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by Josie Osborne, Executive Director, Raincoast Education Society

Earlier this fall, the Raincoast Education Society undertook a survey in conjunction with the Tofino Consumers Co-op about customer opinions and attitudes on disposable plastic bags.

As was reported in the Westerly News, 41 per cent of members said they preferred the total removal of bags and 51 per cent of members preferred a fee of at least five cents being charged for Read the rest of this entry »

Photo and article by Liam McNeil

Over the last few weeks, many walking the beaches around Tofino and Long Beach may have noticed a large number of dead birds washed up in the high tide line.  The gull-like birds, spread up and down the length of the peninsula, have likely been disconcerting for many residents, and a welcome source of perfume for many dogs.  Many of the birds have been adorned with small metal tags, bearing the words ‘BC Beached Bird Survey’.

A brief call to Peter Davidson, BC Program Manager for Bird Studies Canada, the organization behind the BC Beached Bird Survey, helped Read the rest of this entry »

The sludge (see yesterday’s post, below) is now on Tonquin Beach – and I wonder where else.

Of course getting any of our governmental organizations to look into this is not easy.  Coast Guard says it’s not their department; DFO was reluctant to get involved (update: but apparently will now look into it); District of Tofino says it’s not within their jurisdiction either.

Hopefully someone will take it upon themselves to Read the rest of this entry »

Sludge piled up at Tofino Air, First Street Dock

Yup, it looks pretty disgusting, that black sludgy stuff piling up against the docks and drifting out to the open ocean with the big ebb this afternoon.

I went down to have a look.  It’s stinky, but doesn’t seem to be an oil slick – although there is definitely oil mixed in with it.  It’s a lot of black sludge and worm casings and lots of old beer cans.

Coast Guard tells me that Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t be alarmed about the bombing!

Apparently Coast Guard will be doing some exercises involving explosions and things off Lennard this evening, starting around 5:30 pm.

I am not sure if it is in conjunction with the military, or if it is more related to rescue scenarios – but it sounds like they will be lighting up Chestermans Beach quite spectacularly with it all.

From the article in Friday’s Westcoaster: Salmon Farm Reports Tear In Net, No Escapes, about Mainstream Canada’s fish farm at Saranac, behind Meares Island.

A good example of industry spokespersons using clever double-speak to make things sound fine:

Jessica McLachlin, spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, said in an email to the Westcoaster.ca the incident is under investigation by ministry staff.
“At this point there is no evidence that any fish escaped,” she said.

“No evidence” of them escaping is not the same as “no escapes”.  It could just mean that no one looked.  (For years, fish farm spokespersons said there was “no evidence” of Atlantic salmon (a) surviving if they escaped, or (b) ascending spawning streams…  but once people started looking, it turns the escaped Atlantics were doing both).

Does anyone have any more info about this incident? If so, please either post it here as a comment or, if you’d prefer to write an update article about it, then email me.