Oceans

New research questions need for streamlining enviro assessments

Research is questioning the logic behind the federal government's move to streamline environmental assessments.

After tracking thousands of assessments over a decade, the peer-reviewed findings of Derrick de Kerckhove suggest a great majority of Fisheries Act environmental reviews over the last decade were completed well within recommended timelines.

Nor was there a bottleneck of projects being held up by a clogged review process, he said.

"We didn't find any. Even when the input was high, it seemed to be handled very well."

De Kerckhove, a University of Toronto PhD candidate, analyzed 10 years worth of data from Department of Fisheries and Oceans annual reports on the progress of environmental assessments triggered under the Fisheries Act. That legislation generates more such reviews than almost any other — anywhere from 7,700 to more than 12,000 in a single year.... Read more »

Low calving rates among blue whales cause for concern

Each blue whale has a unique pattern of spots of its back, like a fingerprint or a nametag. These spots allow researchers to identify each whale as either a newcomer, or an old friend.

The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) is a non-profit research organization located on the Gulf of St Lawrence's northern shore and they were the first group to begin long term study of marine mammals in the Gulf. Since their founding in 1979, this group has followed blue whale populations in eastern Canada, the Sea of Cortez and in the waters of Iceland.

MICS has discovered something troubling in the northwest Atlantic blue whale population. Of the 475 individual whales they've identified since their genesis in 1979, only 22 have been calves. This suggests a frighteningly low calving rate for a population already swimming on the brink.... Read more »

Environmental groups express solidarity with Pictou Landing First Nation

June 12, 2014

 

K'JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) - The Ecology Action Centre, Sierra Club Atlantic Canada, and Council of Canadians express their solidarity with Pictou Landing First Nation and neighbouring communities in their fight to defend and clean up their home waters.

 

“The ongoing pollution and contamination of a once pristine coastal estuary and beach is a disgrace. It is absolutely the responsibility of the province of Nova Scotia to clean up this site once and for all” says Angela Giles, Council of Canadians.

 ... Read more »

            

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