise known as a rainbow over the hills east of Tomales Bay ©Richard James

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Birders of Tomales Bay – 2016 Christmas Bird Count

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Today was the 47th annual Point Reyes Christmas Bird Count.

Today was the 1st annual Point Reyes Birdcounter Count.

Word at the dinner (unofficial) was 196 species of birds were spotted today.
I saw a few dozen Birdcounters, in a variety of plumage.

Enjoy.

Click on an image to see a larger version.

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Welcome China, please listen up.

Please click the above words “Welcome China, please listen up” to see this entire post.

Welcome China!

Lately my website logs show a huge increase in visits from readers in your country (as well as many other countries around the globe) to my post about Wang Jiuliangs’ film “Plastic Kingdom“. Or this page about a screening of the latest cut of his film.

I met Jiuliang a few years back while he was filming this important and disturbing documentary showing the environmental damage done by the horrible recycling practices of your country.

Prior to this increased interest in my post about Wang’s film, virtually every visit from your country was from someone trying to hack my website in order to conduct nefarious business.

After months of trying to stop this nonsense, I gave up and decided to block nearly all of China from visiting my blog.

This decision did not come easily, as I am well aware that much of the cheap plastic garbage that shows up on the western shore of North America comes from China. Denying access to the maker of so much single-use stuff that ends up being tossed seemed wrong. But every time I left access open to China, your citizens continued trying to hack my blog for their own interests. My simple blog is one of millions of WordPress blogs under siege every day.

With the election of our new president (please note: I had nothing to do with Mr. Trump becoming president), as well as the increased interest in the film “Plastic Kingdom”, I decided to temporarily allow China access, given The Donald’s yuuuuuuge fascination with China (especially Formosa, err I mean Taiwan).

With this newfound access to my most important blog, I ask that you please stop trying to peddle porn, store illicit software or otherwise compromise what I pay for to share my thoughts with my fellow global citizens over the free Internet.

Further, I ask that you:

please treat your people fairly

have a free press

leave Tibet alone

acknowledge and accept his holiness the Dalai Llama

stop producing cheap plastic single-use items (garbage) to export

Thank you.

Birds of Humboldt Bay – Mad River Slough

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Recently I paid a visit to the Humboldt Bay area to have a look around.

These birds, and many others may be seen in the Mad River Slough, located in the NW area of Humboldt (Arcata) Bay.

Another fine area to go boating is Hookton Slough in the SE area of Humboldt (South) Bay.

Click on an image to see a larger version.

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Belted kingfisher pondering the day above the Mad River Slough, Humboldt Bay - ©Richard James

Belted kingfisher pondering the day above the Mad River Slough, Humboldt Bay – ©Richard James

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Dunlin on the wing above the Mad River Slough, Humboldt Bay - ©Richard James

Dunlin on the wing above the Mad River Slough, Humboldt Bay – ©Richard James

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marbled godwit, willet and dunlin in repose on the shore of the Mad River Slough, Humboldt Bay - ©Richard James

marbled godwit, willet and dunlin in repose on the shore of the Mad River Slough, Humboldt Bay – ©Richard James

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Please vote yes on proposition 67 and vote no on proposition 65

The video below shows a Camel Gastrolith photographed by chris jordan.

There are 500+ plastic bags in this mass pulled from the gut of a dead camel.

Don’t let the manufacturers of plastic bags stop the ban of these needless toxins in California.

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Read what Chris Jordan (creator of the above video) has to say about this piece here.

See a much larger version of this video here.

Tomales Bay Triptych – Preston Point Sheep Grazing

Click an image for a larger version.

Do sheep belong in a wetlands area?

Sheep grazng on wetlands at Preston Point. ~ 400 meters away are millions of oysters growing in the mudflats.

Sheep grazng on wetlands at Preston Point. ~ 400 meters away are millions of oysters growing in the mudflats.

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Sheep grazng on wetlands at Preston Point. ~ 400 meters away are millions of oysters growing in the mudflats.

Sheep grazng on wetlands at Preston Point. ~ 400 meters away are millions of oysters growing in the mudflats.

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Sheep grazng on wetlands at Preston Point. ~ 400 meters away are millions of oysters growing in the mudflats.

Sheep grazng on wetlands at Preston Point. ~ 400 meters away are millions of oysters growing in the mudflats.

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Birds of Tomales Bay – White Pelican Style

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Brown Pelicans generally dive from above to find their meal.

The larger White Pelicans generally work as a team, herding their supper.

I could watch either species all day.

Enjoy.

As usual, click on an image to see a larger version.

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Vote yes on prop. 67 Vote no on Prop. 65

Everyone please vote yes on Proposition 67 to keep the statewide ban on plastic bags in place.

Please vote no on Proposition 65, a red herring put forth by the manufacturers of plastic bags to confuse you.

Share this message NOW!

Wouldn’t you rather see the feathers of these stunning White Pelicans blowing in the breeze than a bunch of plastic bags?
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White Pelicans over Tomales Bay

White Pelicans over Tomales Bay

More info…

Competing revenue provisions

Proposition 67 and Proposition 65 contain conflicting provisions regarding how revenue from the state-mandated sale of carryout bags would be distributed. Proposition 67 would allocate revenue from the sales to the stores themselves, permitting them to use the revenue in three ways:[5]

(1) To cover costs associated with complying with Proposition 67.
(2) To cover the costs of providing the recycled paper or reusable bags.
(3) To provide educational materials encouraging the use of reusable bags.

Proposition 65 would allocate the revenue into a new state fund, the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund, which could be expended to support drought mitigation, clean drinking water supplies, recycling, litter removal, wildlife habitat restoration, beach cleanup, and state, regional, and local parks. Stores would not keep the revenue from a state-mandated sale of carryout bags.
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Should Proposition 67 pass and Proposition 65 be defeated, then revenue from the state-mandated sale of carryout bags would go to stores to be used for covering costs and education.

Should Proposition 67 be defeated and Proposition 65 pass, then there would be no single-use bag ban. Furthermore, should California legislate a bag ban, all revenue from that ban would be allocated to an environmental fund.

Should both propositions pass, but Proposition 67 by a larger margin, then revenue would go to stores.

Should both propositions pass, but Proposition 65 by a larger margin, then a statewide single-use bag ban would go into effect and the revenue would go into an environmental fund. The Legislative Analyst’s Office also notes that Proposition 65 might prevent Proposition 67’s bag ban depending on how court’s interpret the propositions.

Should both propositions be defeated, then there would be no single-use bag ban, nor a requirement for how revenue be distributed should California legislate a ban in the future.

More information here and here if interested:

Route 1 – Racetrack or public road? Motorcycle menace continues

Click the words above “Route 1 – Racetrack or public road?…” to see this entire post.

Anyone that lives along the coast knows how dangerous it is to embark on a trip to the market, especially on the weekend.

The beauty of the area that brought those of us to live here brings many visitors each and every day. This includes large groups of bicyclists, some more than others able to safely ride on a shoulder-less road, as well as large groups of menacing motorcyclists. Many of whom are hellbent on racing as fast as they can, no matter what danger they bring to all those around them.

Below is a video recorded on 9 October 2016 as I drove south from Nick’s to the Point Reyes Station Sheriff’s Office.

It is a bit over 7 minutes long and contains more than 5 clear instances of outlaw riders passing numerous vehicles, crossing double yellow lines, passing on blind corners, passing before a blind hilltop. Unfortunately I was unable to record the fool that popped a wheelie as he passed several cars next to the always crowded Marshall Store.

I’ve sped up the parts with no crazy riding to shorten the clip.

You can skip to the dangerous instances if you wish by going to:

00:30
02:10
02:57
03:57
04:34

Please forward to your favorite politician and law enforcement officers.

Click image for large version

Below are screen grabs of the offending cyclists as they pass me, with my best guess at their license plates.

California 15B8098

California 15B8098

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California 20X7277

California 20X7277

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dealer plate

dealer plate

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California 22W2716

California 22W2716

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foreign, possibly Austrian given flag

foreign, possibly Austrian given flag

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California Z2T0109 or Z2T01D9

California Z2T0109 or Z2T01D9