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National Geographic show spotlights seafood industry, community, and government partnership to protect Fur Seals


National Geographic Channel's season premier of World's Toughest Fixes spotlights the removal of the F/V Ocean Clipper from St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea where it lay in sensitive habitat.  This unique partnership of the seafood industry, federal and tribal governments, and private salvors came together  to protect fur seals and improve the Alaska's shores.

This was the joint effort of the MCA Foundation, an Alaska fishing industry non-profit, the NOAA Restoration Center, Magone Marine, the Aleut Community of St. Paul Tribal Government, and others funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Shipwrecked in a fur seal rookery on St. Paul Island in the late 1980's, the F/V Ocean Clipper had become a hazard to Northern Fur Seal pups, a fragile population that is considered depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Stewardship of this valuable species was at the heart of the removal effort which took place in early 2010 amidst the ice-covered waters of St. Paul Island. This 80 foot steel fishing vessel was taken apart piece by piece and removed from the rookery by way of a highline which is a wire rope system much like a high tech trapeze. Not only was this operation an engineering challenge, it was also done under difficult weather conditions and sea ice that complicated the effort.

World's Toughest Fixes on the National Geographic Chanel presents "Alaskan Salvage" exploring the removal of the F/V Ocean Clipper. The show premiers on Thursday, September 30 at 4PM & 7PM Alaska Standard Time.  Check your local TV listing.

Additional information and visual media on the salvage effort is at http://oceanclipper.blogspot.com/

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