A new report by the international conservation group Oceana highlights several incidents of fishing vessels switching off their Automatic Identification System beacons in no-take fishing areas.
Global Fishing Watch — a project developed by Google, Oceana, and SkyTruth — hopes to help everyone track the movement of commercial fishing vessels around the world.
“At first blush it does appear the federal government is creating additional cumbersome regulations that will make it more challenging to entice companies back to the Arctic when oil prices rebound,” said an Alaska Oil and Gas Association representative.
“They’re significant because they really call to an end this era of exploration, at least in the Chukchi Sea,” said Michael LeVine of the conservation group Oceana.
An oceanographer on the study told investigators she had “never worked on an SEIS with such a short timeline in her 26-year career.” A fish biologist “stated that she believed the timeline was ‘so crushed’ that the quality of the SEIS was significantly compromised.”
Gov. Walker said it’s like that door has been shut in Alaska’s face. “This hits us at our lowest time,” he said.
Shell is still moving its ships and equipment into the Arctic, even as one of its icebreakers prepares to head back south for repairs.
Environmental groups say they’ve found a fundamental flaw in Shell’s plan to drill in the Chukchi Sea this summer and they’re asking the government to rescind its approval.
Inside a thick government report on the impact of off-shore oil leasing in the Chukchi Sea is a phrase that grabs the attention. It says there’s “75% chance of one or more large spills.”
Once depleted by decades of overfishing, rockfish have rebounded. But it’s hard to tell this conservation and fishery management success story if purveyors continue to misidentify the tasty fish.