environment

Courtesy Paradigm Marine

 

Western Alaska will have better oil spill response capabilities with a new vessel. The OSRV Ocean Liberty was expected to arrive in Unalaska by the end of March, but the ship is awaiting modifications and clean up of an oil spill in Shuyak Straight near Kodiak has delayed the process.

Unalaska Mayor Frank Kelty is excited for the added layer of safety the vessel will bring to the region. In a given year at America’s top fishing port, he says local fuel docks can pump up to 60 million gallons of fuel. Plus, large vessels pass through the region on major shipping routes.

Kristin Cieciel/NOAA

 

Do jellyfish affect Bering Sea fisheries? And if so, how?

That’s what Yale University’s Jonathan Rutter wants to find out. The college senior is conducting a survey to learn more about the gelatinous creatures directly from fishermen.

 

“What are these impacts that jellyfish have on Bering Sea fisheries?" Rutter said. "And those impacts could be economic- or nuisance-based. I’m going in it with a pretty open mind.”

 

(NOAA)

 

Seven years ago this week, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake stuck off the coast of Japan, triggering a tsunami with waves up to 30 feet high. The event ravaged communities, and its after effects have been felt across the Pacific.

Courtesy of Melissa Good

 

In the past year, two ice seals have turned up in Unalaska — way outside their natural range. The first was spotted in late February 2017 and less than a year later another was photographed near town.

SeaGrant's Melissa Good says ringed seals don’t belong in Unalaska.

“Ringed seals are ice associated seals so they live and kind of work around the ice,” she said. “They want to haul out on the ice for pupping, molting, and resting.”

Courtesy Noel Pelland/Proceedings of the Tribunal of Arbitration at Paris, Volume 7.

 

In the late 1800s, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury sent Captain C. L. Hooper to the Pribilof Islands to learn as much as he could about the northern fur seal from the Alaska Native people who lived there. At the time, the fur trade was big business.

One of the lessons he recorded was that the seals are known to travel with the wind when possible. Now scientists have the data to back up that traditional knowledge.

Pages