Oceans

Ocean Law Developments

If you’re interested in ocean issues, you might want to take a look at the new symposium in Issues in Legal Scholarship: Frontier Issues in Ocean Law: Marine Resources, Maritime Boundaries, and the Law of the Sea. Issues in Legal Scholarship is on on-line, peer-reviewed publiation of Berkeley Law, featuring symposiums organized by Berkeley faculty …

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Good news for gondoliers

The Gallup poll showing increasing public skepticism about the climate change threat, which Holly blogs about below, does not bode well for Venice, California–unless you’re a gondolier.   A report was released yesterday, sponsored by several California agencies, giving more detail than ever before about the threats to California’s coast from rising sea levels.  Margot Roosevelt of …

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Still waiting on Lubchenco and Holdren

On February 12, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing (see here for the webcast) on the nominations of Jane Lubchenco as NOAA Administrator and John Holdren as head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Although Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) questioned Holdren sharply over some papers Holdren …

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Awaiting bad news on international fisheries

Early this month, I posted about WWF’s report on the dismal state of compliance with the FAO’s voluntary Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Now Rebecca Bratspies notes on IntLawGrrls that FAO is scheduled to release its biennial report on the state of the world’s fisheries on March 2, and that “[t]he news is not …

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Of Smelt, Salmon & Whales

The inter-connectivity of our ecosystem has been underscored by new and alarming scientific findings.  Recently, the National Marine Fisheries Service has reported that the dramatic, well-documented declines in Pacific salmon fisheries may lead to the extinction of Pacific killer (Orca) whales.  This killer whale population, a unique species, is already endangered under federal law, and …

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Which oysters for the Chesapeake Bay?

Sunday’s Washington Post reports that a decision is expected soon on whether to deliberately introduce the Suminoe oyster, native to China and Japan, to the Chesapeake Bay. A decision would mark the end of an analytic process that has been going on for more than 10 years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a …

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Laws as data

Julie Ekstrom, a doctoral student at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara, has put together and made publicly available a searchable dataset of federal and state statutes and regulations dealing with ocean and coastal resources in the California current ecosystem. In a paper in the journal Marine Policy (subscription …

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The Commerce shuffle

Does anyone want to be Secretary of Commerce? First Bill Richardson stepped aside under a cloud. Today, nominee #2 Judd Gregg (about whom Cymie and I blogged earlier) withdrew his name, saying he disagreed too strongly with President Obama to take the position. Still, fans of the Department’s environmental arm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric …

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Drill baby drill?

Remember last year when gas was at $4 a gallon, and candidates were falling all over themselves to explain how they would bring that price down? Two longstanding moratoria against oil and gas development in federal waters fell to that political pressure. In July, George W. Bush lifted an executive ban, initially issued by his …

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Irresponsible fisheries

WWF has a new report out on compliance with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization‘s voluntary Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing, which was issued in 1995. The report details the extent to which 53 countries, responsible for more than 95% of the world’s wild fish harvests, complied with the code between 2003 and 2005. …

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