Written by Jen Finn
As Arctic ice quickly succumbs to summer sun, several major energy companies are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to make good use of open ocean for exploration. Shell Oil, Norwegian geoscience company TGS, and SAExploration have all submitted requests to the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management to conduct seismic exploration projects this summer.
hose requests are pending, awaiting permits from BOEM and approval from other federal organizations like U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While they haven't been given the go ahead at this point, all of these projects are slated to start in July should the permits be granted.
While many in Alaska are eager to herald continued investment in the state's oil and gas industry, others are concerned about the potential short- and long-term impact of exploration activities like seismic reflection.
A large ship towing an array of powerful air guns typically executes a seismic survey.
"(They) generate sound waves by firing off explosive blasts of air," states an Alaska Marine Conservation Council release. "The sound waves are reflected off the seafloor and create a picture of underwater geological formations. A typical seismic survey lasts 2 to 3 weeks and covers a range of about 300-600 miles. The intensity of sound waves produced by the firing of seismic air guns can reach up to 250 decibels (dB) near the source and can be as high as 117 dB over 20 miles away. The sound intensity produced by a jackhammer is around 120 dB, which can damage human ears in as little as 15 seconds."
Read the full story at the Alaska Dispatch>>
The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:
The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.Read more...
Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.
Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.Read more...