Noisy ocean! Credit:

Noisy ocean!

Fish Radio

January 21, 2014

Murkowski ticked at lack of comment notice on undersea sounds, marine mammals


This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – One week to comment on undersea sounds and marine mammals. Who knew?  More after this —

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People have one week to give input on how undersea sounds affect marine mammals. But few know about it because NOAA Fisheries dropped the notice two days after Christmas. Senator Lisa Murkowski was not happy with the ‘holiday surprise’ –

 This is a national study  but when you think about Alaska, it is something that has the potential to affect our coastal communities, the maritime sector, the transit of all of our goods,   the fishing industry, oil and gas – basically anyone who is out on the water,” Murkowski said in a phone interview. “It will include the noises of seismic activity from exploratory depth soundings, or driving piles to expand a dock at the Port of Anchorage or a coastal community.    

  The   draft report seeks guidance on identifying  the thresholds above which marine mammals may experience changes in their hearing from underwater manmade sounds.   It outlines NOAA’s current levels, how they were developed, and how they will be updated. It is the first time NOAA has presented such information in a single document.

 Senator Murkowski has urged NOAA to allow an extra 60 days for the public to read and comment on the draft report.

 If you are going to have good process and get meaningful feedback on such a complex issue, you have to allow for time to weigh in. We really need to have an extension,” she said, adding that she has yet to hear back from the agency.       

 No word yet on an extension.  That means comments are due by Monday, January 27.

   Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.