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April 2, 2010

The Scanner

Happy spring Friday!

Offshore drilling was on everyone’s lips this week. And while we were disappointed with Obama’s decision to open new areas to drilling, he also cancelled four lease sales in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas that had been scheduled by President Bush and committed to conducting significant scientific research and monitoring before any new lease sales are held in those areas — which is very good news for Arctic people and ecosystems.

Oceana board member Ted Danson talked about the drilling decision on CNN yesterday. If you’re incensed by Obama’s decision, go ahead and give him a piece of your mind.

In other ocean news,

…U.S. Department of State banned imports of wild-caught Mexican shrimp if they are collected in ways that threaten endangered sea turtles; in other words, turtle excluder devices are now required in Mexico’s shrimp trawl nets.

…NOAA administrator and marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco talked to Smithsonian Magazine about our changing view of the oceans, dead zones and a cohesive national ocean policy.

…Anderson Cooper dove unprotected with great white sharks in South Africa with “shark man” Mike Rutzen. The video includes disturbing footage of a shark being finned and thrown back into the sea, still alive.

…Hundreds of Magellanic penguins were stranded in Brazil after their search for food (anchovy) left them stranded hundreds of miles from their usual feeding grounds. Every year they migrate north from Patagonia, but the numbers and distances the penguins have travelled this year have amazed the authorities. Their incredible journey indicates that something is awry with their food supply, perhaps due to changes in water temperatures, ocean currents or pollution.

…Stephen Colbert grilled Sylvia Earle about her new book, the World is Blue, suggesting that to combat overfishing we should rename earthworms “Appalachian yard trout.” (Hat tip to Sea Notes.)

…Rick of Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice and Sunsets posted his annual “ocean egg hunt” — The first person to accurately identify all 12 eggs in the photos (you have to name the species) will receive a trophy.