Deadliest Catch Star Keith Colburn to Testify Before Congress, Urges Protection For "America`s Fish Basket"

Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:45pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

On 20th Anniversary of Exxon Valdez Spill, Congress to Receive Jars of Rocks
from Alaska Coast That Remain Covered in Oil
WASHINGTON--(Business Wire)--
Environmental groups (Alaska Wilderness League, Oceana and World Wildlife Fund)
issued the following: 

Captain Keith Colburn, star of the Discovery Channel hit series Deadliest Catch,
will testify before a joint congressional oversight hearing on Tuesday - the
20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill - and urge Congress to protect
Alaska`s most productive fisheries from oil exploration. 

Each member of the two subcommittees holding the joint hearing will be presented
with a jar of rocks collected last month from the shores of Prince William
Sound, the site of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. Two decades after the accident,
the rocks remain coated in oil. Dr. Jeffrey Short of Oceana, an internationally
recognized expert on oil impacts to the ocean, will testify about lessons
learned from the Exxon Valdez and the need for a science-based precautionary
approach to protect fragile Arctic ecosystems from industrialization. Also on
Tuesday, more than 60 members of Congress will be sending a letter to President
Obama highlighting the high likelihood of a large spill in the Arctic and the
lack of technology to clean up such a spill. 

In his testimony, Colburn, a crab fisherman in Alaska`s Bristol Bay, will tell
the subcommittees that opening Bristol Bay to oil drilling could be devastating
to the fishing industry and will urge Congress to protect the region from
proposed oil and gas lease sales that were offered under the Bush
administration. Known as "America`s fish basket," Bristol Bay and the larger
Bering Sea are home to nearly half the seafood caught in the U.S. - a $2.2
billion annual fishery. By comparison, oil and gas drilling is expected to bring
in just $7.7 billion total over the entire 25-40 years experts believe it will
take to fully extract the resources.

 WHAT:     Joint oversight hearing on "Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf and the Future of our Oceans," by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources and Subcommittee on Insular   
           Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife                                                                                                                                                                                           
 WHEN:     Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 10 a.m.                                                                                                                                                                                       
 WHERE:    Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building                                                                                                                                                                              
           -- Capt. Keith Colburn, Bristol Bay crab boat captain and star of Discovery`s Deadliest Catch                                                                                                                          
           -- Dr. Jeffrey Short, Oceana scientist who was one of the first people on the scene of the Exxon Valdez spill and a leading expert on the impacts of oil to marine ecosystems                                          
           -- Other witnesses to be determined                                                                                                                                                                                    

B roll and still photos available.

The hearing will be webcast live on the Committee's website at

World Wildlife Fund
Steve Ertel, 202-495-4562
Jamie Karnik, 907-321-2295
Alaska Wilderness League
Emilie Surrusco, 202-544-5205

Copyright Business Wire 2009