Bowhead Whales and Other Endangered Whale Species: Their Influence on Offshore Operations in Alaska


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by Mark A. Fraker, Sohio Alaska Petroleum Co, Environmental Affairs Dep, Anchorage, AK, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Civil Engineering in the Arctic Offshore:

Abstract: In recent years, whales have become the focus of considerable public concern, and this is manifested in the measures that are imposed to protect them from possible adverse effects of offshore petroleum operations in Alaska. Concerns about the well-being of the bowhead have had a particularly large effect because this species is not only classified as endangered but is also the subject of an important hunt of Alaskan Eskimos. Concerns about endangered species have resulted in seasonal drilling restrictions, drilling restrictions according to degree of ice-cover, deletions of lease tracts in areas thought to be especially important to whales, and long delays in issuing leases. Clearly, these effects are expensive in terms of both time and money. The Endangered Species Act and the whales covered under the Act are major considerations in planning offshore operations in Alaska.

Subject Headings: Endangered species | Petroleum | Wells (oil and gas) | Drilling | Public opinions | Ice | Seasonal variations | North America | Alaska | United States | Arctic

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