Ocean Roundup: Seafood Fraud Cases Declining with Staff Cuts, Settlement Reached for Arctic Drilling Violations, and More - Oceana USA
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2014-12-09 00:00:00

Ocean Roundup: Seafood Fraud Cases Declining with Staff Cuts, Settlement Reached for Arctic Drilling Violations, and More

The tugs Corbin Foss, Ocean Wave and Lauren Foss begin the tow of the conical drilling unit Kulluk from Kiliuda Bay near Kodiak Island, Alaska, Feb. 26, 2013, with the tug Guardsman, tug Warrior, Nanuq and Aiviq on scene to assist. A safety zone has been established around the Kulluk and an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew overflew the area to confirm there were no security concerns. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis)

Noble Drilling (U.S.) LLC—the company that operated oil rigs in Royal Dutch Shell’s 2012 controversial Arctic drilling season—agreed to pay $12.2 in fines for safety violations. The settlement also includes issues with the Kulluk drilling rig, which ran aground in December 2012 off of Kodiak Island. Alaska Dispatch News

– In a rare stranding event, six dead sperm whales—the largest of the toothed whale species that can grow up to 52 feet long—beached on a South Australian beach on Monday. Officials aren’t sure why the whales died, but suspect the pod may have followed one whale into shallower waters. Discovery News

– At the 11th Regular Session of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission last week, Taiwan, PoC announced it’s establishing a fund to help small Pacific islands improve their fishing operations. The fund is aimed at helping nations fish sustainably, and includes Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. Taiwan, PoC Today

Long Read:

– Seafood fraud—when fish is mislabeled, misrepresented, or illegally caught—is widespread around the U.S., but seafood fraud cases in the U.S. continue to fall. NOAA’s federal investigators dropped by a third from 147 in 2008 to 93 today, and enforcement cases have also fallen by 75 percent. The Baltimore Sun

– Southeastern Louisiana is rapidly sinking into the Gulf of Mexico—and is expected to lose 1,750 square miles of land over the next 50 years. The state’s plan to save the coast—by preserving and marshes and barrier islands and expanding levees—seems like it could work, but ProPublica outlines significant flaws. ProPublica