“Time to Modernize the Marine Mammal Protection Act”

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the above-titled article on its website.  This article reads in part as follows:

“The U.S. is falling behind in seismic information gathering, exploration activity and energy development due to unnecessary bureaucratic delays caused by the vague language and broken regulatory processes in the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). On the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf alone, current procedural requirements have led to 1,200 days of regulatory inaction, because it fails to hold the implementing agencies accountable.

The MMPA was created to protect marine mammals, but not to be used as a tool by anti-energy groups to prevent exploration activities.

NMFS Issues Navy Taking Regulations for Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Study Area

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries has issued regulations pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act to govern the taking of marine mammals incidental to the training and testing activities conducted in the Atlantic Fleet Training

and Testing Study Area over the course of five years beginning in November, 2018. These regulations allow for the issuance of Letters of Authorization for the incidental take of marine mammals during the described activities and time frames, prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, and establish requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking. These regulations are effective from November 14, 2018 through November 13, 2023.

Attend 48th AGC Annual Conference

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors will hold its 48th Annual Conference on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM CST, at the Hilton Westchase, 9999 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77042.

The theme of this conference is “Accelerating Exploration, Expanding energy Possibilities.”

Click here for more information and relevant links.



“Arctic Council meeting focuses on biodiversity in the Arctic”

The Arctic Council distributed the above-titled email about its latest meeting. The email reads as follows:

“Representatives of the eight Arctic States and six indigenous Permanent Participant organizations, as well as the Arctic Council’s six Working Groups and more than thirty Observers, met in Rovaniemi, Finland on 1-2 November 2018. This was the third Senior Arctic Officials’ meeting held during the Chairmanship of Finland (2017-2019).

The Council focused its thematic discussion on biodiversity in the Arctic and welcomed updates from the six Working Groups, two Task Forces, and one Expert Group, as well as interventions from Observers. During the biodiversity discussion Working Groups presented their ongoing efforts to advance biodiversity conservation, inform policy, and engage the public.

Comment on Oil and Gas ITA for Cook Inlet, Alaska

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seeks comment on a request from Hilcorp Alaska, LLC (Hilcorp) for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska over the course of five years from the date of issuance. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on the Hilcorp’s application and request. Comments and information must be received no later than November 26, 2018.

Click here for more information and relevant links.


Notice and Call for Nominations of New Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee

The Department of Commerce is seeking nominations for membership on the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The Committee advises the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior on implementing Section 4 of Executive Order 13158, focusing mainly on strategies and priorities for the design, monitoring and adaptive management of effective MPAs in U.S. waters.

Nominations are sought for 11 highly qualified non-Federal scientists (natural and social), resource managers, and people representing other interests or organizations involved with, or affected by, marine protected areas, including in the Great Lakes.

Nominations must be received before or on December 1, 2018

Comment on NMFS’ Recovery Plan for Blue Whale

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service seeks comment on NMFS’

Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the Blue Whale (Balaenopteramusculus). NMFS will consider all substantive comments received during the review period before submitting the Plan for final approval. NMFS is also initiating a 5-year review of the blue whale and requests new information on its status. NMFS must receive comments on the Draft Plan and information for the 5-year review by December 11, 2018. Click here for more information and relevant links.


AGENDA FOR AGC-IADC MMPA/Offshore Legal Issues Workshop

(Thursday, October 25, 2018 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM EST)
TGS,  10451 Clay Rd. , Houston, TX 77041

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following on the IAGC website:

“The IAGC and IADC are jointly holding an MMPA Workshop on 25 October 2018. The workshop will highlight the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and how it impacts access and exploration within the U.S. and international implications.

IOGP Environmental Performance Indicators Report Available

The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers distributed the following release about theirIOGP Report 2017e – Environmental Performance Indicators, 2017 data:

“We are pleased to announce the publication a new report.

Part of IOGP’s Data Series, this report summarises information on exploration and production (E&P) activities carried out by contributing IOGP member companies in 2017. IOGP has collected environmental data from its member companies every year since 1999. The objective of this programme has been to allow member companies to compare their performance with other companies in the sector leading, it is hoped, to improved and more efficient performance. The programme also contributes to the industry’s wish to be more transparent about its operations.

Free Books !!!!

The Discovery of Sound in the Sea distributed and posted the following release about their free distribution of books:

“The Discovery of Sound in the Sea (DOSITS) Project is pleased to announce that the DOSITS electronic books (in iBooks format) will be available to download for FREE through the iTunes store for macOS and iOS (iPad and iPhone) until October 31, 2018. To view sample pages and access the books via an iTunes link, please visit the DOSITS website at dosits.org/book/.

Discovery of Sound in the Sea Book I: Importance of Sound in the Sea focuses on sound in the ocean, both natural and human produced, and contains DOSITS content on topics related to marine animal sound production and reception and use of sound, along with a chapter on the potential effects of human produced sounds on marine animals.