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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ocean exploration ship the Okeanos Explorer made an exciting discovery on May 16 — while conducting an “engineering dive” in the Gulf of Mexico to test new remotely operated vehicle (ROV) equipment, they found the wreck of what is likely a mid-19th-century wooden sailing vessel.
As part of their challenge to bar the government from drilling for oil and gas off the southeastern coast, a coalition of environmental groups asked a federal judge in South Carolina to force the government to suspend seismic airgun blast testing, which are used to deposits of oil and gas under the sea floor, until the case can be fully heard in court. They are challenging the government’s permits, which would allow for the drilling to harm and even possibly kill of a number of marine mammals, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, which is on the verge of extinction.
The National Audubon Society published a new report yesterday calling for the largest ecosystem restoration effort ever attempted — a $1.7-billion slate of distinct restoration projects spanning the states of Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Louisana, and Florida. The funding for these projects is available due to the $20B settlement in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation.
Warming ocean temperatures are causing massive changes for fishermen, some of which may force them out of business, according to several recent stories examining the impacts of climate change on the fishing industry.
Why This Matters: Warming waters that shift fish populations make a barely viable business downright impossible for many small and medium-sized fishing operations. Not to mention the additional fuel and time it takes to chase fewer fish, that are now found farther from ports. Watching this play out is painful in U.S. fishing communities, but for many parts of the world, it could become a real food security crisis. The U.S. government currently is very lethargic in changing its fisheries management schemes even as the evidence of shifting fish populations grows. Given the challenges of climate change, a more engaged approach to fisheries management that takes climate change into account is needed. It will benefit the fishermen and the fish populations as well.
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