Tagged: Alaska

(Credit: Getty)

Offshore Drilling: At What Cost

House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on a discussion draft of the Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore Act (ASTRO Act) (draft bill). Why It Matters – Drilling for oil in the ocean has an impact on our economy and environment. Outer continental shelf (OCS) drilling has been banned in certain areas for several reasons, including disruption to tourism, threats to ecosystems and species, noise pollution, and risk of oil spills. Determining where OCS lease sales can occur involves rigorous assessment. This bill would open all areas of the ocean to drilling, eliminate the president’s ability to designate marine national monuments, and give OCS lease sales authority to the secretary of interior instead of relying solely on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) five-year plan.

Russian nuclear icebreaker Yamal on her way to the North Pole, 2001. (Credit: Wofratz, Wikipedia Commons)

America Losing To Russia 40-3 In Arctic Icebreaker Race

Few ships have a strong enough hull, the appropriate shape, or enough power to push through multiple meters of solid sea ice. Icebreakers are becoming increasingly necessary ships for the Coast Guard as the climate warms and the Arctic thaws, opening the once-inaccessible area to traffic and foreign nations like Russia and China. The House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation held a hearing to discuss these much-needed vessels (vital for conducting Artic research) with the Coast Guard.

NOAA announced a recovery plan for Beluga whales in Alaska. (Credit: Mike Johnston/Flickr)

NOAA Releases Plan for Alaska Endangered Beluga Whales

A federal plan for the recovery of an endangered Alaska beluga whale calls for a reduction in threats of high concern while scientists try to pinpoint what has kept the population from growing. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday announced its recovery plan for Cook Inlet beluga whales, a population listed as endangered since 2008.

(Credit: Kevin J. Neff/U.S. Coast Guard )

Coast Guard Actions In The Arctic

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, held a hearing on the Coast Guard’s implementation capabilities in the Arctic to outline the state of play in the region.

Plastic bottles on a beach (Credit: Bo Eide/ Flickr)

Trash In The Seas Starts At Home

Marine debris is flooding our oceans at an estimated rate of eight million tons of trash annually, and its results are devastating. Scientists have observed nearly 700 different marine species that have already been negatively impacted by marine plastics, and trash could outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050.

A juvenile yellowfin sole, Limanda aspera. (Credit: NOAA)

Other Fisheries Notices – Rock Sole

The National Marine Fisheries Service is exchanging unused rock sole Community Development Quota for yellowfin sole CDQ acceptable biological catch reserves in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area.

The largest billfish, the Atlantic blue marlin, weighs up to 1800 lb and has been classified as a vulnerable species. (Credit: NMFS/NOAA)

Notice of Public Meetings

Upcoming public meetings have been announced for the Mid-Altantic Fishery Management Council’s Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Advisory Panel, Pacific Fishery Management Council, North Slope Science Initiative-Science Technical Advisory Panel, and NOAA Office for Coastal Management.