Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Friday, 14 May 2010
Blogpic It should come as no surprise that one of the first questions out of people's mouths after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and consequential oil spill is, "What's going to happen to the offshore drilling plan?"
I've heard a lot of folks pronounce this spill as the death knell to Obama's plan, but I find that hard to believe.
This is a massive spill (although the rate at which oil is being pumped above the seafloor is now in dispute), and we won't know the extent of the damage for a very long time. However, tragedies like this one serve as lessons learned. After the Exxon Valdez disaster, we got double-hulled tankers. That action may seem like a no-brainer now, but unfortunately, it often takes disaster on a massive scale for our government (or the international community, when it came to double hulls) to force industry into significant investments.
Hopefully, after Deepwater Horizon, our government will require sonar-activated blowout preventers. During the Bush administration, there was some talk of requiring these preventers on all rigs in U.S. waters, but the oil industry pushed back and said the $500,000 investment was too high, so the Minerals Management Service backed down. Now that cost seems laughable.
Sadly, it seems that for many decades at least, our government has been more in the business of protecting corporations than in protecting its own people. This is just another example of how that has come back to bite us. And the government officials who made it all happen? Happily retired. Good for them.
So what do we do? Well, we have to do what fishermen have understood and been doing for the last couple of decades: get involved in the process. Otherwise, you are sure to be left out, left behind and left in a lurch in the long run.
National Fisherman Live: 1/13/15
In this episode:
Council hosts public hearing on Cashes Ledge
Report assesses Chesapeake water, fisheries
Warmer waters shake up Jersey fishing
North Pacific observer program altered for 2015
Woman aims to crowdsource lobstering career
National Fisherman Live: 12/30/14
In this episode, Michael Crowley, National Fisherman's Boats & Gear editor, interviews Chelsea Woodward, an engineer working with the NIOSH Alaska Pacific Office to design static guards for main drum winches used in the side trawl fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.