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  • Sat. April 29 - Coastal species are living on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Sat. April 29 - Coastal species are living on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Plus: Victoria will get another ride-hailing service

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Good morning!

We hope you’re soaking up the sun on this gorgeous day!

Today we've got stories on West Coast species surviving (and somehow thriving) in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and on Victoria’s new ride-hailing app. Plus, if you’re looking for a reason—other than the weather—to get out and about this weekend, we’ve got your rundown on what’s happening around town.

The Capital Daily Team

Coastal species are living on plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, local research helps reveal

📸 Items collected in the study. Nature Ecology & Evolution / The Ocean Cleanup

West Coast and Japanese-coast marine species are managing to live and reproduce on the North Pacific’s vortex of plastic, according to a new paper co-authored by Henry Choong, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Royal BC Museum. This “neopelagic community” can survive in the open ocean because the plastic “provides a more permanent, non-biodegradable ‘home’ for them,” Choong said in a release.

For the study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, The Ocean Cleanup (a nonprofit that frequently travels from Victoria to the Patch and back) collected 105 plastic items floating between California and Hawaii in 2018 and 2019. On 70.5% of those they found coastal invertebrates including crustaceans, anemones, bryozoan filter-feeders, and mussels, all surviving thousands of kilometres from their usual habitats. In many cases they lived alongside oceanic species.

The researchers suggest that the reason these species didn’t already live in the open ocean may be less the physiological or ecological constraints and more the simple lack of something to dwell on. Species have always spread via rafting, but plastic rafts remain intact and afloat longer than many rafts of natural materials.

The “Jenny” system in action. Photo: The Ocean Cleanup

The Garbage Patch is often depicted as a floating dump, but in fact includes a very broad spread of plastic and microplastic in the vast (20 million km2) North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. The Ocean Cleanup periodically takes multi-week trips through the Patch. Its u-shaped trash collecting system is nicknamed “Jenny” and is pulled by two ships (one of which is usually the Maersk Trader, whose crew Capital Daily interviewed as they spent last Christmas at Ogden Point). The trash collected by Jenny is mostly fishing gear but also includes toothbrushes, toilet seats, shoes, and more.

RBCM previously researched Japanese species arriving in North America and Hawaii on debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

By Cam Welch

Capital Bulletin

☀️ Today’s weather: Mainly sunny throughout the day and cloudy periods in the evening. High 22C / low 8C.

🫂 Victoria Hospice grief support: Starting May 10, Victoria Hospice is offering eight-week support group sessions for those who have lost loved ones to a toxic drug death.

🛣️ Highway incident: On Friday beginning around 10pm police closed Highway 17 from Quadra to Mckenzie and “advise[d] motorists in the immediate area to seek shelter.” The incident itself was over by 11pm, with one driver in custody, but the closure lasted several hours.


Victoria will soon get another ride-hailing service

📸 James MacDonald / Capital Daily

Ride app Uride will launch here this spring and plans to operate 24/7. Lucky To Go, the only ride-hail app to offer services in Victoria throughout the last two years, is 12 hours a day. Current Taxi, the Tesla-only ride-hail app, also returned to Victoria in March after a two-year hiatus.

Uride first set its sights on Victoria in 2019, getting approval from BC’s Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) in 2021. Its initial launch date was set for Sept. 2022, but Uride’s West Coast operations manager Ravi Dhami said the company delayed to this spring to have a larger pool of drivers available.

“We want to come into any new market and be confident that we can provide the level of service that people of Victoria, or any city, deserve,” Dhami said. With “a tonne of driver applications” having since come in, he believes “now’s the time for us to pull the trigger.”

Uber still attempting Victoria entry
Ride app giants Lyft and Uber have yet to receive PTB approval for the Victoria market, despite getting the green light in Vancouver. Uber tried and failed several times—in 2021, the PTB rejected the company’s Victoria licence application, saying there was not enough public demand for the service. The board also argued that Uber’s presence could monopolize the area and that existing licensees should have the opportunity to grow their businesses “without additional competition.”

Hoping to bypass the usual application process, Uber purchased Vancouver company ReRyde’s operating license last August and has a PTB re-application in progress. As Capital Daily covered last Sept., transfer approvals have fewer criteria than new applications.

By Robyn Bell



Awakening Chinatown back for second year

After the incredible success of its inaugural event, the Victoria Chinese Museum Society presents the second annual Awakening Chinatown, May 28, noon to 5pm in Victoria’s Historic Chinatown.

The lively afternoon of festivities includes a traditional ceremony to “Awaken the Lions,” lion dancing and martial arts by the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club, magician Justin Louie, performances by Chinese Dance Victoria, Evergreen (Senior’s) Choir, Sunshine Fitness Group, House of Rice, Happy Drum Group, Victoria Chinese Opera Club, and Pacific Opera Victoria.

Plus learn Chinese arts and crafts, play Chinese games, and enjoy demonstrations of Chinese calligraphy and fortune telling. Awakening Chinatown is free, through the generous contributions of sponsors, including Presenting Sponsor RBC and Lion Sponsors Townline Homes and Nicola Wealth.

Capital Picks

📽️ Cult After Dark presents Heat: As part of the crime film series, the Vic Theatre will be showing Heat with Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. 9:30pm. [Tickets]

❤️‍ “Stylish, playful, and clever…Irresistible” Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, the award-winning musical, continues to May 14. Tickets and information.*

🎤 Aversions and The Deadly Hiyas: Vinyl Envy’s Saturday night show will feature Vancouver band Aversions, and local Victoria band The Deadly Hiyas. [Tickets]

🥒 Free BBQ party & one-day grocery sale: Find some deals at Urban Grocer on Fort along with a BBQ lunch party from 11am to 2pm including 49 Below Ice Cream, Farming Karma, and more.

🎹 David Vest at Hermann’s Jazz: The six-time Maple Blues Award winner and blues piano legend performs at 7pm. [Tickets]

🤝 Now hiring: Baker & Assistant Decorator at Ooh La La Cupcakes.

*Sponsored Listing

In Other News

🚨 Mother of newborn found dead on Wednesday has been located
The mother is now receiving medical care and support, police said. A Friday autopsy found the death to be from natural causes. The body was found in a parking lot on Bay, and police said the baby may have been born in that area. The situation remains under investigation.

🐟 New measures and fishing closures in Island waters to protect Southern Resident orcas
Transport Canada’s new steps to protect these critically-endangered orcas include boating speed limits, bans on salmon fishing near the Gulf Islands through summer and into fall, and an added interim sanctuary zone banning all vessels near Pender and Saturna islands. Risks to the dwindling population (now at 73) include low salmon stock, marine traffic, and other factors.

🌎 UVic launches new climate degree programs
A new Bsc in climate science will begin at UVic next month, followed by a graduate training program for climate solutions in the fall. These new programs aim to connect both the physical-science and social-science aspects of climate studies, a unique approach that will train graduates to take on future climate jobs. [Vic Tech Journal]

In Case You Missed It

🏠 Emergency housing for RidgeView Place residents: The province is providing five days of emergency housing and the building owner has increased its compassionate assistance to $2,500 after city pressure. [Capital Daily]

💊 Heart Pharmacy has a list of pharmacy services that can save you an arduous journey of finding a doctor's appointment. Learn more here.*

🦀 Best seafood in Victoria: The top three seafood restaurants in Victoria as voted by readers in the 2023 Tasting Victoria Restaurant Awards. [Tasting Victoria]

☀️ Victoria patio bylaw: This week city council directed staff to look at adjusting a new bylaw that allows sidewalk patios but will soon ban boulevard ones—which a few local restaurants have.

⚡️ Do you work in government and tech? Then sign up for Button Inc.’s free twice-monthly newsletter and up your digital communications, user experience, and customer relationships!*

*Sponsored Listing

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