Senate Oceans Caucus Blue Economy Briefing

Left to right: RDML Tim Gallaudet (NOAA), Joy Baker (Port of Nome), Dr. Ruth Mullins-Perry (Shell), Leigh Habegger (Seafood Harvesters of America), Zack Klyver (Bar Harbor Whale Watch)
Image credit: Consortium for Ocean Leadership

The IOOS Association and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, in conjunction with the Senate Oceans Caucus, co-hosted a briefing on the value of ocean data to the Blue Economy on July 11, 2018. Caucus Chairs Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) gave remarks on the importance of ocean and coastal data to their states’ economies.

RDML Tim Gallaudet (Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) moderated a panel of representatives from the maritime, energy, tourism, and fishing sectors. The panel included Joy Baker (Port of Nome), Dr. Ruth Mullins-Perry (Shell Exploration and Production Company), Zack Klyver (Bar Harbor Whale Watch), and Leigh Habegger (Seafood Harvesters of America).

According to the panelists, ocean observing data benefits all sectors of the Blue Economy. Ocean observations protect the safety of commercial vessels, employees, and tourists by assisting decision-making at sea during storms and calm weather. Dr. Mullins-Perry pointed out that ocean data and improved forecasting allow Shell to safely evacuate offshore operators before extreme storms approach.

Ocean data also help companies generate revenue. Zack Klyver noted that water temperature data help his whale watch pilots identify where fish, and therefore whales, are likely to be. This helps ensure that his customers are able to see the whales they have paid to see.

The IOOS Association thanks the Consortium for Ocean Leadership and the Senate Oceans Caucus for their partnership in sponsoring this briefing. Click here to learn more about the event.