Weekly Roundup February 8, 2013

Sharks are top predators whose numbers are declining but great white sharks off the coast of California might be getting a break. The California Fish and Game Commission has voted to consider adding great white sharks to the state’s endangered species list, which would partially close a loophole that allows for incidental killing of great whites. Though shark hunting and shark finning are both banned in California waters, sharks are often killed accidentally in gill nets used by fishermen. With the new span of the Bay Bridge nearing completion, a giant opening party is being planned for the end of August before the new span opens to cars on September 3. Get out your running shoes and rolling blades. It’s been a particularly bad year for deadly sneaker waves in Northern California, a reminder to never let the ocean out of your sight while enjoying the beach. Also this week, the oldest known albatross at 62 hatches a chick. Considering the fact that albatrosses usually live between 12 and 40 years, that’s amazing news.

weekly roundup

San Jose Mercury News 2/7/13
Great White Sharks off Coast of California are Safer. At Least for Now
California’s Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to consider a petition to add great white sharks to the state’s endangered species list.
The 4-0 vote in Sacramento immediately bestowed state protection on the sharks pending a final decision, which will come in the spring of 2014 after a year of research by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
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San Francisco Chronicle 2/6/13
New Bay Bridge Span Will Open with Party
The long, arduous and expensive task of building the new east span of the Bay Bridge will end with one final bridge closure that includes plans for a bash featuring a public bridge walk, 10-kilometer and half-marathon runs, a bike ride and fireworks launched from both San Francisco and Oakland.
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San Francisco Chronicle 2/6/13
Ocean Safety Reminder in a Deadly Winter
At least seven people have died on Northern California beaches this winter because they have underestimated the threat caused by storm-fueled waves, rip currents and chilly Pacific water, authorities said.
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San Jose Mercury News 2/7/13
At Age 62 Albatross Hatches a Chick
The world’s oldest-known wild bird — a 62-year-old albatross on Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean — is also a new mother.
The bird, a Laysan albatross whom biologists have named Wisdom, hatched a chick this week, her sixth in the past six years.
“If she were human, she would be eligible for Medicare in a couple of years, yet she is still regularly raising young and annually circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean,” said Bruce Peterjohn, chief of the North American bird banding program at the U.S. Geological Survey. “Simply incredible.”
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