Emily Schwing, NNN - Northwest News Network
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a Letter of Authorization on Tuesday to Shell. The authorization allows the oil company to “take small numbers of Polar bears and Pacific walrus incidental to activities occurring during its ‘Outer Continental Shelf 2015’ exploration drilling program in the Chukchi Sea” this summer. Download Audio
The Transocean Polar Pioneer, a drill rig contracted by Royal Dutch Shell, has arrived in Dutch Harbor. The oil company plans to use the port as a hub this summer as part of their exploratory Arctic drilling effort. There’s very little opposition in the tiny Alaskan town in comparison to that in Seattle, where some environmental activists went so far as to chain themselves to one of Shell’s Arctic drilling support vessels last month. Download Audio:
The International Maritime Organization’s Marine Safety Committee is in the middle of its 95th session in London this week. Included on the committee’s agenda is the adoption of five recommended “areas to be avoided” in the Aleutian Chain. The shipping buffer zones come in anticipation of increased mariner shipping traffic in the region. Download Audio:
Pollock ‘B’ Season opened Wednesday in the Aleutian Islands and Eastern Bering Seas Region.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday in favor of the Department of Interior’s approval of two oil spill response plans for Arctic drilling put forward by Royal Dutch Shell. The company plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas this summer.
The International Maritime Organization’s Marine Safety Committee is in the middle of its 95th session in London this week. Included on the committee’s agenda is the adoption of five recommended “areas to be avoided” in the Aleutian Chain. The shipping buffer zones come in anticipation of increased mariner shipping traffic in the region.
The finalization of a deal to acquire Horizon Lines’ Alaska operations means the nation’s largest Jones Act shipping company no longer exists. But the Matson Navigation Company isn’t planning any major changes to shipping service in the state.
Two 25-foot Coast Guard response boats arrived in Dutch Harbor this week. The boats will patrol waters off the coast of Dutch Harbor as oil giant Royal Dutch Shell moves forward with plans to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean. Download Audio:
Alaska’s Orthodox Bishop, David Mahaffey was in Unalaska last week. He has held his post in Alaska for just over a year. He said in that time, he’s placed more focus on work with the Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor Training Program, or RADACT, to address issues of substance and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.
A new fish processor opened its doors in Kent, Washington this spring. It is operated by the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association. Revenue from the processor is expected to help fuel economies in remote communities along the Aleutian chain.
The Alaska state Ferry Tustumena spent at least five extra days off the water and missed its first scheduled sailing earlier this month, and it is headed for Unalaska this weekend. But it’s still unclear what a possible state government shutdown could mean if the legislature fails to fund a budget by the start of the next fiscal year.
For decades, a few big name mushers have dominated the standings in the Iditarod, but after decades of racing, many of them are reconsidering their priorities. Professional mushing may be in the midst of a “changing of the guard” as a small group of young mushers start to post top finishing times. Download Audio
The top-10 Iditarod mushers have arrived safely in Nome and their sled dogs are tucked in for a long rest in the dog yard. For most of the front-runners, a top-10 finish is nothing new. Download Audio
Dallas Seavey is the winner of the 2015 Iditarod. This is his third win in four years. The 27-year old musher says he’s not the only young member of his team. Many of his dogs are only three years old. Some sled dogs can race beyond the age of eight. Seavey says his team has a long future of competitive mushing ahead.
Dallas Seavey crossed under the burled arch in Nome at 4:13 a..m. Wednesday, securing his second-consecutive Iditarod win, and his third four years. He made the 22 mile run from Safety, the Iditarod's final stop before the finish line in Nome, in three hours. Download Audio
The top teams have left White Mountain and they are on their way to the Iditarod finish line in Nome. Spectators are unlikely to see a major shakeup in the front end of the field, but this year’s race is likely to end with career bests for many of the teams up front. Download Audio
Dallas Seavey was the first musher to arrive in White Mountain Tuesday morning. It’s the second to last stop along the Iditarod trail. Teams will take an eight-hour mandatory rest there, before the make the final push for Nome.