Page 10: of Marine Technology Magazine (March 2007)


Read this page in Pdf, Flash or Html5 edition of March 2007 Marine Technology Magazine

Innovative state government initia- tives, long overdue federal fisheries reform, and the designation of 140,000 sq. mi. of protected waters were among the highlights of U.S. efforts to reform ocean policy in 2006. These advancements were undercut by the nation's failure to commit funding and make policy reforms for the long term preservation of our oceans, according to the Joint Ocean


Initiative's U.S. Ocean

Policy Report Card. "In the race to pre- serve our oceans, the states are outdistancing the federal govern- ment," said the Honorable Leon

Panetta, co-chair of the Joint Ocean

Commission Initiative. The report card is an assessment of the nation's collective progress in 2006 toward fulfilling the recommendations of the

U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission, which have joined together as the

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative.

The U.S. received an average grade of

C- for the six subjects measured in the report card, up slightly from the D+ assigned for 2005. State leadership and fisheries management earned grades of A- and B+, respectively.

Congress and the Bush administra- tion took important steps forward with the passage of the Magnuson-

Stevens Fishery Conservation and

Management Reauthorization Act, which sets a firm deadline for ending overfishing, the designation of 140,000 square miles of protected islands, atolls, and oceans under the

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Marine National Monument, and the development of a new national ocean research strategy. Similar progress, however, was lacking in other areas measured by the report card.

Incremental improvements in

Research, Science, and Education resulted in a slight grade increase to a

D+, up from a D for 2005. Although sophisticated monitoring systems have been in place for decades to measure changes in the atmos- phere, no such systems exist for our oceans.

The report card, echo- ing the administra- tion's research plan, calls for the implemen- tation of an Integrated

Ocean Observing

System to learn more about the ocean's role in climate change.

Robust investments in ocean research and comprehensive management policies are needed to reverse the decline in the oceans, the report con- tends. New federal funding for ocean policies and programs remained flat in 2006, earning the U.S. a grade of F.

The Joint Initiative has identified $750 million in funding priorities that, if allocated in 2007, would be a significant step forward for research, management and education pro- grams. The recent announcement of an additional $140 million in the

President's FY 2008 budget for ocean-related programs is welcome, but the challenges facing our oceans clearly require a much greater com- mitment of resources. The Initiative is guided by a 10-member Task Force, five from each Commission, and led by Admiral James D. Watkins and the

Honorable Leon E. Panetta, chairs of the U.S. Commission and Pew

Commission, respectively.

Ocean Policy Report Card

U.S. Improves, But Gets a “C-” ***$&$" ((!&$$ $ '(&"  !     +     "!'!'  $&$"  (,$)$ )#&*(& ',$)& )'#''  !%# ,$)$ (((& '$)&'  /2%4RACK0OINT s  4ARGET 3IMULTANEOUS4RACKING s #ANBEUSEDWITHEXISTING /2%(YDROPHONESAND "EACONS s #OMPATIBLEWITH 7INDOWS .4 AND80 s !LSOAVAILABLEINA PORTABLECONlGURATION 4RACK0OINT0

The report card is available at

MTR#2 (1-16).qxd 3/1/2007 9:49 AM Page 12

Marine Technology

Marine Technology Reporter is the world's largest audited subsea industry publication serving the offshore energy, subsea defense and scientific communities.