• President’s Ocean Zoning Plan Called A Threat To Fishing (The Dispatch)

    From: The Dispatch

    By:   SHAWN J. SOPER

    OCEAN CITY — A potential plan to effectively zone vast areas of the open ocean along the nation’s coastlines got more play this week with a congressional committee hearing on Wednesday.

    Last year, based on the recommendations of the Interagency Task Force on Ocean Policy, President Barack Obama issued an executive order calling for a National Ocean Policy, a policy that could include a somewhat controversial “marine spatial zoning” of the seas off the nation’s coastlines, including here in Ocean City and the mid-Atlantic.

  • Fishermen, farming, mining groups decry ocean (Gloucester Times)

    From: Gloucester Times

    By Richard GainesStaff Writer

    A national alliance of fishing groups, including the Gloucester-based Northeast Seafood Coalition, and advocates for the nation’s farmers, ranchers, builders and miners have urged Congress to negate President Obama’s National Ocean Policy, rolled out in 2010 via executive order.

    Fishing interests warn that the policy entails a kind of ocean zoning that threatens fishing industry jobs, while the land-based alliance expressed concern about executive overreach that might lead to decisions based on uncertain values and priorities, squelching business along inland waterways.

  • Domestic Fishing Industry asks Congress to Scuttle New Ocean Regulations

    NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla.Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Seafood Coalition is a broad national coalition of commercial fishing interests, seafood processors, and coastal communities that includes members from every region of the U.S. and accounts for about 85 percent of the fish and shellfish products landed annually in the U.S. Its members are united in opposition to the Administration’s new National Oceans Policy regulatory regime.

  • Evidence shows Gulf oil spill caused widespread ecological damage (Herald-Tribune)

    From: Herald Tribune

    By: Kate Spinner

    Evidence is mounting that the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster caused wide-ranging ecological damage in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    Since the blown oil well spewed 186 million to 227 million gallons of crude into the Gulf last year, several species of fish have developed skin ulcers in what appears to be greater-than-normal numbers. Hundreds of dolphins — nearly 500 so far — have washed ashore dead, and fewer large migratory animals, such as whales sharks, have returned to their normal feeding grounds.

  • Murkowski claims credit for blocking ocean planning funding (Juneau Empire)

    Appropriations bill bars money for Marine Spatial Planning Program in Alaska

    From: Juneau Empire

    By Pat Forgey

    A Senate appropriations bill that passed contained funding for several federal agencies, but also specifically “defunded” a marine planning program that some development advocates worried could hurt the state.

    The Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning effort has had both support and concern from Alaskan government and industry groups, but Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration program would have “allowed the Executive Branch to dictate how States can and cannot use oceans and coasts,” said Murkowski spokesman Matthew Felling.