February 18 2014

LOST pushed by AK Senators
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch — Alaska and the US are getting aced out of the Arctic. Alaska Senators have their say after this –

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Alaska and the U.S. can’t lay any claim to the Arctic, unless it signs on to the Law of the Sea Treaty, called LOST.  Senator Lisa Murkowski —

” We have an opportunity as an Arctic nation to extend our territory based on the outer continental shelf and annex, as it were, an area close to the size of California that would be available to us for resource exploration and development.”
Russia has planted a flag on the seabed at the North Pole and is building the first offshore oil rig that can withstand extreme cold and pack ice. Norway is staking claims to vast oil and gas deposits. And Canada has plans for an Arctic military training base. Meanwhile, the US is sidelined. Senator Mark Begich –
  “When you think of the countries that have not signed on to it: Libya, Iran, North Korea , I’m not sure I want to be in that company, but we are. Part of it is we have a couple Senators who believe that this will take away our sovereignty, that LOST will take away our ability to manage our own waters. The reality is, every day we are not part of this agreement, we’re losing part of our sovereignty.”
The Law of the Sea Treaty originated in 1982 by the UN as a way to govern activities on, over, and beneath the oceans. But some provisions were strongly opposed by then President Reagan and the U.S. has never signed on. Both Murkowski and Begich say it is time for their Senate colleagues to get with the times.
“You need to look at the Treaty  as it is today in view of what is going on in energy issues and our quest to be more energy independent, and the potential for us as an Arctic nation.”
“They need to broaden their world wide view.  At the end of the day we have to. We are part of a world economy, part of many issues where we have to determine rights of ownership to the Arctic.”
The other Arctic nations have pledged support for LOST as the legal framework for governance.  If Congress does not ratify the treaty this session, it’s back to the drawing board next year.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – serving Alaska’s fishing communities since 1910. On the web at www.oceanbeauty.com .. In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.