Tagged: Gulf of Mexico

(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.

Red snapper (Credit: Wikimedia commons)

A Snappy Debate On Red Snapper

Three days is just a drop in the fish bucket compared to 200. Yet that is exactly how long recreational fishers will have to catch red snapper in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico this year. The short season will make history and represents a sharp decline from 2006, when the season consisted of approximately 200 days. The change is alarming to anglers and industry fisheries alike and caught the attention of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who invited experts to discuss two major controversies surrounding red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico – the distribution of allotments between commercial and recreational anglers and state versus federal regulations.

Click to enlarge) A manta ray in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. (Credit: National Ocean Service Image Gallery)

Mysteries Of The Under-explored Deep Ocean

Dr. Amanda Demopoulos, George P. Schmahl, and Dr. Jason Chaytor each described recent discoveries from the ocean’s abyss at “The Deep Ocean: Earth’s Final Frontier” congressional briefing sponsored by the House Oceans Caucus.

Gulf of Mexico. (Credit: Google Earth)

Comment Request

The NMFS Southeast Region, in collaboration with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, intends to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement to describe and analyze a range of alternatives for management actions to be included in Amendment 42 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico.