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IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (L) and H.E. Mr. Kyaw Zwar Minn, Ambassador of Myanmar to the United Kingdom (R) at IMO Headquarters.

The IMO treaty ensuring that adequate compensation is available to persons that suffer damage caused by oil spills, when carried as fuel in ships’ bunkers, has been ratified by Myanmar. The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (BUNKER) applies to damage caused on the territory, including the territorial sea, and in exclusive economic zones of States under the Convention.

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A community meeting in Napoleonville, Louisiana, on the Bayou Bridge pipeline on 8 February, 2017, where residents voiced opposition to the project. Photo courtesy of Emily Kasick.

Representing the interests of people who use, visit, study and rely on the Atchafalaya Great River Swamp, several groups have asked a Louisiana federal district court to vacate a recent decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that would allow the controversial Bayou Bridge pipeline to be constructed through the Atchafalaya Basin and through hundreds of Louisiana’s streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and bayous.

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ROV KIEL 6000, an electrically powered work class vehicle operated by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, holds a manganese nodule with associated fauna. The ROV is manufactured by Schilling Robotics and has an operational depth rating of 6000 m. Photo courtesy of GEOMAR.

A new paper published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science explores topics relating to the exploration and exploitation of seabed mineral resources, including the current state of development, possible environmental impacts, and the uncertainties and gaps in scientific knowledge and understanding about such impacts.

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Officials from 9 countries and the European Union reached agreement on November 30 on an historic international accord that will protect 1.1 million square miles of the Central Arctic Ocean. Once signed, the legally binding agreement will prevent commercial fishing in the region for at least 16 years while scientific research is conducted to learn more about its marine life.

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On 4 January 2018, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced BOEM’s Draft Proposed Program (DPP) for development of the nation’s oil and gas resources in the outer continental shelf (OCS), including opening up lease sales in the Atlantic for the first time since 1983, the Pacific for the first time since 1984, in the eastern Gulf Mexico for the first time since 1988, and in areas of Alaska that have been withdrawn since 2014.

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