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.
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.
This is the eighth blog post from our team in Copenhagen. See the others here. - Emily
Here we are in the last days of the conference, and parties are frantically trying to agree to a text and civil society (at least parts of it) are being frozen out of the process. The secretariat has massively reduced the number of NGOs allowed in the conference center and today some entire delegations, including Friends of the Earth, were denied entry.
Good news: Oceana was able to get in, and we're still here talking about ocean acidification and it's impacts on the ocean.