The Bowhead Whale and Offshore Petroleum Operations in the Arctic

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

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '85


Eskimos, environmentalist groups, and government agencies have stated their concerns about possible effects on the bowhead from offshore petroleum operations. These concerns fall into two categories: (1) effects of underwater noise and disturbance, and (2) effects of oil. The Minerals Management Service has spent approximately 14 million dollars since 1979 to study the effects of offshore petroleum operations on species of endangered whales, particularly the bowhead. Most of the research effort has been directed at studying the response of whales to underwater noise and disturbances from normal operations, but there has also been some study of the effects of oil on skin and on baleen (the whale's feeding apparatus).

Subject Headings: Petroleum | Non-renewable energy | Hazardous materials spills | Ecosystems | Wells (oil and gas) | Offshore drilling | State government | Minerals | Arctic

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