NMFS Extends Opening Date of Subsistence Use Season for Eastern Pacific Stock of Northern Fur Seals

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has extended the opening date of the subsistence use season of the Eastern Pacific stock of northern fur seals (Callorhinusursinus) by opening the season on June 20, 2018, in response to a request from the Traditional Council of St. George Island, Tribal Government. The subsistence use regulations at 50 CFR 216.72(a) authorize the extension of the northern fur seal harvest earlier than the scheduled opening date of June 23. The opening of the season three days earlier is intended to provide meat for the community of St. George Island in response to the unavailability of food in the community store due to unforeseen flight cancellations and the complete consumption of fur seal meat from harvests in 2017.

Comment on Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Issuing Annual Catch Limits to the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has announced the availability of a draft environmental impact pursuant to the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act of This draft EIS assesses the impacts of issuing annual catch limits for the subsistence harvest of bowhead whales by Alaska Natives from 2019 onward. The official 60-day comment period for comments on the draft EIS began on June 1, 2018 and will end on July 31, 2018.

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Article Argues Need for Better Enforcement of Marine Protected Areas’ Boundaries

Scientific American published an article entitled “Marine Protected Areas Are Important, but…they can’t do their job of protecting aquatic ecosystems if people fail to respect their boundaries”.

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“IAGC Denounces New Zealand Government’s Decision to End Oil and Gas Exploration”

On April 11, 2018, Nikki Martin, President of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, today issued the following statement regarding the New Zealand Government’s announcement that it would end oil and gas exploration:

“The New Zealand government’s announcement to end oil and gas exploration demonstrates a lack of consideration for the nation’s energy future and the exploration industry’s long history of safely and successfully coexisting with the marine environment. In New Zealand and around the world seismic and exploration activities have been conducted extensively for over 50 years alongside stable and even thriving marine life populations. Contrary to the characterization that dependence on fossil fuels has held the nation back, access to safe, affordable oil and gas energy ensures citizens’ well-being,provides stable employment and lifts those in poverty.