The noise caused by the waves can injure and impair many different species of fish and marine wildlife.
East Asia and the Northwestern Pacific are home to some of the world’s biggest and most productive fisheries, with average yearly yields in the 20-24 million ton range (Ahlenius 2004). The region is home to many coral reefs and these fisheries provide food for a large percentage of the world’s population. The coral reefs are also some of the most important ecological sites in the world, home to thousands of marine species. These biologically diverse marine habitats these reefs continue to add ecological and economical value to the waters off of Eastern Asia through tourism, recreation, and extractable resources.
Offshore energy exploration allows nations to access additional fuel reserves and expand domestic industry, but there are many costs to consider. While large tracts of natural gas and oil occur in the seabed off the coast of East Asia in the Pacific Ocean they vary in degrees of difficulty and the resources needed to locate and extract these fuels. The process can be very lucrative and offshore drilling rigs are a common sight for many residents of coastal areas across the globe, but the hunt for these resources can be highly detrimental to the local ecosystems and other natural economic assets such as fisheries and tourist attractions.
Types of offshore energy extraction include drilling for oil and hydraulic fracking, both of which have large impacts on the environment in which they are done. For example, seismic mapping, the initial assessment and surveying for potential oil deposits, consists of blasting high decibel waves along the seafloor to map deposits and their sizes (CAOE 2010). The noise caused by the waves can injure and impair many different species of fish and marine wildlife. These disruptions, especially in a highly productive environment, could potentially damage populations to the point of impacting fisherman’s daily catches, bringing down local economies and making it more difficult for fishermen to provide for their families.
In addition, drilling also releases many toxic chemicals into the area, similar to the acidic heavy metal runoff created when mining on land. When used in close proximity to valuable ecological assets this concentration of chemicals can harm the reproductive cycles of fish and further exacerbate issues such as ocean acidification, a major factor in the decline in coral reefs (Boesch & Rabalais 2003).
Perhaps the greatest and most publicized impacts of offshore energy exploration are oil spills. Highly detrimental to the environment, a large-scale oil spill like the Exxon Valdez or Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico can cause adverse effects decades into the future. While extensive risk assessment and planning are required before drilling commences, accidents resulting in spills still occur, often due to poor regulation, oversight, or maintenance (Boesch & Rabalais 2003).
Another challenge that comes with oil spills is the clean up. In a region such as East Asia where many countries have access to the coast, a large-scale oil spill could create issues in determining the responsibility of clean up, and getting countries to act in conjunction to address a multinational problem. This would be further hindered by the large degree of territorial disputes among East Asian nations in terms of rightful ownership of areas with oil and natural gas reserves. Many lay claim to the ownership and rights to harvest these resources, but would each country defend their responsibility for a spill, or would a blame-game erupt and further destabilize the region?
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With the help of a recently awarded Community Challenge Grant, the Henry’s Fork Foundation hopes to figure out why one stretch of the famed eastern Idaho river is in decline.
- Lobster catch dropped in N.S. bay in years leading up to launch of Mi'kmaq fisheryon October 7, 2020 at 11:42 am
The federal Fisheries Department says data gathered from a Nova Scotia bay where a self-regulated Mi'kmaq lobster fishery has been recently launched shows a decrease in the catch in recent years.
- USD/ZAR foreign exchange reserves declineon October 7, 2020 at 3:28 am
Foreign exchange reserves have steadily declined over the last three months, despite eased lockdown measures and the opening up of more businesses. Foreign exchange reserves include banknotes, ...
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- New Milestone for Offshore Wind Energy in NYon October 13, 2020 at 12:08 am
New York is one step closer to bringing the first offshore wind power to thousands of homes on Long Island. The New York Department of Public Service and four other state agencies have signed a joint ...
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New satellite imagery spotted by BenarNews shows an experimental wave power generator off Woody Island, China’s main military base and settlement in the Paracel archipelago at the northern end of the ...
- Storm-weary U.S. offshore energy firms prep for massive hurricaneon October 7, 2020 at 10:46 am
The Petronius oil platform is seen from the air, located 100 miles (161 km) off the coast of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico June 3, 2008. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi ...
- U.S. Offshore Energy Firms Prep for Massive Hurricaneon October 7, 2020 at 9:35 am
Oil and gas workers withdrew en masse from U.S. offshore production facilities and onshore refineries began preparations on Wednesday as Hurricane Delta ...
- Storm-weary offshore energy firms prep for massive hurricaneon October 7, 2020 at 7:12 am
Oil and gas workers withdrew en masse from offshore production facilities as Hurricane Delta grew into a powerful storm over the Caribbean on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.
- Britain's Ambitious Offshore Energy Plan -- Every Home To Be Powered by Wind Poweron October 7, 2020 at 5:00 am
Boris Johnson's government set a target to generate 40GW of energy by 2030 through offshore wind energy, which is much more than what is produced globally at present.
- Comment: Offshore energy should be a platform of every candidateon October 4, 2020 at 10:23 pm
American offshore oil and gas provides economic, energy and strategic advantages that should be embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike, the author’s write.
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President Donald Trump’s decision to rule out energy development along the coasts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas will bar not just offshore oil and gas drilling -- but coastal wind farms too.
- EU’s offshore renewable energy strategy taking shapeon September 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Germany, which currently holds the EU’s six-month rotating presidency, is particularly keen to develop offshore wind energy, which is by far the biggest offshore renewable energy player at present.